Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2007 Issue

The Antiquariaat Forum in Boston

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The Antiquariaat Forum displays in Boston.


By Michael Stillman

The Antiquariaat Forum recently printed a Short Title List for its participation at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. The Dutch bookseller includes a few more items in English than we usually see, along with Dutch and other tracts. Many are very old, dating as far back as the sixteenth century, with a few of more recent vintage mixed in. As usual, these are primarily works that are quite rare and desirable. Here are a few.

Item 30 is a first edition of the rare work advocating freedom of the seas, Mare librum (Free seas), by Hugo Grotius, published in 1609. Grotius was a Dutch jurist who promulgated the view that the seas should be open to commerce for all nations. At the time, this was not a widely accepted viewpoint, many nations believing their territorial waters extended indefinitely. In time, the standard for territorial waters would be set at a cannon fire's limit, three miles. Priced at $134,700.

One who would sail those free seas was Captain James Cook. His three voyages from England to the South (and North) Pacific were among the most important journeys of discovery, learning much about Australia, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest of America, and the Antarctic. A set of his three voyages, including the atlas, is not easy to come by and is quite expensive. Item 13 is a set of Cook's three voyages in the first Dutch edition, Reize rondom de Waereld... available for a much more modest $12,500. Rather than having a separate atlas, the maps and plates are scattered throughout the three volumes, placed in the appropriate locations.

Also offered are a couple of works relating specifically to Cook's third voyage. Item 19 is William Ellis' An authentic narrative of a voyage performed by Captain Cook and Captain Clerke, published in 1783 (second edition). This final voyage attempted to find a northwest passage around the North American continent. At this, it was unsuccessful, and Cook lost his life in Hawaii on the way back. The writer was Assistant Surgeon for the voyage. $13,200. Item 66 is Reise um de Welt, mit Capitain Cook, by Heinrich Zimmermann. Zimmermann was an ordinary sailor who, against the rules, kept a journal of the voyage and jumped the gun by publishing it before the official account was released (also against the rules). Offered is a first edition, in Zimmermann's native German. $76,300.

Here is a book for collectors of... ??? The work is De flatibus humanus corpus molestantibus...by Johannes Fienus. Fienus was a 16th century Antwerp physician, and the subject of this book is flatulence. It includes numerous cures for the discomforts caused by this condition, and along with more expected remedies such as herbal concoctions is one where a connection is made between the intake of a bellows and where the sun doesn't shine. The cure here involves the principle that nature abhors a vacuum. Just don't stand in front of the bellows. This work may well be useful today, considering that even after the four-plus centuries since it was published in 1582, this malady is still wanting for a cure. Item 23. $4,100.

As long as we are discussing unpleasant medical issues, how about Essai sur les Maladies des Dents...? This is a first edition of this book on dentistry, such as it was in 1743. Author Robert Bunon was one of the most knowledgeable physicians in the field, and his emphasis is on proper dental care for children. Still, there was much yet to be learned and some of his theories are dated. Item 11. $9,025.

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

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 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

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