• <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE GUTENBERG BIBLE, MAINZ. Price realized: $5,390,000. Oct 1987, NY.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> LEONARDO DA VINCI, Codex Hammer. Price realized: $30,802,500. Nov 1994 NY
    <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE FORBES COLLECTION, Price realized: $40,900,000. Mar 2002, New York.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> ANDRE FRANQUIN, SPIROU ET FANTASIO. Price realized: €157,500. Apr 2014, Paris, France.
    <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE GREAT HOURS OF GALEAZZO MARIA SFORZA. Price realized: £1,217,250. Jul 2011, London.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE ROTHSCHILD PRAYERBOOK. A Book of Hours, use of Rome, in Latin. Price realized: $13,605,000.
  • <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts, May 7, 2015.</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Joyce, James. <i>Ulysses</i>. NY: Limited Editions Club, 1935. Illustrated by Matisse. Signed, limited
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> The Nonesuch Dickens. Bloomsbury, 1937-1938. 22 volumes, limited.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Ortelius, Abraham. Maris Pacifici. [Antwerp], 1589.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Melville, Herman. <i>Moby Dick; or, The Whale</i>. New York, 1851. First American edition, first issue.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts, May 7, 2015.</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. <i>Works </i>. Garden City, 1930. 24 vols. Signed. 
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Pockocke, Richard. <i>A Description of the East,</i> and Some Other Countries.London, 1743-1745. First edition.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Audubon, John James, after. <i>American Elk - Apiti Deer, Cervus Canadensus</i>, plate LXII, no. 13.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix. Autographed letter signed, July 20, 1832. To Aloys Fuchs.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts, May 7, 2015.</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Lee, Robert E. Autographed letter signed, to Ulysses S. Grant. February 21, 1865.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Campbell, Colin. <i>Vitruvius Britannicus</i>. London, 1715-125, 1767, 1771. 5 vols. First edition
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Autographed letter signed, 1p., to Judge W.A. Minshall. September 6, 1849.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> A Century <br>of Progress International Exposition. Chicago, 1933-1934. Chicago,<br>(c. 1934). Mayor Cermak copy.).
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> The Nonesuch Dickens. Bloomsbury, 1937-1938. 22 volumes, limited.
  • <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Latest catalogue: 50 Fine Books 2015
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> M. Catesby,<br>The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1729-77).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (London, 1811). First edition of the Austen’s first published novel.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Koronatsionniy sbornik [Album of Nicholas II's coronation] (St. Petersburg, 1899): preferred deluxe version in Russian.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> A complete set of John Gould's magnificent bird books in attractive contemporary bindings (1831-88).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Andy Warhol, Bald Eagle from Endangered Species. Screenprint in colours, 1983, signed in pencil.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: The story of Shackleton’s last expedition 1914-1917 (London, 1919).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> J.J. Audubon, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (NY, 1845-54): The largest successful colour plate book of 19th-century America.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, The Works (Kelmscott Press, 1896). One of the finest illustrated books ever produced.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Moscow, 1879):<br>first edition in book form of the celebrated novel.
  • <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

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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