Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2004 Issue

25 Years For Bernard Shapero Rare Books

0907

Bernard Shapero's 25th anniversary catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

This season marks the 25th year of bookselling for Bernard Shapero, and he celebrates that anniversary with a catalogue as gorgeous as many of the books listed therein. That is no small accomplishment as most of the items offered are illustrated books from the 18th and 19th century and the artistry is at times phenomenal. Shapero begins with a brief recounting of his career, from a 16-year-old beginner to proprietor of Bernard Shapero Rare Books, one of London's major booksellers and one which today possesses a worldwide reputation. The catalogue is called simply "25 years."

The major fields covered are travels and views of far off lands (far off from Europe, that is), and botanical and zoological books. These are topics well-suited for spectacular illustration, and these books do not let you down.

Item 92 is The Holy Land... by David Roberts. This is the earliest edition of this work, published in three volumes from 1842-1845. Roberts visited the Near East in the late 1830s and produced a vast number of drawings of sites in the biblical lands along with adjacent Syria and Jordan. Shapero notes that "many people consider this work to contain the finest prints of the area that have ever been produced." That is no exaggeration. Priced at £55,000 (all items are priced in British pounds. We will provide an approximate U.S. dollar conversion as well). US $98,571.

For a place about 100 degrees cooler than the Holy Land, there is a Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the Years 1819, 20, 21, and 22...[and]...Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1825, 1826, and 1827. The immediate question that comes to mind is why John Franklin, having already spent four years in that bitter cold, went back for a second time. The first journey had been horrific, with many of the explorers dying from the cold, hunger, and even murder. That journey had taken them to the mouth of the Coppermine River in far northern Canada, from which they surveyed the coast to the east. Franklin's second journey brought him from Great Bear Lake to the mouth of the Mackenzie River, from which more of the northern coast was explored. The book includes illustrations of the spectacular arctic scenery plus the natives who lived under these harsh conditions. Item 43. £4,500 (US $8,065).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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