Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2014 Issue

Sotheran's Issues Their Latest Piccadilly Notes

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Piccadilly Notes 59.

Sotheran's has issued the latest in a long-running catalogue series entitled Piccadilly Notes 59 Winter 2013. They have been issuing Piccadilly Notes for almost a century, but that is a recent development by Sotheran's standards. They have been selling books for two and one-half centuries. These catalogues are a compilation of various types of books, more a miscellany than subject specific. The presentation is thorough with everything well illustrated. These are outstanding catalogues with much of great interest to be found. These are just a few examples.

 

We start with the first book ever printed. Well...not really. It has been a long time since a copy of anything more than a leaf or two of the Gutenberg Bible has come on the market. It is unimaginable what the price would be if one did, but none of us could afford it. Here is the next best thing. Item 37 is a facsimile edition of the Gutenberg Bible. Published in 1961, it was the first Gutenberg facsimile printed in the United States, and only the second in the world. It was produced from two originals in Germany, one of which is considered by authorities to be the most beautifully illuminated of all copies. The original was completed around 1456, the first printed book ever. It changed the world like few other events. Priced at £3,995 (British pounds, or approximately $6,577 in U.S. dollars).

 

Here is an interesting combination – a cookbook and medical text. Today one would not expect to see these subjects combined, but in 1741, medicine was not so advanced. Item 15 is The Family Magazine: in Two Parts. Part I. Containing Useful Directions in All the Branches of House-Keeping and Cookery... Part II. Containing a Compendious Body of Physick... You may use Part I if you would like to learn how to prepare some traditional meals. Don't use Part II for anything other than entertainment. Arnold Oxford's bibliography of early English cookbooks says the cookery part is excellent, but the medical book is “full of horrors.” For example, the cure for appendicitis is to “apply a live puppy to the naked belly.” Of course, applying a live puppy won't by itself cure appendicitis, so you should also apply a combination of rotten apples and sheep's dung boiled in milk. If you are out of rotten apples and sheep's dung, we recommend getting yourself to a hospital really quickly as an alternative. The author is given as Arabella Atkyns, though the writer admits in the preface that this is a pseudonym. £998 (US $1,643).

 

It is safe to say that Michael Faraday made better use of the scientific method than did “Ms. Atkyns.” Faraday is most noted for his discoveries relating to electricity and electromagnetism. His work led to the electric motor and electric generator, both based on the ability of electricity to create magnetism and vice versa. While Faraday was conducting his experiments, he kept a diary. He continued for 42 years, with his original manuscript being given to the Royal Institution of Great Britain. It was published in eight volumes from 1932-1936 under the title Faraday's Diary. Being the Various Philosophical Notes of Experimental Investigation Made by Michael Faraday...During the Years 1820-1862... It includes not only Faraday's text, but the diagrams he drew in the margins of his diary. Item 143. £1,250 (US $2,058).

 

Here is another diary, though the diarist is not so famous. In fact, we don't know who he is, other than his name is “Sam.” It covers a trip to Europe from New York by three young men, from July 2 – September 3, 1913. They do the grand tour of Europe, including Italy, France, and Holland, before ending up in London. However, it's the voyage to Europe that is most intriguing. They sailed on the RMS Carpathia. As you may recall, it was the Carpathia that rescued those who found room in the lifeboats and thereby survived the sinking of the Titanic the previous year. Sam writes about the girls, games, and good food on the ship, including a shuffleboard tournament. The diary is accompanied by a photo album showing life on board. There was also a needle-threading contest and fancy dress parties. Sam's biggest complaint is their room, which was not very roomy. Such is the fate of low-fare passengers. “Our stateroom is very unsatisfactory, being a small room with four berths, no wardrobe... Only two at a time can dress not very comfortably at that. Room is very hot, and stuffy.” Nonetheless, the Oceanic, on which they made their return trip, was “far inferior.” At one point, the Carpathia rescues another vessel whose engine has broken down. The lack of reference to the ship's dramatic rescue the year before makes Sotheran's wonder whether Sam even knew about the Carpathia's historic role. Item 54. £998 (US $1,644).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <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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