Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2015 Issue

50 Fine Books from Shapero Rare Books

Ef7e1771-95ca-4e04-9b67-e2e0eafecdd8

50 Fine Books.

Shapero Rare Books has issued a catalogue of 50 Fine Books. That title is their only description of the catalogue itself. They go directly to descriptions of the books themselves. We will follow that path, and go straight to describing these fine books, though only a small sample of them will fit in this review.

 

We begin with a spectacular color plate book of some of the world's most beautiful flowers, orchids from Central America. The book is The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala, by James Bateman, an elephant folio published 1837-1843. It is always helpful to be able to quote an outside source, and Shapero quotes W. Blunt's description of this book in The Art of Botanical Illustration: “probably the finest, and certainly the largest, botanical book ever produced with lithographic plates... In size and in splendour, Bateman's giant folio eclipses the works of all who went before or came after him.” Bateman was a collector of, and pioneer in the cultivation of, orchids. The Central American ones described herein he convinced a Guatemalan merchant to send to him in England. Thirty-seven of the 40 watercolors were created by either Sarah Anne Drake, a botanical artist and orchidologist, or Augusta Innes Withers, who later became a flower and fruit painter for Queen Victoria. The illustrations were expertly hand colored. Item 4. Priced at £95,000 (British pounds, or about $141,225 in U.S. dollars).

 

Next we go from botanical to zoological specimens. Item 33 is La Ménagerie du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, by Bernard Conte de Lacépede and Georges Cuvier, published in 1801. It includes the illustrations of Nicolas Maréchal, the museum's painter. The Ménagerie was associated with the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. This was something of a difficult time as control of the Ménagerie had been transferred during the chaos of the Revolution a few years earlier, but fortunately, at least the animals of Paris did not have their heads chopped off. Lacépede and Cuvier were notable French natural historians of the time. Among the exotic animals displayed is the first pictorial illustration of an American Black Bear. This copy contains 41 of a possible 42 plates, which is 2 or 3 more than is commonly found in copies of this book. £8,500 (US $12,713).

 

Item 9 is a groundbreaking work in the field of Arctic photography. The book is The Arctic regions, illustrated with photographs taken on an art expedition to Greenland. The trip took place in 1869; the book was published in 1873. This is very early photography for such extreme climatic conditions. The author was William Bradford, and while Bradford was an artist, oddly, most if not all of the photographs were taken by two others, photographers John L. Dunmore and George Critcherson. Bradford took several trips to the Arctic, including this one in 1869. He was sponsored by LeGrand Lockwood, a financier who had obtained great wealth in the railroad business. A painter of the Hudson River Valley School, Bradford went north to sketch scenes in the frozen land. He would use these sketches when he returned home to create paintings. He also took the two photographers along so he would have photographs from which to paint. However, when he decided to publish a book about the trip, he used the photographs to provide the illustrations. Shapero notes that this book is “a notorious Arctic rarity.” £150,000 (US $224,100).

 

This next work is a tribute to a different artist, one who lived over three centuries before Bradford. Born in Germany, Hans Holbein became a portrait artist. In 1526, nearing the age of 30, he traveled to England seeking better opportunities. He gained entrance to the court of King Henry VIII, where his portraits were so well-liked that he rose to be painter to the King, painting one of the most familiar portraits of Henry. Several of those who promoted his cause would later run seriously afoul of Henry, including Anne Boleyn, Thomas More, and Thomas Cromwell, all executed by the King. Nonetheless, Holbein escaped Henry's wrath, and while his role may have declined after Cromwell was executed in 1540, he remained an official painter through his death in 1543, even as he worked on outside projects. In 1792, John Chamberlaine, keeper of the King's drawings, decided to create a work of Holbein's portraits. It was released in 14 parts from 1792-1800. Entitled Imitations of original drawings...in the collection of his Majesty, for the portraits of illustrious persons of the court of Henry VIII, it contains 84 of Holbein's portraits, and this copy includes 8 additional plates called Court of Francis II. Noted for realistic, detailed portraits, Holbein's paintings are the closest things we have to photographs of these great personalities from the first half of the 16th century. Item 27. £15,000 (US $22,420).

 

Item 48 is An historical account of the colony of New South Wales and its dependent settlements, in illustration of twelve views, engraved by W. Preston, a convict; from drawings taken on the spot, By Captain Wallis... That title pretty well sums up this item. Captain James Wallis arrived in 1814 and was placed in charge of a convict settlement, which he changed to a regular town. He created these drawings which form the first book of landscape views of New South Wales. It is also the first plate book with engravings created in Australia by an Australian engraver. Of course, Mr Preston had no choice but to stay in Australia, he being a convict. Wallis returned to England to have the notable printer of quality works, Rudolph Ackermann, publish this book in 1821. Wallis pardoned engraver William Preston. £24,500 (US $36,635).

