Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2010 Issue

Antiquarian Books from Librairie Thomas-Scheler

Thomas-scheler41

Livres Anciens from Librairie Thomas-Scheler.


By Michael Stillman

Librairie Thomas-Scheler has issued its 41st catalogue of Livres Ancien, or Antiquarian Books. This catalogue is written in French, and most books are also in the French language, though there are a good number of titles in Latin as well. Many of these books are quite old. Subjects are varied, ranging from travel to science, mathematics, medicine, literature, politics, and whatever else was on people's minds a few centuries ago. Here are some of these works.

Item 30 is a first edition account of one of the most important of French voyages, the first to make it around the world: Voyage autour du mond, par la fregate du Roi La Boudeuse... by the explorer Louis de Bougainville. Bougainville established a French colony on the Falkland Islands (only to have France cede them to Spain in the interests of maintaining peace). Heading further west, he discovered some Pacific islands, and thought he discovered Tahiti, only to find someone else had beaten him there. However, Bougainville's description of Tahiti as some sort of island paradise remains a part of the island's image to this day. If Bougainville himself is not that well known outside of France today, his name is more familiar. His botanist named a plant he discovered in South America for his captain - the bougainvillea. Published in 1771. Priced at €6,000 (euros, or about $7,736 in U.S. dollars).

Item 4 is the 1751 French edition (following the 1748 first in English) of another voyage around the world, that of George Anson. Anson was not a true explorer like Bougainville, and probably a lot less popular with his men, though he came home to England a hero in 1744. He was the captain sent out with five ships to harass the Spanish in South America. He lost all but one of his ships, and most of his men died, but his capture of a Spanish ship laden with treasure near the end of his voyage enabled him to return home a wealthy man. The book is entitled Voyage autour du monde, fait dans les annees MDCCXL... This book comes with the account of some of his men who made a daring escape of a shipwreck of one of Anson's ships, along with an arduous journey to eventual rescue: Voyage a la Mer du Sud... published in 1756. €6,500 (US $8,388).

If you think a trip to the dentist is scary today, what must it have been like two centuries ago? Here is the answer: L'art du dentiste ou Manuel des operations de chirurgie... This is an 1802 treatise by Louis Laforgue on the art of dentistry, including dental surgery. Dental surgery in the era of crude instruments and no novocaine or antibiotics is just one reason not to want to return to Napoleonic times. Item 136. €1,200 (US $1,552).

We don't know what language his dogs spoke, but item 201 is the first French edition of Le travail des glandes digestives, or the work of the digestive glands, by the great Russian scientist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov. Pavlov's dogs were the ones whose digestive juices began flowing at the ringing of a bell, after they learned that the bell signified dinnertime. The work described in this book earned its author the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1904. €1,000 (US $1,295).

Leonhard Euler was a prominent Swiss mathematician and physicist of the 18th century, often regarded as the greatest mathematician of his time. He wrote an enormous amount of material most of us couldn't possibly understand. However, he did publish a book that was designed to help the layman understand complex concepts. It's called Lettres a une Princesse d'Allemagne, sur divers sujets de Physique et Philiosophie. The title translates to Letters to a German Princess. Frederick the Great had asked Euler to teach his niece, the Princess of Anhalt-Dessau, some basic science. He wrote her a series of letters which could be called the Popular Science of the day. In it he explains such diverse topics as why the moon looks larger on the horizon, the sky is blue, and why the tops of mountains are cold. His letters were published in book form, a book very popular in its day. This French edition was published in 1812. €850 (US $1,100).

Librairie Thomas-Scheler may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@thomas-scheler.fr.

You will find many of Librairie Thomas-Scheler's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site. Click here.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online July 6 - 21, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Albert Einstein, typed letter signed, explaining the nature of his personal atheism and belief in God. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> George Washington. Autograph letter signed to Bryan Fairfax, looking forward to the Treaty of Paris, 5 February 1783. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Alfred Swaine Taylor. Early “photogenic drawing,” photograph of a fern, dated 2 December 1839. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online July 6 - 21, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> "Departure of Mr. Lincoln—Parting Address" in the <i>Weekly Illinois State Journal,</i> Vol. XXX, No. 1541, Springfield, February 13, 1861. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Benjamin Harrison document signed certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a black Revolutionary soldier. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Front page printing of the Articles of Confederation in the <i>New-Jersey Gazette,</i> Vol. 1, No. 22. Trenton, April 29, 1778. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online July 6 - 21, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> George Washington Funeral Procession Broadside. Boston, January 6, 1800. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Philippe Laroque, printed score for “The Heroe of New Orleans Battle.” Philadelphia, 1815. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Report of the Battle of Queenston Heights, the first major battle in the War of 1812, in <i>Supplement to the Quebec Gazette,</i> 24th October 1812. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online July 6 - 21, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> His Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, On Tuesday the Eighteenth Day of November, 1760. London, 1760. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Elegy on the Death of James Lawrence, Esq. late Commander of the U.S. Frigate Chesapeake. [Boston]: A. Bowen, 1813. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's Commission as Major General, signed by John Hancock, 19 February 1777. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b><br>John James Audubon, <i>Great Blue Heron,</i> hand-colored aquatint and engraved plate, 1834. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson, <i>A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of Virginia,</i> Dalrymple edition, 1755. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b><br>John James Audubon, <i>The Birds of America,</i> sign & inscribed to Brantz Mayer, 1840-44. $18,000 to $22,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Vincenzo Maria Coronelli & Jean Baptiste Nolin, Paris, 1688. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Henri Abraham Chatelain, <i>Atlas Historique,</i> 7 volumes, Amsterdam, 1705-1720. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Johann Baptist Homann, <i>Atlas Mapparum Geographicarum...,</i> Nuremberg, circa 1750s. $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Lowell Mason, <i>Musical Exercises for Singing Schools,</i> Boston, 1838. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 9:</b> Alexander Wilson, <i>American Ornithology,</i> 9 volumes, Philadelphia, 1808-14. $6,000 to $9,000.
  • <center><b> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on July 6th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>Latin Book of Hours, around 1480.<br>Est: € 30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>Northern journeys - Collection of around 120 works, 17th-19th century.
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>J. Joyce, <i>Ulysses,</i> 1922. Est: € 8,000
    <center><b> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on July 6th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>Florilegium, <i>Fleurs du Printemps et de l‘Este,</i> around 1630. Est: € 35,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>T. R. Malthus, <i>An essay on the principle of population,</i> 1798. Est: € 60,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>E. Cerillo, <i>Dipinti murali di Pompei,</i> 1886. Est: € 2,000
    <center><b> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on July 6th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br><i>Bulla aurea,</i> 1485. Est: € 40,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>A. Verschaffelt, <i>Iconographie des Camellias,</i> 1848-60. Est: € 10,000
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    <center><b> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on July 6th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, July 6:</b><br>H. Schedel, <i>Liber chronicarum,</i> 1493.<br>Est: € 25,000
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  • <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Online Only<br>25 June to 8 July 2020</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Macbeth: A Tragedy.</i> Acted at the Dukes-Theatre. London: printed for William Cademan, 1673. $60,000 to $90,000.
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    <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Online Only<br>25 June to 8 July 2020</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> HILL, JOHN. <i>Compleat Body of Gardening.</i> London: printed for T. Osborne; T. Trye; S. Crowder and Co.; and H. Woodgate, 1757. $10,000 to $15,000.
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    <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Online Only<br>25 June to 8 July 2020</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun. 25 – Jul. 8:</b> ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN DELANO. Autograph Letter Signed ("F.D.R.") as President, Washington, [1941], to Norman Davis, on White House stationery. $6,000 to $8,000.
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