Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2016 Issue

A Variety of Fine Books from the Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books

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We recently received, slightly late, this fine catalogue from the Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books, Autumn Catalogue 2015. It takes awhile for mail to reach America from the Netherlands during the holiday season. This one was worth the wait. It comes with a list of topics to be found: architecture, art, autographs, book history, cartography, education, exploration, history, law, literature, maritime history, medicine, military history, natural history, philosophy, religion, science, sports, and technology. While items lean toward Dutch origin and language, many other parts of the world are well represented. These are all highly collectible books of substantial interest. Here are some samples.

 

We begin with an important work for exploration and settlement in the Americas, Historie naturael ende morael van de Westersche Indien, by Jose de Acosta, published in 1598. This is the first Dutch edition of the Jesuit missionary's account of life and natural resources in South and Central America. De Acosta traveled from Spain to Panama in 1570, later was transferred to Peru, and then back to Mexico. Those locations gave him a chance to learn much about Inca and Aztec culture. More importantly, he wrote about the natural history of the area, and the riches it contained. It stirred the interests of the Dutch, English and others, as they learned of the wealth Spain was obtaining from the New World. It would lead to Spain shutting down reports about their American colonies, and to European competitors attempts to seize territory from Spain. De Acosta inadvertently helped Spain's rivals by also providing practical instructions such as sailing routes and issues of disease. Item 3. Priced at €7,500 (euros, or approximately $8,158 U.S. dollars).

 

Item 136 is another first (and only) Dutch edition of a book of importance to America. This time, it's North America, or more specifically, the U. S. of A. Reize naar Nieuw en de binnenlanden van Louisiana... is an 1812 translation of Zebulon Pike's account of his two journeys. The first was up the Mississippi River, an unsuccessful attempt to find its headwaters. The second was a journey to explore the southern portion of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory, a southern version of the Lewis and Clark expedition. However, the Americans also wanted to do a little spying in New Mexico to see what the Spanish were up to in their neighboring colonial state. The basic mission was to explore the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red Rivers, and while Pike did not completely achieve this aim, he did find Pike's Peak and other areas of the newly acquired territory. On the way back, Pike managed to sneak into Mexican territory. He and his men were held for awhile by Mexican authorities before being freed to return home. €4,950 (US $5,384).

 

Item 35 is an engraving of the plan for a most remarkable mosaic floor that once graced part of the Amsterdam City Hall. This is a 1719 issue of Le pavé de la grand sale des bourgeois, designed by Jacob van Campen. It was originally published in 1661. Within the pattern designs are three circular maps. In the center is a celestial map, to its left and right maps of the eastern and western hemispheres. Some recent discoveries, such as those of Tasman in Australia, were first published in this map. In keeping with the beliefs of the second half of the 17th century, California is depicted as an island. If you wish to view this spectacular mosaic, you will have to do so though this plan. Wear from people walking on the floor required it be restored a century later, and after further damage, the two map hemispheres were replaced with plain slabs. €2,500 (US $2,719).

 

Here is a work containing another remarkable image. Item 171 is Eigentlicher unnd warhaffter Bericht... by Konrad von Sonnenberg. This rare and only edition was published in 1661. It is a German account of a remarkable stone discovered in the high mountains of Switzerland. There is a large folding plate displaying the stone, and most of the stone appears to be a typical ammonite fossil, those spiral shells of an ancient mollusk that went extinct with the dinosaurs. However, this shell was different from most. In its center was a picture of Mary and baby Jesus. Von Sonnenberg believed that this could not have been created by human hand, so it must have been a miraculous work of God. I'm not so certain. As noted, ammonites disappeared from earth 66 million years before the birth of Jesus, but von Sonnenberg would not have known about this in 1661. €5,000 (US $5,438).

 

This next item is a very old book and an even older work. It is De la Cita d'Dio, the City of God, written by St. Augustine in the early fifth century. This is a first Italian translation, likely published within a year of 1477, no later than 1483. Augustine expands on his theological beliefs in this his most notable writing. Its timing came as the Roman Empire was disintegrating, and the thoughts were comforting to suffering Christians, confirmation that even as things became tough in Rome, it was the City of God that would ultimately triumph. Item 11. €19,000 (US $20,666).

 

You may reach the Antiquariaat Forum at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@forumrarebooks.com. Their website is www.forumrarebooks.com. Asher Rare Books may be reached at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@asherbooks.com. Their website is www.asherbooks.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

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