Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2004 Issue

One Hundred Plus One<br>Rare Books from Charles Wood

Dubois de Chemant’s teeth form an almost Picasso style face.


By Michael Stillman

From Charles Wood Bookseller comes his latest catalogue, and we can already see that, years from now, people will be collecting variants of this item. On the cover it is called “One Hundred Rare Books,” but on the title page, it is “101 Rare Books.” This is an instant collectible. Those who order the catalogue based on the cover will be pleased to discover they have received a bonus, for there are 101 listings in all.

Among the topics covered in the catalogue are art, architecture, trade catalogues, printing and coloring, as well as numerous other subjects. The greatest concentration of works is from the 19th century.

Among the unusual trade catalogues is one from the Paris firm A. Biloret & C. Mora. It is filled with various electronic and manual gadgets, some with hand-colored illustrations. Among the items sold are batteries, magnets, electric clocks, electric powered model water pumps and locomotives, ear trumpets and more. All of this in 1880. Item 5. Priced at $4,000. Item 5 is a catalogue from the Atchison Furniture Company of Atchison, Kansas. It includes styles of furniture that were popular in 1880. $1,100. Item 76 is a catalogue of druggists labels. For those druggists who prepared their own potions, rather than relying on branded medicines, they could order up a bunch of professional looking labels that could compete in stature with Lydia Pinkham. $1,400. If you had a horse, and who didn’t in 1895, you would have appreciated Moseman’s illustrated guide for purchasers of horse furnishing goods, novelties and stable appointments, imported and domestic. It had saddles, muzzles, halters, boots, bits, whips, even polo goods. Everything necessary for the well-furnished horse. Item 59. $1,350.

Item 26 is A dissertation on artificial teeth in general, exposing the defects and injurious consequences of all teeth made of animal substances… This catalogue was published by Nicolas Dubois de Chemant, a French dentist who had moved to London to promote his process for producing porcelain artificial teeth. Charles Wood describes the appliances as “very sophisticated, if terrifying.” This was 1797, so it’s hard to imagine the dentistry being anything but terrifying. However, while Dubois de Chemant’s false teeth are not remembered, he ought to get credit for his artistry. If you look at the image from his catalogue to the left, you will see he was the inventor of the artistic style adopted over a century later by Pablo Picasso. $2,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD

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