Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2011 Issue

A Variety from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller

Windle48

A variety in any language.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has issued his 48th catalogue, Omnium Gatherum. He explains that this erudite-sounding Latin term "is a fancy way of saying a hodgepodge."  Among the subjects included, Windle notes, there are illuminated manuscripts, early printed books, William Blake works, illustrated books and fine bindings, modern first editions, children's books, bibliography, and association copies. A hodgepodge in any language. Here are some of the pieces in this selection of 99 fully described and illustrated books and manuscript items.

 

We start with a book that combines one of the most important social issues of several centuries with the magnificent engravings of William Blake: Narrative, of a Five Years' Expedition, Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam… The author of this 1796 book, John Stedman, was sent with Dutch forces to Surinam to put down a slave rebellion. He performed his duty, but came away horrified by what he had seen. He was appalled by Europe's willingness to commit atrocities against others for the sake of cheap resources. Stedman points out that not only were the slaves dehumanized, but the same could be said for their masters, who came to routinely act in the most inhumane of ways. Blake was himself deeply affected by working on this book and was a vigorous opponent of slavery. Item 34 is a large paper copy of this first edition, all plates finely colored. Priced at $29,750.

 

Item 69 is something of a work of proto-genetics by notable French scientist of the 18th century Pierre Maupertuis:  Dissertation physique a l'occasion du negre blanc, published in 1744. Maupertuis would expand on his beliefs a year later in Venus physique, but his Dissertation introduced his ideas. Maupertuis did not accept the dominant view at the time of preformation, that the embryo was "preformed" (likely in the egg, though possibly in the sperm). Maupertuis reached his correct conclusion from the basic observation that children carried characteristics of both the mother and father, seemingly obvious, but this was the 18th century. The baby needs more than one to tango. He also rejected the theory that some sort of "essence" of the other parent affected the child, sticking to a strict mechanist explanation. He concluded that some sort of particles were combining to produce the offspring, particles we might today call genes. $2,250.

 

Item 60 features works of the Welsh artist Bert Isaac. Isaac was noted primarily as a landscape painter, though his prolific career produced different varieties of work. Despite illness, Isaac managed to keep painting almost until his death in 2006. The year prior, a whimsical book of his art was published by the Old Stile Press. It consists of illustrations he created for books back in the 1940s and 50s. There was just one oddity about these books - they didn't exist. The books were fictitious though the artists and writers who supposedly created them weren't. Isaac evidently created these dust jackets and illustrations for his own enjoyment, not because he was commissioned to draw them. They sat in his archives for close to half a century before this compilation of drawings was brought together for this book, titled …for Books that Never Were. It was printed in a limited run of 100 copies, and is signed by Isaac. $275.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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