• <b><center>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books, Autographs & Manuscripts<br>11th-12th of October 2022
    <b>Gonnelli Oct. 11th:</b> Alfieri Vittorio, <i>Vita [...] scritta da esso,</i> 1968. Starting Price: €900,00.
    <b>Gonnelli Oct. 11th:</b> Collection of 25 albumin photographs depicting Italian, French and Swiss places. Late 19th century.
    <b>Gonnelli Oct. 11th:</b> Brandolini D’Adda Brandolino, Duale. <i>Poesia [...] e incisioni di Sandro Martini,</i> 1976.
    <b>Gonnelli Oct. 11th:</b> Alighieri Dante, <i>La divina commedia di Dante</i> edizione illustrata da 30 fotografie tolte da disegni di Scaramuzza, 1879. Starting Price: €500,00.
    Gonnelli Oct. 12th: Cervantes Saavedra Miguel (de), <i>El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha.</i> Nueva edicion corregida por la Real Academia Española, 1780. Starting price: €12.000,00.
    <b>Gonnelli Oct. 11th:</b> Collodi Carlo, <i>Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino,</i> 1883. Starting price: €6.000,00.
    <b>Gonnelli Oct. 11th:</b> Wilde Oscar, <i>The Picture of Dorian Gray [...]</i> with original images & notes on the text by Jim Dine, 1968. Starting price: €1.500,00
    <b>Gonnelli Oct. 11th:</b> The smallest tarot cards in the world. 21st century.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Extensive archive of papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> George Catlin, <i>North American Indian Portfolio,</i> 1844. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> The Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures, Carefully Translated…after the Best Jewish Authorities, Philadelphia, 1853-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Wedding book of Eleanor Roosevelt’s bodyguard, Earl Miller, signed by the Roosevelts, 1932. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Textile titled <i>The Resignation of Pres’t Washington,</i> Scotland, circa 1800. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Gideon Welles, Pass for President Lincoln’s White House funeral, 1865. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Confirmation of arms and nobility in favor of the Diez y Mora family, Madrid, 1710. $2,500 to $3,500.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2022 Issue

Father Huet, or A Map to a Fool’s Paradise


There was a time not that far away when learned people could spend their lives trying to determine the exact location of the terrestrial Paradise described in the first book of the Bible. Father Daniel Huet (1630-1721), member of the renowned Académie française and Bishop of Avranches, France, was one of them. He could speak Latin (of course), Greek and Hebrew. He had studied geography, history and theology. He also thought that Moses was the actual writer of the book of Genesis, and he lived in a 6,000 year-old world—as the Bible told him. Human affairs were uncertain, but the Bible was infallible. So when he read about the Garden of Eden, he started to search for it. In 1691, he published a book with a map showing the precise location of the said garden—in the Middle East, in today’s Iraq.


This is a lovely in-12 book, neatly printed by Jean Anisson in 1691. Anisson was at the head of the royal printing, and he knew how to put a book together indeed. This one is illustrated with a frontispiece and a folding map. The former is a gorgeous naive representation of the Persian Gulf featuring the rivers said to cross the garden in the Bible. On the right, two characters are standing under a big tree in the middle of a small wood—Adam and Eve in the Garden! There’s no suspense in this book as Father Huet unveils the conclusion of his researches as soon as the preface: “I therefore declare that the terrestrial Paradise was located alongside the canal formed by the reunion of the Tiger and the Euphrates rivers, between the place where they join and the place where they split again before running into the Persian Gulf.” Then he endeavours to demonstrate.


This is an extraordinary book, written by a true erudite. His arguments are crystal clear—a keen etymologist, he analyzes the origin of words in the various early translations of the Holy Scriptures, and the geographical clues given by the Bible. He also quickly lists some previous theories regarding the situation of the terrestrial Paradise: “Some placed it in the third sky, the fourth one, in the moon’s sky, or on the moon itself, upon a mountain, close to the moon’s sky, in the middle region of the air, on Earth, under the Earth, in a remote and hidden place, unknown to man. Some placed it under the Arctic pole, in Tatary, where the Caspian Sea is today. Some placed in the Tierra Del Fuego, on the bank of the Ganges River, in the island of Ceylon, (...) in China, in America (...), upon the mountains of the moon.” We know that when he reached the mouth of the Orinoco River, Christopher Columbus (who knew his catechism) thought he had reached the gateway to the Garden. He believed that his ship would then slowly rise on a huge terrestrial excrescence on the top of which he expected to find the garden! This geographical curiosity had, he said, the shape of a woman’s nipple—Paradise on Earth, indeed.


