Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2016 Issue

Six Specialties from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller


30 books in 6 specialties.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has issued Short List 3. 30 Books in Six Specialties. Those six specialties are William Blake, Literature, Children's Books, Illuminated Manuscripts, Fine Press, and Fine Bindings. We must acknowledge that Windle is fair and balanced. There are five representatives from each of the six categories. Here are a few samples of them.


We begin with one from the category of literature. Item 7 is James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, a first edition, first issue published in 1791. Boswell is remembered as one of the greatest biographers ever. Johnson is remembered because he was a friend of and admired by Boswell, one of the greatest biographers ever. Johnson was an important lexicographer. His 18th century dictionary was the finest up to its time. Obviously, he had a way with words. Still, it wasn't his lexicography wordsmithing that so impressed Boswell. Johnson was also a great conversationalist and wit, and this is what led Boswell to be such an admirer, and one who listened to his every word, and recorded most of them. Boswell met Johnson in 1763, and wrote down much of what he said until he died in 1784. Priced at $3,750.


Next up is a children's book, though it obviously has some adult fans. Item 11 is the Boston classic, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, published in 1941. It is the story of Mrs. Mallard and her eight young children who have to make their way from the Charles River to Boston Public Garden. Unfortunately, they are too young to fly. They need to make their trip through traffic and various obstacles. Fortunately, the police and citizens of Boston are there to protect them on their journey. Along with statues of various patriots to be found in Boston, hotbed of America's revolution, there is one in the Garden of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings. As to that comment about this book appealing to some adults as well, this copy contains the signed bookplate of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, along with a loosely inserted card from him. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was an astrophysicist who won the Nobel prize for physics in 1983. It had something to do with black holes, not baby ducks. $12,500.


Item 19 is an illuminated leaf on vellum from a Book of Hours, circa 1430, from Brittany. It contains six illuminated initials, in gold and other colors, and two large miniatures (no, that is not an oxymoron). The image on the recto shows St. Nicholas blessing three boys in a pickling tub. This is not the St. Nicholas of "A Visit from..." but the 4th century saint. Nicholas was a church father with his serious, theological side, but was also said to be a giver of presents and a favorite of children. Legends grew about him, including one where he was said to have restored life to three children who had been killed by a butcher and tossed into a pickling tub. The miniature on the verso depicts St. Sebastian, about to be shot by two archers. St. Sebastian is usually depicted this way, but the story is he survived this attempted execution and went back to the Roman Emperor to protest the persecution of Christians, whereupon he was clubbed to death. The miracle attributed to Sebastian later was one of saving many people from the plague. $9,500.


Next is another leaf, but this time within a fine press book. Item 21 is Great Polyglot Bibles, Including a Leaf from the Complutensian of Acala, 1514-1517... For the occasional person not familiar with the term "complutensian," it means pertaining to Complutum, the Latin name for the city of Alcala de Henares, a city in Spain. A polyglot bible, or polyglot anything else, is one using several languages. The Complutensian Bible could justly have been called a poly-polyglot bible as it used four – Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Armaic. That certainly would have covered all necessary languages for biblical scholarship in the 16th century. The text in the four languages is shown on each page in four columns, which Windle describes as "one of the greatest feats of typography." The Allen Press book containing this leaf, published in 1966, includes a scholarly biblical essay by Basil Hall. It was published on behalf of the Book Club of California. The Allen Press of Lewis and Dorothy Allen was in operation in the San Francisco area from 1939 until the 1990's. $550.


John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller may be reached at 415-986-5826 or john@johnwindle.com. Their website is www.johnwindle.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to General James Clinton, preparing for the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, 1778. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising to send reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Edison, Autograph Letter Signed, to Western Union President William Orton, 1878. $10,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> William, Bishop of Coventry, vellum charter granting the church of Rochdale to the Cistercian Abbey of Stanlaw, in Latin, 1222. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> FDR, Photograph Signed & Inscribed, framed with wood removed from the White House roof, 1927. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Dubuffet, archive including many letters written while painting in NYC, 1951-72. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autograph Letter Signed, describing the source of his patience, 1939. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Lithograph portrait of Albert Einstein by Hermann Struck, signed by both, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Charles The Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Letter Signed to Johann IV of Nassau, in French, 1470. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Cocteau, Autograph Letter Signed, in French, 1919. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Louis Armstrong, two Autograph Letters Signed to Erich Kauffmann, his lip salve purveyor, 1965-70. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Wernher von Braun, Autograph Letter Signed to Jonathan Cross, 1975. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <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>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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