Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2006 Issue

Books and Manuscripts from The 19th Century Shop

19110

The latest from 19th Century, with a Tenniel drawing of Alice on the cover.


By Michael Stillman

The 19th Century Shop
has issued a new catalogue of Rare Books and Manuscripts of All Ages, Catalogue 110. The material they offer is the very top of the line, from manuscripts that are, naturally, unique, and also of historical importance, to some of the rarest and more desirable of books. This is not a catalogue for the amateur, but for the highest level of collectors, it is a must. We will mention a few of the items within its pages, which will certainly illustrate the type of material they are offering for sale.

Translations of the Laws, Orders, and Contracts, on Colonization, from January, 1821, up to this time, in virtue of which Col. Stephen F. Austin, has introduced and settled foreign emigrants to Texas...may not sound like an exciting title, but it was the first book published in what is this most collectible of states. Only 300 copies were printed, and even by 1836 it was rare and sought after. Today, it is extremely rare. Stephen F. Austin is known by the label Sam Houston gave him at his funeral: the "Father of Texas." Austin would have been surprised that this was in store when he first crossed the Sabine River in 1821. His father, Moses Austin, had obtained a Texas land grant from the Spanish authority, and Stephen went to Texas to set up a colony on the land after learning of his father's death. He would spend the next decade building a colony and dealing with the authorities, first Spanish, then Mexican after the revolution. At times they encouraged development, at others held back. They obviously bounced back and forth between their desire to develop the land, and obtain revenues from it, and their fear of the growing Anglo presence within their borders. By the early 1830s, settler dissatisfaction was growing, as were suspicions of their intentions by Mexican authorities. Austin was a moderate, advocating conciliation with the Mexican government, not revolution. Nevertheless, Austin was arrested for insurrection in 1834 and spent over a year in a Mexican jail. Shortly thereafter, the Texas revolution would begin, with Austin now a supporter. Austin ran for president of the new Texas Republic in 1836, lost to Sam Houston, but was appointed Secretary of State. However, he died that same year, leading to Houston's funeral oratory. The book being offered, a Texas first, was published in 1829, and it spelled out the laws for Austin's colony, as few of his settlers knew the local laws since they could not understand Spanish. Priced at $235,000.

The Book of Mormon is another American first, in this case the first edition of the book that launched America's largest home-grown faith, now followed by over 11 million people worldwide. It was published in 1830 in the small upstate New York town of Palmyra, near where founder Joseph Smith said he discovered the plates which revealed this book. This first edition is the only one that described Smith as its author, later ones labeling him the translator. The 19th Century Shop reports that the first is also unique in that it was the only edition to forbid polygamy. This copy is complete, including the page of witnesses' testimony. $100,000.

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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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