Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2005 Issue

Early Printing and Leaf Books from Oak Knoll

7r5

A leaf from an Indian Bible in The American Bible.


Perhaps the most impressive leaf book you will find is The American Bible, by Michael Zinman, published in 1992. This is a four-volume folio first edition, limited to 100 copies, and printed by the Arion Press. This set provides an account of Bibles printed in America from 1663 to 1878, and includes 38 leaves from these Bibles. Leaves are sorted by subjects: Bibles in native languages, Bibles in English, and Bibles in foreign languages. In the first category, there are leaves from the 1663 "Eliot Indian Bible," the first Bible printed in America, the 1685 second edition of the same, and Bibles in Mohawk, Cherokee, Hawaiian, and other languages. English-language American Bibles include the first such edition from 1782, the first illustrated American Bible from 1791, the first Catholic Bible (1790), Noah Webster's modernized Bible (1883), and the first publication of the New Testament in the Confederacy (1862). Among the foreign Bibles are leaves from the first German language American Bible (1743), the first on paper manufactured in America (1763), as well as Bibles in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Greek, Swedish, and Portuguese. Author Zinman is a notable Americana collector and these leaves came from Bibles in his collection. Item 60. $6,000.

While most items in this catalogue are about old books, here is one that is itself very old: Epistolae Familiares. This is an item of incunabula, printed in Cologne in 1478. It is a book of correspondence of Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Aeneus Sylvius Piccolomini). Piccolomini was born in Italy in 1405, the first of 18 children of a financially strapped nobleman (who wouldn't be with 18 children). He began his career as a teacher and writer, writing romantic and somewhat racy works. His early life has been called "frivolous," somewhat evidenced by at least two illegitimate children he fathered. However, he would find himself working in secretarial and other roles for various religious and political leaders along the way. It would lead him to support the last antipope, Felix V. One would think moves like this would doom his career, at least with the Catholic Church, but Enea had a knack for flowing with the times, and adjusting his positions accordingly. He would resign his role as Secretary to Felix V and find his way back to supporting Pope Eugene IV. All was forgiven. Meanwhile, he would sign on with Frederick III, the Holy Roman Emperor, and his literary skills would lead to his appointment as imperial poet lauriate. In his role with the Empire, the always diplomatic Enea would help resolve differences between the state and the Church, which led to his being appointed Bishop of Trieste. However, his ultimate triumph, hard to imagine for someone with two illegitimate children and a one-time supporter of the antipope, came in 1458. Enea was selected as Pope, taking the name Pius II. The name was chosen to show that he had changed from the rogue of his youth. It seems that Enea truly did change, and he is remembered as a man of goodwill. If he changed with the times, it appears to reflect real changes in the man, not cynical attempts to advance his career. Perhaps this is why he survived so many faux pas along the way to still rise to the highest level in the Church. As Pope, Pius II tried to disassociate himself with his past, even attempting to suppress some of his earlier romantic works. His major goal as Pope was to drive the Turks from the European continent. However, he was not able to muster sufficient forces to make much headway. In an attempt to stir up more support from the European states, he put himself at the head of a crusade in 1464. Unfortunately, he was already ill. Pius II would die shortly thereafter, attempting to lead a crusade that had no hope of success.

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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