 

Shapero Rare Books may be reached at +44 207 493 0876 or rarebooks@shapero.com. Their website is www.shapero.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Paul George Lawler, <i>San Francisco – Hawaii Overnight,</i> 1939. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Around the World, <i>North German Lloyd,</i> designer unknown, circa 1910. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Michael Rudolf Wening, <i>Siam,</i> circa 1920s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Sigismunds Vidbergs, <i>Spend Your Holidays at the Wonderful Seaside of Riga,</i> circa 1925. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Jean Dupas, <i>“Where is this Bower Beside the Silver Thames?”</i> 1930. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Charles-Léonce Brossé, <i>Meeting d’Aviation, Nice,</i> 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> John Held Jr., <i>Nantucket,</i> 1925. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Seaverns W. Hilton, <i>Lewis and Clark, Northern Pacific,</i> 1920. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Fred Powis, <i>Jasper, Canadian National Railways.</i> $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>October Sale<br>October 10, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> LA HARPE, Jean-Baptiste Benard de. 'CARTE NOUVELLE DE LA PARTIE DE L'OUEST DE LA LOUISIANNE'. $800,000 to $1,200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> AUDUBON, John James. Great Blue Heron, Plate 211. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> REDOUTE, Pierre-Joseph. Watercolor for plate 456: Bromella ananas (Cultivated Pineapple). $450,000 to $550,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> COOK, Captain James. <i>A set of the three voyages comprising...</i> London: 1773-1785. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> KEY, Adrien Thomaszoon. Abraham Ortelius. Oil on Panel. $400,000 to $450,000.
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Travel, Science & Engineering <br>7 October 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> John Wallis (1616-1703). <i>Letters collected in cipher during the late warres,</i> 1653. Unpublished holograph manuscript. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Isaac Newton. <i>The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,</i> 1st edition in English, 1729. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Stephan Broelmann. <i>Epideigma,</i> 1st edition, Cologne, 1608. Hand-coloured presentation copy to Scipioni Borghese (1577-1633). £5,000 to £8,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Travel, Science & Engineering <br>7 October 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> John West (1788-1845). <i>Journal of a Voyage to Hudson’s Bay, and the Red River Settlement,</i> 1820-21. Manuscript journal. £3,000 to £5,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> R. Lambert Playfair. <i>The Fishes of Zanzibar,</i> 1st edition, 1866. Presentation copy to Sir Bartle Frere (1815-1884). £3,000 to £5,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> William Ellis (1794-1872). <i>Polynesian researches,</i> c.1820. Collection of holograph micrographic notes for his pioneering ethnography. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Travel, Science & Engineering <br>7 October 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Edmond Halley. <i>Menelai Sphaericorum,</i> 1st edition, 1758. Given by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) to Scottish mathematician Robert Simson (1678-1768). £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Hawaii. Illuminated testimonial for retiring consul-general W. R. Hoare, 1905. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> J. Hill. <i>Broadway, New-York, shewing each Building,</i> c.1836. A fine hand-coloured aquatint. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Travel, Science & Engineering <br>7 October 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Apollo 11. First day cover signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, 20 July 1969. £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Peter Mazell. <i>A View of the Chohoes, or Great Cataract of the Mohawk River,</i> 1768. Rare copper-engraving after Thomas Davies. £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> South Sea Bubble. <i>Summary of accounts of the masters and usher of the Court of Chancery,</i> 1724. Original clerical manuscript. £1,000 to £1,500.
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> DARWIN, Charles Robert. <i>On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.</i> London: W. Clowes and Sons for John Murray, 1859. [With] autograph note signed. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> [FINE PRESS & LIVRE D'ARTISTE]. -- [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works ... now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward. <i>Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a triumph.</i> [London: Privately Printed], 1926. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies…</i> London, Printed for H. Herringman, E. Brewster, R. Chiswell, and R. Bentley, 1685. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America…</i> [1839-] 1840-1844. -- AUDUBON, John James and John BACHMAN. <i>The Quadrupeds of North America.</i> 1849-1854. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> OGILBY, John, trans. [MONTANUS, Arnoldus]. <i>America: being the latest, and most Accurate Description of the New World…</i> London: Printed by the Author, 1671. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> HOBBES, Thomas. <i>Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill.</i> London: printed for Andrew Crooke, 1651. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> BLACKWELL, Elizabeth. <i>A Curious Herbal, containing Five Hundred Cuts of the most useful Plant which are now used in the Practice of Physick…</i> London: John Nourse, 1739. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> MILTON, John. <i>Paradise Lost.</i> London: Printed by S. Simmons ... to be sold by T. Helder, 1669. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> MALCOLM X. Typed letter signed ("Malcolm X"), to Alex Haley. Cairo, Egypt, 18 September 1964. " 1 page, 8vo. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. Autograph letter signed (“JRRT”). To George Sayer, Oxford, 7 August 1952. 2 pages, 8vo, creased; morocco folding case. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd. Autograph manuscript signed ("Frank Lloyd Wright"), entitled "To the Countryside." N.p. [Taliesin?], [June 1926]. 2 pages, 4to, creased. $4,000 to $6,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions