Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2017 Issue

A Summer List from Samuel Gedge Ltd.

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A Summer List.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. has issued a Summer List of Books, Manuscripts & Ephemera. Gedge's material is mainly unusual and uncommon items from the early 19th century to way farther back. Many of the documents, broadsides, manuscripts and ephemeral items were unique when new, or are of such obscurity that there is likely no other known copy. Novels are mainly uncommon works once popular but which never achieved status as classics. One thing you can expect of a Gedge catalogue is you will find items you are unlikely to find elsewhere, or perhaps ever see again. Here are a few examples.

 

John Disney was no Walt. Fun and games were not his thing. He was a stern Anglican churchman at the beginning of the 18th century who was not pleased with the immorality he saw around him. In 1708, he published his thoughts in An Essay Upon the Execution of the Laws Against Immorality and Prophaneness. Disney was also a magistrate, and his book calls on those who enforce the laws to vigorously execute those involving immorality. Evidently, too many constables and sheriffs were lax on the enforcement of such laws, or courts did not sufficiently punish those who were guilty. Unrestrained public impieties, Disney warns, will "bring down the Vengeance of God upon the Land." He had a particular disdain for drunkenness, but seeks punishment for all sorts of sins, including gaming, "keeping Whores," and other debaucheries. Along with the destruction of society, Disney notes that unpunished immorality "...may in time clear the Way for the Return of Popery. Allow men in their Vices, and you make them hopeful Proselytes to Rome." If this were true, we would all be Catholics. For those wishing to visit this more traditional conception of Disneyland, this book (item 61) is yours for £750 (British pounds, or approximately $969 U.S. dollars).

 

Sticking to piety a little longer, item 218 is Sermons by the late Reverend John Logan... It was written, naturally, by Logan, though Logan died two years before its publication in 1790. Logan seems a bit more fun-loving than Disney (not that this would take much), but in Logan's case perhaps a bit too much. Logan was ordained in 1773 and had a role in revising works for the Church of Scotland from 1775-1781. He was evidently quite popular, having influential friends. He also had his weaknesses. Reportedly, he could suffer bouts of depression. He managed it with the bottle. Perhaps this was just an excuse for the drinking. He also got a young lady pregnant, possibly two (I am uncertain). They were not married. He found it wise to go off to London in 1781, where he published a book of poems and wrote some plays. One, Runnamede, was too political and libertarian and was banned in London. It did make it to the stage in Edinburgh. He has also been described as becoming a "hack journalist." Whatever his shortcomings, he still maintained his friends and was respected in some quarters. His sermons were published by his friends after his death and were quite popular. However, in the ultimate of posthumous insults, charges have been made that he stole some of his poems from a deceased friend, and some sermons were plagiarized from others. £650 (US $839).

 

Sadly, this place no longer exists, but back around 1850, it was Now Open!... C. Pollard's Splendid Museum of Mechanical Wax-Work Models as Large as Life! Item 211 is a broadside promoting the museum, which featured such exhibits as "Androcles, the Roman Slave, extracting a thorn from a Lion's Paw," "Finding Moses in the Bullrushes," "Last Moments of Napoleon," and a "Splendid Group of Chinese in Native Dresses." In the "Convicts Room" you could find James Bloomfield Rush, who assassinated a man and his son, and Manning and his wife, who were executed for murder. Both were sensational cases at the time, and Charles Dickens wrote an article about the Manning public hanging, decrying the wickedness of the levity of the crowd at such an occurrence. Mechanical wax models were fascinating to visitors, though their movements could more accurately be described as "wooden." £450 (US $581).

 

This next item comes from a man who is of some note, the title being St. Leon: a Tale of the Sixteenth Century, published in 1799. The author was William Godwin, and while he is not as famous as his wife (Mary Wollstonecraft – Vindication of the Rights of Woman) nor his daughter (Mary Shelley – Frankenstein), he was a noted anarchist political philosopher. His best known book is his biography of his wife, which was an honest look at her liberal lifestyle, but damaged her reputation for a century. St. Leon is a lengthy (four-volume) Gothic novel, mixing the supernatural with the philosophical. It is said to have been an influence on his daughter's famous book. Item 122. £1,750 (US $2,262).

 

Item 101 is a seven-page autograph letter from Thomas Brooke to John Blackburn, describing his tour of Holland in 1786. Brooke was a Member of Parliament for two decades, Blackburn an MP for almost 45 years. Brook describes the local inns, artworks, Dutch barge navigation, and dinner with a prince and a bishop. Describing the Dutch propensity for smoking, he comments, "...miserable must be the man who dislikes the fume of tobacco – every one smokes & I really think that it must preserve the health in this most damp country..." Probably not. £450 (US $581).

 

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)1263 768 471 or rarebooks@samuelgedge.com. Their website is www.samuelgedge.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 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.
  • <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>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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