• <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Joyce (James), <i>Ulysses,</i> 4to, Paris: (Shakespeare & Co.) 1922, First Edn. €7,000 to €9,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Of the Utmost Rarity with Swift Association. Harward (Michael). <i>Philomath. A New Almanack for the Year of Our Lord,</i> 1666. €6,000 to €9,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Full Complement of Hand Coloured & Other Plates. Rosellini (Ippolito). <i>Monumenti dell Egitto e della Nubia,</i> Vols. I, II, & III Plate Volumes only. €5,000 to €7,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Magnificent Hand Coloured Plates. [Bivort, Debabay, & others] <i>Annales de Pomologie,</i> 8 vols., folio, Brussels, 1853-1861. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Very Fine Coloured Plates & Illustrations. Barbier (George) Vogel (Lucien) & others, <i>Gazette du Bon Ton - Arts-modes et frivolities, </i> 1914 to 1922. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> “I have seen War... I hate War," Signed Presentation Copy to William C. Bullitt, Roosevelt (Franklin D.) August 14, 1936. €3,000 to €4,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Victorian Hostess & Horticulturist. An Important Collection Relating to Lady Dorothy Nevill (1826-1913). €2,500 to €3,200.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Fine Original Portrait Photos of The O'Brien Ladies by Margaret Cameron. Two black and white Photos, each 8" x 10". €1,200 to €1,800.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> James Hume Nesbitt Illustrations: A collection of twelve pen and ink Drawings and Etchings intended for publication as book of illustrations for his thriller novels. €800 to €1,200.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Attributed to Kitagawa Utamavo (1753-1806). A pair of attractive colourful woodblock prints, of Court Ladies in decorative robes with numerous stamps and script. €800 to €1,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Contemporaneous Notes from Captain Cook's Voyage Travel: [Anon] <i>Voyage to the South Sea by Mr. Banks, Mr. Parkinson and Dr. Solender, with Capt. Cooke,</i> a 7 page m/ss document. €700 to €1,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Very Rare First U.K. Edition with Yellow Paper Band. Herbert (Frank). <i>Dune,</i> 8vo London (Victor Gollancz Ltd.) 1966. €500 to €700.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>English Literature, History, Science,<br>Children’s Books and Illustrations<br>1 – 8 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> JAMES OF MILAN | <i>Pricking of love,</i> illuminated manuscript in Middle English [England, fifteenth century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> BEARDSLEY | <i>The Toilet of Helen,</i> original ink drawing for Savoy, 1895. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DICKENS | <i>A Christmas Carol,</i> 1844, seventh edition, presentation copy inscribed by the author. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>English Literature, History, Science,<br>Children’s Books and Illustrations<br>1 – 8 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DARWIN | <i>For Private Distribution... Extracts from Letters addressed to Professor Henslow...,</i> 1835, original wrappers. £70,000 to £90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DEFOE | Autograph manuscript poem, 'Resignation', 1708. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> GRAHAME | <i>The Wind in the Willows,</i> 1908, first edition, dust-jacket. £12,000 to £16,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits<br>7 – 15 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> [RELIURE BRODÉE]. <i>Horae beatissimae...</i> Anvers, 1570. Reliure brodée de la Renaissance aux armes du duc d'Anjou. €50,000 to €70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> ARTOIS, comte d', futur Charles X. 75 lettres autographes au comte de Vaudreuil entre 1792 et 1804. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> [Pascal, Blaise]. <i>Lettres de A. Dettonville ...</i> Paris, 1658-1659. Rarissime édition originale en reliure de l'époque. €30,000 to €50,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits<br>7 – 15 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Aragon, Louis. Ens. de 8 ouvrages avec envois à Jacques Lacan, dont "Blanche et l'oubli", 1967, sur grand papier. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Fermat, Pierre de. <i>Varia opera mathematica.</i> Toulouse,1679. Petit in-folio. Edition originale. De la bibliothèque de Jacques Lacan. €6,000 to €8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Leduc, Violette. <i>La Bâtarde.</i> 1958-1963. Important manuscrit autographe, premier jet. 20 cahiers, env 2048 p. ms. €40,000 to €60,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2016 Issue

Back from the Brink: The Trial of Episcopacy

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It is becoming easier to trace the history of specific copies

I recently purchased a copy of The Trial of Episcopacy printed in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1817.  There is no author as such but in the author’s place it reads Reported by R. C. C., A. M. [in pencil noted “otherwise known to be Reverend Dr. William Smith”].  This book was posted on eBay with minimal description and a parenthetical notation that the author is actually John Reed.  It was interesting.

 

Here is the listing:

 

Trial of Episcopacy reported by R.C.C., (John Reed).  An acceptable 4 x 6 inch leather hard cover printing from P. & S. Potter in Poughkeepsie. N.Y.  Leather 1st HC (1817).

 

An 1817 4 x 6 inch leather hard cover printing from P. & S. Potter in Poughkeepsie, NY in acceptable condition with library marks, no front free endpaper, weak hinges, chips and tears in spine cover, no marks in text pages, 200 pages.  Author was the Rector of Christ's Church in Poughkeepsie, NY and wrote this as the recorder of a fictional meeting of representatives of the major religions discussing aspects of their religions. An apology for the Episcopal Church. 

 

Two images provided show a harried binding and the title and facing page.  Not described but visible on one image is the page that prompts this story, the page facing the title.  It make me wonder about its history.

 

There are two bookplates.  The older of the two is the modest but important “Brinley” marker with shelf number, 6163.  The other is a bookplate that reads:

 

Crozer Theological Seminary

Bucknell Library

From the library

Of

Hon. Horatio Gates Jones

 

Brinley is George Brinley, an important 19th century book collector.  Here is the description of him found in the Dictionary of American Book Collectors authored by Donald C. Dickinson [1986).

 

“Brinley, George (b. May 17, 1817, Boston, Mass.; d. May 15, 1875, Hamilton,

 

BRINLEY,George (b. May 17, 1817 Boston, Mass.; d. May 15, 1875, Hamilton, Bermuda).  Collection Disposition [in five sales]:  Leavitt, March 10, 1879, March 22, 1880, April 4, 1881, November 15, 1886; Libbie, April 18, 1893.

 

“After spending his early years in Boston, Brinley moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where he established himself as an important landowner.  He was a shrewd farmer, a domineering parent, and an avid bibliophile.  By the time he was twenty-eight, Brinley had secured a large collection of American Indian materials owned by Boston bookseller Samuel G. Drake.  Eight days before an announced auction, Brinley made private arrangements with Drake and took the entire lot.  At the same time, he was buying energetically from the John Pickering* and Gabriel Furman** sales.   Outside the auction rooms, his collecting techniques were original and effective.  He found numerous rare pamphlets in the “waste paper” that had been turned over to paper mills for processing, and he also made a habit of travelling the back roads of New England in his buggy, trading pots and pans for books.  Never one to limit himself to a single mode of supply, Brinley engaged the enterprising Henry Stevens of London to act as his agent for Americana as it appeared on the British book market.  Since Stevens had already established business relations with John Carter Brown and James Lenox, two very energetic and knowledgeable collectors, Brinley’s position was less than advantageous.  In a number of cases, however, Brinley was able to secure fine items in spite of the competition.  After Lenox and Brown had both refused John Winthrop’s signed copy of the 1645 Declaration of Former Passages and Proceedings Betwixt the English and the Narrow-gansets, Brinley bought it for $50,  When Lenox eventually decided it was worth owning, he had to pay four times the original price at the Brinley sale.  The most dramatic instance of Brinley’s intelligent book-scouting came with his purchase of more than 275 choice examples of the writing of Richard, Increase, and Cotton Mather from Stevens after they had been refused by Brown, Lenox, and the British Museum.  When the British Museum turned down a copy of the Bay Psalm Book, Brinley was quick to pick it up, although he called it a “dirty little book.”  In 1873 Stevens capped all his other transactions with Brinley by selling him the Erfurt copy of the Gutenberg Bible.  In addition to these high points, Brinley held remarkable runs of early almanacs and colonial histories.  Although he favored materials that dealt with the Northeast, he built sound holdings on the South, the Old Northwest, and Mexico, all of which gave his library breadth and importance.”

 

The distribution of the Brinley library, at what has been referred to as the first great book sale* in America, took place in New York from March 10, 1879, continuing in several sessions until April 1893.  The catalog, carefully prepared by Brinley’s old friend and bibliographic consultant James H. Trumbull, furnished a rich fare.  Returns were excellent, with the Mather items bringing particularly high returns.  At the third sale, Hamilton Cole bought the Gutenberg Bible for $8,000, with Brayton Ives as under bidder.  It was a moment to remember.  In an unusual directive, Brinley provided five historical societies and libraries with a $5,000*** credit to be used against purchases in the sale.  This generous act enabled the chosen institutions to make a number of significant purchases that otherwise would have been beyond their means.  Brinley’s reputation as a collector rests on his thorough understanding of Americana and his energy in obtaining important items.  In Robert Roden’s Cambridge Press 1639-1692, several rare tracts were annotated with the comment “Even Brinley could not find a copy.”  These notes stand as an appropriate compliment to one of America’s greatest collectors.”

 

Mr. Brinley had some great books including a Gutenberg Bible.  His Gutenberg brought $8,000 in 1881, The Trial of Episcopacy $0.60 cents.  The next Gutenberg, assuming it’s complete in an early binding, should bring $50,000,000 and by inference “The Trial…” $3,250 but perhaps not.  For starters, there are 49 identified Gutenbergs worldwide.  The Trial is incomparably more rare although it takes a second look in the OCLC to see it.  The Poughkeepsie edition of The Trial of Episcopacy is found in many libraries but it turns out most are eCopies.  It in fact appears there is fewer than half the number of the almost-too-common Gutenberg Bible.  So perhaps the eBay copy is worth more than $3,250.

 

The recent seller, Better World Books, didn’t think so.  They priced their copy to start at $4.95.  I placed a bid as the lot was expiring and bought it for the starting price.

 

Once I received it I researched its Crozer Theological Seminary bookplate that contains the following “From the Library of Hon. Horatio Gates Jones,” a Pennsylvania lawyer whose father, the Reverend David Jones, was a storied participant in the Revolutionary War.

 

Mr. Jones [the younger] would pass away in 1893 and sometime after [but by 1920] find that this copy of the Trial of Episcopacy bearing his identification had been gifted to the Crozer Theological Seminary, an institution Mr. Jones served as Board Secretary. 

 

Some forty years later the Crozer Theological Seminary merged with another Baptist Seminary.

 

That institution, the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, would themselves disperse their valuable books in the following decades and in 2005 ask David Szewczyk and Cynthia Buffington of Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts for help to sell the rest.  While some would go to auction, others including this one, would apparently be lotted and sold.  As to what was paid it’s unknown as the number of books disposed was enormous and the price received modest.

 

A decade later this book was tiptoeing toward oblivion, its passage unknown but its destination determined:  Better World Books where, as one of the tens of thousands of books they convert each year from ink and paper to money to be used for charitable purposes, posted it on eBay where I bought it for $4.95.

 

As to how Mr. Brinley came by his copy the mystery may be resolved by a careful reading of his private papers now held by the Connecticut Historical Society.  These papers haven’t yet been digitized but they are open for inspection [by request].

 

In the mean time two sales Mr. Brinley bought at have been identified and I expect, when we locate them, that they will be added to the RBH Transaction Database.  They are:

 

**John Pickering’s “Philological, classical and law library” sold by Leonard beginning on September 15th, 1846.  [3,697 lots]

 

To be Sold by Auction, by Howe, Leonard & Co., Auctioneers, No. 37 Tremont Row, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, September 15, 16, 17 & 18; and Continued on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, September 22, 23, 24, & 25

 

*** The sale of Judge Gabriel Furman’s (1756-1844) material that was sold at two sales:

 

Catalogue of an extensive and valuable private Library.  Gurley, November 30,1846.  [2,294 lots]

 

Bibliotheca Americana.  Remaining Collection.  Cooley, May 15th, 1849.  [703 lots]

 

Perhaps among the lots we’ll find The Trial of Episcopacy. 

