Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2014 Issue

Books About Books & Bibliography from Oak Knoll Books


Oak Knoll Catalogue 306.

Oak Knoll Books has released its Catalogue 306 of Books About Books & Bibliography. The catalogue covers material about books from the arcane and technical to broader subjects such as artistic books. You can learn about the technical aspects – papermaking, binding, calligraphy, type specimens, miniature books, and marbling. There is even a book devoted to proofreading. I hope they had a good proofreader for that one. Then there are broader subjects, such as illustrated books, bibliographies, and private presses. There are even a few miscellaneous items. Anything about books is likely to be found here. Now for a few examples.


What could be more appropriate for the bibliography section of a catalogue of books about books than a bibliography of bibliographies. Item 67 is World Bibliography of Bibliographies and of Bibliographical Catalogues, Calendars, Abstracts, Digest, Indexes, and the Like, by Theodore Besterman. This is the second printing of the fourth and “best” edition of what Oak Knoll describes as “an amazing compilation describing, in chronological order, the bibliographies that have been written about any subject.” It lists the number of pages and entries in each bibliography. There is a cut off in timing, naturally, as this book was published in 1971. Priced at $450.


Item 172 is from a limited edition of 530 copies, printed in 1908, of Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra. It was illustrated by the noted Belgian architect and designer Henry van de Velde. Van de Velde started as a conventional artist, but moved into more decorative designing. He was one of the founders of the Art Nouveau movement of the 1890's, designed to bring more exciting designs to the world of art. It is one of his designs from this book that you see on the cover of this catalogue. $5,500.


Item 131 is a somewhat embarrassing book. It comes from Henry Morris' famed Bird & Bull Press. The title is Five on Paper, A Collection of Five Essays on Papermaking, Books and Relevant Matters, published in 1963. This is from a limited edition of 169 copies and contains essays on paper and papermaking by Dard Hunter and others. However, Morris made one ironic mistake for a book on papermaking, which he later explained, “Unhappily, I committed a serious error when I was making the paper for this book... I had made an acidic sheet that would begin to deteriorate quickly.” Oops. The result is some darkening to the pages common to all copies. This copy has a 1963 presentation from the noted book collector Lessing Rosenwald. $1,000.


Next up we have the Bookbindings of T. J. Cobden-Sanderson. A Study of His Work, 1894-1893., Based on His Time Book, prepared by Marianne Tidcombe and published in 1984. Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson was a friend of legendary private press publisher William Morris. However, years before Morris started his Kelmscott Press, he and his wife encouraged Cobden-Sanderson to enter the bookbinding field. He did, and quickly became one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts movement, which tried to bring back traditional craftsmanship. Cobden-Sanderson's Time Book, mentioned in the title, was one in which he recorded the bindings he produced between 1884-1893. This book describes his bindings, including those not covered in the Time Book, as well as descriptive chapters on the features of his book bindings. While Cobden-Sanderson's book bindings are highly respected, he became better known later as a fine press publisher himself. After William Morris' death, Cobden-Sanderson founded his own Doves Press to continue the high quality traditional printing started by Morris. Item 12. $125.


Item 101 is Abraham Lincoln President of the United States 1861-1865: Selections from His Writings. Lincoln does not exactly come across larger than life in this book. In fact, he becomes much smaller. The tall, lanky President is featured in this tiny, miniature book. The book contains a portrait of Lincoln, along with noteworthy letters and speeches, including Gettysburg and his second inaugural, especially for readers with very keen eyesight. $260. In a measure of equal time for the British, item 107 is Winston Churchill's King George VI: The Prime Minister's Broadcast February 7, 1952, in miniature. George VI died the previous day, Queen Elizabeth succeeding him and having ruled (figuratively) the Isles ever since. Item 107. $900.


Here is one of those “miscellaneous” items with no discernible (to me) connection to the rest of the material in this catalogue, but an interesting piece nonetheless. Item 248 is a broadside headed Department of Georgia, G.A.R., printed in 1890. The G.A.R. was the Grand Army of the Republic, the main organization of Union Civil War Veterans, and one wonders how well-received among its neighbors the Georgia branch was. Nevertheless, they made this appeal for funds to establish a national preserve of the notorious Andersonville war prison in that state. Conditions in the Andersonville prison were little better than those of the later Nazi concentration camps, with skeletal prisoners dying, if not from starvation, then the rampant diseases that spread through the grotesquely unsanitary outdoor prison. Around one-third of the 40,000+ prisoners interred there died in the scant year it was open. Considering that reality, the fund-raising appeal sounds strange as the G.A.R. seeks to make the grounds a “pleasant thought for every old soldier.” They would have had few pleasant thoughts visiting that place, but the G.A.R.'s heart was in the right place, attempting to preserve a piece of American history, even if it was a horribly bad one. They were successful, and the prison site was turned over to the federal government in 1910. $125.


Oak Knoll Books may be reached at 800-996-2556 or orders@oakknoll.com. Their website is www.oakknoll.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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