Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2014 Issue

Science, Medicine & Natural History from Peter Harrington

Science, Medicine & Natural History.

Peter Harrington has issued a catalogue of Science, Medicine & Natural History. It covers centuries of discovery – from the 17th century all the way to the close of the 20th. Some theories may be a bit dated, though this is all serious work, building blocks if not final answers. The more recent theories are still our best attempts to understand a world so complex and boundless it exceeds even our imagination. Here are a few of the over 200 important books and pamphlets being offered.

 

We will start with a look at the earliest days of human history – quite literally: The South African Fossil Ape-Men The Australopithecinae. This work by Robert Broom (who has inscribed this first edition, first impression) and G. Schepers was published on January 31, 1946. Broom had moved to South Africa in 1934 where he began examining the pre-human fossil record with paleontologist Raymond Dart. Broom's research led him to conclude that Dart was correct in his chicken-and-egg, which-came-first theory – walking upright, or larger brains. Did walking upright make greater intelligence a major evolutionary advantage, or did greater intelligence make the ability to walk upright of critical importance? Broom concluded that man first learned how to walk upright, and after that, intelligence was an advantage in using those freed upper limbs. Item 17. Priced at £300 (British pounds or about $495 in U.S. dollars).

 

There is a small world out there that humans had missed until Robert Hooke came along with his microscope. Hooke developed a powerful microscope in the 17th century, which he then turned on various ordinary things for a closer look. What he found was amazing, and he began illustrating what he saw. His illustrations and text were published in 1665 in the book Micrographia: or some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses. He provided a close-up look at things like nettles, a louse, and his extraordinary (and frightening) look at a flea blown up to the size of a rodent or greater. Lions and tigers may pick off a few of us, but it is the tiniest of creatures, bacteria and viruses, that get us most often. Item 122. £65,000 (US $107,170).

 

Hooke could not have imagined in 1665 just how small things can get. Not even bacteria could look at this stuff with a naked nucleus. Item 192 is Atomic Projectiles and Collisions with Light Atoms, by Ernest Rutherford, published in 1919. This is the uncommon offprint of Rutherford's pioneering work splitting the atom. While it was known that radioactive elements disintegrate to other forms, this was the first case of human intervention causing an atom to break into smaller parts. Rutherford used alpha particles to bombard an otherwise stable nitrogen atom. £6,750 (US $11,130).

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900

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