• <center><b>Il Ponte Casa d'Aste<br>Books and Manuscripts<br>26 January 2021</b>
    <center><b>Il Ponte Casa d'Aste<br>Books and Manuscripts<br>26 January 2021</b>
    <center><b>Il Ponte Casa d'Aste<br>Books and Manuscripts<br>26 January 2021</b>
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>28 January 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Schedel (Hartmann). <i>Liber Chronicarum,</i> first edition, Nuremberg, Anton Koberger for Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kammermeister, 1493. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> [Greek Orthodox Church].- <i>Menaion,</i> manuscript in Greek, on paper, in Greek letters, [Eastern Mediterranean], [c. 1400]. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> American Revolution.- Loyalist's cow powder horn, engraved with the cypher "GR" for George III surmounted by a crown, an inscription, and on reverse an engraving of the "North River" [Hudson River], 1777. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>28 January 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Illuminated prayer book.- <i>Maria Carcer y Trigueros... Santa Misa y Oraciones,</i> illuminated manuscript in Spanish, on paper, [c. 1850]. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Hardy (Thomas). <i>The Mayor of Casterbridge,</i> 2 vol., first edition in book form, original cloth, 1886. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> [Austen (Jane)]. <i>Emma: A Novel,</i> first edition, Printed for John Murray, 1816. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>28 January 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Brontë (Charlotte). <i>Jane Eyre. An Autobiography,</i> 3 vol., first edition, Smith, Elder and Co., 1847. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Cruikshank (George). <i>The Road to the Derby,</i> one of two proof copies, Raphael Tuck & Sons, 1882. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Meunier (Charles, binder).- Gruel (Leon). <i>Manuel Historique et Bibliographique de l'Amateur de Reliures,</i> 2 vol., Paris, 1887.-1905. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>28 January 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Burne-Jones (Sir Edward). <i>The Work of Edward Burne-Jones,</i> edited by Philip Burne-Jones, one of 200 copies, [c.1900]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Nazraeli Press.- <i>Six by Six,</i> 36 vol. [a complete set], one of 100 sets, each with signed photograph, Portland, Or., 2010-16. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 28:</b> Australasia.- Péron (Francois) and Freycinet. <i>Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes,</i> 5 vol. including Atlas, second edition, Paris, 1824. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>January Auction<br>January 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>Carolina Parrot, Plate 26.</i> London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838. $125,000 to $175,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>Fish Hawk or Osprey, Plate 81.</i> London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838. $145,000 to $175,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>Brown Pelican, Plate 421.</i> London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838. $75,000 to $100,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>January Auction<br>January 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> DE BRY, Johann Theodore, attributed to. Pair of Watercolor studies of Tulips. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> FUERTES, Louis Agassiz. <i>Alaskan Brown Bear.</i> Watercolor and gouache on board. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> HILL, Thomas. <i>Big Trees.</i> Oil on canvas. c. 1903. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>January Auction<br>January 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> GOULD, John. <i>A Monograph of the Macropodidae or Family of Kangaroos.</i> London: by the author, August 1st 1841-May 1st 1842. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> GOULD, John. <i>A Monograph of the Odontophorinae, or Partridges of America.</i> London: Richard and John E. Taylor for the Author, [1844]-1850. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> JANSSONIUS, Joannes. <i>Atlantis majoris quinta pars, orbem maritimum seu omnium marium…</i> Amsterdam: Joannes Janssonius, 1652. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>January Auction<br>January 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> DONCKER, Hendrik. <i>De Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Waereld, vertoonende alle de Zee-Kusten van het bekende deel des Aerd-Bodems.</i> Amsterdam: Henrick Doncker, [1658-1665]. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> BURR, David. <i>Map of the City and County of New York with the Adjacent Country.</i> Engraved map with original hand color. Ithaca, NY: Stone & Clark, 1839. $9,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> CURRIER, Nathaniel and IVES, James Merritt. <i>The City of New York.</i> Lithograph with original hand color. New York: Currier & Ives, 1884. $15,000 to $20,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2021 Issue

Twenty Years After They Went Missing, Cambridge University Library Concludes Its Darwin Notebooks Were Stolen

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Darwin's Tree of Life (from Cambridge University Libraries website).

Two decades after they disappeared, the Cambridge University Library has concluded that two missing Charles Darwin notebooks have been stolen. That seems like a long time, but for the past 20 years the library has believed the notebooks were misplaced. If that sounds improbable, the Cambridge Special Collections rooms have millions of documents in countless boxes, occupying 28 miles of shelving. The entire library contains 130 miles of shelves. It's not that hard to imagine why librarians thought they were misfiled despite an inability to find them.

