Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2015 Issue

16th and 17th Century Books from Antiquates Rare Books

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16th and 17th century books.

Antiquates Fine & Rare Books has released a catalogue of Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Books. Antiquates is located in the U.K. with most, but not all, of what is offered reflecting their location. Politics and theology, quite contentious during this time, are the subject of many of these titles, but there is also poetry, medicine, and various other topics to be found. Controversy abounds. Then again, in the U.K., it still does. Here are a few samples.

 

We begin with a eulogy none of us ever hopes to have. Item 1 is The Young Man's Warning-piece. Or, A Sermon preached at the burial of William Rogers. Apothecary. With an History of his sinful Life, and Woeful Death. Together with a Post-script use of Examples. Poor William Rogers. His own vicar used his eulogy as an example of a sinful life. It seems Mr. Rogers made a habit of drinking, keeping bad company, not performing his religious duties, and not even recanting his sinful ways. The result is he was struck down just as he prepared to return to church (makes you wonder whether he was punished for being sinful or for returning to his church). Supposedly, he ended up filled with fears of damnation on his deathbed. This cheery piece was written by Rogers' vicar, Robert Abbot, and published in 1671, apparently the final edition of a work first printed in 1636. Priced at £450 (British pounds, or about $701 in U.S. dollars).

 

William Rogers' fate was probably gentle compared to that endured by another sinner, 22-year-old James Duncalf. Item 30 is A discourse Concerning Gods Judgements; Resolving many weighty questions and cases Relating to them. This was from a sermon preached at Old Swinford and published in 1678. Mr. Duncalf appears in an appendix as an example of God's judgment on the wicked. Evidently, God was not in a good mood in the 17th century. Mr. Duncalf is described as “the man whose hands and legs lately rotted off.” Thankfully, we have Simon Ford, a righteous clergyman, to explain why. £450 (US $701).

 

This next piece uses both law and scripture to condemn German cousins marrying, which seems an obscure concern for the English. Nevertheless, here is such a book, and it evidently had a purpose perhaps not immediately recognizable from its title today: Two Discourses Introductory to a Disquisition Demonstrating the Unlawfulness of the Marriage of Cousin Germans; From Law, Reason, Scripture, and Antiquity. The author was an Anglican clergyman, John Turner, with the treatise published in 1682. A few years earlier, William of Orange had married his cousin, Mary, both English royals and heirs, but William was Prince of Orange, which would have qualified him to be considered Germanic. The two had married to help secure William's influence in Britain and role as a potential successor to the throne. William was fourth in line, but Mary was second. Evidently, Turner was not happy with this arrangement. Eventually, the couple would be called to England by Protestants to overthrow Mary's father, the Catholic-leaning James II, and they would serve as co-regents William and Mary. Item 94. £225 (US $350).

 

This item is much more positive than the previous theological screeds, but is equally far-fetched. Item 25 fits comfortably into the realm of medical quackery: A late discourse Made in a Solemne Assembly of Nobles and Learned Men at Montpellier in France...Touching the Cure of Wounds by the Powder of Sympathy... The author of this 1658 first edition was Kenelm Digby, an English natural philosopher in exile in Paris who was not much of a medical scientist. Digby concluded that a salve of copper sulphate could heal wounds. Copper sulphate is used to kill weeds and pests, and is used as a fungicide. Its only medical use has been to induce vomiting, kind of a backhanded curative substance, but it is now considered too dangerous for even this use. Still, it might have seemed like a logical salve back in 1658 but for the manner of its application. Digby did not advocate applying it to the wound. Instead, it was to be applied to clothing containing blood from the wound, or the object which caused the wound. Evidently, Digby had seen this done and the wound healed, from which he concluded cause and effect. For what it's worth, Wikipedia tells us that Digby was “the father of the modern wine bottle.” £750 (US $1,169).

 

Here is another Digby from the same era, though I do not know whether the two were related. Item 92 is Matters of Great Note and Consequence, published in 1641. It is an attack on George Digby, an earl and ally of Charles I, the unpopular British monarch who would be overthrown and executed later in the decade. However, the attack is made on a rather odd basis. The author looks at the history of previous owners of Digby's residence, Sherborne Castle, dating all the way back to 1100. Apparently, there were some dubious characters among the ownership, including the disgraced Walter Raleigh, and this somehow proved that Digby must be disreputable too. £375 (US $584).

 

Antiquates Fine and Rare Books may be reached at 07921 151496 or sales@antiquates.co.uk. Their website is found at www.antiquates.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

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    <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. SOLD for $131,250
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    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
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