Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2014 Issue

50 Exceptional Items in Peter Harrington's 100th Catalogue

Catalogue #100.

Peter Harrington of London has reached a milestone publication: Catalogue 100. You might expect there to be 100 books in it, but the subtitle is Fifty Books & Manuscripts. The firm uses this opportunity to briefly recount their history – formed in 1969 by the late Peter Harrington, operated for many years with his brother, Adrian Harrington, and today continued by Peter's son, Pom Harrington. He is not alone as there are now over 25 people on the firm's staff. Recently, the bookseller expanded to open a second shop in London, in Mayfair. The material offered in this 100th catalogue is truly spectacular. These are few examples.

 

Charles Darwin shook up the world when he published his book on the origin of species, a theory still resisted by many to this day. Even the scientific community was reluctant at the time, not wishing what Darwin had concluded to be true to be the truth. Darwin's On the Origin of Species is generally thought of as the theory's introduction, but it was not. The basics were presented earlier in a journal article by Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Darwin had reached his conclusions many years earlier, but was reluctant to share them, fearful of the inevitable controversy. However, as he waited, Wallace independently reached similar conclusions, and was less fearful of publishing his theory. Darwin understood he could wait no longer, and so in 1859, he and Wallace together published this article, On the Tendency of Species to Form Varieties, and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Means of Natural Selection... in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Vol. III). Offered is a copy of that journal, the signed personal copy of Adam Sedgwick, a mentor of Darwin and one of the most important figures in modern geology (but who nonetheless was one of those traditionalists who could not bring himself to accept Darwin's theory). Item 9. Priced at £55,000 (British pounds or about $94,214 in U.S. dollars).

 

This next item will appeal in particular to Americans. It is a copy of the Political Debates between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois... published in 1860. This copy is inscribed by Lincoln to his friend and supporter, Job Fletcher. Fletcher had served with Lincoln years earlier in the Illinois state legislature. It was during the 1858 Illinois senate campaign that Lincoln made a name for himself back home with his electrifying performance in those debates against his powerful, senate incumbent opponent, a leader noted for his “popular sovereignty” doctrine. It was meant to be a compromise on the raging slavery issue – leaving the choice to each state. It satisfied neither side. Nonetheless, the powerful Douglas prevailed in the 1858 campaign. When the two faced off again in 1860, this time for the presidency, Lincoln had this account of the 1858 debates published, as he was still relatively obscure, particularly compared to Douglas, and he hoped to revive some of the magic those debates provided for his reputation. This time, with Douglas' Democratic Party hopelessly split north and south, Lincoln prevailed. Item 28. £150,000 (US $256,923).

 

We turn now to another notable leader with a similar enormous impact on history, but this one came from England, and he is not remembered with quite the love and admiration as Lincoln. It is a document signed by England's King Henry VIII in 1513. Henry's reputation was very different at this time from the one he would have later in life. He was still a Catholic, still married to his first wife, and hadn't executed an inordinate number of people yet. Indeed, this document was a sign of great respect for Queen Katherine, from whom Henry's later divorce would tear apart the entire ecclesiastical structure of England. In 1513, Henry departed for France to wage war, something in which the British and French engaged for a millennium or so. While he was gone, Scottish King James IV attempted to take advantage of his absence by attacking England. Katherine became head of the army in Henry's absence, and the Queen's troops soundly defeated the Scottish invaders. James lay dead on the battlefield. Item 20 is a warrant signed by Henry ordering a substantial amount of cloth be purchased and given to Katherine's servant, John Hasilby. Clothing was a major sign of prestige at the time, and Henry wanted to reward his Queen for her victory with a symbol of great prestige. Sadly, the story between Henry and Katherine would not end with them living happily ever after. £30,000 (US $51,395).

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LEBEDEV (VLADIMIR). Russian Placards - Placard Russe 1917-1922. Saint-Petersbourg, Sterletz, 1923. €1,000 to €1,200.
    ALDE, May 28: MARDRUS (JOSEPH-CHARLES). Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris, F.-L. Schmied, 1927. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: TABLEAUX DE PARIS. Paris, Émile-Paul Frères, 1927. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MAGNAN (JEAN-MARIE). Taureaux. Paris, Michèle Trinckvel, 1965. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.

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