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>Doyle: Hunting Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson. Online only auction Aug 3-14</b>
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>The Sportsman's Portfolio of American Field Sports.</i> 1855. Est: $600 to $900
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Bishop's Birds. Etchings of Water-Fowl and Upland Game Birds.</i> 1936. Est: $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hunting Big Game in Far Northwest British Columbia</i>. 1904. Est: $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Mananaland. Adventuring with Camera and Rifle Through California in Mexico.</i> 1929. Est: $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle: Hunting Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson. Online only auction Aug 3-14</b>
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Grand Canyon Trails.</i> 1924. Est: $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>A Sporting Trip through Abyssinia. A Narrative of a nine months’ journey..</i> 1902. Est: $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hunting in Tanzania [...in Zimbabwe; ...the Sudan; ...in Botswana; ...in Ethiopia; ...in Zambia; ...in South Africa; ...in Kenya]</i>. 1991-2000. Est: $800 to $1200
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hounds and Hunting through the Ages ... with an Introduction by the Earl of Lonsdale</i>. 1928. Est: $600 to $900
  • <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:</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

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