Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2015 Issue

Uncommon and Antiquarian Books and Related Paper from Susan Schulz-Falster Rare Books


Catalogue Twenty.

Susan Schulz-Falster Rare Books has published Catalogue Twenty. It offers one-hundred twenty items that are uncommon and antiquarian, sourced from England and continental Europe. The topics are varied but the material is always interesting. Here are a few examples.


We will start with something very large, or at least the subject matter was big: Description of a forty-feet reflecting telescope, by William Herschel. This is an original 1795 offprint of Herschel's account of his great 40-foot telescope, the largest in the world when completed in 1789, and for 50 years thereafter. Its completion was celebrated with a concert at its base, which may have been written by Herschel as he was first a musical composer before becoming an astronomer. Herschel is noted for many discoveries, in particular the discovery of Uranus, the first new planet in a few millennia. The new telescope, five-foot in diameter, quickly discovered a new moon revolving around Saturn. While spectacular in size, the 40-foot telescope was not easy to use, and probably was not quite the advance over smaller ones Herschel may have hoped. The offprint includes 19 explanatory plates and a dedication to King George III, who put up £4,800 to finance its construction. Item 62. Priced at £9,800 (British pounds or approximately $15,076 U.S. dollars).


We have seen self-service replace personal service in many fields in the past generation or two – grocery stores, restaurants, pumping gas. Here is a much earlier such advance, and one that evidently needed instruction. Item 92 is La Pogonotomie, ou L'art d'appendre a se raser soi meme... by Jean-Jacques Perret, published in 1769. This is an instruction book for men on how to shave yourself. Perret was a barber, and in his time, men went to a barber for a shave. The barber would pull out his straight razor, and presuming he was skillful, and you certainly hoped he was, he would remove your beard or stubble with nary a scratch (that was before stubble was fashionable). However, repeating this procedure yourself, in reverse in front of a mirror, was not so easy, and a mistake could lead to a bloodletting. Perret not only provided instruction, but developed a precursor to the safety razor. It placed the straight razor within a wooden sleeve so that only the very tip of the edge protruded. You might nick yourself, but the razor did not stick out far enough to inflict a deep cut. £800 (US $1,230).


You might expect a British danger poster from 1918 to be a warning about Germany, but this enemy was more insidious and much smaller. It is a folio poster from the British Natural History Museum warning, in large bold letters, about The Louse Danger. There is no better way of scaring people about tiny critters, be they lice or dust mites, then to show massively enlarged pictures of them. At the size of a cockroach, they are really gross. The illustrator of this larger-than-life louse was Grace Edwards. Her body of work includes a few other posters, such as “The Mosquito Danger,” and “Illustrations of bloodsucking flies.” This louse poster will get you started on a collection of Ms. Edwards' oeuvre. Item 44. £200 (US $307).


If you've ever struggled through Newton's Principia, trying to understand exactly what he means, here is a helpful alternative: The Newtonian System of philosophy, explained by familiar objects, in an entertaining manner, for the use of young persons. By Tom Telescope. This is a later edition (1827) which actually includes post-Newtonian discoveries, but Newton's name was synonymous with natural science at the time. The work has been attributed to its first printer, John Newbery, rather than Tom T., who is a little boy who describes the scientific principles in the book in terms children can understand. It includes numerous illustrations to make the principles easier to follow. I would certainly appreciate it if Tom Telescope would someday get around to explaining Einstein's theory of relativity in terms children of all ages can understand. Item 72. £350 (US $538).


One might expect a book about crime and punishment from 1766 to be a rather gruesome affair. Society had moved forward by then from the days of the Middle Ages, but there was still no shortage of brutality, as the French would find a few decades later during their Reign of Terror. However, Italian criminologist Cesare Beccaria had far more humane ideas when it came to dealing with crime and criminals. He believed that penalties should be based on the degree the crime injured society. Prevention should be the primary aim of penalties, not punishment. To this goal, he believed the certainty of punishment had a greater impact than its severity. He advocated fines as punishment for property crimes, banishment for political crimes, and opposed the death penalty, arguing for life imprisonment instead. He also believed the conditions in prisons needed to be improved. Printing and the Mind of Man has described Beccaria's book as “the most influential book in the whole history of criminology.” Item 15 is the French translation from the original Italian, Traité des Délits et de Peines, one of seven editions published in 1766. £800 (US $1,230).


Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0) 20 7704 9845 or sfalster@btinternet.com. Their website is www.schulz-falster.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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