• <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015, San Francisco</b>
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> MIGUEL COSTANSO. 1741-1814. The suppressed report of the portala expidition. US$ 80,000-120,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> FELIPE DE NEVE. 1724-1784. FIRST LAWS OF CALIFORNIA. US$ 120,000-180,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> JAMES O. PATTIE. c.1804-c.1850. The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie of Kentucky. US$ 30,000-50,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b><br>KARL BODMER. 1809-1893. Pehriska-Ruhpa, Moennitarri Warrior in the Costume of the Dog Danse.<br>US$ 20,000-30,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015, San Francisco</b>
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b><br>JOEL PALMER. 1810-1881. Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains to the Mouth of the Columbia River. US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b><br>JOHANN AUGUSTUS SUTTER. 1803-1880. Letter Signed ("JA Sutter").<br>US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> J. ELY SHERWOOD. California: Her Wealth and Resources... US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> [JOHN LINVILLE HALL and GEORGE G. WEBSTER.] Journal of the Hartford Union Mining and Trading Company. US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> JAMES A. READ and DONALD F. READ, illustrators. Journey to the Gold Diggins. By Jeremiah Saddlebags. US$ 8,000-12,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> WILLIAM BESCHKE. The Dreadful Sufferings and Thrilling Adventures of an Overland Party of Emigrants to California. US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> LORENZO D. ALDRICH. 1818/1819-1851. A Journal of the Overland Route to California! US$ 25,000-35,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> JOHN WOODHOUSE AUDUBON. 1812-1862. Illustrated Notes of an Expedition Through Mexico and California. US$ 80,000-120,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Gold mining boomtown collection of 23 photos<br>of Goldfield, Nevada (1905)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Columbus and New World Exploration manuscript (1512)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> A. J. Russell.<br>The Great West (1869) 50 original mounted photos
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Isaac Newton. <i>Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica</i> (1687).
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Shakespeare's <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies</i> (1632).
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. John Rockefeller. Ambrotype, the earliest known photograph of Rockefeller.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Muybridge, <i>Animal Locomotion</i> (1887) subscriber's copy.
  • <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Latest catalogue: 50 Fine Books 2015
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> M. Catesby,<br>The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1729-77).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (London, 1811). First edition of the Austen’s first published novel.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Koronatsionniy sbornik [Album of Nicholas II's coronation] (St. Petersburg, 1899): preferred deluxe version in Russian.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> A complete set of John Gould's magnificent bird books in attractive contemporary bindings (1831-88).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Andy Warhol, Bald Eagle from Endangered Species. Screenprint in colours, 1983, signed in pencil.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: The story of Shackleton’s last expedition 1914-1917 (London, 1919).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> J.J. Audubon, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (NY, 1845-54): The largest successful colour plate book of 19th-century America.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, The Works (Kelmscott Press, 1896). One of the finest illustrated books ever produced.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Moscow, 1879):<br>first edition in book form of the celebrated novel.
  • <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Manuscripts
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Miniatures
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Early Printed Books
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b><br>St. Paul’s epistles, manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Simon Master, c. 1150-75
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Boucicaut Master, Paris, c. 1415
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Rohan Master, probably Troyes, c. 1415-20
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Julius Caesar, De bello Gallico, manuscript on vellum, Milan, c. 1450-75
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Bible Historiale, illuminated manuscript in French on paper, Amiens, c. 1480-85
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Miniature Book of Hours, illuminated by Simon Bening, Bruges, c. 1530-35
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Saintly Pope, miniature on vellum, by Pacino da Bonaguida, Florence, c. 1310-15
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Christ calling St. Peter, miniature on vellum, by Pellegrino di Mariano Rossini, Siena, 1471
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Presentation in Temple, miniature on vellum, Nuremberg, c. 1490-1500
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Pliny, Historia naturalis, Treviso: Manzolus, 1479
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Valturio, De re militari, Verona 1483, first edition in Italian
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Celestial vision at Constantinople, single-leaf woodcut, Nuremberg,<br>c. 1490-91

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2007 Issue

A Sold Out Catalogue from deHartington and Weiss

Onanism

The thankfully unillustrated catalogue on onanism.


By Michael Stillman

Here is a catalogue unlike any others we have reviewed. It is unique both for its subject and the fact that it is the first catalogue which sold out before we even received it! More about that and the buyer later on, but first we take a look at the catalogue itself. It is offered by Michael DeHartington of London and Burton Weiss of Berkeley. The title is simply Onanism. For most, that term probably is not understood. Those who know are smirking.

The subheading enlightens us: The masturbation panic 1756-1973. It must have been serious, as that's an awfully long time for a panic to go on. Actually, you might think a topic like this would not have been discussed that much in public. You would be wrong. As this catalogue elucidates, the topic was the subject of much discussion, or at least of much literature. Why is a mystery. For whatever reason, the practice became a sin in the eyes of prudish theologians and others, which in turn led to a field of quackery "science" which attempted to convince young people it would result in all sorts of medical catastrophes. Of course there was no evidence for this, but as with patent medicine, no evidence was required. So, we have this body of literature, designed to scare people, either with quack medical claims or hellish theological threats. Of course, none of this had any impact, people behaving as they always did, but it is still interesting to listen to the hysterical writers tilt at their chosen windmill. Here are a few samples from these works.

Pastor Sylvanus Stall attempted to instill fear in the hearts of young men in 1897 in What a Young Man Ought to Know. Along with undermining physical powers, destroying health, and bringing on ruin, regret and remorse, Stall informs his readers the "evil practice" can, "in some instances bring softening of the brain, weakening the intellect, and convert its unfortunate victim into an imbecile, thus preparing himself either for the insane asylum or an early place in the cemetery." One wonders if this was the cause of Stall's own imbecility.

While young men were usually the target audience for these publications, women were not spared. Augustus Gardner, an MD no less, informs us in Conjugal Relationships as regards Personal Health... (1918), "much of the worthlessness, lassitude and mental and physical feebleness attributable to the modern woman are to be ascribed to these habits as their initial cause." I always wondered what made modern women this way.

As long as we are picking on women, another MD, John Cowan, in The Science of a New Life, quoting a Dr. J.C. Jackman (seriously), observes, "I never knew a girl to eat lime off the wall, or to chew up her slate-pencils, who was not to a greater or less extent a victim of this practice." Come to think of it, I have never known any girls who ate lime off of walls who weren't either. Is this why they call the British limeys?

Rare Book Monthly


Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions