Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2007 Issue

Items for the London Fair from the Antiquariatt Forum

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Antiquariatt's Forum's list from the London Book Fair.


By Michael Stillman

We are a bit late here, but we recently received the latest Short Title List from the Antiquariatt Forum. Perhaps because it is from a Dutch bookseller, printed for the Antiquarian Book Fair in London, this explains why we were a month behind the times in receiving it. We are, after all, located in the New World. Offered is a mix of books ranging from old to very old, including travels, medicine, science, poetry, art, religion, satire, and more. There is a greater concentration of English works than usual for the Dutch bookseller, as befitting a display presented in London. Here are a few of these works.

Item 9 is one of the great English adventures, worthy of fiction but true nonetheless. It is A Narrative of the Mutiny on board His majesty's Ship Bounty. This is the first edition of the account of this famous mutiny written by Captain Bligh himself. Bligh was transporting breadfruit trees from Tahiti to the Caribbean when part of his crew mutinied, perhaps finding life on Tahiti preferable to Bligh's stern discipline. Whatever the reason, Bligh and his loyal sailors were placed on a dinghy, where the Captain managed one of the most spectacular nautical feats imaginable. He brought his boat across 3,500 miles of sea to rescue without losing a man. William Bligh then went on to serve several more decades in the Navy. Priced at £8,350 (or approximate US equivalent of $16,830).

Item 45 is a very rare and important piece of Americana. It is a first edition copy of the Kanagawa Treaty, or Treaty Between the United States of America and the Empire of Japan. Concluded March 31, 1854. It was printed in 1855 and bears a printed signature of President Franklin Pierce. This was the treaty that forced Japan to open its doors to the world after centuries of total isolation. It was Commodore Matthew Perry who sailed to Japan and quite literally refused to take "no" for an answer. The treaty allowed for a certain amount of trade, the protection of shipwrecked American sailors, and the establishment of a consul. Why copies of this treaty are so rare is unclear, but the Antiquariatt Forum notes that they can locate only one other copy of this first edition. £32,580 (US $65,655).

Trips to the Holy Land entail a certain amount of risk today, but nothing like in the 16th century. Voiage de la saincte cite de Hierusalem recounts Hungarian Batholomeus Georgiewitz trip to Jerusalem almost five centuries ago. Published in 1600, it not only describes his pilgrimage from Paris, but the twenty years he was waylaid in Turkey as a prisoner and slave. Item 37. £12,680 (US $25,553).

If Georgiewitz felt ill on his trip, he could have consulted this book -- The Boock of Physicke, by Oswald Gabelchover. This medical text was quite popular in Germany, going through many editions over many decades, but this 1599 edition was the first and only one in English. It is probably a bit too dated to justify a second edition now. Item 31. £17,450 (US $35,149).

Now for some lighter fare. Item 63 is Les Chats ("The Cats") by Francois Paradis de Moncrif. This 1727 first edition is one of the earliest books devoted entirely to cats. It is written in an overly serious and pedantic style to achieve its aim of humor. After the "serious" part, it adds some letters between cats, a letter from a cat to a dog, and the like. £3,280 (US $6,603).

The Antiquariatt Forum may be found online at www.forumrarebooks.com, telephone +31 (0)30 6011955.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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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