Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2010 Issue

Early English Books from Krown and Spellman, Booksellers

Krown47

Early English Books from Krown and Spellman.


By Michael Stillman

This month we have received our first catalogue from Krown and Spellman, Booksellers, of Culver City, California. However, they are hardly new to the trade, having been in the book business for over 30 years. Krown and Spellman can certainly be described as an "antiquarian bookseller," as they specialize in titles printed before 1750. With such early books, it could be hard to fill the shelves with just items printed in America, so what we have here is a collection that might otherwise be unexpected for a California seller: Catalogue 47. Early English Books. Part I, A-J. This catalogue is filled with works about the issues of the day 300-400 years and more ago. England was a very different place then. Scholars argued theology, theologians debated witchcraft, physicians practiced primitive medicine, people were executed for their beliefs, and people behaved badly with members of the opposite sex (well, that last one hasn't changed all that much). Here are a few of the early English books you may find today in sunny California.

Item 64 is a 1664 second edition of Robert Boyle's Some Considerations Touching the Usefulness of Experimental Naturall Philosophy. Boyle was one of the greatest minds of the 17th century, a chemist, physicist, student of medicine, philosopher, and theologian. He is generally regarded as one of if not the founder of modern chemistry. However, it may be his attitude toward science that was his greatest contribution. He was an empiricist, a follower of the scientific method who reached conclusions based on what he saw. That might seem obvious today, but back then, the standard was to figure things out "rationally," and if what seemed to be rational conflicted with what you saw, then it must be your eyes that deceive. Boyle was rational enough to see past that. Priced at $1,850.

Here is a book that is definitely dated: Panacea; Or The Universal Medicine, Being A Discovery of the Wonderfull Vertues of Tobacco Taken in a Pipe, With Its Operation and Use both in Physick and Chrurgery. It seems hard to believe now, but back in 1659, when this first English edition by Giles Everaert (Gilles Everard) was published, tobacco was not only thought not to be harmful, but something of a cure-all medicine. The 1587 first Latin edition of this work was the first book devoted entirely to tobacco. Everard thought the curative powers of tobacco were so great that "...the very smoke of it is held to be a great antidote against all venome and pestilential diseases." Today tobacco is recognized as, if not the cause of all of these diseases, a contributing factor to a great many. Item 172. $1,750.

Item 210 is an unusual title from a man who might seem a contradiction by today's standards: Sadducismus Triumphatus: Or, full and plain Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions. Joseph Glanvill was a tolerant and humane man as well as a believer in scientific investigation. Nevertheless, he was also a believer in witchcraft, and his views were employed by Cotton Mather and others of less noble purposes in Salem, Massachusetts. However, Glanvill's belief in witches was based more on a belief in the spirit world, in turn based on the Bible. As evil spirits were mentioned in the Bible, he believed their denial amounted to a denial of the Bible and the existence of God. So this otherwise scientific investigator became bound to argue that witches were real, supporting his claims with "scientific" evidence taken from people who had claimed to observe witchcraft. Offered is a second edition from 1682. $1,250.

Speaking of the supernatural, item 142 is The History Of The Life And Adventures Of Mr. Duncan Campbell, A Gentleman who tho' Deaf and Dumb, writes down any Stranger's Name at first Sight: with their future Contingencies of Fortune. Evidently, the deaf and dumb Mr. Campbell managed to convince people of means that he possessed supernatural powers, so they came to him for readings, willingly paying the soothsayer whatever he demanded. This 1720 book has been attributed to either Daniel Dafoe or William Bond. Dafoe wrote at least one other title about Campbell. Dafoe is best known for his novel Robinson Crusoe, though he wrote reams of other not as well regarded material along the way as he sought to make a living. This book was published by Edward Curll, the notorious scandalmongering London publisher/bookseller. $750.

Krown and Spellman, Booksellers, may be reached at 310-842-9434 or krownspl@pacbell.net. Their website is found at www.krownspellman.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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Jean de Mandeville, <i>Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land,</i> Strassburg, 1488. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Titus Livius, <i>Las Quatorze Decadas,</i> Zaragoza, 1520. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Printed <i>Book of Hours</i> with 20 full-page illustrations, Paris, 1509. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Jean La Fontaine, <i>Fables Choisies, mises en Vers,</i> first editions, Paris, 1668. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Giovanni Boccaccio, <i>De las mujeres illustres en romance,</i> Zaragoza, 1494. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Giovanni Boccaccio, third edition of the first published work of female biography, Louvain, 1487. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> José González Cabrera Bueno, <i>Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica,</i> Manila, 1734. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Andreas Vesalius, <i>Icones Anatomicae,</i> Munich, Bremer Press, 1934. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Joseph Boneta y Laplana, <i>Gritos del Purgatorio, y Medios para acallarlos,</i> Manila, 1711. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <center><b> The Library of Pierre Bergé<br>Auction Pierre Bergé & Associés<br>in association with Sotheby’s<br>Paris-Hôtel Drout<br>December 14, 2018<br><br>New York Exhibition<br>Oct. 16 to Oct. 20</b>
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> BARTHOLOMEUS ANGLICUS. <i>Le Proprietaire des choses.</i> Lyon, [circa 1484]. 150 000 / 200 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> MONTAIGNE, Michel de. <i>Essais.</i> Bordeaux, 1580. 400 000 / 500 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> PROUST, Marcel. <i>Du côté de chez Swann.</i> Paris, 1914 [1913]. 600 000 / 800 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> MONSTRELET, Enguerrand de. <i>Le Premier [-Tiers] Volume des Cronicques.</i> Paris, circa 1503.<br>300 000 / 400 000 €

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