Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Offers a Mix of Very Old Books and Ephemeral Items

Catalogue 19 from Samuel Gedge Ltd.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 19. Samuel Gedge offers an eclectic mix of books and ephemeral items, primarily English in origin and dating back a couple of centuries or more. Such items as handbills, posters, account books, letters, manuscripts, newspapers, and even more ephemeral items such as board games are to be found. These are fascinating items unlikely to be found elsewhere, or ever again, for that matter. Here are a few.

 

The first item in the catalogue is a collection of ten almanacs, a sammelband (bound together in a single volume). Each of these almanacs is from a single year – 1677. A couple of them are particularly rare. Several were targeted to seafarers. Between them, Gedge notes they cover a wide variety of topics, including “popular medicine, trade, accountancy, animal husbandry, agriculture, meteorology, fairs, markets, tides, geography, religion” and there are some jokes and humor to be found. Everything needed to prepare you for the year 1677 is here. Item 1. Priced at £2,750 (British pounds, or roughly $4,300 U.S. dollars).

 

Item 119 is a broadside printing of a 1647 ordinance pertaining to a practice considered to be the equivalent of counterfeiting at the time: An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament, That from henceforth no Moneys clipt, filed, or deminished, shall be payable, or received in payment within this Kingdom. Back in those days (and until fairly recently) coins were made of precious metals, their value being in their contents, not a pledge like paper money. However, this led to the practice of “clipping” coins, that is, filing a small amount off of the edges, collecting it, melting it down and thereby having precious metal to sell. Meanwhile, the shaved coin could still be passed off for its original face value. The ridges on the edges of many coins were added to make clipping more difficult. This ordinance outlawed the use of clipped money, saying it could only be treated as bullion, meaning the coins would be valued according to the amount of precious metal still present, not the face value. For those who might think this was not a major issue to the English government, it should be noted that Thomas and Anne Rogers were executed in 1690 for coin clipping, Thomas being hanged, drawn and quartered, Anne burned alive. £450 (US $703).

 

Item 30 is a pair of playbills advertising an English performance by Monsieur Gouffe of “the Wonder of the Age,” Jocko the Brazilian Ape. The performances were held at Wolverhampton and Worcester in January 1827. Humans imitating animals was a popular act in the first half of the 19th century. One of the playbills claims the performance is so convincing it has people wondering whether M. Gouffe “is a monkey or a man.” Supposedly, he could stand on a high pole and hold a boy in his hand. In a particularly monkey-like performance, Gouffe would climb around the high boxes and the gallery clinging only to mouldings and panels, and then stood on his head on the narrow rail around the gallery. Item 30. £950 (US $1,486).

 

Item 54 is Tephilloth, containing the forms of prayer which are publicly read in the synagogues, and used in all families, published in 5530 (in the Hebrew calendar, or 1770 in the English one). This was the first English-Hebrew prayerbook printed in England. The book explains the dual languages as based on a desire to preserve the language “in which it pleased God to reveal himself to our ancestors, and a desire to preserve it to posterity,” along with making it understandable to those in this country “wherein it has pleased the Divine Providence to appoint our lot.” One page is written in Hebrew, while the facing page (to the left) is translated to English. A list of subscribers is printed at the end of the book, which includes the names of many prominent English Jews and some non-Jews as well. £6,500 (US $10,166).

Rare Book Monthly

  • Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 80: Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha), Madrid: Por Juan de la Cuesta, 1608. $80,000 to $120,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 239: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, First London Paperback Edition, London, 1997. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 221: Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, New York, 1985. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 281: Napoleon Bonaparte, Sloane, William Milligan, Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, New York, 1896. $25,000 to $35,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 147: Christoph Jacob Trew, Plantae Selectae quarum Imagines ad Exemplaria Naturalia, Nuremberg, 1750-73. $30,000 to $50,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 125: Guido de Monte Rochen, Manipulus Curatorum, London, 1509. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 197: William Faulkner, Turn About, Ottawa, 1939. $8,000 to $10,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 159: Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, London, 1844. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 119: Niccolo Machiavelli, The Works, London, 1675. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 45: Book of Hours in Latin, Use of Rome, illuminated with miniatures, Lyon, circa 1475-1500. $40,000 to $60,000.
  • 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
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.

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