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>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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