Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2013 Issue

Prints, Rare Books, and Drawings from August Laube

August Laube's latest catalogue with Durer's Michael and the dragon on the cover.

This month we received a catalogue from August Laube of Zurich, Switzerland. It is their Spezialkatalog 2013. The firm specializes in “Buch und Kunstantiquariat,” or Books and Visual Arts. They have been in business in Zurich since 1922. This catalogue is divided into categories, with the subjects being Old Master Prints, Modern Prints, Rare Books, Drawings, and Helvetica. For those who know Helvetica only as a typeface (and one designed in Switzerland), it also refers to Swiss prints. As can be seen by the topics, the items offered here are notable for their artistic qualities, as most are more suitable for hanging on the wall rather than placing in a bookshelf. However, they all fit within the category of “works on paper,” a broader field now followed by many who in an earlier generation may have collected only within a single sphere.

 

The Swiss generally speak a multitude of languages, and this catalogue comes in two of them – German and English. Descriptions are provided for all items in both languages. That said, the items are focused on visual arts, so textual descriptions are of limited use, other than to explain the background of the particular work. Fortunately, images are provided for all items. We will provide a little background for a few of the items, but this is a catalogue that must be seen to be understood. If this is material you collect, we recommend contacting Laube for a copy.

 

Item 15 is Das Bapstum mit seinen Gliedern gemalet und beschrieben. This is a 1557 edition of a book first published in 1526, with verses provided by an unknown author. The feature is the woodcuts by Lucas Cranach, picturing various officials of the Catholic Church, including the pope, a cardinal, bishop and various clergy. However, don't expect anything too complimentary to the Catholic Church about this book. The preamble and postscript were provided by Martin Luther, and he was hardly a great fan of the Church. Priced at CHF 7,000 (Swiss francs or approximately $7,650 in U.S. dollars).

 

There could hardly be a topic more appropriate for France than that of this 1801 (second edition) book from Paris: Traité théorique et pratique sur la culture de la vigne, avec L'art de faire le vin... This is a book about wine making, and no one is quite as good at this as the French. They have been doing it for a long time. This is considered a great work on wine making, written by chemistry professor J. A. Chaptal. M. Chaptal lives on through the word “chaptalisation” (a word with which I will admit I was not previously familiar). Chaptalisation is the process whereby sugar is added to fermenting wine to increase the alcohol content. Item 17. CHF 1,800 (US $1,970).

 

Here is a notably artistic book, dating all the way back to 1543: Ursprung und Herkum[m]en der zwolff ersten alten Konig und Fursaten Deutscher Nation. It contains 12 woodcuts of German emperors executed by Hans Guldenmund of Nuremberg. It is doubtful that Guldenmund himself cut the blocks, but he published woodcuts of others in his role as a printer. The images have been colored in a contemporary hand, and while Guldenmund was an illuminator early in his career, he was likely too busy for the task by this time. This book is today extremely rare. Item 16. Price on request.

 

Item 2 is a print of an engraving by Martin Schongauer, which dates from 1480-1490. If Wikipedia is to be believed, “he was the most important printmaker before Albrecht Durer.” His works certainly have earned the honor. Item 2 depicts St. Michael slaying the dragon. Michael is depicted as a young angel with beautiful wings. He holds a spear, stuck into the hideous, crab-clawed dragon's mouth. There is no question who is the good guy and who is the bad, with the biblical story being one of the triumph of good over evil, or Michael over Satan, whom the dragon represents. CHF38,000 (US $41,580).

 

Speaking of Durer, Michael and the dragon, item 4 is Albrecht Durer's interpretation of the same event. Michael may not be quite so young and handsome here, but the dragon is certainly comparably repulsive. This impression from Durer's engraving was made in 1511. CHF 16,000 (US $17,508).

 

August Laube may be reached at +41 (0) 44 256 88 99 or augustlaube@augustlaube.ch. Their website is www.augustlaube.ch.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
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    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
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    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
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  • Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] DAVID BURLIUK WITH ORIGINAL DRAWING and Signed twice. David Burliuk Rare ACA Gallery exhibition catalogue, undated. CA$400 – 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS. Text by Margaret Atwood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2019. $CA400 - 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: SIGNED. LAWRENCE WEINER: POSTERS. Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada,1987. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: WILBUR SMITH: THE DARK OF THE SUN. Heinemann, UK, 1965. Signed First edition. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: ROBERTSON DAVIES: LEAVEN OF MALICE. SIGNED Clark, Irwin, & Co., Canada. 1954. 1st edition. CA$400 – 600
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [THE NOTABLE TRAILS LIBRARY]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: THE TRIAL OF DR. X; ROE V. WADE; THE GALILEO AFFAIR; THE TRIAL OF BERNHARD GOETZ… CA$300 – 500
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [MILITARY FICTION]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: Canada's Royal Military College. REVIEW, THE STONE FRIGATE, A HISTORY OF THE RMC… CA$300 – 400
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [WW1] CANADIAN (C.S.E.F.) SIBERIA 1918-1919 PHOTO ALBUM. With approximately 303 original official war photographs, photo-postcards, and personal photographs. CA$8,000 – 10,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: HANS BELLMER: THE DOLL. 1995, 1st Ed. CA$150 – 300.
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: FAN HO; HONG KONG YESTERDAY. ModernBooks edition, 2006. First edition. 4to. CA$300 – 600.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: TARYN SIMON: AN AMERICAN INDEX OF THE HIDDEN AND UNFAMILIAR. Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2012. Third edition. CA$600 – 1,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: BARBARA KRUGER PICTURE/READINGS. [Self-Published], 1978 First edition. CA$800 – 1,200.

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