• <b>Profiles in History Historical Auction 75, June 11th.</b>
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 10: Boone, Daniel. Autograph document signed. Est. $12,000-15,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 29: Darwin, Charles. Autograph letter signed. Est. $4,000-6,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 30: Davis, Jefferson. Civl War-date autograph letter signed. <BR>Est. $15,000-25,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 45: Einstein, Albert. Autograph letter signed. Est. $15,000-$25.000.
    <b>Profiles in History Historical Auction 75, June 11th.</b>
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 46: Einstein, Albert. A large archive.<br>Est. $25,000-35,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 48: Einstein, Albert. Typed letter signed. Est. $15,000-25,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 57: Fulton, Robert. Autograph letter signed. Est. $8,000-12,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 74: Jackson, Thomas J. ("Stonewall"). <br>Est. $20,000-30,000.
    <b>Profiles in History Historical Auction 75, June 11th.</b>
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 97: Lincoln, Abraham. A Proclamation, January 1863. Est. $40,000-60,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 99: [Slavery - Thirteenth Amendment]. Est. $80,000-120,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 116: Newton, Sir Isaac. Autograph document signed ("Is. Newton"). <br>Est. $30,000-$50,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 200: Ruth Babe. Photograph signed. <br>Est. $4,000-6,000.
  • <b>Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction May 27-June 7</b>
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 52. Herman Melville. Autograph letter signed ,1858. est. $2,000-3,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 55.<br>Edgar Allan Poe. Oil on canvas portrait, est. $400-600
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 61. John Roberts. Account and Memoranda books of the Pennsylvania Quaker miller executed for treason during the American Revolution,<br>est. $6,000-8,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 106. Marc Chagall. <i>Le Plafond de l'Opera</i>, inscribed copy, est. $400-600
    <b>Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction May 27-June 7</b>
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 147. Manuscript Prayer Book in Latin and Dutch with Hand-colored woodcuts, c. 1500, est. $2,000-2,500
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 189. McKenney & Hall. <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America</i>, 1837-38, est. $8,000-12,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 204. <br>Julio Plaza and Augusto do Campos. <i>Obetos Serigrafias Originais</i>, 1969,<br> est. $2,000-3,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 222. <i>Nuremberg Chronicle in</i> Latin, 1493, est. $25,000-35,000
    <b>Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction May 27-June 7</b>
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 234. <i>Third Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Central Park</i>, 1860, est. $800-1,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 249. Theodor De Bry. Hand-colored illustrations of North American Indians, est. $2,000-2,500
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 254. <br>Pete Hawley. Original illustration<br>for Jantzenaire corsets, 1950s,<br>est. $2,000-3,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 264. <i>Burr's Atlas of the State of New York</i>, 1840, est. $7,000-9,000
  • <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Manuscripts
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Miniatures
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Early Printed Books
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Jason Master, Haarlem, c. 1475-80
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Boucicaut Master, Paris, c. 1415
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Rohan Master, probably Troyes, c. 1415-20
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Julius Caesar, De bello Gallico, manuscript on vellum, Milan, c. 1450-75
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Biblia Latina, Paris, 1476-77, first edition of the Vulgate printed in France
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Ludolph of Saxony, Vie du Christ, illuminated by the Master of the Chronique Scandaleuse, 1506-08
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b><br>King David, miniature on vellum, Bologna, c. 1470
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Christ calling St. Peter, miniature on vellum, by Pellegrino di Mariano Rossini, Siena, 1471
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Presentation in Temple, miniature on vellum, Nuremberg, c. 1490-1500
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Bible, illuminated in the <i>primo stile</i>, Bologna, c. 1250-70
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Valturio, De re militari, Verona 1483, first edition in Italian
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Celestial vision at Constantinople, single-leaf woodcut, Nuremberg,<br>c. 1490-91
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Catalogue 160: Magnificent Books, Manuscripts, & Photographs
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Shakespeare's First Folio (1623)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Charles Darwin family photograph album
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Spectacular album of mammoth photos of the American West by Watkins & others
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Washington family copy of The Federalist (1788)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Underground Railroad runaway broadside (1857)

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2008 Issue

An Extraordinary Catalogue from Phillip J. Pirages

Pirages55

A spectacular new catalogue from Phillip J. Pirages.


By Michael Stillman

While small catalogues are occasionally special, one thing we have found in years of reviewing them is that those over half an inch thick are usually spectacular. This month we have one of those magnificent thick catalogues, simply Catalogue 55 from Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts. This is a compilation of 642 highly collectible items, filled with pages and pages of pictures of what is offered. The presentation is as brilliant as the works themselves. Descriptions are extraordinarily detailed, both concerning the content and context of the works, and the condition of the individual copies.

The type of material varies widely, but Pirages has broken it down into a few groupings. There are complete (or nearly so) illuminated manuscripts, illuminated leaves, manuscript leaves, printed leaves and leaf books, books printed before 1800, and books printed in the 19th and 20th centuries. With 642 titles from which to choose, we can mention only a few, but here are some samples of what you will find. For more details, or to obtain a copy of this fine catalogue, you should contact the bookseller.

We will start at the top. Item 1 is a manuscript bible from southern France, complete except for one leaf, created around the year 1240. Pirages notes that while the script is in French style, the decoration is Italianate. The bible was evidently the work of two scribes, who did not always coordinate their work perfectly. At least one made a few mistakes, most glaringly, leaving out the "r" in In Principio at the beginning of Genesis. This order needed a better proofreader. The manuscript contains numerous annotations which provide insight into 13th century theological issues. However, the annotations have been scraped from several pages, which leads to the question, why? Pirages theorizes it may have had to do with the "Cathar heresy." This was a popular movement in southern France at the time. Catharism believed in a dualistic world, with the material one being inherently evil. This led to numerous serious theological disputes with ecclesiastical authority. While the Church first attempted gentle persuasion, by the 13th century, it had resorted to crusades, brutal suppression, and the killing of thousands of followers. Catharism was on the run at the time of this manuscript, but still present. Whether this explains the expunging of annotations is not clear, but evidently some of the annotations displeased later readers. Other annotations indicate the manuscript was held by the Capuchin convent in Montpellier in the 17th century, and eventually in the collection of the presiding judge at the Nuremburg trials in the 20th. Priced at $69,000.

Item 9 is an illuminated manuscript leaf from the Book of Esther. The text begins with an image for its initial letter which shows Mordecai, Queen Esther, and King Ahasuerus on three floors. According to the Book of Esther, the King's evil prime minister, Haman, intended to hang Esther's adoptive father Mordecai for failing to bow down to him. For good measure, Haman also planned to kill all of the Jews in Persia, this being Mordecai's tribe. He did not understand Queen Esther was also one of the Jews (nor was the King aware of this). Ahaseurus was set to go along with the plot, as displayed in this image. On the bottom floor is Mordecai, noose around his neck, on the top floor Ahaseurus, holding the rope and ready to pull. In between is Esther, maintaining sufficient slack in the rope to prevent Mordecai from hanging. By the end of the book, Esther informs the King of her and Mordecai's ethnicity, along with reminding him of how Mordecai had once saved his life, and Ahaseurus instead uses the gallows to hang the evil Haman. $6,500.

Rare Book Monthly


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