Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2005 Issue

A Catalogue for the Ages from the Antiquariaat Forum

R0401

On the Threshold of Modern Times from the Antiquariaat Forum.


By Michael Stillman

This is a catalogue from another time. It is unlikely that you have seen one like this in ages, if at all. The Antiquariaat Forum has released its 107th catalogue, On the Threshold of Modern Times. It contains 463 pages, fully one and a half inches thick. Filled with thorough descriptions, historic explanations, and wonderful images, it will itself become a collectible. The catalogue is such a spectacular presentation, it is easy to forget that material is being offered within. That would be unfortunate. There are 506 items from the 17th through the 19th centuries, and they are certainly an unusual and extraordinary lot.

The Antiquariaat Forum is located in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Their catalogue reflects, but is not controlled, by their location. Naturally, there is a concentration of Dutch works offered, but other lands of continental Europe are liberally represented, including some European Americana. To keep the collection from being intimidating, the catalogue has been divided into fourteen sections, each with numerous subsections. Among the main headings are sciences, travel, medicine, history, natural history, fine arts, literature, architecture, philosophy and history of the book. Looking within natural history, as an example, there is general, botany-gardening, zoology, birds-fishes-invertebrates, and stones-mining. It is easy to locate the items you will find of particular interest. Here are a few which most piqued my interest, though undoubtedly there will be others that will most appeal to you.

Christiaan Huygens was one of the greatest Dutch mathematicians and scientists. Living in the 17th century, Huygens discovered Saturn's moon Titan, which has recently been considered perhaps the most likely other place within our solar system to harbor life. The probe which landed on Titan earlier this year was named for Huygens. He also concluded that Saturn's rings were made of rocks (perhaps they are actually ice crystals), rather than being a continuous form. He promoted theories on light as waves and invented the pendulum clock. Near the end of his life, he wrote The celestial worlds discovr'd: or, conjectures concerning the inhabitants, plants and productions of the worlds in the planets. In this work he uses logic to conclude that there is life on other planets, and that this life must not be very different from life on our own. While admitting this is speculation, he deems his beliefs probable.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.

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