Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2014 Issue

50 Exceptional Items in Peter Harrington's 100th Catalogue

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Catalogue #100.

Peter Harrington of London has reached a milestone publication: Catalogue 100. You might expect there to be 100 books in it, but the subtitle is Fifty Books & Manuscripts. The firm uses this opportunity to briefly recount their history – formed in 1969 by the late Peter Harrington, operated for many years with his brother, Adrian Harrington, and today continued by Peter's son, Pom Harrington. He is not alone as there are now over 25 people on the firm's staff. Recently, the bookseller expanded to open a second shop in London, in Mayfair. The material offered in this 100th catalogue is truly spectacular. These are few examples.

 

Charles Darwin shook up the world when he published his book on the origin of species, a theory still resisted by many to this day. Even the scientific community was reluctant at the time, not wishing what Darwin had concluded to be true to be the truth. Darwin's On the Origin of Species is generally thought of as the theory's introduction, but it was not. The basics were presented earlier in a journal article by Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Darwin had reached his conclusions many years earlier, but was reluctant to share them, fearful of the inevitable controversy. However, as he waited, Wallace independently reached similar conclusions, and was less fearful of publishing his theory. Darwin understood he could wait no longer, and so in 1859, he and Wallace together published this article, On the Tendency of Species to Form Varieties, and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Means of Natural Selection... in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Vol. III). Offered is a copy of that journal, the signed personal copy of Adam Sedgwick, a mentor of Darwin and one of the most important figures in modern geology (but who nonetheless was one of those traditionalists who could not bring himself to accept Darwin's theory). Item 9. Priced at £55,000 (British pounds or about $94,214 in U.S. dollars).

 

This next item will appeal in particular to Americans. It is a copy of the Political Debates between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois... published in 1860. This copy is inscribed by Lincoln to his friend and supporter, Job Fletcher. Fletcher had served with Lincoln years earlier in the Illinois state legislature. It was during the 1858 Illinois senate campaign that Lincoln made a name for himself back home with his electrifying performance in those debates against his powerful, senate incumbent opponent, a leader noted for his “popular sovereignty” doctrine. It was meant to be a compromise on the raging slavery issue – leaving the choice to each state. It satisfied neither side. Nonetheless, the powerful Douglas prevailed in the 1858 campaign. When the two faced off again in 1860, this time for the presidency, Lincoln had this account of the 1858 debates published, as he was still relatively obscure, particularly compared to Douglas, and he hoped to revive some of the magic those debates provided for his reputation. This time, with Douglas' Democratic Party hopelessly split north and south, Lincoln prevailed. Item 28. £150,000 (US $256,923).

 

We turn now to another notable leader with a similar enormous impact on history, but this one came from England, and he is not remembered with quite the love and admiration as Lincoln. It is a document signed by England's King Henry VIII in 1513. Henry's reputation was very different at this time from the one he would have later in life. He was still a Catholic, still married to his first wife, and hadn't executed an inordinate number of people yet. Indeed, this document was a sign of great respect for Queen Katherine, from whom Henry's later divorce would tear apart the entire ecclesiastical structure of England. In 1513, Henry departed for France to wage war, something in which the British and French engaged for a millennium or so. While he was gone, Scottish King James IV attempted to take advantage of his absence by attacking England. Katherine became head of the army in Henry's absence, and the Queen's troops soundly defeated the Scottish invaders. James lay dead on the battlefield. Item 20 is a warrant signed by Henry ordering a substantial amount of cloth be purchased and given to Katherine's servant, John Hasilby. Clothing was a major sign of prestige at the time, and Henry wanted to reward his Queen for her victory with a symbol of great prestige. Sadly, the story between Henry and Katherine would not end with them living happily ever after. £30,000 (US $51,395).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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

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