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

  • <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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