Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2015 Issue

Uncommon and Antiquarian Books and Related Paper from Susan Schulz-Falster Rare Books

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Catalogue Twenty.

Susan Schulz-Falster Rare Books has published Catalogue Twenty. It offers one-hundred twenty items that are uncommon and antiquarian, sourced from England and continental Europe. The topics are varied but the material is always interesting. Here are a few examples.

 

We will start with something very large, or at least the subject matter was big: Description of a forty-feet reflecting telescope, by William Herschel. This is an original 1795 offprint of Herschel's account of his great 40-foot telescope, the largest in the world when completed in 1789, and for 50 years thereafter. Its completion was celebrated with a concert at its base, which may have been written by Herschel as he was first a musical composer before becoming an astronomer. Herschel is noted for many discoveries, in particular the discovery of Uranus, the first new planet in a few millennia. The new telescope, five-foot in diameter, quickly discovered a new moon revolving around Saturn. While spectacular in size, the 40-foot telescope was not easy to use, and probably was not quite the advance over smaller ones Herschel may have hoped. The offprint includes 19 explanatory plates and a dedication to King George III, who put up £4,800 to finance its construction. Item 62. Priced at £9,800 (British pounds or approximately $15,076 U.S. dollars).

 

We have seen self-service replace personal service in many fields in the past generation or two – grocery stores, restaurants, pumping gas. Here is a much earlier such advance, and one that evidently needed instruction. Item 92 is La Pogonotomie, ou L'art d'appendre a se raser soi meme... by Jean-Jacques Perret, published in 1769. This is an instruction book for men on how to shave yourself. Perret was a barber, and in his time, men went to a barber for a shave. The barber would pull out his straight razor, and presuming he was skillful, and you certainly hoped he was, he would remove your beard or stubble with nary a scratch (that was before stubble was fashionable). However, repeating this procedure yourself, in reverse in front of a mirror, was not so easy, and a mistake could lead to a bloodletting. Perret not only provided instruction, but developed a precursor to the safety razor. It placed the straight razor within a wooden sleeve so that only the very tip of the edge protruded. You might nick yourself, but the razor did not stick out far enough to inflict a deep cut. £800 (US $1,230).

 

You might expect a British danger poster from 1918 to be a warning about Germany, but this enemy was more insidious and much smaller. It is a folio poster from the British Natural History Museum warning, in large bold letters, about The Louse Danger. There is no better way of scaring people about tiny critters, be they lice or dust mites, then to show massively enlarged pictures of them. At the size of a cockroach, they are really gross. The illustrator of this larger-than-life louse was Grace Edwards. Her body of work includes a few other posters, such as “The Mosquito Danger,” and “Illustrations of bloodsucking flies.” This louse poster will get you started on a collection of Ms. Edwards' oeuvre. Item 44. £200 (US $307).

 

If you've ever struggled through Newton's Principia, trying to understand exactly what he means, here is a helpful alternative: The Newtonian System of philosophy, explained by familiar objects, in an entertaining manner, for the use of young persons. By Tom Telescope. This is a later edition (1827) which actually includes post-Newtonian discoveries, but Newton's name was synonymous with natural science at the time. The work has been attributed to its first printer, John Newbery, rather than Tom T., who is a little boy who describes the scientific principles in the book in terms children can understand. It includes numerous illustrations to make the principles easier to follow. I would certainly appreciate it if Tom Telescope would someday get around to explaining Einstein's theory of relativity in terms children of all ages can understand. Item 72. £350 (US $538).

 

One might expect a book about crime and punishment from 1766 to be a rather gruesome affair. Society had moved forward by then from the days of the Middle Ages, but there was still no shortage of brutality, as the French would find a few decades later during their Reign of Terror. However, Italian criminologist Cesare Beccaria had far more humane ideas when it came to dealing with crime and criminals. He believed that penalties should be based on the degree the crime injured society. Prevention should be the primary aim of penalties, not punishment. To this goal, he believed the certainty of punishment had a greater impact than its severity. He advocated fines as punishment for property crimes, banishment for political crimes, and opposed the death penalty, arguing for life imprisonment instead. He also believed the conditions in prisons needed to be improved. Printing and the Mind of Man has described Beccaria's book as “the most influential book in the whole history of criminology.” Item 15 is the French translation from the original Italian, Traité des Délits et de Peines, one of seven editions published in 1766. £800 (US $1,230).

 

Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0) 20 7704 9845 or sfalster@btinternet.com. Their website is www.schulz-falster.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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