Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2016 Issue

Antiquarian Books from Spain's Libreria Jose Porrua Turanzas

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Books from the fair.

Libreria Jose Porrua Turanzas of Madrid, Spain, recently prepared a Short Catalogue of Books to be Displayed at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. It is filled with very old books, ranging from the 15th century to early in the 19th. Naturally, many works are from Spain, but other European countries, England included, are represented. Also, there is little surprise that many items are related to the Americas, considering Spain's great involvement with the New World in those early days. This selection will appeal to collectors on both sides of the Atlantic. Here are a few samples.

 

We begin with an important book for the New World. It is the work of editor and cartographer Benedetto Bordone of Venice. The title is Isolario... (Islands), and it was designed to describe all of the known islands in the world, and what was known (or imagined) about them. One of those is a very large island called "Terra de Lavoratore." Today we know it as North America, and this provides the first printed map of the continent. There is also the first known European printed map of the island of Ciampagu. Today, this is known as Japan. Also contained in this book is the first printed account of Pizarro's conquest of Peru. The book includes numerous woodcut maps, including 12 pertaining to America. It was originally published in 1528. Offered is a fourth and "best" edition from 1547. Item 5. Priced at $19,500.

 

Next we have Hechos de don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoca, Marques de Canete, by Cristobal Suarez de Figueroa, a first edition, first issue published in 1616. This book provides an account of the discovery of the Salomon and Marquesas Islands. First, we need to provide an explanation. Garcia Hurtado de Mendoca was not the man who led the journey, but was Viceroy of Peru. However, he sponsored the expedition and the Marquesas Islands were named in honor of his wife. The mission leader was Alvaro de Mendana. It was not a pleasant journey, as most of the voyagers died either of disease or battles with islanders. Among the dead was Mendana himself. They had to abandon their attempted settlement. Those who returned did so thanks to the skills of navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queiros. Ten years later in 1605, Queiros would lead another mission to find what they missed the first time, Terra Australis Incognito, the mythical giant southern continent then believed to exist. He thought he succeeded, and some later thought that he had discovered Australia, but he actually only discovered Espiritu Santo, a large island in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu). Item 13. $35,000.

 

Speaking of islands, California is not one, but for years many people thought it was. Item 26 is Noticia de la California by Miguel Venegas, the first edition, published in 1757. It is the first printed history of California. That covered primarily Baja California. Venegas did not go to California himself. He corresponded with the Jesuits who were there trying to convert the Indians. One of the features discovered was the mouth of the Colorado River, still actively flowing to the sea in those days. It helped seal the conclusion that this was part of the continent, not an island. $15,500.

 

If there is an Audubon of flowers, it has to be Pierre-Joseph Redouté. His drawings of flowers were exceptional, but none of his other flowers compared with his roses. His drawings of roses were spectacular. His drawings were not interpretive, not something subject to artistic license. They were accurate, down to the last detail. The roses took care of the beauty themselves. With the level of exactness Redouté produced, his drawings were both scientific and artistic. The quality of his work was such as to make him an official artist for both Marie-Antoinette and later Empress Josephine. How he managed to escape the wrath of the French Revolution in between is unclear, but he was a survivor. Item 38 is the second (and "best") octavo edition of Les Roses, published in three volumes 1828-1829. $28,000.

 

We conclude with undoubtedly the best known Spanish literary work, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. Miquel de Cervantes' masterpiece has been published countless times and in just about every imaginable language. Item 30 is a special edition of Don Quixote. Published in four folio volumes in 1780, this is the celebrated illustrated edition. It contains 31 full-page engraved plates, 14 ornamental capital letters, and a double-page map showing Don Quixote's wanderings. It was published by Joaquin Ibarra for the Academy with royal patronage. Parrua Turanzas describes it as, "...the finest edition of the world's most famous and most often published novel." $64,000.

 

Libreria Jose Porrua Turanzas may be reached at (+34) 91 702 14 93 or info@porrualibros.com. Their website is found at www.porrualibros.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 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, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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