Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

Antiquariats Banzhaf and Kuhn at the New York Book Fair


De Montfort's squid sinks a ship.

Item 8 is a work of astronomical incunabula, Theorica planetarium. This is an early edition, published in 1472. The work is attributed to Gerard of Cremona or Gerard of Sabbioneta. Apparently, the two Gerards were the same. He was a 12th century Italian translator, who specialized in translating Arabic, Jewish, and ancient texts. He was one of a group of translators who began to enlighten a darkened Europe with the knowledge that more advanced cultures of that day, or earlier days, possessed. This astronomical book was translated from an Arabic text. When Christian forces overran Toledo in the 11th century, the Islamic rulers were forced to leave their library behind. Rather than destroying it, the new leaders retained that library and made its books available to translators. €9,000 (US $11,825).

Here is a most interesting work, Allgemeine und besondere Naturgeschichte der Weichwurmer (Mollusques) als Fortsetzung der Buffonschen Naturgeschichte (General and specific natural history of soft worms (mollusks) as a continuation of Buffon's natural history). This is a first German edition (1803-1808) of a work by French naturalist Pierre Denys de Montfort. De Montfort is best known today for his search for the giant squid. The giant squid was long thought to be just a myth, but de Montfort was convinced of a story that a 25-foot long tentacle had been found in the mouth of a whale. He believed the two to be mortal combatants, and imagined the squid capable of great destructive power (see the image on this page). He theorized that they had taken down several missing British ships, only to be embarassed when the British revealed their true fate. Ultimately, de Montfort was proven right, at least to the existence of a giant squid, though they do not take down ships, and they are prey for whales, not equal combatants. Item 4. €1,600 (US $2,100).

Antiquariat Banzhaf may be reached at 0049-(0)7071-552314 or Antiquariat-Banzhaf@t-online.de

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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