Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2017 Issue

A (Late) Summer Miscellany from Peter Harrington


A "Summer" Miscellany.

Peter Harrington of London has created a catalogue called a Summer Miscellany. Perhaps we are slightly late getting to this one. Then again, maybe it's targeted to people in the Southern Hemisphere and we are getting an early preview. Whichever, there are lots of interesting books on varied subjects available in these pages. Here are a few examples.


We begin with a book that ties the Old Country to the New, mothership and former colony. Item 52 is Last of the Great Scouts: The Life Story of Col. William F. Cody "Buffalo Bill." As Told to His Sister. Evidently, Bill was not too good at writing, so Helen Cody Wetmore took on the task. Obviously, Buffalo Bill liked his sister's portrayal of him as he has inscribed this copy of her book in 1903 to the Lady Mayoress. That would be Clara Mary Southam, wife of Shrewsbury Mayor Herbert Southam. Cody brought his Wild West Show to Shrewsbury in England on May 30, 1903, part of his major tour of Europe from 1902-1903. The tour had been promoted with explanations that it was traveling with four special trains, 800 people, 500 horses, and mounted warriors depicting "all Virile, Muscular, Heroic Manhood has and can endure." Whether this was actually true or more Buffalo Bill hyperbole I do not know. This copy is from a promotional edition of Wetmore's biography published in 1903, the original having been released in 1899. Priced at £1,750 (British pounds, or approximately $2,361 in U.S. dollars).


Charles Darwin studied the evolution of numerous organisms, but these have to be among the strangest of all. Plant eating animals are herbivores, and meat eating animals carnivores, but what are meat eating plants? Darwin had a name for them – insectivores. Darwin thought the meat-eating plants ate only insects, but they can eat small lizards and such as well, so perhaps his term is somewhat dated. Item 67 is his investigation of Insectivorous Plants, published in 1875, 15 years after his ground breaking theory of evolution by means of natural selection. What Darwin concluded was that these plants had adapted remarkably to an environment poor in normal nutrients. Instead of obtaining nourishment through their roots, they were able to attract and trap insects, some through sticky substances, others through motion, closing a trap. They also had developed the ability to produce enzymes to break down the trapped animals and convert them to food. Offered is a copy of the first impression of the first edition. £3,000 (US $4,051).


Here is an unusual book, a great one for anglers, those who fish with a pole and hook. It is Trout Fishing From All Angles, by Eric Taverner, of whom Harrington notes that his works are regarded as "authoritative guides" in the fishing community. It comes from a signed limited edition, #168 of 375 copies, produced for the Lonsdale Library series. It includes a sepia frontispiece and 49 tipped-in plates. What is most unusual is it also includes 30 hand-tied fishing ties in the rear. Handle this book with care. Item 4. £2,000 (US $2,702).


Item 47 is a wartime broadside of the Atlantic Charter, published by the Office of War Information in Washington in 1943. The Atlantic Charter was a document put together by President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in August of 1941. It was soon adopted by various other Allied nations, many represented by European governments in exile by then. The Charter made various promises to the world as to what the Allies would do after the war was over and the Axis powers defeated. It promised the U.S. and U.K. would seek no territorial gains, people would have the right to self-determination, trade barriers would be lowered, there would be freedom of the seas, aggressors would be disarmed but even vanquished nations would have better economic conditions and improved social welfare. The agreement came about as a result of a secretly arranged meeting in Newfoundland between Roosevelt and Churchill. No actual document was created at the time, it was never a treaty, it wasn't even called the Atlantic Charter until later. The U.S. wasn't a participant yet in the war, and a victory by the Allies, at that point not much more than a battered England and governments in exile, was hardly assured, or even likely. This official printing did not even come about until 1943. Still, the Atlantic Charter was important as it bound America more closely to Britain and its cause, even if it would not be until December and Pearl Harbor that President Roosevelt was finally able to get the approval he wanted to join the Allied cause militarily. £2,000 (US $2,702).


Item 151 is a copy of the third and "definitive" edition if Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1726. It is "definitive" because it was the last published in Newton's lifetime. As such, it was his last chance to update and make corrections to his work, and it is the one on which all later editions were based. Printing and the Mind of Man calls it "the greatest work in the history of science." Not bad considering the level of competition it is up against. This is one of 200 large paper copies (there were 1,000 on ordinary paper and 50 on the largest paper). £27,500 (US $37,126).


Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 (USA 011 44 20 7591 0220) or mail@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk.

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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