Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2013 Issue

At the California Fair with Antiquariat Banzhaf and Antiquariat Michael Kuhn

Banzhaffeb2013

For the California Fair.

Antiquariat Banzhaf and Antiquariat Michael Kuhn issued a brochure for the recent 46th California International Antiquarian Bookfair. The two German booksellers made the trip across the ocean and across the continent to display items from the old country in one of the last places explored by their antecedents back in then era of discovery. Much of what they brought relates to those long ago times, with subjects including science, mathematics, art, botany, trade, and more. Here is a look at some of these old world items.

Here is a book that will appeal to stargazers everywhere: A Selection of Photographs of Stars, Star-Clusters, and Nebulae, together with Information concerning the Instruments and the Methods employed in the Pursuit of Celestial Photography. The author/photographer was Isaac Roberts, an engineer with a passion for astronomy. He purchased a fine telescope which he used for photography of celestial bodies. What is particularly important about Roberts' work was that he employed very long exposures, not that easy since his lens had to move with the rotation of the earth to stay focused. What he was able to photograph with long exposures was very faint objects, things not visible to the naked eye. He revealed structures previously unknown. Most significant was his photograph of the Andromeda galaxy, which revealed it was a spiral structure, unknown at the time. Item 8. Priced at €3,800 (euros, or roughly $5,098 in U.S. dollars).

Ferdinand Vrangel was a German native who became a Russian explorer. He made several long trips on behalf of Russia, but his most notable journey was one was in northeastern Siberia in the early 1820s. He traveled up the Kolyma River, which flows into the Siberian Sea, and from there east to the Bering Strait. Vrangel was able to establish that there was no land north of the Kolyma and that there was no land bridge, as many thought, between Russia and America. Vrangel's complete account of his research is found in this first edition of Physikalische Beobachtungen wahrend seiner Reisen auf dem Eismeere in den Jahren 1821, 1822 und 1823, published in 1827. Vrangel would later become deeply involved in Russian America (Alaska), serving as head of the Russian-American Company and as Governor of the settlements. He was active in expanding and developing those settlements, and late in life after his retirement, he opposed the sale of Alaska to the United States. Item 21. €2,600 (US $3,470).

Here is a guide to preserving plant specimens: Das Auftrocknen der Pflanzen fürs Herbarium, und die Aufbewahrung der Pilze... (The drying of the plants for herbarium, and storage of mushrooms). Author Friedrich Luebersdorff was a scientist, politician and landowner in 19th century Germany. This work was designed to help readers preserve the colors and shapes of their plant specimens. A section of the book is focused on collecting mushrooms. Item 18. €1,200 (US $1,601).

Perhaps this unknown collector made use of Herr Luebersdorff's advice in creating this herbarium. Item 16 is an album of 102 mounted specimens of algae. It comes in two volumes, and evidently has a wealthy provenance. It contains dark brown morocco bindings with lavish gilt decorations. It may have belonged to Princess Marie Sophie Amalie, who later became Queen of the Two Sicilies, though this is uncertain. It was created in Germany around 1850. €2,500 (US $3,338).

Here is a book that's over 500 years old (501 to be exact – it was published in 1512): Summa super libris Physicorum Aristotelis. The actually writing if far older. The author was Robert Grosseteste, who lived from 1168-1253, serving as Bishop of Lincoln the last 18 years of his life. He was something of a reformer for his era, and was highly involved in relations between the Church in Rome and that in England. However, it is not his theological duties for which he is most remembered. Grossteste translated several ancient Greek works, and was highly influenced by the works of Aristotle and others. In what is often referred to as the “Dark Ages,” he was a leader in scientific thought, at least such as it was at the time. He promoted something akin to the scientific method, where principles could be learned from observations and then applied to other situations. He also saw mathematics as being on the highest plain, science emanating from its principles, and developed some unusual theories in the field of optics. Item 1. €20,000 (US $26,572).

Antiquariat Banzhaf may be reached at 0049-(0)7071-552314 or Antiquariat-Banzhaf@t-online.de. Their website is found at www.antiquariat-banzhaf.de.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> JOYCE, James. <i>Ulysses.</i> London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1937. PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION PRINTED IN ENGLAND. $50,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [SHACKLETON, Ernest]. –– BROWNING, Robert. <i>Poetical Works of…</i> London: Smith and Elder, 1906. PRESENTED TO SHACKLETON AND THE OFFICERS OF THE NIMROD BY A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York: George R. Lockwood, [1870]. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> ARISTOTLE. Opera, in Greek, parts one and two only: Organon and Natural Philosophy I. Edited by Aldus and others. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1 November 1495–February 1498. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> COOK, James, Capt. [Collected Voyages]. First and Second Voyages: London: W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1773, 1777; Third Voyage: London: H. Hughes for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1785. $14,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne (“Mark Twain”). <i>The Writings of…</i> Hartford: American Publishing Co., 1899–1900. $12,000 to $16,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>The Poems of…</i> Edited by Frederick S. Ellis. Hammersmith: William Morris for the Kelmscott Press, 1893. $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> LONDON, Jack. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> New York: The Macmillan Company, 1905. PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY LONDON. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CROWLEY, Aleister (1875–1947). <i>The Winged Beetle.</i> London: privately printed, 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> WILDE, Oscar (“C.3.3.”). <i>The Ballad of Reading Gaol.</i> London: Leonard Smithers, January 1898. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> DRYDEN, John. <i>Fables Ancient and Modern; translated into verse from Homer, Ovid, Boccace, & Chaucer: with original poems.</i> London: John Tonson, 1700. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [MAP]. LINSCHOTEN, Jan Huygen van. <i>Delineatio Orarum Maritimarum…</i> London: John Wolfe, 1598. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Antiquarian Books<br>Including a series of views of Milan<br>September 27 to October 4</b></center>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Livius, Historia Romanae decades, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1470, contemporary Morocco. €30,000 to €40,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Blaeu, Nieuw Stedeboeck van Italien (Piemont), The Hague, 1724-1725, 8 volumes, marbled calf gilt. €70,000 to €90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Baysio, Rosarium decretorum, Venice, 1481, later vellum. €10,000 to €15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> [Niccolò da Poggibonsi], Viaggio da Venetia al santo Sepulchro, Venice, 1529, later half calf. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Hieronymus, Epistole [Italian], Ferrara, 1497, blue crushed morocco with the Rocco di Torrepadula arms. €12,000 to €15,000.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Extensive archive of papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> George Catlin, <i>North American Indian Portfolio,</i> 1844. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> The Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures, Carefully Translated…after the Best Jewish Authorities, Philadelphia, 1853-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Wedding book of Eleanor Roosevelt’s bodyguard, Earl Miller, signed by the Roosevelts, 1932. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Textile titled <i>The Resignation of Pres’t Washington,</i> Scotland, circa 1800. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Gideon Welles, Pass for President Lincoln’s White House funeral, 1865. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Confirmation of arms and nobility in favor of the Diez y Mora family, Madrid, 1710. $2,500 to $3,500.

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