Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2014 Issue

Unusual and Surprising from Honey & Wax Booksellers


Honey & Wax.

We have received the newest catalogue from Honey & Wax Booksellers of Brooklyn. It has no stated title, but, based on others, I think it is safe to call it Catalogue 3. After a couple of years as a home-based bookseller, they have opened up a location elsewhere in the New York City borough. It is “past the pickle factory, next to the movie prop shop.” Presuming there aren't another pickle factory and movie prop shop in close proximity in Brooklyn, that should provide sufficient direction. Honey & Wax's catalogues don't fall into clear subject matter delineations, but here is what I like about them. As they explain, they place their “emphasis on unusual and surprising copies.” It's not just that the book or edition is uncommon, the book, or ephemeral item, is often something unusual in kind. It is always fun to find things you don't expect. Here are a few of these items.


We start with Orlando Furioso in English Historical Verse, the second English edition of Lodovico Ariosto's adventures of an Italian knight, published in 1607. The translator was John Harrington, and there is a tale behind his translation. Harrington was Queen Elizabeth's godson, and she was evidently displeased when he first translated and circulated a racy fragment of the text among her ladies. She banished him from court until he produced a complete translation. However, Harrington was not fooled as to what the people wanted. In his “apologie,” Harrington humorously writes, “methinks I see some of you searching already for these places of the book, and you are halfe offended that I have not made some directions that you might finde out and read them immediately.” Methinks he is correct. Item 3. Priced at $8,500.


Here is a clever book: Punctuation Personified: or Pointing Made Easy. By Mr. Stops. “Mr. Stops,” unsurprisingly, is an alias. The book contains amusing rhymes that teach children about punctuation, a field of study in desperate need of anything to make it more entertaining. So, Mr. Stops tells us, “Here counsellor Comma the reader may view, / Who knows neither guile nor repentance; / A straight forward path he resolves to pursue / By dividing short parts of a sentence.” Or, how about “See, how Semicolon is strutting with pride; Into two or more parts he'll a sentence divide.” I think this stuff is neat, but I suspect today's youth would not be so enthralled. In this day of texting and Twitter, do they even know about punctuation, or is it a lost art, like spelling? Item 7, published in 1824. $3,000.


For those children looking to become scientists or engineers, perhaps this instruction book will be of more use: Marmaduke Multiply's Merry Method of Making Minor Mathematicians. Mathematicians are alliterate. This 1816-1817 book, published in parts, contains rhymes and illustrations to teach the multiplication tables. For example, “Six times 8 are 48. Dear Aunt! your dress is out of date,” and “Seven times 8 are 56. That fellow merits twenty kicks.” Okay, these rhymes aren't nearly so clever, but the illustrations are very good. Item 9. $4,500.


Item 63 is a circa 1830 edition of Picture of New-York, published by Mahlon Day. This miniature book, with woodcuts throughout (some crudely colored) was meant to introduce the city to children. This copy belonged to, and bears the bookplate of, the legendary bookseller A. S. W. Rosenbach. Rosenbach was certainly among the pantheon of the greatest booksellers ever. Operating during the first half of the 20th century, “the Doctor” sold to the most important and wealthiest book collectors of the golden age of book collecting. While Rosenbach sold the most important books printed, he only collected in a few areas for himself. One was children's books, and this book appears in his 1936 catalogue Early American Children's Books. Rosenbach noted that Mahlon Day had a habit of promoting itself in its stories, and a woodcut of their Manhattan store appears in this book. $1,800.


Here is a board game with a somewhat unsettling name: The New Game of Human Life. Is it playing with human life? Or maybe it's a game involving genetic engineering? Not likely, since it was created in 1790. No, it's actually quite harmless. It contains 84 human characters in various squares from which you move up or back, depending on whether you landed on a positive or negative character. It's kind of like Hooks and Ladders with moral input. The Studious Boy advances to become the Orator, the Negligent Boy stays in place, the Prodigal is sent back to the place of the Careless Boy. Other characters include the Philosopher, the Patriot, Rebellious Youth, Lover, Drunkard, and Hypochondriac. You win the game by succeeding the Immortal Man. The game advises you use a six-sided totum, a kind of spinning device, rather than dice because of the bad connotations that go with those. Item 1. $5,000.


Item 12 is a great item for those who love the Blues (we mean the music, not feeling low). It is The Paramount Book of Blues. This is a 1927 catalogue of blues music recordings, including such legendary names as Ma Rainey and Blind Lemon. Paramount started as the Wisconsin Chair Company, but made the odd transition to recording company to help sell the phonographs it made. $950.


Honey & Wax Booksellers may be reached at 917-974-2420 or info@honeyandwaxbooks.com. Their website is www.honeyandwaxbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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