Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2015 Issue

50 Rare Books & Manuscripts from Peter Harrington


Fifty Rare Books & Manuscripts.

Peter Harrington has issued Catalogue 111. Fifty Rare Books & Manuscripts. While these books and manuscripts are rare, they are not obscure. They include some of the most important books written, and most of the personalities who wrote the books and other items are familiar names, even if they lived long ago. This is a catalogue for those who collect on the highest level. Here are a few examples.


Winston Churchill gave a lot of speeches, wrote a lot of books, and still managed to find time to save the world. Item 6 is Blood, Sweat and Tears, the first U. S. edition, published in 1941. It is a collection of Churchill's speeches from early in the war, and he certainly would have wanted an edition published in America. He was trying to convince the American public that the world's survival depended on their joining with the British to defeat Germany and its allies. This is a remarkable copy as it not only is signed by Churchill, but over 50 other people relevant to the times. Among those are Churchill's wife, Clementine, Field-Marshal Montgomery, the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII), future Prime Minister Anthony Eden, and many others, from government, military leadership, and combat. The signatures were gathered by Arthur Hostler, a member of the British Air Commission during the war who later worked for BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation, today's British Airways). As such, he was in contact with many important individuals. Priced at £32,500 (British pounds, or approximately $50,363 in U.S. dollars).


The irony in the provenance of this book matches the irony of the world's major Marxist-Communist country being the very capitalistic China. Item 30 is the first volume of Karl Marx's Das Kapital, published in 1867. It is Marx's study of economics, though it is more an indictment of the capitalist system. While his theories were just theoretical in the century in which Marx lived, in the 20th century, vast swaths of the world were covered with nations that followed his theories. Few are left today. What makes this copy particularly interesting in a most ironic way is its history. It was bound for the Hamburger Borsen-Clubb, the club of the Hanseatic Stock Exchange. Item 30. £77,500 (US $120,137).


One of the most valuable of 20th century books is the first edition of James Joyce's epic day-in-the-life novel Ulysses. Set in his native Ireland, which Joyce left for Europe, the entire lengthy novel takes place in just one day of 1904. Ulysses was considered obscene by many, notably censors, the result being that most publishers shied away. Joyce was finally able to get his opus published by Shakespeare & Co. in more liberal Paris in 1922. A total of 1,000 copies were published, but this is one of only 100 copies that were signed by Joyce and printed on Dutch handmade paper. This one belonged to, and has the remnants of the bookplate of, Annie Winifred Ellerman, better known by her pen name "Bryher." She came from a wealthy family, her father being a wealthy Englishman, the richest Englishman ever at the time. It afforded her the opportunity to write, and she wrote many books over the course of her life, more popular in their time than today. Bryher and her husband at the time, Robert McAlmon, became friends with Joyce in Paris in 1921 and McAlmon was Joyce's typist for sections of the manuscript. Item 24. £250,000 (US $388,217).


We know this classic as Black Beauty, though the first edition's complete title is Black Beauty: His Grooms and Companions. The Autobiography of a Horse. Translated from the Original Equine, by Anna Sewell. I'll let you in on a secret. After all these years it can be revealed. It was not the horse's autobiography. It was actually written by Anna Sewell, not translated by her. Anna Sewell lived a tragic life. At the age of 14, she suffered a terrible fall, breaking both her ankles. She could never stand again without a crutch and only walk short distances. Later in life, her condition deteriorated and she became mostly bedridden. It was during this period that she wrote Black Beauty, her one and only published work. Due to her difficulty walking, Miss Sewell, who never married and spent most of her life with her parents, did much riding in horse-drawn carriages. She developed a love for horses, and in particular, sympathy for them, having seen many mistreated. Her aim in writing Black Beauty was not to create a children's story. It was to raise awareness of mistreatment of horses, and teach people not just to love animals, but to love their fellow humans as well. The Sewells were a very religious family, and Anna focused not so much on the theological part as on the importance of love for animals and other people. Anna had already passed the age of 50 when she began writing her book. She died at the age of 58, only a few months after it was published. She did not live to see it become one of the best selling books ever, though she did see that it received a good initial response. This copy is inscribed to "The Revd J Drake, from his sincere friend, Mary Sewell." Mary was Anna's mother. Most inscribed copies are from Mary. Anna did not live long enough, nor was her health such as to enable her to inscribe many copies. Mary was also an author, a writer of popular children's books, whose output far exceeded the one book of her daughter. Item 36. £12,500 (US $19,393).


Item 18 is a presentation copy of Ernest Hemingway's Winner Take Nothing, published in 1933. It is the nature of the presentation that is notable. There are two inscriptions. The first is "To M. Gellhorn my old Professor in aesthetics from E. Hemingstein." Hemingway used many aliases among friends, and one can speculate why "Hemingstein" was one of them. M. Gellhorn was Martha Gellhorn, and she would become Hemingway's second wife in 1940. However, this was likely inscribed in 1936 when they had newly met and Hemingway was still married to his first wife. There is then a second inscription which reads, "PS 1939 I love you EH." It was a stormy marriage that would end in divorce. These were two strong personalities, neither about to give in. Gellhorn was a writer and journalist, most notably a war correspondent. They got married just as the Second World War had begun, and Gellhorn soon went off to report on the war. Hemingway was not pleased that his bride was rarely at home. The war and their marriage ended together in 1945. £42,500 (US $65,873).


Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 or mail@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk.

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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