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

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000

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