Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2014 Issue

Old Books and Ephemera from Samuel Gedge Rare Books

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An unknown clergyman graces the cover of Samuel Gedge's latest catalogue.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books has published their Catalogue XVIII. The use of Roman numerals is appropriate as the works here are mostly very old, back to the days when everyone understood that numeric system. While age is a commonality, the type of material varies greatly. Some items are books, but most are handbills, posters, certificates, letters, more ephemeral pieces. We will take a look at some of these varied items.

 

We start with the gentleman depicted on the cover of this catalogue. Unfortunately, we can't tell you who he is, or much of anything about him. His garb indicates he was an Anglican clergyman, and most likely his portrait was drawn in 1667 in London. There's no one to ask. Nor can we tell you much more about the artist. His name was T. Thrumpton, and we don't even know what the “T” stood for, though Gedge located a contemporary Thomas Thrumpton who may be the artist. Thrumpton worked in pastels and a few other of his works have survived. This one displays the light coloring he used in most of his drawings. Item 113. Priced at £1,250 (British pounds, or roughly $2,095 in U.S. currency).

 

Sometimes too much independent thought isn't good for you. Item 123 is Amphitheatrum Aeternae Providentiae Divino-Magicum, by Lucilio Vanini. Vanini was an Italian who studied philosophy and theology in Rome, later learning science and medicine. He was ordained a priest, but many found his unorthodox views anti-Christian. He renounced the priesthood and fled to England. Unfortunately, he was jailed there, and returned to the continent, settling in France. He taught in France, propagating his view that worldly phenomena are controlled by natural law, not Godly intervention. That was stretching the acceptable at that time, so he published this book in 1615 to demonstrate he was not an atheist. It bought him time, but in 1618 he was arrested, put on trial, convicted, and sentenced to having his tongue cut out and strangled at the stake, his body to be burnt to ashes. The sentence was carried out. People had a different idea of what God wanted them to do back then. £2,500 (US $4,190).

 

Next up is a handbill for a Challenge...Mr. Courtney, the American phenomena...that he intends taking a most terrific flight, from the top of the Heights over the town of Dover, and a make a descent on the Ropewalk...30th of August, 1825... Mr. Courtney was a tightrope walker who performed numerous outdoor feats at this time in Dover. However, he may not have been all that he claimed to be. According to The Literary Chronicle for the year 1825, “A Mr. Courtney, who has been unmercifully set upon by the daily journals, because he announced himself as the American phenomena, and who, we believe, is a son of the late John George Holman the comedian, has been flying over the town of Dover, at the hazard of his own life...” £450 (US $754).

 

Item 92 provides a small slice of life, or more accurately, of death over 500 years ago. This is the will of William Benet of Moulsford, Berkshire, long forgotten to history. Sick in body and whole in mind, he drew up his will on March 4, 1444. He didn't have a whole lot, though undoubtedly more than the average person of his time. He leaves his body to be buried at the church in Cholsey. He gives the church a peck of barley, and two loads of coal to repair its bells. His daughter is left 16 loads of coal, two sons a peck of barley each. The third son gets his pasture land, but not until his wife passes on. £450 (US $754).

 

Item 129 is an amazing collection of name dropping. It is the visitors book from July 13, 1818, to January 1, 1822, of the Duke of Clarence. Most were likely signed by the named persons, though one person may have signed for a family, or some servant for a visitor on occasion. They were visitors to the Duke's home in Teddington. No one expected too much of the Duke of Clarence. He was the third son of George III. At the start of this period, George III was still living, though no longer mentally competent. In 1820, he died, and the Duke's eldest brother ascended to the crown as George IV. However, his second eldest brother died in 1827 and George IV in 1830. Neither had legitimate issue. The Duke of Clarence became King, where he ruled as William IV until his death in 1837. Price on request.

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    <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
  • <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.
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    <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.

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