Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2010 Issue

Antiquarian Texts from Leo Cadogan Rare Books

Cadogan3

A collection of antiquarian works from Leo Cadogan.


By Michael Stillman

London bookseller Leo Cadogan Rare Books has issued Catalogue Three - Spring 2010. Cadogan offers a variety of antiquarian texts, most from continental Europe, and mostly very old (16th-18th century). Matters of church are the most common, but others cover state, law, science, business, education, and whatever else might have been on people's minds in those long ago times. We will take a look at some of these rare, and sometimes unusual, items.

You might think environmental regulations are something new, but this decree from Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, says otherwise. His Decreto delli Molto Magnifici adopted laws that "the mountainous places are not ruined, and remain thick and full of that great quantity of trees which Nature itself gives for their ornament and covering." However, the Grand Duke did provide for some balance, offering moderation of the laws' effect by reducing fines in certain Alpine communities. The date of this proclamation was 1569. Item 86. Priced at £340 (British pounds, or about $522 in U.S. dollars).

Item 25 is a 1719 dissertation on widowhood by Dietrich Ekard, Legem Hiddae de sacco... The author notes medieval law from his hometown of Eilenburg that required a widow be sewn into a sack before remarrying. Cadogan does not explain the logic behind this law, but undoubtedly it makes perfect sense. Among other issues raised is whether a widow is still married if her husband is resuscitated, perhaps something we should be giving more thought to with the prevalence of such things as heart defibrillators. If a husband or wife technically "dies" for a few moments, can the spouse legally claim his/her freedom (and inheritance)? £340 (US $522).

Item 41 is a medical dissertation, Dissertationem historico-physicam... by Friedrich Jahn. This is a 1674 second edition (first was 1667) of what Cadogan describes as an "unusual meteorological treatise." It deals with unusual types of rainfall, including cloudbursts of falling blood, flesh, wool, frogs, metals, milk, and bread. These accounts came from the 16th and 17th centuries in various countries, and evidently, Jahn took them quite seriously. He figures they may have had supernatural causes, a reasonable assumption under the circumstances, and that they could either come from God or the Devil. I would guess the milk and bread probably came from God, but the flesh and blood likely had the other source. Jahn also tries to figure out what these events portend for the future. £375 (US $576).

Item 54 is a lengthy, apparently unpublished manuscript biography of Pope Sixtus V (and though it has been over 400 years since his papacy, no Pope has yet selected the name Sixtus the Sixth). Sixtus had been on the outs with the previous Pope, but once elevated in 1585, he quickly took charge. He cleaned up the enormous amount of crime in the Papal States, although even the Catholic Encyclopedia says he at times used "excessive cruelty." He quickly put the Church's finances, left in shambles by his predecessor, in order, while still managing to spend great sums on improving public works. He raised taxes and sold public offices to pay for them, and when he died just five years later, the treasury had a large surplus. Sixtus hoped to see the end of Queen Elizabeth's rule in England, and stood ready to provide aid to the Spanish Armada had they been successful against Britain. Instead, their terrible defeat took place during his papacy. Sixtus had many other projects on his mind, such as defeating the Turks, conquering Egypt, and bringing major changes to the Jesuits whom he distrusted, but death stepped in the way in 1590. This 248-page biography was created in Italy around 1700. £950 (US $1,459).

Here is another one of those scientific works that make you wonder about the quality of science at the time: De transformatione hominum in bruta... by Friedrich Moebius. This is a 1673 academic thesis on the transformation of men to animals, wolves in particular. Much of the responsibility for this was apparently placed on the Devil. Item 59. £475 (US $730).

Item 17 is a document confirming the appointment of one Sieur de la Rue as a customs magistrate in Bruges, Belguim, in 1787. Along with his salary, the magistrate was granted a tax exemption on 16 1/2 sesters of wine (a sester is around a quart) and 400 tonnes of beer. That's a lot of beer, especially for a judge, who is supposed to be sober as one. £325 (US $499).

Leo Cadogan Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0) 20 7607 3190 or leo@leocadogan.com. The website is found at www.leocadogan.com.

You will find many of Leo Cadogan's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site. Click here.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions