Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2003 Issue

Catalogue Review: Reese, Oak Knoll, & Shapero

Islamic1

The Islamic World from Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books.


Our third catalogue comes from Bernard J Shapero Rare Books and it’s entitled The Islamic World. This is a world not well-understood by most people in the west, America in particular, but now very much on our minds. Perhaps if we read more about the region’s past, we would better understand our present situation.

Many of the places described in these books have become very familiar to us today. Item 12, James Atkinson’s Sketches in Afghaunistan, describes a land very familiar to us, even if we spell the name differently. Atkinson traveled with the military to this country in 1838, and wrote about it in this 1842 work. £2,850.

Item 19, Monument de Nineve…, hits some even more recently familiar place names. Author Paulo Emilio Botta was appointed French consul to Mosul in what is now Iraq in 1842. He used his appointment to search antiquities of the area, excavating ruins in Khorsabad. Botta believed he had found the lost city of Ninevah, but had instead uncovered an ancient palace dating back to 710 B.C. Botta published his book, along with drawings by Eugene Flandin, in 1849. £25,000.

Item 14 is an interesting title. It’s called Travels of Ali Bey in Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria and Turkey. “Ali Bey” was one Domingo Badia, a Spaniard who disguised himself as an Arab and visited sites such as Mecca that are off-limits to non-Moslems. Printed in 1816. £6,500.

Most of the books in this catalogue come from Europeans describing their trips to this part of the world. Of course, they see the land through the eyes of very different cultures. Item 93 is by Dr. Saleh Soubhy, an Egyptian public health official. He undertook the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) in 1888 and 1891, and wrote this book with the intention of clearing up misconceptions he believed were generated by European writings on the subject. £3,500.

For the adventuresome, there’s Item 97, The Voiages and Travels of John Struys… by Jan Struys. Three voyages took the author through much of the Middle East, Mediterranean, and even Russia and Japan. Book titles were long and dramatic back then (1684), and part of the title of this book is very descriptive: “an account of the author’s many dangers by shipwreck, robbery, slavery, hunger, torture, and the like…” £3,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.
  • <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 1805 TN Supreme Court Book, John Overton and Hugh White Opinions. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> TN Lunsford Bramlett Archive, incl. Polk White House Invitation, 8 Items. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Civil War Archive, incl. Gen. Bate on Death of Polk, Capture of Nashville. $2,000 to $2,400.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 5 Dickens 1st Ed. Books, incl. Edited by Author. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Charles Dickens, 5 Christmas Books, 1st Eds. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 2 Slave Documents, Nashville TN & North Carolina. $700 to $900.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 3 Maurice Sendak Signed Items, incl. Nutcracker, Pierre. $500 to $600.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 7 Phillip Roth Hardcover Books, incl. Author Signed, 1st Eds. $500 to $550.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 6 Kurt Vonnegut Hardcover Books, incl. Author Signed, 1st Eds. $400 to $500.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 3 Edward Gorey Items, incl. Print + 2 Books. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Josef Albers, INTERACTION OF COLOR, 1963. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Henri Matisse Jazz Portfolio for MOMA, 1st Ed., 1983. $600 to $800.

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