Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2014 Issue

Antiquarian Classics from Pr-Ph Rare Books (Libreria Philobiblion and Pregliasco)

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Pr-Ph – a new bookselling partnership.

We received our first catalogue from Pr-Ph Rare Books, prepared especially for the recent California Antiquarian Book Fair. Pr-Ph is a new name, representing a combination of Italian booksellers Libreria Pregliasco and Libreria Philobiblion. Separately, they are located in Turin and Rome, but the combined Pr-Ph now has a location in New York City. They feature a selection of very old and important books, primarily from Italy, or cities that are now part of Italy, along with other European locations. Incunables and texts almost as old are to be found here. They also offer a wide selection of books related to food and cooking. Here are some samples of what this new bookselling partnership has to offer.

 

Item 13 is a book printed in the Netherlands, but it will be of greatest interest to American collectors. It is titled A plaine and familiar exposition of the tenne commandements, by John Dod and Robert Cleaver. First published in 1604, with a couple of dozen later editions, this 1617 printing from Leyden would not seem remarkable but for one fact. This edition was printed by William Brewster, a religious dissident who had moved from England to Leyden to practice his own Puritanical beliefs. We say “Puritanical” not in the sense of harsh, but literally. Brewster was the leading elder of the group that would become known as the Pilgrims when they emigrated to America. Brewster was the most educated of the group in Holland, and he set up a press in his home. He published a few religious tracts, including this one. The pressure built on Brewster and the other separatists and in 1619, his types were seized. It was time to move on, and Brewster was among the first group to sail to America on board the Mayflower. The booksellers believe it is likely that this copy came over with him on the Mayflower. Brewster would be a leading religious figure in the new colony for its first two decades. Priced at $120,000.

 

Item 4 is an early mathematical work with a couple of interesting provenances, including another Pilgrim one. The title is Opera, by Apollonius Pergaeus, published in Venice in 1537. Apollonius was not around to reap the royalties on this edition. The ancient Greek mathematician and astronomer died around 190 BC. This is part of Apollonius' work on conics, or cones, that gave us such mathematical terms as ellipse and parabola, those concepts we tried in vain to understand in mandatory mathematics courses. This copy was once part of the collection of John Dee. Dee was a mathematician himself, both astronomer and astrologist, scientist and occultist. He believed both the rational and occult were ways to access knowledge of the unseen world. Dee also served as an adviser to Queen Elizabeth I and he compiled the largest library in England at the time. This copy later made its way to the library of John Winthrop, Jr. His father, Winthrop Sr., emigrated to America in 1630 and served many terms as Governor of Massachusetts. Winthrop Jr. followed him the next year and became a successful businessman in Massachusetts, helped found the colony in Connecticut, and later served as Governor of Connecticut. Winthrop's library, like that of Dee's, was also a largest library, the largest at the time in the American colonies. $580,000.

 

Item 28 may seem an unimpressive book at first glance, but its significance can hardly be overstated. It is Cosmographia, by Claudius Ptolemaeus, better known today as Ptolemy. It is the most important geographic work of antiquity, Ptolemy having charted out the known world during the second century from his home in Alexandria. Amazingly enough, for the next fourteen centuries, no significant advances were made in western understanding of the world's geography. It would take Columbus to do that, and he was just a young man yet to sail the seas when this book was printed. This copy was published in Vicenza in 1475, which explains its rather ordinary appearance. It has no maps, the hallmark of most copies of Ptolemy's Cosmographia. The reason is that this is the first edition of this extraordinarily important work, which is why it so desirable. It is the first. Editions would start to be published a couple of years later containing maps, but the first edition had text only. $640,000.

 

After the unillustrated first edition, several with maps appeared during the remainder of the 15th century. Item 29 is a 1490 printing of Cosmographia, printed in Rome, the second Rome edition and fourth illustrated edition. It contains 60 double-page maps, and Pr-Ph notes that the incunable editions printed in Rome are superior due to advanced technical skills. The world itself was still depicted as it was in Ptolemy's time, Columbus still yet to sail, and nothing new learned in 14 centuries except some minor knowledge along the west coast of northern Africa. $460,000.

