Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2008 Issue

Illustrated Books and Book Illustration from Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books

Knuf215

Illustrated books and book illustrations from Fritz Knuf.


By Michael Stillman


Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books has issued a new catalogue of The Illustrated Book and Book Illustration. This is truly a catalogue for those who believe a picture is worth a thousand words. It includes some antiquarian and rare illustrated books, titles about old illustrated books, and catalogues of such collections, including numerous auction catalogues of important collections. Offered are nearly 400 items in the field, of which these are just a few.

Item 120 is Inleydingh Tot De Practijk Der Al-Gemeene Schilder-kost... a 17th century Dutch instructional on painting by Willem Goeree. This is a rare first edition published in 1670. Of course, this was the time of the Dutch Masters, including such well-known names as Rembrandt. A Dutch treatise on painting at this time would be important, and it is likely some of the noted painters of the era would have consulted Goeree's book. However, Goeree was not himself a notable painter, his primary occupations being printer, writer and bookseller. Nevertheless, he was able to provide this manual on painting, which also includes a history of painting and advice on making one's name known to the public. Priced at €1,200 (Euros, or roughly $1,622 in U.S. dollars).

Item 119 is an unusual book of decorative art: Vignettes Decoratives Dans Le Gout Du Jour by Henri Gillet. This a collection of beautiful designs in the "taste of the day," which in this case was 1922. There are 30 hand-colored plates of these colorful art-nouveau designs. They feature either vividly contrasting colors, or nuanced shades of one color. €600 ($811).

Item 60 offers an unusual privately created album, compiled by an unknown person. It consists of 142 decorative letters cut from titles and other pages of 17th and 18th century books. Ouch! Those books were probably not that valuable when Mr. Scissorhands did his work. It provides an interesting survey, although Knuf notes, "one can question the method he used by cutting up books." €750 ($1,014).

Here is another book composed of earlier books, though this one consists of much larger pieces, and was published as a catalogue in this form. It is a specimen book of titles published by Edmond Biendiné et Cie of Paris, probably published in or shortly after 1852. This printer published reprints of books popular at the time under the Biendiné and other names (A. Courcier, J. Poulain). There are 21 samples, and the typical one includes original samples of the wraps, half-title, title, three plates, and four to eight pages of text. Item 320. €1,200 ($1,622).

For those who collect illustrations of animals, item 30 is the Bodleian Picture Book No. 4 from the Bodleian Library in 1951. It is titled Zoological Illustration. €15 ($20). Item 181 is The Animal Illustrated 1550-1900. From the Collections of the New York Public Library. This collection of 100 descriptions and illustrations of animals was published in 1991. €30 ($40).

Item 37 is a guide on perspective in painting and architecture by Abraham Bossé: Le peintre converty aux precises et universelles regles de son art. It is presented in the form of a dialogue between the author and various others. Bossé was a popular illustrator of the 17th century with over a thousand engravings to his name. Bossé was forced from his job at the Royal Academy in France as a result of some disagreements, and he includes his side of this story in his book. Published in 1667. €2,500 ($3,380).

Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books may be reached at 0033 (0) 254 722 656 (France) or info@fritsknuf.com. Their website is www.fritsknuf.com.

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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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