Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2016 Issue

Beautiful Antiquarian Books from Librarie Clavreuil

7948414a-c644-456d-a689-921b89a05306

Beautiful antiquarian books from Clavreuil.

Librairie Clavreuil of Paris has issued a catalogue of Beaux Livres Ancien, or beautiful antiquarian books. This is part one, covering authors from letters A-L. Clavreuil is a continuation of the 80-year-old firm of Librairie Thomas-Scheler, the name recently having been updated to reflect current ownership of Bernard and Stéphane Clavreuil. However, they note their continued respect for the traditions established by their founder and predecessor, Lucien Scheler. Their focus remains the best of antiquarian books, and this catalogue continues that tradition. Subjects vary, but the books are all special. These are a few of them.

 

We begin with a pioneering work in the field of mining, metallurgy and chemistry, De Re Metallica, published in 1556. Its author was Georgius Agricola, known as the "father of mineralogy." Printing and the Mind of Man referred to this book as "one of the first technological books of modern times." At the time, there was no systematic text related to mining. Agricola provided a thorough description of mining and the related metallurgical processes, including prospecting, mining administration, and the duties of officials. Herbert Hoover described this work as "the first important attempt to assemble systematically in print the world-knowledge on mining, metallurgy, and industrial chemistry." For those wondering why the 31st President of the United States reviewed this book, Hoover's earlier career was in mining, working his way from an engineer and consultant to a wealthy investor in mining enterprises. Item 1. Priced at €35,000 (euros, or approximately $39,239 in U.S. currency).

 

Few inventions captured public imagination like the one announced in this book: Historique et Description des Procédés du Daguerréotype et du Diorama... This is Louis-Jacques Daguerre's announcement of his photographic process, known as daguerréotype. No one can be said to be the inventor of photography, as several were working on the idea at the time, including Niepce, whose work is described by Daguerre. However, Daguerre was the one who brought the process from laboratory to practical use, raising it from experimental to employment creating images for public consumption. His process would continue to be used from its introduction in 1839 to the 1850's, when superior methods would supplant it. The first printing of this manual was released on August 20, 1839. Seven more issues by various printers were issued of this quickly popular book in 1839, this one being from Giroux of Paris in September 1839. Item 32. €4,500 (US $5,047).

 

This next item is an American in Paris, so to speak. Item 10 is American Scenery or Land, Lake and River Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature. It combines the art of William Henry Bartlett with the text of Nathaniel Willis. Bartlett was a British artist and engraver who came to America in 1835 to draw scenes across the country. He drew views of cities, including New York, Boston, and Albany, notable structures including Mount Vernon, Yale College, and the Erie Canal, and scenic locations such as Lake Ontario, Saratoga Lake, and several of Niagara Falls. The two volumes include 119 plates and in this copy they have been hand colored in a meticulous contemporary hand. €3,500 (US $3,924).

 

Item 31 is Recherches sur les ossements fossiles de quadrupèdes... a study of fossil quadruped bones, published in 1812. The author was Georges Cuvier, notable for his expertise in comparative anatomy and paleontology. It enabled him to combine the two fields in that he not only compared the anatomical features of living animals, but also with those long since extinct but preserved in the fossil record. Despite the similarities of features in so many different animals, Cuvier was never led to considering evolution. In fact, he totally did not believe in it. Of course, these were the days before Darwin, but still there were evolutionists in the era, they just believed it was caused by some sort of predisposition within species, rather than by natural selection. Cuvier did believe in extinction, even that being controversial at a time when creationism prevailed. Many did not think that God would create a species and then let it die out. What would be the point? Cuvier believed in catastrophic events which would kill off life at various times, to be replaced by new forms. The way he found similar fossils in distinct layers led him to conclude that each represented a specific ancient time period, with the next layer representing the start of a new era after the previous cataclysm. €8,500 (US $9,533).

 

Pierre Belon was a Renaissance man, both literally in terms of the time period in which he lived, and in the figurative sense of being knowledgeable in a wide variety of fields. He was an explorer, scientist, archaeologist, and writer. Within science he studied fishes, birds, plants, and was one of the first to tackle comparative anatomy. Item 11 is L'Histoire de la Nature des Oyseaux, his book on birds, published in 1555. This is not an Audubon style book, highlighting beautiful drawings of birds. Belon's illustrations are simpler and his text scientific. One shows the skeleton of a bird next to the skeleton of a human, allowing for a comparison between the two. The Dictionary of Scientific Biography says, "Belon can be considered the originator of comparative anatomy." Belon traveled through southern Europe and the Middle East to observe the specimens about which he wrote, rather than relying on ancient texts as was often the case in these early days of scientific study. €25,000 (US $27,943).

 

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions