Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2009 Issue

Primarily English Firsts from I.D. Edrich's "Study"

Edrichstudy

From the


By Michael Stillman

I.D. Edrich of the U.K. has followed up with its catalogues from various rooms with The "Study" Catalogue of Mainly Modern Firsts. As they explain, these are books housed in their so-called "study" (the last Edrich catalogue featured items from the "Bridge" room). Since I cannot ascertain why books are housed in one room versus another, we will content ourselves with their description that most of the books in this catalogue are "first English editions." Of course, "first English" can be tricky, as it could mean first edition published in the English language, or first edition published in England. In perusing the over 600 items being offered, I would say there are some of each, but that the overwhelming majority qualify under both definitions of "first English." So, let's take a look inside for some samples of what is available.

Here is a book that definitely qualifies as first English only in the sense of the first edition published in the U.K. It is Henry David Thoreau's tale of rural solitude concisely titled Walden. First published in the U.S. in 1854, it took until 1886 for a British edition to make its way to the shelves. By that time, Thoreau was long gone, and Walden Pond was on its way to becoming part of the Boston suburbs. Offered is the rare first printing of this British edition. Item 479. Priced at £365 (British pounds, or approximately $540 U.S. dollars).

For those who collect, if not live in an Orwellian universe, Edrich has first editions of George Orwell's two most familiar works. Item 44 is a copy of Animal Farm, published in 1945. It starts out as a utopian farm when the animals overthrow their human masters, but this socialist ideal world falls apart as the animals' "human" nature takes over. £1,500 (US $2,220). Item 45 is a first of Nineteen Eighty-Four, a then future world (the book was published in 1949) when a supposedly beneficent totalitarian regime exerts total control over its people. £900 (US $1,331).

Item 326 is a tale of farm life in the late 19th century: The Story of an African Farm. This, too, is a fictional farm, but a little more believable as the main characters are humans. Olive Schreiner grew up on farms in South Africa, and she uses her experience to introduce feminist concerns long before that was popular. However, in a bow to the times, her book was published pseudonymously under the name "Ralph Iron." The book was finally made into a film a few years ago, but that movie, like the book, is a bit obscure. Offered is a first edition from 1883 of a book considered quite rare. Item 326. £1,200 (US $1,775).

Item 24 is a look at the United States in 1833 by Prince Achille Murat. Murat was a Crown Prince of Naples, nephew of Napoleon, who had been exiled from his kingdom. He settled in Florida, where he lived out his life, publishing his letters home in the form of a book: A Moral and Political Sketch of the United States of America in 1833. He provides a look at the country at the time, but perhaps his most notable opinion was his defense of southern slavery. This was a great exception for visitors from Europe where slavery was already outlawed. Murat makes an argument that society should hold up relationships, such as he sees slavery, that are good for it, though acknowledging that the slave is not obligated to recognize the relationship. In other words, rebel if you will, but don't expect any help, or any moral approbation to be directed toward your master. Besides which, he claims, the power and luxury, including freedom to spend time appreciating the arts, rather than working the fields, makes "...the southern planter one of the most perfect models of the human race." £785 (US $1,161).

Item 334 is an interesting title: The History of Corporal Punishment. This book is described as, "A survey of flagellation in its historical, anthropological and sociological aspects." I might feel better about the serious educational purposes of author G.R. Scott were there not other books written by him offered in this catalogue with the titles Phallic Worship and The Sex Life of Man and Woman. Offered is a second edition published in 1938. £35 (US $52).

I.D. Edrich may be reached at 020 8989 9541 or idedrich@idedrich.co.uk. Their website is found at www.idedrich.co.uk.

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:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000

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