Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2014 Issue

Material from the Olympia Fair Offered by Samuel Gedge Ltd.

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Material from the Olympia Fair.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books issued a catalogue for the recently concluded Olympia Book Fair 2014. Gedge offers a selection of books, manuscripts and ephemera, most quite old - 16th-19th century. Many are handwritten or partly printed documents concerning activities of another time. Most are in English, though continental languages can also be found. These are a few samples of the material that made their way to London for the recent Fair.

 

We start with a naval pass signed by two important people. It is issued for the Hope of London, a 58-ton vessel operated by four men. It applied to a single voyage in 1828. One signatory is Lord High Admiral John Barrow. Barrow had traveled through southern Africa, but he is more closely associated with the Arctic regions. He ardently promoted exploration of these northern areas during his tenure at the Admiralty. Several places, including the northern most community in the United States, Barrow, Alaska, are named for him. The second signature is that of the Duke of Clarence. The Duke was not expected to be much more than another royal, he being the third son of George III, but when both of his older brothers died without legitimate issue, he ascended to the thrown at the age of 64. He was, and still is, the oldest person to ascend to the British crown. He took the name William IV. His reign began two years after he signed this document, in 1830, and lasted until his death in 1837. Item 11. Priced at £750 (British pounds, roughly $1,260 U.S. dollars).

 

Item 69 is another document signed by a future king, though a current one as well. This signature is that of James VI, King of Scotland. It is dated 1602. James would take on the more significant role of King James I of England as well the following year, when Elizabeth I's long rule finally came to an end. This document is a letter of safe passage, to last for a term of 7 years, issued to Sir John Vans of Barnbarroch and a “friend in company.” Vans was the son of diplomat Patrick Vans, and many years earlier had been appointed as a “Gentleman of the Bedchamber” to James VI. He would later serve as an MP. Evidently, he was a favorite of James, opening the possibility that this trip, whose purpose is not known, may have been some sort of diplomatic mission. At the time, James wanted to prepare continental princes for his plans of ascending to the thrown. £3,500 (US $5,884).

 

Item 102 is Beschreibung einer neuen Gronlandischen Thierpflanze. This is the 1753 first edition of a book that would later be issued in English under the title “An account of a new zoophyte, or animal plant, from Greenland...” An English whaler had dredged up a couple of the unusual specimens, one of which made its way to the author, Christlob Mylius. Mylius was an 18th century German naturalist and journalist specializing in scientific topics. The unusual creature would not be spotted again for over a century. Today, we know this unusual creature as a crinoid, or “sea lily.” The confusion was natural, as these are animals, but look remarkably like plants, flowers specifically, their limbs resembling petals. £750 (US $1,260).

 

Back in the days when no one had any idea how to cure most illnesses, one of the favorite “cures” was medicinal springs. Wherever water flowed from the ground, some entrepreneur would discover the curative powers of those waters and soon money would flow like the water. Item 105 is A full relation concerning the wonderfull and wholesome fountain. At first discovered in Germany, two miles from the city of Halberstadt, by a certain youth upon the fifth of March1646. as he was coming home from school. This pamphlet was published in the same year as the “discovery,” and undoubtedly was intended to lure English sufferers to these German springs. It promised cures for all sorts of diseases, noting that 5,000 people were already visiting the spot from all over Germany. It included a prayer to be recited at the springs, and then 215 examples of people who had been cured. “A childe of Barby, which had crooked heeles, so that they went inward, were made straight againe...” Water did that? Amazing. A deaf and dumb “girle,” a deaf soldier, were among the others cured. £1,250 (US $2,087).

 

Item 62 is the will of George Glover, of Deptford, county Kent, dated March 10, 1654. Glover was going on a dangerous journey, “now bounde fforth in a perilous voyage to the East India beyond the seas...” No wonder he saw a need to make a will. The will mentioned property he owned, and appointed his wife, Elizabeth, as executrix. It is likely Glover was headed to the East Indies to work for the East India Company, as they needed skilled shipwrights to repair ships that were constantly being damaged. And it also clear that Glover needed a will, as this document is accompanied by another proving the will, dated October 7, 1656, and signed off by two judges. Glover lost his gamble on this job. £450 (US $751).

 

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)1263 768 471 or rarebooks@samuelgedge.com. Their website is www.samuelgedge.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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