Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

British Books and Owners from Antiquates Ltd.

699ddc24-a91e-4f49-8def-3853dddbdb0d

British Books and Owners.

Antiquates Ltd. Fine & Rare Books has issued a catalogue of British Books and Owners. You just need those two names to understand what is offered herein. They are books written or owned by British authors and collectors, and as the bookseller's name implies, they are all very old. Some are older than others, but even the most recent material goes well back into the 19th century. With that brief, but complete description, we will plow ahead to a few examples of the material available.

 

We begin with a prayer book Americans will undoubtedly find touching. It is a short book of, A Form of Prayer to be used in all Churches, On Friday the 27th of February, 1778. That would have been all Anglican churches in England. Showing their deep concern for Americans, then in open rebellion against England, the service includes, A Prayer for our Enemies, which calls for giving "Grace...to our unhappy Fellow-subjects in America, that seeing and confessing the Error of their Ways, and having due Sense of their Ingratitude for the many Blessings of thy Providence, preserved to them by the indulgent Care and Protection of these Kingdoms, they may again return to their Duty, and make themselves worthy of thy Pardon and Forgiveness." Talk about damning with faint prayer! Another calls for divine support for King George III to "restore Tranquility among his unhappy deluded Subjects in America, now in Defiance of all Subordination and legal Government, in open Rebellion against his crown." These prayers went unanswered. Item 3. Priced at £1,250 (British pounds, or approximately $1,803 U.S. dollars).

 

King George would soon enough need prayers for his own well-being. Fortunately, he would recover from an unspecified illness, or so thought novelist and poet Samuel Jackson Pratt when he penned this Ode on his majesty's recovery; By the author of sympathy and humanity. Pratt avoids not only the nature of the King's illness, but the political maneuverings going on behind the scenes. George was suffering from mental illness, with extreme manifestations in 1788, the year before the publication of this ode to his recovery. In the background, parliament debated over a regency and the power that regent, the Prince of Wales and future George IV, would have. However, as Pratt celebrates, George III recovered before a regency was required. He would rule despite mental issues for the next 20 years, but in 1810, and for the last ten years of his life, his son took over as regent as George III drifted further into insanity and dementia. Item 72. £1,000 (US $1,443).

 

Here is another British George, and one who did much praying himself. A contemporary of George III, George Gregory was an Anglican clergyman as well as a writer. In 1885, he published Essays Historical and Moral, a collection of essays covering such subjects as "language, superstition, female education, republicanism, and suicide." However, his best known essay pertained to slavery and the slave trade. As a clerk for a Liverpool merchant while a young man, he would have been familiar with the realities of the trade. His essay has sections on "Of the Justice and Humanity of the Slave Trade," and "Of the Good Policy of the Slave Trade." Antiquates notes that those essays are "perhaps unwisely titled," because although Gregory displayed some critical cultural judgments toward the Africans, as typical for his time, he was actually sympathetic to the slaves and an abolitionist. He states that "slavery is directly contrary to the obvious principles of justice and humanity." Item 40. £500 (US $721).

 

If there was ever a tragic literary family, it must be the Brontes. After two older sisters and their mother died when they were young, sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne became very close, taking to writing stories together. In 1846, they managed to get a book of poetry published. As women writers were not well accepted at the time, they used a vague pseudonym as the author, Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. In 1846, their book was published under the simple title Poems. It was a monumental flop. About 39 copies were distributed, but as few as two may actually have been sold. However, the following year, Charlotte published her first novel, Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell. This one was a smashing success, creating a sudden demand for more works from "Currer Bell." The unsold copies were given a new title page and republished in 1848 (though the title page still says 1846). Item 20 is a copy of this second issue of Poems. Sadly for this tragic family, Anne and Emily as well as their only brother died between 1848 and 1849, leaving Charlotte the sole survivor. She too succumbed a few years later in 1855. £1,750 (US $2,525).

 

Item 32 is what was effectively the first edition in English of the massive, groundbreaking French Encyclopedie of Denis Diderot and Denis D'Alembert. The Encyclopedie was, as one might expect of an Encyclopedia, a compilation of everything under the sun, and yet it was still more. It was the voice of the Enlightenment, expounding on very liberal philosophies for its time, such as tolerance, freedom, and democracy. An abortive attempt had been made to translate the entire text to English earlier, but only a small portion was completed. This, then, was the first completed publication, though it was hardly intended to translate it all. Rather, this edition is titled Select essays from the encyclopedy, being the most curious, entertaining, and instructive parts of that very extensive work... It was published in 1772, the year the final part of the French original was completed. This English version did not wow the reviewers, a contemporary writer in The London Magazine saying, "...the translation is lame, the spirit and elegance of the original totally evaporated." But, it is a first. £850 (US $1,226).

 

Antiquates Fine and Rare Books may be reached at 07921 151496 or sales@antiquates.co.uk. Their website is found at www.antiquates.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Extremely Fine Copy of Fantasy Classic. Tolkien (J.R.R.) <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,</i> L. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Museum Street) 1937. €20,000 to €30,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Incunabula. [Sirectus, Antonius] O’Fihely (Maurice)Abp. <i>Formalitates de Mente Doctoris Subtilis Scoti Nec Non Stephai Burlifer cum novis additionibus…</i> Venice 14th December 1051 (ie. 1501). €3,000 to €4,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Original Book Illustrations by Pamela Leonard. Illustrations: Regan (Peter) Touchstone, 8vo D. (Mount Salas Press) 1989. €3,500 to €4,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> [Petit (Jean), Prevel (Jean) & Gregory (Pope)] [Gregorius]. <i>Compendium Textuale Compillationis decretalium Gregorri noni sine qua…</i>, Paris [Dec. 1524]. €350 to €500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Excessively Rare – V. Fine Copy. [Mac Mahon]. <i>Jus Primatiale Armacanum, In Omnes Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, et Universum Clerum</i>… [n.p.] 1728. €750 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Madden (R.R.). <i>Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia and Palestine in 1824, 1825, 1826 and 1827,</i> 2 vols. 1822. €500 to €700
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Early English Herbal. Gerarde (John). The Herball or General History of Plants, thick folio L. (John Norton) 1597. €700 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The Tehran World War 2 Conference Photograph: [Tehran Conference 1943] An important and iconic Group Photograph showing Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. €80 to €120
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Natural History Specimens from Jersey Jersey Islands: Westacton [Mrs Acton] Collection of 53 original dried examples of Seaweed collected in Jersey, c. 1860. €300 to €400
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Plyglot Bible: Hutteri (Eliae). <i>Biblia Sacra, Ebraice, Chaldaice, Graece, Latinae, Germanice, Sclavonice.</i> Lg. folio Nurimberg 1599. €250 to €350
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The American Invasion 1888: “First Ever G.A.A. Hurling Match in America” Medal: G.A.A., The Invaders, 1888. €2,000 to €3,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> “Babe” Ruth and the G.A.A. G.A.A. & Baseball: A unique and early Sporting Association. An original Spalding B12 Baseball Bat. €4,000 to €6,000
  • <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.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions