Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2010 Issue

<i>In The News:</i> One New E-Reader, One Cancelled, A Cavernous Library, Abe's Top 10

Manchestercentrallibrary

The Manchester Central Library.


What do you do when you have 1,500,000 books, some old and valuable, that need to be safely stored for a few years? That's a question that was recently faced by the Manchester (U.K.) Central Library. The library is undergoing major renovations, and needed a safe place to store its large number of books for several years. Their answer was to ship the books off to the salt mines (though hopefully they haven't sent their librarians there too). The mine, in the town of Winsford, is deep underground, thereby maintaining a constancy of temperature (57 degrees F.) and humidity (65%), while being free of light and insects (no mention of bats, however, has been made). The space in the mines is said to be the equivalent of 700 football fields, and while football is something different in the U.K. than America, a field is still quite large. In 2013, when the renovations are complete, the books will reemerge into the light, and onto the 22 miles of shelving they require. What Manchester Central is doing is hardly new. Abandoned mines have often been used for storage of infrequently used documents. Perhaps in the years ahead more old books will find their way underground as digital copies become the norm for research and reading.

AbeBooks released its list of the top 10 highest prices paid on their book-listing site during the month of April. It is hard to find a thread that connects this varied lot beyond the fact that people paid a lot of money to purchase them.

10. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Covenant by Charles Thomson, published in 1808. Okay, Charles Thomson didn't really write the Bible, but he did translate this edition from Greek. $4,500.

7 (tie). The Vatican Frescoes of Michelangelo, photographs by Takashi Okamura, published in 1991. A two-volume, limited edition elephant folio. $5,000.

7 (tie). The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written, by, naturally, numerous authors. A 1980 Easton Press leather-bound limited edition. $5,000.

7 (tie). The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, the June 1915 first appearance of T.S. Eliot's poem in Poetry Magazine. It was the first publication of an Eliot poem outside of a school setting. $5,000.

6. Les Miserables, the Brussels true first edition, published in 1862. $5,500.

5. Treasure Island, a first edition, first printing (1883) of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic. $6,000.

4. Systema Cosmicum in quo Dialogis, by Galileo, the first Latin edition of Galileo's then controversial astronomical work. $6,023.

3. The Romances of Alexandre Dumas, a 48-volume leather bound set published in 1904. $7,500.

2. American Winter Sports - Deer Shooting on the Shattagee by Currier & Ives, an 1855 lithograph. $8,500.

1. The Histories of Herodotus, Isaac Littlebury's 1709 translation into English of a much older work. $9,750.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>November 12-13, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò. <i>Nicholas Machiavel's Prince. Also, The life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca…</i> Translated by Edward Dacres. London, 1640. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> FILSON, John. <i>The Discovery, Settlement and present State of Kentucke: and An Essay towards the Topography, and Natural History of that important Country…</i> Wilmington, Del.: James Adams, 1784. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> ELUARD, Paul. <i>Un poeme dans chaque livre.</i> Paris: Louis Broder, 1956. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>November 12-13, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> LEWIS, James Otto. [<i>Aboriginal Port Folio.</i> Philadelphia: Published by the Author, 1835-1836]. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> [ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS]. BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin. [Southern Netherlands (Ghent or Bruges), c.1460]. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> MORE, Thomas, Sir. <i>The Workes ... wrytten by him in the Englysh tongue.</i> Edited by William Rastell. London, 1557. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>November 12-13, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. MORRIS, William. <i>Love is Enough.</i> Hammersmith: The Kelmscott Press, 1897. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed as President (“A. Lincoln”), 24 February 1863. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> WASHINGTON, George. Address panel with autograph free frank signed ("G:o Washington"), as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, 5 August 1777. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>November 12-13, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> GOREY, Edward. <i>The Beastly Baby.</i> N.p.: The Fantod Press, 1962. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> FROST, Robert. Photographic reproduction signed and inscribed ("Robert Frost”), to R.V. Thornton, 1955. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> GOREY, Edward. <i>The Bug Book.</i> New York: Looking Glass Library, 1959. $500 to $700.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 27:</b> Book of Hours with Illuminated Miniatures, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 27:</b> Conradus de Alemania [Halberstadt the Elder], <i>Concordantiae Bibliorum,</i> Strassburg, 1474. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 27:</b> Christopher Marlowe, <i>The Jew of Malta,</i> London, 1633. Earliest extant edition of this antiauthoritarian Elizabethan play. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 27:</b><br>Sir Isaac Newton, <i>The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,</i> first edition in English, 2 volumes, London, 1729. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 27:</b> John Rae, <i>Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea in 1846 and 1847,</i> first edition, London, 1850. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 27:</b> Philip Pittman, <i>The Present State of the European Settlements on the Mississippi…,</i> first edition, London, 1770. $10,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 27:</b> Cyanotype of an anatomy class at Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1895. $300 to $400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 27:</b> Equine veterinary formulary, manuscript on paper, East Earl, Pennsylvania, circa 1860. $400 to $600.
  • <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> REGAMEY, Felix (1844-1906). Unique drawing showing Verlaine and Rimbaud in London, September 1872. €70,000 to 100,000
    <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> LABORDE, Alexandre de (1773-1842). <i>Voyage pittoresque et historique de l’Espagne.</i> Paris : 1806-1820. €20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> BOCCACE, Jean (1313-1375). <i>Il Decamerone…</i> Venise : Gabriele Giolito di Ferrari, 1542.<br>€ 12,000 to 15,000
    <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> LAMBERT, Yvon (1936). Full collection of writings from <i>Une rêverie émanée de mes loisirs.</i> Paris : 1992 - 2018. €50,000 to 70,000
    <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> JOUVE, Paul (1878-1973) -- KIPLING, Rudyard (1865-1936). <i>La Chasse de Kaa.</i> Paris : Javal & Bourdeaux, 1930. €2,000 to 3,000

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