Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2011 Issue

Varied Printed and Manuscript Material from Samuel Gedge Ltd.

Gedge10

The latest from Samuel Gedge, Ltd.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. has issued their Catalogue X. That is "X" as in ten, not as in x-rated. Most of what you will find here is not primarily books per se, but a variety of ephemeral printed and manuscript material. There are broadsides, pamphlets, newspapers, handwritten ledgers, drawings, and even more unusual printed items such as printed fans and handkerchiefs. There are also a few even more ephemeral items such as the French Royal Librarian's letter pouch (18th century Royal Librarian Jean-Paul Bignon liked to exchange a lot of letters - he would have loved Facebook). Of course, there are some books here too. Most of the material offered is of English origin, but as that last item attests, not all. Samuel Gedge regularly offers unexpected material, and this catalogue is no exception. Here are some samples.

 

Item 107 is a medical treatise that time has passed by, but while it seems silly today, it was a serious attempt to find cures based on the knowledge of its time, in this case, 1787:  An Account of the Effects of Swinging, Employed as a Remedy in the Pulmonary Consumption and Hectic Fever, by James Carmichael Smyth. I'm not sure what hectic fever was, but pulmonary consumption was usually what today is known as tuberculosis. At the time, it was believed, undoubtedly based on anecdotal evidence, that sufferers of these diseases found their health improved when they went to sea. There were two possible explanations. One was that the salty sea air helped; the other was that the rolling motion was somehow beneficial. Mr. Smyth believed the latter. He concluded that the motion, and accompanying seasickness, actually reduced the coughing and other symptoms. As a result, he advocated "swinging," motion induced by having people swing or spin in a chair raised off the ground by ropes. Obviously, such a "cure" today would be deemed quackery, but in an era long before antibiotics, and before the use of truly scientific blind testing, it was the use of anecdotal stories of cures that provided the best chance of learning something that could help the sick. Priced at £450 (roughly $728 in U.S. currency).

 

Here is a broadside for a lecture, circa 1855, that combined pseudo-science with the real. It is headed, Mr. J.S. Butterworth, Phrenologist, &c. Begs most respectfully to inform the Lovers of Knowledge and Free Inquiry that he will deliver Lectures. Gedge notes that little is known about Butterworth, other than he started out as a factory worker and made his way up to being a teacher and than a lecturer. He spoke about phrenology, the "science" where examination of the shape of one's head could tell all sorts of things about that person. In reality, it doesn't do much more than tell you the shape of that person's head. However, Butterworth also noted "a magneto electric machine will be in the room to increase the amusement, and the magnesium wire light will be exhibited." That sounds very much like, in these days before the light bulb, an early display of an incandescent light. If Butterworth had only thought to place that magnesium wire in a vacuum bulb, he could have been Edison. Item 18. £250 (US $405).

 

Item 67 comes from America. It is a doctoral certificate issued by the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1819. It was awarded to Thomas Connell, who seems to have disappeared into history, as most people from that long ago time have done. However, the certificate is signed by several leading figures in American medicine of the era, including Philip Syng Physick. Dr. Physic obtained his medical degree in England, but returned to Philadelphia where he treated many of America's leading figures during that city's yellow fever epidemic of 1793. Dr. Physic was a pioneer, inventing the stomach pump, and making several surgical advances. He earned the appellation of the "Father of American Surgery" for his work. £750 (US $1,215).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> NASA archive with 351 photographs, silver & chromogenic prints, 1960-2002. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, suite of 18 cyanotypes, 1910-14. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, <i>Horse Capture, Atsina,</i> unique copper plate for <i>The North American Indian,</i> 1908. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> John Whipple, <i>Harriet Beecher Stowe,</i> salted print from a calotype negative, 1853. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Lewis Carroll, <i>Xie Kitchen,</i> albumen print, circa 1872. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Ansel Adams, <i>Taos Pueblo,</i> limited, signed first edition of the artist's first book, 12 silver bromide prints, 1930. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b><br>JFK in his motorcade about 2 mins before his assassination, chromogenic print, 1963. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Anton Guilio Bragaglia, 6 photomechanical postcards with facsimile signatures, 1911-13, printed 1932. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Société Anonyme, Inc, group of 9 postcards, including 8 real photo postcards, 1920-30. $25,000 to $35,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> BELON. <i>L’Histoire de la nature des oyseaux.</i> Paris : Corrozet, 1555. $17,000 to $23,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> MIOMANDRE – BARBIER. <i>Dessins sur les danses de Vaslav Nijinsky.</i> Paris. 1913. $23,000 to $34,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> HOKUSAI. <i>Fugaku Hyakkei, Edo : Nishimura Yûzô.</i> 1834-1875. $58,000 to $80,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> EDWARDS. <i> <br>A Natural History of Uncommon Birds…</i> London : Printed for the Author. 1743-1764. $35,000 to $46,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> VESALIUS. <i><br> De Humane Corporis Fabrica libri septem...</i> Basle : J. Oporinus. 1555. $58,000 to $80,000
  • <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>Die Französische Expedition gegen Mexico /Beilagen zum Beiheft des Militair - Wochenblattes
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>The Architecture Of M. Vitruvius Pollio. London, 1791.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Estatuto Provisional del Imperio Mexicano. México: Imprenta de Andrade y Escalante, 1865.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Historia de Méjico... México, 1849 - 1852.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Juárez, Benito - Ogazón, Pedro. Legajos de Bandos del Estado de Guadalajara, 1860-1863.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos. Mapa de las Aguas que por el Círculo de 90 Leguas Vienen a la Laguna de Tescuco... Méx, 1748.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Cruces y Campa / Aubert / Valleto. Pareja Imperial, Fusilamiento de Maximiliano, Tipos Mexicanos... ca,1875.

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