 

For a look at how the other half eats, circa the late 17th century, item 48 is Le Cuisinier royal et bourgeois, a 1693 second (augmented) edition. Francois Massialot created a cookbook focused on “good taste,” both literally and figuratively. While at times chefs may have celebrated the meals of regular folks, that was not the case at this time nor in France. Quoting Menell (All manners of Food), Pr-Ph notes, “...not only was anything reminiscent of rusticity and the food of peasants to be avoided, but the court and the 'best circles' were offered as models to be copied.” $4,400.

 

Pr-Ph Rare Books may be reached in New York at 646-370-4657. The booksellers may also be contacted by email: Filippo Rotundo filippo@prphbooks.com, Umberto Pregliasco umberto@prphbooks.com. The website is found at www.prphbooks.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Gideon Welles, <i>Extensive archive of personal and family papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy,</i> 1791-1914. Sold September 29 — $281,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Rock Climbers,</i> cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> watercolor, ink and gouache, 1954. Sold December 15 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Brontë, <i>Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell,</i> three volumes, first edition, 1847. Sold June 16, 2022 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, <i>The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed,</i> London, 1542. Sold October 13 — $106,250.
    <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32),</i> silver print, 1936. Sold October 20 — $305,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> George Washington, Autograph Document Signed, with two manuscript plat maps in holograph, 1751. Sold October 27 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Winfred Rembert, <i>Winfred Rembert and Class of 1959,</i> dye on carved & tooled leather, 1999. Sold October 6 — $233,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> M.C. Escher, <i>Relativity,</i> lithograph, 1953. Sold November 3 — $81,250.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Original Film Posters<br>27 January - 10 February 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Vertigo (1958), poster, US. The ultimate poster on this classic Hitchcock title, one of three known examples. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Lawrence of Arabia (1962), roadshow poster, US. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Star Wars (1977), style C poster, printer's proof, US. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> The Navigator/ La Croisiere du Navigator (1924), re-release poster (1931), French. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Bullitt (1968), special test poster, US. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 817. Bellin's complete five-volume maritime atlas with 581 maps & plates (1764). $24,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 325. An early and important map of the Republic of Texas (1837). $11,000 to $14,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 45. De Bry's early map of North Pole depicting Willem Barentsz' expedition (1601). $3,500 to $4,250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 154. Poignant map of the United States documenting lynchings (1931). $250 to $325.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 457. Extremely rare matching set of pro-German propaganda from WWI (1914). $2,000 to $2,400.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 815. Homann's world atlas featuring 110 maps in contemporary color (1751). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 60. Miniature pocket globe based on Herman Moll (1785). $3,500 to $4,500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 8. Visscher's rare carte-a-figures world map (1652). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 158. Matching satirical maps of the US by McCandlish: "Ration Map" & "Bootlegger's Map" (1944). $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 820. One of the finest English atlases of the early 19th century (1808). $4,750 to $6,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 59. Important milestone in preparation for 1969 moon landing (1963). $750 to $900.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 805. Superb bible leaf with image of crucifixion of Jesus with gilt highlights (1518). $800 to $950.
  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>including Americana<br>February 16, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works…now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [EINSTEIN, Albert (1879–1955)]. –– ORLIK, Emil (1870–1932), artist. Lithograph signed (“Albert Einstein”). N.p., 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. <i>[The Lord of the Rings trilogy:] The Fellowship of the Ring.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Two Towers.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Return of the King.</i> 1955. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") and Charles Dudley WARNER. <i>The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.</i> Hartford and Chicago, 1873. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> LOVECRAFT, Howard Phillips. <i>Beyond the Wall of Sleep.</i> Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1943. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair

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