Nowadays, we read Huet’s book with a mixed feeling of ridicule and admiration. To be honest, if we consider theology from a mythological point of view, we must admit that he is probably right about the situation of the Garden of Eden. But the initial parameter of his logical demonstration is totally distorted. As we know today, the world wasn’t 6,000 years-old; and Moses didn’t write Genesis; and there never was such thing as a “first man”, and a “first woman” created out of nothing, or an evil snake with legs, or a tree of knowledge. Science has taught us so. But science can’t take everything away from the Bible. The book of Genesis tells one of the most beautiful stories ever written by Man. It is a parable about the birth of life, and death, and man’s heartbreaking condition here on Earth. It sure makes many people‘s lives more bearable. But it is just a tale, Mr Huet. It doesn’t mean there’s no truth in it, but that there’s likely no physical counterpart to it. As Voltaire said, God has probably sent us the Bible so we would become better believers rather than better geographers.


Situation du Paradis terrestre can’t be judged by today’s standards. Not only would it be unfair but it would also be a form of ignorance. This book is a testimony of what fascinated the most intelligent men of their time. As a matter of fact, it is still sought-after today, and you’ll hardly find a good copy (make sure the folding map is not missing) for less than 700 euros. There were only three copies listed for sale on Abebooks when those lines were written. All were first French editions from 1691. In 1701, a second edition—although the title page curiously reads “seventh edition”— came out in Amsterdam. It features a different and gorgeous frontispiece with Moses showing a geographer a map of the terrestrial Paradise. There’s also a new preface by Huet, which is very instructive as the author answers the critics raised by the first edition of his book—it proves that the location of the Garden of Eden was a hot issue in 1691. This edition (most likely the second one, as no copy of the alleged 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th ones is to be found anywhere) seems to be very rare, and I couldn’t spot any for sale on the Internet. What I found was the Italian translation of 1737 (Venetia), listed on Rare Book Hub. Father Huet was already dead by then—and hopefully resting in this beautiful garden where there’s no night.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>October 13, 2022</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 109. Miguel de Cervantes. <i>The History of Don-Quichote. The first parte.</i> London: William Stansby for Edward Blount, 1620. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 43. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. <i>Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.</i> Washington: The White House, Christmastide, 1942. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 113. Charles Darwin. A collection of 26 titles including <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> $10,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 210. Philip Guston. Important correspondence between Philip Guston and Ralph and Martha Hyams. New York, 1967-76. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 26. John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. Signed guest book and original photos from the May 19, 1962 reception. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>October 13, 2022</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 194. J.R.R. Tolkien. <i>The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.</i> London: George Allen and Unwin, 1954-1954-1955. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 164. Max Beerbohm. Autograph Manuscript for The Happy Hypocrite, circa 1896. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 158. Mark Twain. <i>The Writings.</i> Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1899-1907. The Autograph Edition. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 150. Lady Dilke. <i>French Painters of the XVIIIth Century.</i> London: George Bell, 1899. First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 200. Ludwig Bemelmans. Original sketch of Madeline, ink and gouache. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> JOYCE, James. <i>Ulysses.</i> London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1937. PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION PRINTED IN ENGLAND. $50,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [SHACKLETON, Ernest]. –– BROWNING, Robert. <i>Poetical Works of…</i> London: Smith and Elder, 1906. PRESENTED TO SHACKLETON AND THE OFFICERS OF THE NIMROD BY A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York: George R. Lockwood, [1870]. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> ARISTOTLE. Opera, in Greek, parts one and two only: Organon and Natural Philosophy I. Edited by Aldus and others. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1 November 1495–February 1498. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> COOK, James, Capt. [Collected Voyages]. First and Second Voyages: London: W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1773, 1777; Third Voyage: London: H. Hughes for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1785. $14,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne (“Mark Twain”). <i>The Writings of…</i> Hartford: American Publishing Co., 1899–1900. $12,000 to $16,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>The Poems of…</i> Edited by Frederick S. Ellis. Hammersmith: William Morris for the Kelmscott Press, 1893. $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> LONDON, Jack. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> New York: The Macmillan Company, 1905. PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY LONDON. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CROWLEY, Aleister (1875–1947). <i>The Winged Beetle.</i> London: privately printed, 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> WILDE, Oscar (“C.3.3.”). <i>The Ballad of Reading Gaol.</i> London: Leonard Smithers, January 1898. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> DRYDEN, John. <i>Fables Ancient and Modern; translated into verse from Homer, Ovid, Boccace, & Chaucer: with original poems.</i> London: John Tonson, 1700. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [MAP]. LINSCHOTEN, Jan Huygen van. <i>Delineatio Orarum Maritimarum…</i> London: John Wolfe, 1598. $3,000 to $4,000.

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