Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2007 Issue

Some Unusual Antiquarian Books from Samuel Gedge Ltd.

Gedge2

Catalogue II from Samuel Gedge Ltd.


By Michael Stillman

Just published is the sparsely titled Catalogue II from Samuel Gedge Ltd. While the title is simple, the material is far more complex. It offers a mix of early material -- much 17th and 18th century -- from England and the Continent. It is hard to peg the material as it covers a broad spectrum of fields. We will present a quick look with the note that we may have picked out some of the more unusual type of works as our samples of the just over 100 items presented.

Americans learned many of their traditions from their British ancestors. Here's one the British might just as soon forget -- hanging "witches." Item 35 is a two-part book, the first A Short Treatise Touching Sheriffs...and the second the more interesting A Tryal of Witches...Before Sir Matthew Hale. This 1664 trial led to the hanging of two old ladies for bewitching children, though their guilt is certainly not beyond a reasonable doubt. Hale may have later become embarrassed by this trial, as he never mentioned it in his writings, and this book was not published until 1682, six years after his death. As we all know, the Americans picked up this particular British custom and proved they could do it even "better" at Salem. Priced at £600 (British pounds, or approximate U.S. equivalent of $1,206).

Item 62 is A True Relation of the Wonderful Cure of Mary Maillard. "True" may be a relative term here. Lame almost all of her life, Miss Maillard was cured on November 26, 1693. A thirteen-year-old Huguenot refugee living in London, her supernatural cure managed to convince many onlookers. The Mayor of London, four of the Queen's surgeons, and various clergymen investigated the case. Many physicians joined Miss Maillard and her family in attesting to her truthfulness. This book was published in 1694. £550 ($1,105).

For those not blessed with a miraculous cure, there is A Treatise of Chirurgical Operations after the Newest, and most exact Method founded on the Structure of the Parts. Evidently, if your parts weren't working quite right, this book provided surgical methods for correcting their deficiencies. We recommend this treatise with the caveat not to try these remedies at home. Author Joseph de la Charriere, in this 1695 English translation of his French work, guides you through various surgeries. By the way, for those unfamiliar with the term "chirurgical," it is an earlier word for "surgical." £750 (US $1,508).

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>

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