Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2006 Issue

More Books From The Book Arts By Oak Knoll

Oak277

Catalogue 277 from Oak Knoll Books.


By Michael Stillman

Catalogue number 277 from Oak Knoll Books will not break any new ground for the Delaware bookseller, but that is probably just fine with people who appreciate the material they offer. Oak Knoll is a specialist in the field of "books about books," and their catalogues usually provide large selections of material in this field. Catalogue 277 lists over 800 items, and most pertain to the book arts -- printing, binding, paper, limited editions, type, book selling, book collectors and the like. There is also a separate section dedicated specifically to bibliography. Here are just a few samples from this extensive collection of titles from the world of book arts.

We will start with an old item about a much older written work. Item 211 is The Moabite Stone, a report about this very early writing by Christian Ginsburg. The Moabite Stone, discovered in 1868, tells about the triumphs of Moabite King Mesha in the 9th century BC. Mesha claims victory in a rebellion over the Israelites, who still controlled this territory in present-day Jordan at the time. Since this writing evidently presents Mesha's point of view, it may exaggerate that King's exploits. This book, published in 1871, just three years after the stone's discovery, includes translations in several languages, maps, and a lengthy introduction. Unfortunately, there is little else known about King Mesha, so the accuracy of the stone's claims is uncertain. Priced at $150.

In another time, one of the more adventurous of occupations was that of the whaler. George Francis Dow presents a look at this livelihood in Whale Ships and Whaling. A Pictorial History of Whaling during Three Centuries… It includes photographs of ships, spears, scrimshaw (carvings from whalebones) along with accounts of whaling expeditions. The book was published in 1925 by the Marine Research Society of Salem, Massachusetts. While we weren't sure how this exciting book made its way into this catalogue, we imagine it is because of its connection to a collection, the "Allan Forbes Collection of Whaling Pictures." Forbes was a collector in the field, and his collection was donated to the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Museum in 1940 (now part of the Hart Nautical Collection). Item 154. $85.

Here is a set of Hawthorne's works that comes with a most impressive provenance. It is the 13-volume Complete Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in 1883. This large paper edition was limited to 250 copies. It contains the bookplate of Robert Hoe III, one of the foremost book collectors America ever saw. Hoe inherited R. Hoe & Co., the foremost manufacturer of printing presses in America during the 19th century. This innovative manufacturer, formed by his namesake grandfather in 1805, earned Hoe the money to put together one of the greatest private collections America has seen. Two years after he died in 1909, Hoe's collection went up for auction. It was spectacular. The proceeds exceeded those of any previous American book auction by several times. It is still regarded as one of the most important book auctions ever. So what ever happened to Hoe's company?

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>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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions