Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2007 Issue

Book Collectors and Their Libraries from Oak Knoll Books

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Book Collectors and Their Libraries from Oak Knoll.


By Michael Stillman

Oak Knoll Books
has published the third issue in its series of "Special catalogues," Book Collectors and Their Libraries. This is not the typical Oak Knoll thousand-item catalogue, but a smaller (though taller) illustrated version, focused on book collections and collecting. There are catalogues of great private libraries, often compiled for their dispersion sales. There are odes to book collecting and runs of periodicals as well as books for bibliomaniacs. This is a collection for those who love to collect. Oak Knoll has not attempted to stack this catalogue with everything on its shelves, as some of their catalogues appear to do, but this one provides an excellent sampling. Much more can be found on their website. Here are a few samples of these samples in the "Special Catalogue."

One of the best known of early collectors was Frenchman Jean Grolier. The famed club in New York was named for him. Grolier was noted for placing his books in the most exquisite of bindings. Item 13 is Recherches sur Jean Grolier...by Le Roux de Lincy. This is the large paper version of the first edition of a volume that includes a biography of Grolier, reprints of his correspondence, and a catalogue of his library. Over 600 of the bindings that were once in Grolier's library are known to exist today. This book was published in 1866, three centuries after Grolier died. Priced at $450.

Four centuries after Grolier, Carl Pforzheimer was putting together a magnificent library, the focus being English literature. Not surprisingly, you would find names like Shakespeare in his collection. Pforzheimer was a banker and philanthropist, but is best remembered as an avid book collector. Today his collection of English literature resides at the University of Texas at Austin, while his collection of English romantics was donated to the New York Public Library. Item 1 is the Carl H. Pforzheimer Library, English Literature, 1475-1700. This three-volume bibliography, including detailed descriptions of some 1,500 items, is priced at $10,000.

Here is a smaller library, in multiple ways. It is a Catalogue of the Library of Miniature Books Collected by Percy Edwin Spielmann, published in 1961. It includes over 500 descriptions of these tiniest of books. Item 17. $395.

Of course, no collection ever compared to the one put together by collecting fanatic Sir Thomas Phillipps. The British collector gathered some 100,000 books and manuscripts (mostly manuscripts) during the mid-19th century. Phillipps was obsessed with preserving one of everything, and if he did not quite reach that unreachable goal, a great deal of material which would otherwise be lost exists to this day because of Phillipps' obsession. Much of the manuscript material he collected was not regarded as of much value at the time, but Phillipps ended up broke anyway because he purchased so much. His home became virtually impossible to negotiate, its rooms stacked high and wide with printed matter. A.N.L. Munby published the greatest work on Phillipps, the five-volume set of Phillipps Studies, printed from 1951-1960. Though Phillipps died in 1872, his collection was still being auctioned long after Munby's book was released, over a century after the sale started. Item 36. $400.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000

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