Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2010 Issue

Antiquarian Texts from Leo Cadogan Rare Books

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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>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 Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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