Item 103 is a story of survival: Ragionamento sopra il fatto avvenuto in Bergemoletto, by Ignazio Somis, published in 1758. Three women from the small village of Bergemoletto were trapped in a very small stable by an avalanche of snow on March 19, 1755. They were not found until 37 days later. They subsisted on a small amount of milk, living in the cramped, poorly ventilated, foul-smelling quarters. Somis' detailed description of the ordeal has enabled this book to provide a very early look at what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder. €2,200 (US $2,786).
Item 24 is an account of an amazing engineering feat, for its time, or any time: Monument élevé à la gloire de Pierre-le-Grand, ou relation des traveaux et des moyens mechaniques qui ont été employés pour transporter à Pétersbourg by Carburi de Ceffalonie, published in 1777. For those not up on French, it tells of a monument built to Peter the Great in St. Petersburg. However, it is not so much about the statue, though that is a magnificent depiction of the Russian Emperor on horseback. Peter's successor, Catherine (also “the Great”) commissioned the French sculptor, Étienne Falconet, to create the massive statue. This book is focused not on the statue itself but the base. It consists of a carved rock, the largest rock ever to be moved by man. It weighed, at least at the beginning of its journey, around 1,500 tons. It was found in Finland, half submerged in marshland, almost 4 miles from the sea. The engineers decided to wait until winter, when the ground would be frozen, to move it. Using no animals or machines, men hauled the rock to the sea, using sledges and bronze spheres that acted like ball bearings. It was taken to a specially built barge that was then transported via sea and river to the site in St. Petersburg. Along the way, a journey which took 9 months, workers carved the so-called “Thunder Rock” to the appropriate shape for the statue's base. €4,300 (US $5,447).
Before Emily Post, there was Giovanni Della Casa. Della Casa was a learned Italian poet, writer, translator, and cleric. He was at one time Archbishop of Benevento, and supposedly wished to be a cardinal. Reportedly, some transgressions prevented that, perhaps his out of wedlock child, though the death of Pope Paul III, his patron, would not have helped his ambition. Item 33 is his Rime, et Prose, which includes his most noted work, Il Galateo. This is a book on manners, it being the wisdom of an older man (Galateo) explained to a younger one. The young man is instructed in the rules of being polite and well-mannered. Item 33, published in 1558. €4,900 (US $6,212).