Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2015 Issue

Science, Medicine, Travels and More from Librairie Thomas-Scheler

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Antiquarian books.

Librairie Thomas-Scheler has published their 44th catalogue of Livres Anciens (Antiquarian Books). This is a collection of very old books, dating as far back as the 16th century. Most of the books were published in French, though we do find some in other continental European languages and English. American and English audiences will also find first French editions of works originally published in their native tongue. There are a great many books of scientific, mathematical and medical interest to be found, but there are no limits. Travel and exploration are also prominent here. These are a few samples of the books we found in this latest presentation from Librairie Thomas-Scheler.

 

We begin with an early look at the pyramids of Giza, Description des pyramides de Ghize, et de la ville de Kaire et des environs, by Jacques Francois Louis Grobert, published in 1801. The French provided the West with some of the earliest detailed information about Egyptian antiquities, and everything else Egyptian, as a result of Napoleon's desire to build his resume just before the outset of the 19th century. Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798, taking along all sorts of scholars to write detailed reports on everything about the country. He figured conquering the ancient land would win him support for leadership in France, from which he could carry out his much greater ambitions. Unfortunately for M. Bonaparte, Egypt turned out be a morass, his entrance appreciated neither by the Ottomans, who technically ruled the land, nor the independent-minded Egyptians, who retained much autonomy. Napoleon hightailed it back to France, no worse for the wear in the eyes of his people, soon to take over the government, from which he would have much more successful invasions of Europe until discovering Moscow gets very cold in winter. The author of this book, Jacques Grobert, was placed in charge of the artillery corps in Gaza during French rule. From this position he gathered much information about the ancient structures and was present for the opening of the Great Pyramid. His description of the pyramids and neighboring Cairo (Kaire) was considered the most detailed available at the time. Item 104. Priced at €2,000 (euros, or roughly $2,241 in U.S. currency).

 

Next is an even earlier work about a larger, though overlapping area by French naturalist and explorer Pierre Belon: Les observations de plusieurs singularités et choses memorables trouvées en Grèce, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres pays étrangèrs, published in 1553. Belon was a true “Renaissance man,” appropriate for a man living in the Renaissance. He studied many fields, from zoology to botany, medicine, natural history, ancient history, and comparative anatomy. In 1546, Belon set out on his journey which took him to Greece, the Levant, Arabia and Egypt. He went to study botanical specimens, but ended up conducting a thorough investigation of the lands, covering antiquities, the people, and natural history. It was the most complete study of the area to appear in France up to that point. Item 21. €9,500 (10,646).

 

Next up is one of the greatest American biographies, though it is in French. Item 185 is the first French edition of Vie de George Washington, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall's biography of America's revolutionary leader and first president. Originally published 1804-1807 in London as The Life of George Washington, this set was published in Paris in 1807. It includes five volumes plus the atlas. Marshall was certainly an admirer of Washington, but this was still the first major biography of the man and may well still be the best ever written. Washington began his military career fighting the French during the French and Indian War, but became close allies with the nation during the Revolution when France supported the American cause. €1,200 (US $1,344).

 

By the end of Washington's life, French-American relations weren't so good any more. The nations might have gone to war were not America's relations with France's main rival, England, equally bad. Item 90 is Pieces Officielles, messages, instructions, depeches, &c., Relatives a la Negociation qui a eu lieu en 1797 & 1798, sur les Differens eleves entre le Gouvernement des Etats-Unis de l'Amerique et le Directoire Executif de France, published in 1798. This is a compilation of correspondence between American and French officials as a result of the XYZ Affair. Three American diplomats had gone to France to negotiate issues that were threatening to bring the two nations to war. When they arrived, three unofficial French representatives, their names kept secret as X, Y, and Z, demanded payments and loans before the French would negotiate with them. Apparently, this was not an unheard of practice in Europe, but the Americans were deeply offended. It led to the “Quasi-War” between the countries, but it never broke into full-fledged hostilities despite the great anger. €120 (US $134).

 

Item 66 is the first published book by zoologist and studier of comparative anatomy Georges Cuvier: Tableau élémentaire de l'histoire naturelle des animaux, published in 1798. In this work he attempted to put together a classification of the animal kingdom. Cuvier compared the anatomy of living creatures with those found only in fossils. He was a proponent of the theory that some species had become extinct, a controversial point of view at the time as some believed God would never have created species he would then turn around and destroy. Cuvier did not believe in evolution, not even the pre-Darwinian ones of his time. He correctly saw in the fossil record that there were cataclysmic extinction events. He figured these were caused by floods. These cataclysms, he believed, were followed by new creation events. €1,000 (US $1,120).



Librairie Thomas-Scheler may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@thomas-scheler.fr

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> John Muir. <i>My First Summer in the Sierra</i>, Boston, 1911.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ernest Hemingway. <i>For Whom the Bell Tolls</i>, New York, 1940. First edition later printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Upton Sinclair. <i>The Jungle</i>, New York, 1906. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> George Orwell. <i>Nineteen Eighty-Four</i>, 1949. First American edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Harper Lee. <i>To Kill a Mocking Bird</i>, 1960. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Richard Wright. <i>Native Son</i>, New York, 1940. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Dryden, Congreve, and others. <i>Ovid’s Art of Love</i>, London, 1764. English translation of Ovid’s work.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> S. E. Hinton. <i>The Outsiders</i>, New York, 1967. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> J. D. Salinger. <i>The Catcher in the Rye</i>, Boston, 1951. Book club edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ayn Rand. <i>Atlas Shrugged</i>, New York, 1957. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> J. D. Salinger. <i>Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters</i> and <i>Seymour: An Introduction</i>, Boston, 1963. First [book] edition, third state.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Tennessee Williams. <i>Sweet Bird of Youth</i>, 1959. First edition.
  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
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    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
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