 

So there you have it.    Today the Gutenberg is worshipped and the Trial of Episcopacy mostly forgotten.  But it turns out that even modest books have their histories.  It makes the field great fun.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Bernardus Sylvanus, one of the earliest printed maps of the New World, woodcut, Venice, 1511. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Johannes Blaeu, <i>Nova et Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula,</i> Amsterdam, 1662. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Emanuel Bowen & John Gibson, <i>Atlas Minimus,</i> miniature atlas, London, 1758. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Henry Andrews, <i>The Botanist's Repository for New & Rare Plants,</i> London, 1797-1815. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> John James Audubon, <i>Night Heron or Qua Bird, Plate CCXXXVI,</i> hand-colored aquatint, 1835. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Basilius Besler, group of 30 folio engravings, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> Eichstatt, 1613. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Henri Chatelain, <i>Carte Tres Curieuse de la Mer du Sud...,</i> Amsterdam, 1719. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Arnoldus Montanus, <i>Die Unbekante Neue Welt...,</i> German text edition, Amsterdam, 1673. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> BULLER, Walter Lawry. <i>A HISTORY OF THE BIRDS OF NEW ZEALAND.</i> London, Van Voorst, 1873. Special De-Luxe edition of this already rare work.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> GIBBS, May. <i>Gum-Nut Babies.</i> Sydney: Angus and Robertson, Ca. 1918.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> SWIFT, Jonathan. <i>TRAVELS INTO SEVERAL REMOTE NATIONS OF THE WORLD.</i> London: Printed for Benj.Motte. 1727.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> JUKES, Joseph Beete. <i>NARRATIVE OF THE SURVEYING VOYAGE OF H.M.S. FLY…</i> London: T. & W. Boone, 1847. First Edition.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> <i>SOMERVILLE, E OE. IN THE VINE COUNTRY.</i> London: W H Allen & Co Limited, 1893.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> MAWE, John. <i>The voyager’s companion, or shell collector’s pilot.</i> London : 1825. Rare.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> PARKINSON, John. <i>Theatrum Botanicum, The Theater of Plants…</i> London, Thomas Cotes, 1640.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> c. 1150 decorated MONASTIC MISSAL LEAF, Southern Germany/Austria.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> LEGGE, Captain W. Vincent. <i>A HISTORY OF THE BIRDS OF CEYLON.</i> London, The Author, 1880.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> AUNT HANNAH. <i>SOME ADVENTURES IN THE LIFE OF A COCKATOO.</i> Published in New York by R. Shugg and Co., 1872.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> SHERBURNE, BRANTZ, and WIRGMAN. The Original Drawings of the First Modern Scientific Survey of the Patapsco River and Chesapeake Bay. $350,000 to $500,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> LAFON, Barthelemy. The Earliest Comprehensive Survey of Louisiana and its Adjacent Regions. $350,000 to $450,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Giacomo GASTALDI. The Most Important Renaissance Wall Map of Asia Published in the 16th Century – with all four sheets having full margins. $300,000 to $400,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> CAO, Junyi. The Most Important Map of China to Come to Market in 50 Years. One of only three known copies of the last Ming Dynasty world map. $325,000 to $375,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> ORTELIUS, Abraham. Ortelius Atlas Spanish 1588 Magnificently Rich Original Hand Color in Full. $225,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> An Exceptionally Fine and Historically Important Manuscript Map Showing the Origins of Texas in the 19th Century. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> PRICE, William and BONNER, John. Map of Boston 1769. $225,000 to $325,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> John James AUDUBON. Audubon’s Brilliant Icon, That Has Never Been Equaled for Drama. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Pierre-Joseph REDOUTE. Original Watercolor, Red Lily. $175,000 to $250,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> John James AUDUBON. The Most Famous Image of a Bird in All of History. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Martin WALDSEEMULLER. The Finest Example in Existence of Martin Waldseemuller’s Map of the New World, with Spectacular Full Original Color. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> GORDON, Peter. The First State of the First View of Savannah: The Template for American Urban Planning. $100,000 to $150,000.

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