Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2006 Issue

Five Centuries From Joseph J. Felcone Antiquarian Booksellers

Felcone93

Five centuries of rare books from Joseph J. Felcone.

By Michael Stillman

Joseph J. Felcone Antiquarian Booksellers
has released Bulletin 93, Rare Books From Five Centuries. Felcone, of Princeton, is best known as the leading seller of printed New Jerseyana, not to mention having written the bibliography of that state's materials. However, this bulletin expands way beyond the horizons of the Jersey shore. Yes, there are items here for the New Jersey collector, but most of the authors herein probably never crossed the George Washington Bridge, traversed the boardwalk, or threw their coins at baskets every 500 yards along the Garden State Parkway. However, they wrote about history, science, math, sports, travel, religion, law, war, animals, and created works of literature, poetry, music and maps. Here are a few samples Felcone is offering.

Item 19 is the first edition, in Latin, of Robert Barclay's exposition of the Quaker faith, Theologiae vere Christianae Apologia, published in Amsterdam in 1676. Barclay had published 15 tenets of the faith a year earlier, but this was the first complete explanation of the beliefs of a religion less than three decades old at the time. Barclay explained that the essential belief was that each person possessed an "inner light," which enabled them to see the truth of divine revelation, and thereby making religious ceremonies irrelevant. No wonder the Quakers weren't too popular with established religious authorities! Since this "inner light" was held by people of all creeds, Barclay was a proponent of tolerance, generally in short supply at the time. Priced at $8,000.

Item 55 was an early defense of autonomy in the American colonies. A Defence of the New-England Charters, first published in 1721, argued that original charters to the colonies were binding and could not be revoked at will by authorities in England. This later edition, issued in 1765, was printed in response to the Stamp Act, imposing duties upon the colonies, without the colonists' consent. The author of this important defense was Jeremiah Dummer, and his long forgotten family name has recently been resurrected in current news stories. It was Jeremiah's brother, Lieutenant Governor William Dummer, for whom Governor Dummer Academy in Massachusetts was named. That academy made headlines when it decided to change its name to just "Governor's Academy," evidently because prospective students were put off by the name "Dummer Academy." Of course, the smarter prospective students would know the difference between "dumb" and "Dummer," but perhaps we need a little dumbing down to accommodate those not quite so perceptive. Or is it "dumming" down? Anyway, Jeremiah continues to proudly wear his family name on this book. $500.

I have not read the following book, but based on the title, I would say author James Janeway was a true expert at turning lemons into lemonade, or converting tragedy to triumph. The book title is A Token for Children: Being an Exact Account of the Conversion, Holy and Exemplary Lives, and Joyful Deaths of Several Young Children. This 1797 Elizabethtown, New Jersey, edition of a popular 17th century book was meant to inspire children. The young heroes and heroines, as young as five in these stories, live exemplary lives and face their impending deaths joyfully, being well-learned in scripture. Janeway believed younger children had a greater chance of reaching heaven, perhaps because they had less time to sin, so there was a certain joy, under this strange logic, to dying young. I'm sure the children reading this message must have felt inspired. Item 108. $1,800.

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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