Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2015 Issue

Books, Letters and More from James Cummins Bookseller

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James Cummins Catalogue 126.

James Cummins Bookseller has released Catalogue 126. The items are varied, a mix of books, letters and documents from people who wrote books, and some things that fit none of those spheres. We can only provide a few samples. To understand the rest you will need the catalogue.

 

We will start with an important rarity with a rich provenance... a very rich provenance. Item 59 is Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies...And unto this Impression is added seven Playes, never before Printed in Folio. This edition is generally referred to as the Third Folio, the second issue. The 1664 Third Folio was a reprint of the second, but this rare second issue added the seven new plays mentioned in the title. These plays had been printed under Shakespeare's name during his lifetime, but it is now believed only one, Pericles Prince of Tyre, was written by Shakespeare. The Third Folio is rarer than the second or fourth, likely because copies were destroyed in the Great London Fire of 1666. This copy contains the armorial bookplate of the great collector and fabulously wealthy turn of the century industrialist J. Pierpont Morgan. Priced at $500,000.

 

Here is another book with an important provenance, though this time the significance is not the wealth or fame of the owner, but his annotations and relation to the events discussed. The book is Winston Churchill's The World Crisis. 1911-1914, the First Lord of the Admiralty's (during those years) account of the run-up to the First World War. It was published in 1923. The copy is inscribed by Churchill to Count Metternich, who was German Ambassador to Britain from 1901-1912. Metternich has annotated the book throughout in English with his views and corrections. Naturally enough, his opinion at times differ with those of Churchill, the two representing wartime enemies once the fighting began. Metternich contends that Germany was forced into the war, at one time writing, “But after all, did Germany attack England? I thought it was vice versa.” Metternich disagrees with Churchill's contention that England was trying to ease conflicts between Germany and France, maintaining instead that England was firmly on France's side and unwilling to give Germany a fair deal. Metternich also recounts a meeting with an ailing Bismarck in the last year of the latter's life (1898). Bismarck maintained that England was not much of a threat as it had become fat. Metternich writes that he could not verbally contradict the great leader, but his experiences in England taught him that despite the “fat,” there was still great energy in England. Item 10. $30,000.

 

Here is one more book with an interesting connection. In 1881, Oscar Wilde published his collection of Poems. The book was well-received, helping to secure the reputation that would enable him to become a popular speaker in the years before he was known as a prose writer. This is a copy of the true first edition. The first printing consisted of 750 copies, divided into groups of 250, three editions almost (but not quite) indistinguishable. This copy was owned by Edward Heron Allen. Heron Allen was a writer and friend of both Wilde and his wife. In 1900, he wrote in the book that it was “Given to me by Constance Wilde in November 1885.” Wilde married Constance Lloyd in 1884, and their two children were born during the next two years. Presumably, these were their best years. Wilde would go on to spend much time away from home, and later become involved in a homosexual scandal. He and Constance would remain married for the rest of her life (she died in 1898), and they were apparently civil to one another, but were apart for many years. Item 76. $3,750.

 

Back in the 17th century, when people were holding witch trials and the like, there were a lot of superstitious beliefs. Yet even then, there were a few who recognized the nonsense and were willing to point it out. Item 4 is a book that pointed out the fallacies of a lot of these beliefs: Pseudodoxia Epidemica: or, Enquiries into Very many received Tenants, And commonly presumed Truths, by Thomas Browne, published in 1646. Browne tackles all sorts of false beliefs, including those of science, religion, and medicine. Among scientific errors discussed are the belief that salamanders can live in flames, and hares are each of both sexes. Medical issues involved the saying of a blessing after a sneeze, and that drowned men float on the ninth day. From religion, he discusses the belief that the Tower of Babel was built to withstand a second flood. He also points to the error of paintings of Adam and Eve, which show them as having navels. How silly is that for the first humans? $1,000.

 

This next item is a printed work, though hardly a book. It is sort of a “first edition” of the game of Monopoly. It is the first fully printed version of the game, the “white box” one put out by its inventor, Charles Darrow. It shows a 1933 copyright with printed “1934 rules” inside. Darrow copyrighted his new game in 1933 and began selling it in the white box at Wannamaker's Department Store in Philadelphia the following year. In 1935, he sold the rights to Parker Brothers, which rolled it out to great success across the country. The board and parts are in near fine condition, including 32 green houses, 12 red hotels, 16 Chance and 16 Community Chest cards, 2 dice, 28 property cards, and cash in denominations from $1 to $500. The iconic game pieces are lacking as they had not yet been developed. The board looks amazingly like the one we all grew up with except some of the property color schemes are different. For example, the Pennsylvania Avenue set is a pink orange, not green, Baltic red (like Illinois), not purple. Item 40. $7,500.

 

James Cummins Bookseller may be reached at 212-688-6441 or info@jamescumminsbookseller.com. The website is www.jamescumminsbookseller.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

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