Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2009 Issue

New "Books About Books" and Bibliography from Oak Knoll

Oakknoll289

New "books about books" and bibliographies from Oak Knoll.


By Michael Stillman


Oak Knoll Books has issued its first catalogue of the new year, Catalogue 289 of their long-running series. As with most of their catalogues, it offers items in the field of "books about books" and bibliography. Oak Knoll has evidently been acquiring new inventory as this catalogue is filled with books we have not seen before. Here are a few of the items offered in this latest collection.

Item 41 is a copy of the first bookbinding manual written by an American: Manual of the Art of Bookbinding... by James B. Nicholson. This is a first edition published in 1856. Nicholson was well equipped to provide the advice he offered to both the professional and collector/amateur binder as he operated a bookbinding business in Philadelphia. Priced at $850.

For those who appreciate quality bindings, your idol could only be French book collector Jean Grolier. Grolier was the 16th century collector who sent his books to the best binders of the day. Today, over 600 of the books from his library are known to still exist and they are, naturally, quite collectible. Item 114 is an account of Grolier's famous library by Le Roux de Lincy, published in 1866: Recherches sur Jean Golier sur la Vie et sa Bibliotheque... It carries the bookplate of noted American collector Edwin Holden, former President of New York's ... Grolier Club. Item 114. $650.

Item 69 is an excellent resource for those who collect the last continent not covered by ice to be discovered: Book Collector's Notes on Items Relating to the Discovery of Australia, by Rodney Davidson, published in 1970. It is a guide to collecting early Australia, including the "Terra Australis Incognita" of the pre-Cook days and the first explorations and settlements of the continent. This is one of 250 copies and is signed by the author. $100.

Item 119 is a comprehensive set of the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, with a most notable book collecting pedigree. It is the Complete Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, 13 volumes published in 1883. This is from the limited large paper edition (250 copies) and each volume contains the bookplate of Robert Hoe, probably the most important American collector of the 19th century. $1,500.

How much do you know about Nova Scotia? It's probably a lot less than did Robert R. McLeod. Fortunately, he compiled his knowledge of this Atlantic Canadian province a century ago in Markland or Nova Scotia, Its History, Natural Resources and Native Beauties. Published in 1903, this book will tell you about the province's history, geology, Indians, mines, agriculture, schools, government and much more. It was designed for businessmen, tourists and sportsmen alike. Item 189. $150.

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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