Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2015 Issue

New Acquisitions from Honey & Wax Booksellers

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The fourth catalogue from Honey & Wax Booksellers.

Honey & Wax Booksellers has released a new catalogue. It is unnamed, so we will just call it Catalogue 4. I won't try to describe what's in it as even they have punted on that one. It's a mix of whatever suits the bookseller's imagination. Heather O'Donnell notes in her introduction it contains 59 new acquisitions ranging "from canonical landmarks to unexpected survivals," which doesn't exactly pinpoint the topics. But here's the good thing about such a broad brush. As she says, "We hope that every reader will be genuinely surprised and delighted by at least one book in these pages." You get 59 chances, so the odds are good, but we only have space for a few of them here.

 

We start with a 25-volume set of The Writings of George Eliot, with a signed letter from Ms. Eliot tipped in. First the books. This set of Eliot's books was published by Houghton Mifflin in a limited edition of 750 copies in 1908. This is set #10. It is a very attractive set, bound at the Riverside Press. The letter, quite naturally, is much earlier, Eliot having died in 1880. "George Eliot" was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, adopted by her on the basis that readers were more likely to buy a book by a man than a woman. This letter is dated April 1873, and she has signed it M. E. Lewes. Lewes was the last name of her sort of husband, George Lewes. At least someone in the family was actually named "George." In it, Eliot seeks a house for herself and Lewes in the countryside for the fall. She notes that it is very difficult to find a house that meets all of their needs. Eliot writes, "We desire perfect seclusion & yet nearness to a town." Good luck with that. Eventually they found a house called Blackbrook in Kent, but reluctantly returned to London in October as it was inconvenient. Item 6. Priced at $7,500.

 

Here is an interesting piece for those who collect the "Lost Generation," those American expatriates who found themselves in Paris after the First World War, trying to find their way. Item 10 is Americans in France: A Directory, 1925. It was put out that year by the American Chamber of Commerce in France. The directory provides services available to Americans living in Paris, including the English-language lending library at Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Company ("Publishers of ULYSSES by James Joyce"). It also provides names and contact information for numerous expats, including Sylvia Beach, Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, Man Ray, Edith Wharton, Robert McAlmon, and William Carlos Williams. Where's Hemingway? I'm not sure why he isn't on the list. Perhaps it was compiled while he was off in Spain that summer watching bullfights. $500.

 

This is an interesting book on the ideals of feminine beauty, thanks to Ernestus Vaenius, who gave us Tractatus Physiologicus de Pulchritudine in 1662, a first and only edition. The chapters begin with descriptive verses in Latin, such as "thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus," and "thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from Mount Gilead," and "thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins." I'm assuming those are the deer species roe, not fish eggs. Perhaps long noses and hair that looked like a goat's was fashionable in 1662. To be fair to Mr. Vaenius, he did not originate these verses. They come from the Bible, the Song of Solomon, or Song of Songs. That was a very long time ago, and standards of beauty may have been very different then. Interestingly, Vaenius promotes the concept of "black is beautiful," praising darker skins and considering whiteness to be cold. Such observations have not always come out of Europe. Item 3. $2,800.

 

Item 48 is Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World, by Lemuel Gulliver. Of course, it wasn't written by Gulliver. Lemuel Gulliver was simply the lead character in the book now better known as Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift. Swift's book was meant to be a satire on some of the political issues of the day, along with the then popular genre of travel books. However, long after those underlying issues were forgotten, the book continues as popular as ever, never going out of print. Many other books have since adopted Swift's idea of fantastic journeys to unbelievable lands. The book was first published in 1726. Offered is a first illustrated edition, dated 1727 (actually 1728). After the book's initial success, Swift was approached by his publisher about an illustrated edition. Swift was reluctant, concerned about its cost, but suggested ways to combine scenes into one print to reduce its expense. The publisher followed Swift's guidance. It contains four full-page plates, three with scenes combined as suggested by Swift, and six maps and plans. $6,500.

 

This is an appropriate book for a Brooklyn-based bookseller – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty White. This is the 1943 first edition of this coming of age story under difficult circumstances. The protagonist, a young lady, and her brother grow up in turn of the century Brooklyn tenements. Their parents are immigrants, their father in and out of work, a less than successful dreamer with a drinking problem. Their mother is a hard worker, enabling the family to scrape by. Nonetheless, the children have to help them get by, while the daughter works her way to finally getting the education that will help her rise above her tough beginnings. Item 58. $4,800.

 

Honey & Wax Booksellers may be reached at 917-974-2420 or info@honeyandwaxbooks.com. Their website is www.honeyandwaxbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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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