Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2016 Issue

Rare Books for the Fair from Librairie Thomas-Scheler

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Rare books for the fair.

Bernard and Stéphane Clavreuil of Librairie Thomas-Scheler published a selection of Rare Books for the 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. These would be special books, worth bringing all the way from Paris to Los Angeles. Additionally, they would be of interest to American collectors, though they are European books, ranging from old to very old. There are many important works, often in the field of science, but covering many other endeavors as well. If you missed the Clavreuils in California, they will be exhibiting again in Mastricht this month and New York next month. Here are a few of the books they offered.

 

In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered radiation was spontaneously emitted by uranium. Marie Curie was fascinated by the discovery, and along with her husband Pierre, undertook to study the phenomenon. They observed the same phenomenon with thorium, found the radiation intensified with the amount of uranium, and concluded the radiation came from the atomic structure of the minerals. What she didn't realize was how dangerous the radiation was, and eventually it took her life. Along the way, they discovered radium and polonium, and coined the term "radioactive." Item 21 is a copy of her presentation to the faculty of sciences in Paris in 1903, Recherches sur les substances radioactives. Priced at $19,500.

 

Nicolaus Steno is considered one of the founders of modern geology and stratigraphy. His study of the earth's crust led to some modern understandings in a time when most explanations for what was found were based on ancient suppositions. Steno was the one who concluded that layers seen in rocks were laid down long ago, and were horizontal at the time they were formed. He studied fossils and concluded these were ancient animals. At the time, most believed they somehow formed spontaneously within the earth, or even that they fell from the sky. Item 67 is a copy of his book, De solido intra solidum naturaliter contento dissertationis prodromus, published in 1669. The title translates to being a dissertation on a solid body contained within another solid body, which would refer to fossils or other minerals found within rocks. Surprisingly, Steno moved on to study for the priesthood, became a bishop, and did not publish any further significant scientific works. He was beatified by the Church in 1988 and may one day be recognized as a saint. Offered is a presentation copy of his book. $65,000.

 

There is not much science in this next book. It's events would be miraculous if they weren't fantasy. Item 16 is the best known Italian children's book, and one of the best known such books of any nationality, Le Avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un Burattino. This is the first book edition, published in 1883, of the story of Pinocchio, the wooden puppet with the long nose. Unlike Washington, he could tell a lie. This first edition features the illustrations of Enrico Mazzanti, along with the story by Carlo Collodi. It had previously run as a serial publication in a magazine, but this was the story's first appearance in book form. $80,000.

 

Item 37 is Essai sur l'education des aveugles (essay on the education of the blind), published in 1786. This is a first edition of the first book intended to be read by the blind. The author was Valentin Haüy, a linguist and "interpreter to the king," a sighted man who saw blind people being ridiculed in Paris and determined to help them improve their status. He opened the first school for the blind, the Royal Institution for the Young Blind, in 1784. His books used raised Latin letters blind youth could read by touch. The letter could also be inked to make the books readable by the sighted. Among Haüy's students was Louis Braille, who invented Braille, the embossed lettering system for reading used by the blind today. Rather than copying the shapes of actual letters, Braille uses a system of dots that can be read more quickly, not needing the extensive following of letter shapes required by Haüy's system. $5,500.

 

Item 17 is an official document from 1716 announcing the appointment of John Law as director of the Company of the West and the Private General Bank. It was Law who engineered the infamous Mississippi Bubble. Stock was sold on exaggerated claims of wealth in the Louisiana country. Investors bought up shares, the stock price skyrocketed, but in time it became clear that there was very little value out there and the stock crashed. It was sort of like the tech stock bubble of 2000, only worse. Law fled the country of France, never to return. $3,250.

 

Librairie Thomas-Scheler may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@thomas-scheler.fr

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: 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>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <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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