Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2017 Issue

The Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books Offer a Spring Catalogue

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Spring Catalogue 2017.

The Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books have offered their Spring Catalogue 2017. The selection is varied, with the common element being the material easily qualifies for being antiquarian. Anything that was of interest long ago, from travels, natural history, science, religion, conflicts, and more are fair game for this catalogue. These are a few selections.

 

There was a lot of incorrect medical advice being given out a few centuries ago, undoubtedly more bad than good. However, it would be incorrect to say the claims made in this book are wrong. After all, claimed properties about something that doesn't exist really aren't wrong. Item 14 is De Unicornu Observationes Novae (new observations on unicorns). The book describes the miraculous properties of unicorn horns. It was written by Thomas Bartholin, together with his son Caspar (the Younger). The Bartholins weren't quacks. They came from a family of serous scientists and medical practitioners. Thomas is noted for the discovery of the human lymphatic system. In those days, most people believed unicorns were real, and the Bartholins were able to reach their conclusions about the horns from those supplied by Icelandic traders. Thomas' uncle had earlier concluded their "unicorn" horns were actually the tusks of narwhals, a cold water whale with a long protruding tooth that looks like a tusk. Still, the Bartholins believed that unicorns were real and someone's horn was good for many things. Offered is the expanded and first illustrated second edition, published in 1678. Priced at €1,250 (euros, or approximately $1,410 in U.S. dollars).

 

Now, here is some bad advice concerning the medicinal properties of plants. Symphorien Champier was an early 16th century physician, probably the most notable doctor of the era in Lyon, France. He, too, was no quack, but in an era when deductive reasoning trumped actual observation, scientists made many errors. Champier studied Arabic medicine extensively, and in this book, he writes about Arab medicinal plants in particular. The title is Hortus Gallicus... published in 1533, consisting of three parts. With increasing use of these exotic plants in Europe, Champier concluded that they were "pernicious and venomous" for Europeans. Here was a perfect example of too much "logic" and not enough observation. He concluded the effectiveness of medicines on humans depended on the national characteristics of those people. Climate, ethnicity, religion, nationalism all came into play, with European plants being more suitable for Europeans. Champier believed that God placed the right plants for each people in their own location and so advised people to use only those indigenous to their region. Item 38. €18,000 (US $20,296).

 

Here is another case of overthinking things a bit, by a man who was part scientist, part mystic, and a lot of other things, including a playwright. Giambattista della Porta was a polymath, and while he dabbled in the occult, he also at times looked to observation, in effect, the scientific method, to reach conclusions. Item 176 is his Phytognomonica... a second edition, published in 1591. In it he places plants in their geographic locations, and provided some pioneering work on fungi. However, he also reached an interesting, if inaccurate, conclusion about plants. He believed their outer appearances indicated their healing properties, based on how their outer appearances resembled those of humans. So, for example, since the seeds of an open pomegranate line up sort of like teeth, he concluded it was good for the teeth. The maidenhair fern, a hairy sort of plant, was good for curing baldness. €1,250 (US $1,410).

 

Next we have two books bound in one volume by Michael Bapst, published in 1591: Ein newes und nutzliches Ertzney, und Wunderbuch... and Gifftjagendes Kunst unnd Haussbuch... The books provide recipes and advice on everything. Bapst was an amateur scholar, culling his advice from the writings of others. Because there is so much, he points out that he has not been able to test every recipe, so if one doesn't work, it is the original author's fault, not his. The Antiquariaat Forum notes that among the many topics in the first volume are "nose-bleeding, tooth-ache, the taming of leopards, fishing, invisible writing and giving copper the appearance of silver." The second volume covers, among other topics, "spider stings, driving out wolves, bites of lions, fishing bait, killing bats, diarrhea in chickens, preserving fruit and meat, fishing frogs and a great deal about worms." If the topic isn't in these books, it isn't worth knowing. Item 12. €2,250 (US $2,538).

 

Item 3 is one of only three copies located of the first edition of this Russian-Swedish treaty of 1809. It is written in both Russian and French, the French title being Traité de paix entre la Russie at la Seude. Ultimately, it proved important, not so much for the Russians or Swedes, but for the Finnish. It effectively settled the borders for what would become an independent Finland. The Russians and Swedes often fought each other in the old days. They had a war from 1788-1790, but reached a peace agreement. They became allies until 1801, when Russia entered into an alliance with Napoleon, France being an enemy of Sweden. Napoleon would prove not to be an ally of Russia a few years later when he invaded the country, but Tsar Alexander I must have fallen for Napoleon's charms in 1801. In 1807, Russia went to war with England, demanding that Sweden keep its ports closed to foreign warships, as required by earlier treaties. When Sweden did not, claiming French occupation of their ports prevented them, Russia invaded Sweden, and seized the ethnically Finnish lands that were long part of Sweden. By 1809, a weakened Sweden had no choice but to cede the territory to Russia, which they did via this treaty. Russia then set up the Grand Duchy of Finland, which became an independent country after the Russian Revolution. Item 3. €1,500 (US $1,691).

 

You may reach the Antiquariaat Forum at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@forumrarebooks.com. Their website is www.forumrarebooks.com. Asher Rare Books may be reached at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@asherbooks.com. Their website is www.asherbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000

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