Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2011 Issue

Antiquarian Books, Manuscripts, and Ephemera from Samuel Gedge Rare Books

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Catalogue XI from Samuel Gedge.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books has issued their Catalogue XI. Gedge offers a mix of books, manuscripts, and ephemeral items from antiquarian times to antiquity. In other words, there are not only items from the 17th and 18th century, but manuscripts from pre-printing times, as far back as the 13th century. Most items are of British origin, and English is the predominate, though not exclusive, language. Of course, old English is sometimes a bit hard to fathom, and while 16th and 17th century English is fairly easy to follow, the spellings are unusual by current standards. Here are a few of the varied items being offered by Samuel Gedge this month.

Item 4 is a manuscript collection of medical remedies, along with some culinary recipes, put together by one Margaret Baker, probably around 1675. Gedge has not been able to locate any information beyond this book about Ms. Baker, but she evidently gathered her cures and recipes from both professionals and relatives and friends. She has compiled a large collection, and while we would not recommend using her medical advice today, you might want to try her cuisine, if you have the stomach. Among the medicinal treatments, there are “a diat drinke for scurvie, an oyntment for smale poxe, a bathe for swellinge of ye leggs, a salve for oulde sore, a medisen for the gowte, and for ye swelling of ye Kings Evell.” For the young ones, there are cures “for children that are broken out in their heads, a soveraygne medisene to kill wormes in the belly of younge children,” and something “for convolchen fetts in yong children.” While some of these spellings undoubtedly date from the times, her changes in spellings make me think Ms. Baker was not very learned at the art. Among the recipes you can try, there are Ffrench ffritters, sheep troters, sacke possett, sillibub, and Anchovian spratts. “Sillibub” is evidently sillabub, which according to Wikipedia, is a traditional English desert, popular from the 16th through the 19th century, made from cream, sugar, and curdled with wine. I can see why it went out of style. A Google search for “anchovian spratts” instead gave me matches for “anchovy spread.” Did they have anchovy spread in 17th century England? Since there is a fish called the “sprat,” this was more likely a type of fish, rather than something fishy to be spread on crackers. Priced at £7,500 (British pounds, or roughly $11,610 U.S.)

Legal disputes are nothing new. Here is one dating back to 1429. In this case, Sir John de Bohun and the nuns of Easeburne sued the burgesses of Midhurst to pay for certain repairs of the church. The burgesses in turn wanted the convent to pay for ropes for the bells and someone to ring it at morning and night. The dispute was submitted to John Rickingball, the Bishop of Chichester. As this document shows, the Bishop split the difference. The burgesses were required to repair a 72-foot long section of the churchyard wall, and this would discharge their obligations to the church in full. Item 24. £1,600 (US $2,478).

Item 5 is published Extracts from the latter will and codicil of Professor John Anderson, from 1796. Anderson was a professor at Glasgow University, but wished a second university be constructed in the city, one that would provide more in the way of practical skills. Of particular note, Anderson wanted education in mathematics and physics to be available to women, certainly a pioneering concept at that time. Anderson's will provided instructions for the university and funding, and in 1796, Anderson's University was formed. It went through several name changes along the way, but today it survives and thrives as the University of Strathclyde, the third largest in Scotland. True to Anderson's wishes, it provides technical and other courses of practical training. Its most famous alumnus, I presume, was the great explorer David Livingston. £750 (US $1,163).

Item 104 is a printed letter To the Naval and Maritime Officers of Great Britain. It was published by “Princess Olive of Cumberland.” The “Princess” herein makes known that she has been able to determine why mariners' compasses vacillate in Arctic regions, and has developed a compass that will accurately perform on both sides of the equator. Whether she had created such a thing is unknown, but certainly you would not want to assume the verity of any claims made by the “Princess.” We have placed quotation marks around the “Princess'” name as she was an imposter. Daughter of a house painter, but with tastes that far outstretched her means, she declared herself the illegitimate child of the King's brother. She also claimed descent from Polish royalty, in case the other claims weren't sufficient. In reality, “Princess Olive” was Olivia Serres, a painter and writer, but one with a penchant for lots of money and numerous lovers, and possessing a vivid imagination. £350 (US $542).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <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.
  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first issue, 8vo, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible, Italian.- Malermi Bible, woodcut illustrations, folio, Lazaro de Soardi & Bernardino Benali, Venice,1517. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Germany.- Homann (Johann Baptist). <i>Atlas von Deutschland,</i> engraved half title, hand coloured, 87 double page engraved maps, [folio, Erben, Nuremberg, 1753]. £8,000 to £10,000
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> [Mirk (John)].- <i>Liber festivalis et Quatuor sermons</i> [bound with], [Le Roy (Pierre)] <i>A Pleasant Satyre or Poesie,</i> first edition in English, Widdow Orwin for Thomas Man, 1595, 8vo. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Antoninus Florentinus (Saint Archbishop of Florence). <i>Confessionale: Defecerunt…,</i> 8vo, Pietro Quarengi, Venice, 15 February 1499. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Jesuit Letters.- [Froes (Father Luigi) & et al.)] Avvisi del Giapone de gli anni 1582, 1583, 1584…, 1586 [bound with] Avvisi della Cina et Giapone…, FIRST EDITIONS, Rome. £1,000 to £1,500
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Plutarch & Probus (Aemilius). <i>Plutarchi Cheronei et Aemilii Probi Illustrium,</i> folio, Nicolas de Pratis for Jean-Petit, Paris, 1521. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible.- English. <i>The Byble in Englyshe of the Largest and Greatest volume,</i> elaborate woodcut border, text vignettes, folio, 1541. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fore-edge Painting.- Lord George Byron, The Giaour, a Fragment of a Turkish Tale, bound with 10 other titles, 4 plates marked 'Proof.', 1813. £800 to £1,200
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Manson (John). Twelve by Sixteen Papers of John Mason, a collection of 50 sheets of paper, some watermarked, 12 x 16”, c.1978. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Dr. No,</i> FIRST EDITION, original boards, dust-jacket, 8vo, 1958. £700 to £900
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Eliot (T.S.) <i>Four Quartets,</i> NUMBER 121 of 290 COPIES, signed by author, 1960. £400 to £600

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