Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2015 Issue

Antiquarian Books on Agriculture, Bibliography, and More from Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller

363ad15d-be97-4ac1-b23d-07d1c0a747e5

Catalogue 214 from Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller.

Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller has released Catalogue 214 – Mostly Recent Acquisitions. There is no descriptive title, but here is what we found. These are overwhelmingly English and European books. The majority are in the English language though certainly not all. They can easily be called "antiquarian," coming from the 19th century or earlier. A couple of topics stand out. There is much in the way of bibliography, including many of a genre closely related – auction catalogues of important book sales. If we turn the clock back 200 years or more, we find there were some magnificent and incredibly large collections, and they regularly made their way to the auction rooms when their owners made their exits from this world. There are also a large number of books in the field of gardening, and plant and animal husbandry. Some of it was decorative, but most of these works are focused on gaining the most crops from your fields. Then, other topics also appear in smaller numbers, including science, medicine, anatomy, and health. Here are a few samples of the 100 books to be found in the pages of this catalogue.

 

We begin with the first book from noted English agricultural writer (some say the greatest ever) Arthur Young. He didn't start out that way, instead writing some political pamphlets, attempting to start a magazine, and training to be a merchant. However, after his father died, his mother called him back to their small country estate. Young began to farm, experimenting in ways to improve production. In 1867, he published his first book, The Farmer's Letters to the People of England: containing the Sentiments of a Practical Husbandman, on various Subjects of the utmost Importance... In time, Young would write a great many more books, mostly on agriculture, and come to view this first attempt as more of a testament to his ignorance than his knowledge. It was at this time that Young purchased a larger farm and began conducting more experiments. Item 93. Priced at $2,500.

 

In 1768, Young published the first of his touring books. It was here that Young's reputation as a writer began to grow, and become a greater means of making a living through farming than by farming itself. Item 95 is A Six Weeks Tour, through the Southern Counties of England and Wales. The book was primarily focused on agriculture, as Young conducted surveys of what other farmers were doing on their land. However, he also wrote about economic and political issues, speaking about the economics of labor and provisions, and of the conditions of the poor, and of those on the other side of the income line. Young published a "six months tour" of northern England two years later (also offered in this catalogue), as well as tours of eastern England, France and Ireland. Several of his other agricultural works are also available in this catalogue. $1,750.

 

Item 28 is a catalogue of a vast library, Index Bibliothecae..., which in effect made it one of the earliest bibliographies. The library's owner was Francesco Barberini, progeny of a wealthy family that became even wealthier due to the position of Francesco's uncle. In 1623, his uncle was elected Pope, serving the next 21 years as Pope Urban VIII. Urban took care his family. He elevated his brother and two of his nephews to be cardinals, including young Francesco, then 26 years old. Francesco benefited financially from his position, becoming a patron or the arts and building his massive library. Along with books it included many ancient Greek and Roman manuscripts. When his uncle died, the new Pope sought to diminish the Barberinis wealth. They were forced to flee to exile in France, but in time, with the help of a marriage uniting the new Pope's family and theirs, all was forgiven. While Cardinal Barberini made the most of papal nepotism to advance his personal interests, in his defense it should be noted that he was one of only three judges in Galileo's second trial who refused to sign his sentence, and then worked to see that the great scientist lived his remaining days in comfortable surroundings, rather than being shipped off to a monastery. When Cardinal Barberini died in 1679, the library contained 60,000 books. This 1681 catalogue, which was written in then-revolutionary alphabetical order by name, covers the books. A planned catalogue of the manuscripts was never published. This catalogue is very rare in the marketplace. $22,500.

 

This next item takes bibliography one step further. It is Dissertation sur les Bibliotheques avec une Table Alphabetique... Hill notes that it is more than a catalogue of collections in France and elsewhere, but is, in effect, a bibliography of bibliographies. This copy is bound together with Table Alphabetique des Dictionnaires..., the first bibliography of dictionaries, with about 1,000 titles. Both were the work of Jacques Bernard Durey de Noinville and published in 1758. Item 40. $950.

 

Item 14 is the rare auction catalogue for Bibliotheca Fageliana. A Catalogue of the valuable and extensive Library of the Greffier Fagel, of the Hague. The sale was set for March 1, 1802, beginning "precisely" at 12:00, to be handled by Mr. Christie. It never happened. Greffier (a diplomatic post) Henrik Fagel was the inheritor of the Fagel family library that had been built over almost two centuries. After his country was overrun by French revolutionaries for a time, he was able to return. Fagel, in financial straits, decided to ship his library off to London to be sold. The catalogue was prepared and the auction set. However, funds were raised on behalf of Trinity College in Dublin to purchase the entire library, with the result that the almost 10,000 lots were sold together without benefit of an auction for £8,000. The collection still resides at Trinity in Dublin. $3,000.

 

Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller may be reached at 646-827-0724 or or jahillbooks@aol.com. The website is www.jonathanahill.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <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.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <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. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <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
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions