Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

Antiquariats Banzhaf and Kuhn at the New York Book Fair

Banzhafny2012

An American Tapir on the Banzhaf/Kuhn catalogue.

Antiquariat Banzhaf and Antiquariat Michael Kuhn created a pocket catalogue for the recent ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair in New York. These booksellers traveled from Germany to New York to display their wares, including the 21 items contained within these pages. Offered are various pieces, books and ephemera, of European origin. Here are some examples.

Item 3 offers drawings of plants and animals as viewed under the lens of the most powerful microscopes available in the 18th century. The book is Mikroskopische Untersuchungen und Beobachtungen der geheimen Zeugungstheile der Pflanzen... (Microscopic studies and observations of the secret parts of plants... and insects), first edition, second printing from 1790. The author was Wilhelm Friedrich von Gleichen-Russwurm. He was a naturalist of sorts, more an amateur, which explains why he is not that well known. Gleichen-Russworm was a baron, born of a substantial family, but problems within that family led to his receiving a less than expected education for someone of his standing. He joined up with the military, and later worked at the court, where he befriended important people. He was a well-liked individual. It enabled him to earn a good living, and after his mother died, he inherited a substantial estate. Tired of the court life, he semi-retired and began scientific studies, notably, looking at plants and small animals under the microscope. As a self-taught scholar, he was not in a position to provide great scientific knowledge, but he had access to the best microscopes available, and provided detailed illustrations of what he discovered in his books. Priced at €6,900 (euros, or roughly $9,075 U.S.).

The image on the cover of this catalogue comes from one of eight wall panel plates depicting various animals of the world. Unsigned and undated, they come from southern Germany or Austria circa 1800. The beast on the cover is that of Tapiris Americanus, the American Tapir. Now I've lived all my life in America and never seen one of these, but there is an explanation. It does not inhabit the America that residents of the United States refer to as “America.” This tapir is now known as Tapiris Terrestris and is commonly called the South American Tapir or Brazilian Tapir. Item 1. €6,400 (US $8,405).

Item 15 is Resa til Italien, 1780, 1781, 1782 (Travels in Italy 1780-2). The author was Carl August Ehrensvärd, who lived from 1745-1800. Born in Stockholm of a military father, Ehrensvärd would fill numerous roles during his life. He is best known as an architect, but was also a painter, caricaturist, writer, member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and rose to Admiral in the Swedish Navy. He was also a traveler, as this book attests, and it contains his account and illustrations. The catalogue describes it as “a beautiful book with astonishing, quite unusual illustrations.” Offered is the second illustrated edition from 1819. €4,200 (US $5,515).

Item 20 is a treatise on a rare and unpleasant genetic disease – ichthyosis: Descriptio Ichthyosis corneae congenitae in virgine observatae. It causes dry skin with a build up of scale-like flakes, hence the ichthyo - “fish” - prefix. It is not contagious, and even today, there is only treatment, no cure. The author of this book, which provides text and illustrations about the condition, was Christoph Helwig Smith, a physician from Bremen when this treatise was published (1830). €7,000 (US $9,190).

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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