Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2017 Issue

27 Items for the RBMS Meeting from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller

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27 Books.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has published Short List 8. 27 Books for RBMS. RBMS is the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, part of the American Library Association. The RBMS recently held their annual conference. Windle offers a variety of material, often with an artistic bent, though not necessarily so. We won't try to cite a particular time period for what we find, since Windle has managed to find items ranging from 1477 to 2011 in just 27 pieces selected. So, we will just describe a few items that are somewhat representative of what you will find, but not entirely so. Some are simply not like the others. Here, now, are a few.

 

Cotton Mather was America's most notable pre-Revolutionary religious figure. He was a stern man, too willing to believe in witches at the time of the Salem witch trials. However, he wrote about other subjects as well, as in the case of this book: Magnalia Christi Americana: or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England, from the First Planting in the Year 1620. Unto the Year of Our Lord 1698. Published in 1702, it covers much more than just church history. Instead, it is a complete history of what was going on in 17th century New England, from the time of the Pilgrims' landing in Plymouth. For Mather, church and secular history all blended together so he writes about the colony's governors and ministers, Harvard and miracles, provides puns and poems, and writes of the Salem witch trials. Windle notes that while "not entirely historically accurate," Mather's book "provides a garrulous overview of the state of society and manners in New England during the early colonial period." Item 18. Priced at $7,500.

 

No one outside of her natives even knew America existed when this book was published. Item 5 is a leaf from the first substantial book printed in England, The Canterbury Tales. This is the first printed edition of the English classic by Geoffrey Chaucer, written in the 14th century. The publisher was England's first printer, William Caxton. Caxton also printed the first book in the English language a few years earlier, but that was in Bruges, now part of Belgium. In 1476, he picked up his press and sailed across the channel to set up shop in England. This was his first significant publication, printed in 1477. The leaf here offered contains fragments from the first and second part of The Clerk's Tale. $9,500.

 

Next up is Charles Darwin's continuation of what he revealed a decade earlier in his Origin of Species, as applied specifically to humans. Item 10 is The Descent of Man... published in 1871. In it, Darwin makes the first use of a term that does not appear in the Origin - "evolution." He also makes an interesting, and ultimately correct observation on the geographical origin of humans. Darwin observed that living mammals are found in areas where there are closely related extinct species. Therefore, he concludes that in Africa, where there are apes, it is likely extinct species of gorillas and chimpanzees will be found. He continues, "...as these two species are now man's nearest allies, it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere." Offered is a first edition, first issue. $8,950.

 

Item 2 is a strange though important medical work, Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice, and the Physiology of Digestion, published in far northern Plattsburgh, New York, in 1833. The author was William Beaumont, an army physician who has been called the "Father of Gastric Physiology" for this study. However, the subject of the study was not Beaumont but one Alexis St. Martin. St. Martin was a French-Canadian trapper who suffered a close-up gunshot wound to the stomach. It was not in war, simply an accident, but Beaumont attended to him though St. Martin was not expected to live. The hole never completely healed, but Beaumont fashioned a flap of skin to cover it. He then proceeded to use that flap to peer inside and observe what was going on. Since St. Martin could not readily return to his work, he became Beaumont's assistant, affording regular observations. The physician performed such experiments as tying some food on a string, putting it in St. Martin's stomach, and pulling it out to observe what had happened. Beaumont also made observations on the effect of emotions on the gastric juices, a forerunner of Pavlov's later studies. As for poor M. St. Martin, he lived for another 50 years after his accident. $3,750.

 

Next up is another odd book, though in a very different way. The title is, The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid in which Coloured Diagrams and Symbols are used instead of Letters for the Greater Ease of Learners, published in 1847. Rather than using letters to describe such things as lines and angles, author Oliver Byrne used different colors. He claimed, "It is based on the theory that by means of colour the Elements of Euclid can be acquired in less than one third the time usually employed." From looking at the pages, my guess is it would take three times as long, it being harder to follow, in my opinion, than letters. However, if Byrne did not create an easier way to learn geometry, he did create something that has been described as one of the most beautiful books of the century. Indeed, he has created "a unique riot of red, yellow and blue," in something that looks like a work of mathematical cubist art. I don't even like cubist art (or math books) but this is spectacular. Item 11. $19,500.

 

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>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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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