 

The missing notebooks were created by Darwin not long after his return home from his voyage on the ship the Beagle. That ship had spent much time surveying around the southern part of South America. Darwin was the ship's naturalist. He noted similarities yet differences between species in different areas and wondered how this happened. It would be the starting point for the development of his revolutionary theory of evolution.

 

Back home in 1837, Darwin wrote some of his thoughts in these notebooks. They are now known as the Transmutation Notebooks as Darwin began to theorize how one species could transmute to another. One of these notebooks contains his famous Tree of Life sketch, where he connects variant species to common ancestors. Darwin believed that as new species developed, older ones would be doomed to extinction, explaining why there are fossils of extinct plants and animals that are similar to living ones. In the months following, Darwin developed his theory of how some variants in species would be better adapted to their environment and would outcompete their ancestors, thus leading to the latter's extinction. Survival of the fittest.

 

By the early 1840s, Darwin had mostly figured out how species evolved, but he sat on it for years because he understood how controversial it would be. Most people believed new species were separate creations of God, and many would consider Darwin's theory to be sacrilege. It was only when Alfred Russel Wallace independently reached a similar conclusion about evolution that Darwin revealed his theory, the two publishing a joint paper in 1858.

 

The last known whereabouts of Darwin's notebooks goes all the way back to the summer of 2000. They were removed from the Special Collections strong room for photography. During a routine check in January 2001, it was discovered that the small box (size of a paperback book) containing the notebooks was missing from its proper location. That led to a search, and many others over the past 20 years, none of which was able to locate the notebooks. Librarians believed they were misshelved in the vast storerooms of the library, containing around 10 million items. They were never found.

 

At the beginning of 2020, Director of Library Services Dr. Jessica Gardner organized a new search. Various specialist staff were assigned to search different areas of the library, while a thorough search was conducted of the large Darwin collection. Again, nothing was found. In consultation with experts in the field of theft of cultural artifacts, the library has concluded that the most likely explanation is theft. Dr. Gardner noted that security 20 years ago was not the same as it is today. Something of this importance missing would be recognized immediately, and there is surveillance and other security measures in place today that did not exist back then.

 

This does not mean that the library has given up all hope that the notebooks are still somewhere in the library. Searches will continue, and it is estimated that a complete search will take another five years. Nonetheless, they will move forward under the belief that theft is the most likely explanation. Local law enforcement and Interpol have been notified. The missing notebooks have been entered in databases of missing items and the ABA (Antiquarian Booksellers Association) has been called on to keep their eyes open for someone attempting to sell them. The library is also calling on all private individuals who may know something about the notebooks, about how they disappeared 20 years ago or where they are today, to contact the Cambridge University Library or law enforcement.

 

If the Darwin notebooks were stolen, the question is who and why. Their value would be immense. The library said, “Given their unique nature, the value of the notebooks is difficult to estimate, but would probably run into millions of pounds.” We would only add to that “many” millions of pounds. However, their uniqueness and enormous importance makes them essentially unsaleable. Whoever might possess the notebooks would have to always be quiet about them, tell no one, never share with anyone that they have these notebooks. There will also be the fear that at some point someone will discover they have them and the penalty will be great. What is the point of stealing the notebooks for this?


Posted On: 2021-01-14 18:17
User Name: mbook

The other problem is, if along the line someone keeps them until they die. They could be sold at auction with other books with no one knowing they are actually by Darwin. Even 10 years ago, many dealers would throw them away or give them away as they do not deal in or understand it. Apart from not believing it could possibly be genuine. I have a 17th cent Priests? Manuscript of his Sermons c1658-1675 with no author. So is hard to price/list for sale, so have no idea if it could be a famous person.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Joseph F. Kernan, <i>College Football,</i> oil on canvas, <i>The Saturday Evening Post</i> cover, 1932. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Joseph C. Leyendecker, <i>Golfer Lighting a Cigarette,</i> oil on canvas, c.1920. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Howard Chandler Christy, <i>In the Field,</i> charcoal & watercolor, published in <i>Scribner’s,</i> 1902. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> N.C. Wyeth, <i>Standish Reading,</i> pen & ink, for <i>The Courtship of Miles Standish,</i> 1920. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Johnanna Stewart Mapes, <i>A Fairy Book,</i> conté crayon, for <i>St. Nicholas Magazine,</i> 1907. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Arnold Lobel, pen & ink, for <i>The Frog & Toad Coloring Book,</i> 1981. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Antonio Lopez, <i>Today’s Fashions,</i> study for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1981. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Charles Schulz, <i>“I’ll have to go back to the house…I forgot my rubbers…”</i> pen & ink, original 4-panel <i>Peanuts comic,</i> 1960. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Constantin Alajalov, <i>Family Tree,</i> watercolor and gouache, cover for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1938. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

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