Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2008 Issue

Miscellaneous Works from J & J Hanrahan

Hanrahan61

A miscellany from J & J Hanrahan.


By Michael Stillman

From J & J Hanrahan of Down East Maine we have received their List 61 Miscellany 2008. The Hanrahans describe themselves as "generalists," though we can say that most of what they offer can easily qualify as antiquarian. They do have a few particular areas of focus, such as Colonial America, the Civil War, New Hampshire's White Mountains, and Maurice Sendak (last month we reviewed a catalogue devoted entirely to Sendak), but while these topics are covered this time, so are others too numerous to mention. So, we will just pick a few random samples from what is offered here to describe.

We will start with the oldest book in the catalogue. Like most really old books, it is in Latin: Opus Ruralium Commodorum. Hanrahan describes this 1483 incunable as the "first book on farming." In an era when most books were theological, author Pietro de Crecenzi discusses the management of an estate, based on experiences at his own Villa d'Olmo near Bologna. Hunting, fishing, winemaking and diseases of animals are covered along with advice on the cultivation of various trees and other plants. Item 63. Priced at $12,500.

Item 9 is a sermon from Brookfield, Massachusetts, Pastor Nathan Fiske on then eve of the American Revolution. His December 31, 1775 (published in 1776) sermon is entitled, Remarkable Providences to Be Gratefully Recollected... Fiske relates the history of his town, from its founding in 1660, to its "desolation" during King Philip's War against the Indians in 1675, to its "improvements" up to the current time. However, Fiske also has some strong words for the British, in this period between the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Declaration of Independence. He asks, "Who are they that with cruel hands, have, the summer past, wantonly made such havoc in our land -- plundered and destroyed so many of our villages, and cast fire into so many of our cities?" The building anger is palpable in the words of this sermon. $750.

Here is a "book" that was undoubtedly the very favorite on some collector's shelf. It is the Histoire de France, an undated book by some unknown author. Actually, it doesn't say much of anything about the history of France, beyond perhaps implying that the French enjoy their drinks. Item 25 is in reality a book safe, one of those "books" that is hollow inside, creating a hiding space among the books on its owner's shelf. However, this one contains not just a hiding space, but a flask as well. One can picture an antiquarian of another day sneaking off to his library, his true intentions concealed from his wife. $250.

Item 102 is a first in the very collectible field of Mormon books, though it is not flattering. It was published in 1831, just a year after the first edition of the Book of Mormon itself. It was written by David Marks, an itinerant preacher not of the Mormon faith. It is The Life of David Marks, to the 26th year of his age. This was the first non-Mormon book to mention anything about the then new religion. Marks implies that Mormon founder Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, rather than receiving it from the Angel Moroni, by saying he first copyrighted it in his own name. However, despite skepticism bordering on contempt, Marks did meet with some of the earliest Mormons, and his writing does provide some insight into the beliefs of the earliest followers of the faith. $1,250.

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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