• <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015, San Francisco</b>
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> MIGUEL COSTANSO. 1741-1814. The suppressed report of the portala expidition. US$ 80,000-120,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> FELIPE DE NEVE. 1724-1784. FIRST LAWS OF CALIFORNIA. US$ 120,000-180,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> JAMES O. PATTIE. c.1804-c.1850. The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie of Kentucky. US$ 30,000-50,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b><br>KARL BODMER. 1809-1893. Pehriska-Ruhpa, Moennitarri Warrior in the Costume of the Dog Danse.<br>US$ 20,000-30,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015, San Francisco</b>
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b><br>JOEL PALMER. 1810-1881. Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains to the Mouth of the Columbia River. US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b><br>JOHANN AUGUSTUS SUTTER. 1803-1880. Letter Signed ("JA Sutter").<br>US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> J. ELY SHERWOOD. California: Her Wealth and Resources... US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> [JOHN LINVILLE HALL and GEORGE G. WEBSTER.] Journal of the Hartford Union Mining and Trading Company. US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> JAMES A. READ and DONALD F. READ, illustrators. Journey to the Gold Diggins. By Jeremiah Saddlebags. US$ 8,000-12,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> WILLIAM BESCHKE. The Dreadful Sufferings and Thrilling Adventures of an Overland Party of Emigrants to California. US$ 15,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> LORENZO D. ALDRICH. 1818/1819-1851. A Journal of the Overland Route to California! US$ 25,000-35,000.
    <b>Bonhams 9 Feb 2015:</b> JOHN WOODHOUSE AUDUBON. 1812-1862. Illustrated Notes of an Expedition Through Mexico and California. US$ 80,000-120,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Gold mining boomtown collection of 23 photos<br>of Goldfield, Nevada (1905)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Columbus and New World Exploration manuscript (1512)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> A. J. Russell.<br>The Great West (1869) 50 original mounted photos
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Isaac Newton. <i>Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica</i> (1687).
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Shakespeare's <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies</i> (1632).
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. John Rockefeller. Ambrotype, the earliest known photograph of Rockefeller.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Muybridge, <i>Animal Locomotion</i> (1887) subscriber's copy.
  • <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>Cowan's Auctions: </b> American History: Timed Online Auction Bidding Starts March 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> J.C. Buttre, Wartime-Published Leatherbound Portfolio of 50 Engravings. Est $1000-$1500. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> Kennedy For President Campaign Poster.<br>Est $50-$100. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> Albumen CDV of a Mexican couple in fancy clothing.<br>Est $100-$200. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> American History: Timed Online Auction Bidding Starts March 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> Quarter Plate Daguerreotype and Enlarged<br>Painted Portrait of Same Gentleman. Est $200-$400. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> Real Photo Postcards of Helena, Montana, Plus.<br>Est $100-$200. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> [Japan] Lafcadio Hearn, Life, Letters and Musings.<br>Est $50-$100. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> American History: Timed Online Auction Bidding Starts March 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> CDVs related to P.T. Barnum, Including Barnum, His Daughter, Tom Thumb, Com. Nutt.<br>Est $200-$300. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> Recipe Pamphlets from the 1960s. Est $20-$40. Bidding Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> Image of the Sternwheeler Washington. Est $100-$150. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> American History: Timed Online Auction Bidding Starts March 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> Civil War letters from Little Family of Farmersville, New York, 94th and 105th NY Infantry. Est $150-$250.<br>Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> A Fine and Unusual American Prosthesis. Est $300-$500. Starts Mar 5th.
    <b>Cowan's Auctions: </b> Hamilton & Hoyt Stereoviews of Plains Indians and <i>Spirit Canon</i>. Est $300-$500. Starts Mar 5th.

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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