Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2011 Issue

Manuscripts from Justin Croft and Simon Beattie

Beattiems

Manuscripts from Croft and Beattie.

We have received a catalogue from Justin Croft and Simon Beattie with the one-word title Manuscripts. Manuscripts usually bring to mind letter and other personal handwritten items. This catalogue, however, is not filled with typical manuscripts. Many of these are more like books in their length and complexity. Of course, there was a day when all books were manuscripts, the era of scribes and monks, aka BG - Before Gutenberg. These works aren't pre-Gutenberg. People continued to write by hand for centuries after there was no apparent reason to do so.

 

The cataloguers note that this may be informative for what could happen in the centuries to come. Five hundred and fifty years after Gutenberg, the next advance in book publishing came along. We all know what that was - digital text and electronic readers. Does the continued creation of manuscript books, albeit in much smaller quantities, for centuries after Gutenberg imply what the future holds for printed books? Who knows? Let's wait a few centuries and see. While many of these book-length writings were original texts, some were actually created after printed copies, either for personalization or because, sometimes in smaller runs, it was cheaper to handwrite them than set up the presses again. With word processors and scanners those days are gone forever. Here, now, are a few of these manuscripts.

 

Item 21 is a manuscript book about one of King Louis XIV of France's loves, his second mistress, Histoire galante de Louis XIV & de Madame de La Valliere. Young Louise de La Valliere came to the court as a maid to the wife of the King's brother in 1661, a 17-year-old innocent and religious girl. The King's aides had other plans for her. Louis was showing a bit too much interest in his brother's wife, and while having a mistress was expected of a King, messing around with a sister-in-law was not. So, they distracted Louis with Louise. It worked. He fell for her, she for him, and over the next six years they had six children. By 1666, the sixth child on the way, Louis grew tired of Louise and moved on to his next mistress. However, the King set her up to live well as a reward for their years together. She really didn't want that. Louise insisted on moving to a convent where she could repent for her sins for the remainder of her life. Unfortunately, the King still needed her. She would have to accompany him as a disguise for the affair he was now having with his third mistress. Evidently, a second mistress was more respectable than a third one. Finally, in 1674, she was allowed to retire to the convent, where she remained until she died in 1710. Louis, seeing no need to repent, lived a more pleasurable life. Priced at £900 (British pounds, or approximately $1,451 in U.S. dollars).

 

Item 1 is a student's notebook. It was compiled for a course the student took with one Ignatio de la Porte, who was giving a course on Aristotle. It combines handwritten with printed material and illustrations, all bound together. It also contains six engraved plates of various glamorous women of the day riding horseback sidesaddle. What the connection is to Aristotle is unclear. Perhaps he enjoyed women on horseback. Among the lovelies included is the aforementioned Louise de La Valliere. She was off in the convent by then, the date being 1685, but her image harked back to earlier days. The cataloguers speculate that the student was using his schoolbook to secret away his pictures of these attractive beauties and courtesans, but by today's standards, this was very soft core. £1,400 (US $2,258).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>October Sale<br>October 10, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> LA HARPE, Jean-Baptiste Benard de. 'CARTE NOUVELLE DE LA PARTIE DE L'OUEST DE LA LOUISIANNE'. $800,000 to $1,200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> AUDUBON, John James. Great Blue Heron, Plate 211. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> REDOUTE, Pierre-Joseph. Watercolor for plate 456: Bromella ananas (Cultivated Pineapple). $450,000 to $550,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> COOK, Captain James. <i>A set of the three voyages comprising...</i> London: 1773-1785. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> KEY, Adrien Thomaszoon. Abraham Ortelius. Oil on Panel. $400,000 to $450,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Fine Literature<br>September 30</b>
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> WHITMAN, WALT. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First Edition. $150,000 to $250,000.
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  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>25 September 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Chagall (Marc). <i>Cirque,</i> one of 270 copies on Arches signed by the artist, 38 lithographs, 23 colour, Paris, Tériade Éditeur, 1967. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Sangorski (Alberto).- Poe (Edgar Allan). <i>Annabel Lee and Other Poems,</i> illuminated manuscript in gold and colours, bound in turquoise morocco tooled in gilt and inlaid with 35 jewels, [c.1928]. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Darwin (Charles) and Alfred R. Wallace. “On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties...,” contained in <i>Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society,</i> 1859. £12,000 to £18,000.
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Webster (John). <i>A Monumental Columne, erected to the liuing memory of the euer-glorious Henry, late Prince of Wales,</i> rare first edition, Printed by N[icholas]. O[kes]. for William Welby, 1613. £6,000 to £8,000.
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Donne (John). <i>Poems, by J.D. with elegies on the Authors Death,</i> first edition, Printed by M[iles]. F[lesher]. for Iohn Marriot, 1633. £6,000 to £8,000.
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Sewell (Anna). <i>Black Beauty: his Grooms and Companions. The Autobiography of a Horse,</i> first edition, original cloth, [1877]. £3,000 to £4,000.
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Gray (John Edward). <i>Gleanings from the Knowsley Menagerie and Aviary at Knowsley Hall,</i> first edition, one of c.100 copies privately printed for the author, 1850. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> George III (King). Warrant signed "George R" for the payment of £60,634 granted for the North American Provinces to the Province of Massachusetts Bay, D.s., manuscript, [c. 1761-62]. £2,000 to £2,500.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Mecca, Medina & Damascus.- 2 manuscript plans of Mecca and El Medinah and a map of Damascus, 3 detailed pen and ink drawings with 3pp. of manuscript notes, [late 19th century]. £1,000 to £1,500.
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    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> DARWIN, Charles Robert. <i>On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.</i> London: W. Clowes and Sons for John Murray, 1859. [With] autograph note signed. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> [FINE PRESS & LIVRE D'ARTISTE]. -- [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works ... now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward. <i>Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a triumph.</i> [London: Privately Printed], 1926. $60,000 to $80,000.
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    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies…</i> London, Printed for H. Herringman, E. Brewster, R. Chiswell, and R. Bentley, 1685. $60,000 to $80,000.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Charles-Léonce Brossé, <i>Meeting d’Aviation, Nice,</i> 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> John Held Jr., <i>Nantucket,</i> 1925. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Seaverns W. Hilton, <i>Lewis and Clark, Northern Pacific,</i> 1920. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Fred Powis, <i>Jasper, Canadian National Railways.</i> $2,000 to $3,000.

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