Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2015 Issue

An Intermezzo from Erasmushaus

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Intermezzo 49.

Erasmushaus has issued a new catalogue, Intermezzo 49. This is a collection of varied works all of which are quite old. The Swiss bookseller's catalogue is primarily in German, though there is a smattering of English and French in the case of books in those languages. Erasmushaus notes that descriptions in English are available on request. Otherwise, a working knowledge of German is most helpful. Here are a few selections from Intermezzo 49.

 

First up is the Swiss edition of Jules Dumont D'Urville's account of his second great voyage, or the first in the Astrolabe: Entdeckungs-Reise der französischen Corvette Astrolabe (A voyage of discovery of the French Corvette Astrolabe). Dumont D'Urville was a French naval officer and explorer, this voyage lasting three years from 1826-1829. This trip took him to Australia, New Zealand, and various Pacific Islands. Among those islands was Vanikoro. Dumont D'Urville's ship was named after one of French explorer Jean-Francois de La Perouse's ships. La Perouse disappeared after leaving Australia in 1788 and his whereabouts remained a mystery until some remains from his ships were discovered shortly before Dumont D'Urville's arrival. Dumont D'Urville located the site of the shipwreck and gathered some of its remains. Item 81. Priced at CHF 2,800 (Swiss Francs, or roughly $3,006 in U.S. dollars).

 

“Franklin is dead.” So begins the first of three eulogies published together in Paris in 1790 in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin may well have been as beloved in France as he was in America, a symbol of liberty and democracy, and, naturally enough, an opponent during the American Revolution of the common enemy – England. The timing of his death was also significant in France. The year, 1790, came during the early stages of the French Revolution, when idealism ran high, and many thought it would lead to a result similar to the one in America. No wonder the former American Ambassador to France was such a beloved symbol. Sadly, the French Revolution turned bloody and ended nothing like its counterpart in America, but neither Franklin nor those who participated in his Paris eulogy, could have imagined the outcome.

 

The first eulogy is from Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Count of Mirabeau (better known simply as “Mirabeau”). In 1790, he was a leader of the revolution, a moderate who favored a constitutional monarchy similar to that of England. He was a great speaker and many considered this his greatest speech. Mirabeau himself died the following year (of natural causes), hopes still high for the revolution. The second eulogy came from Louis-Alexandre de La Rochefoucauld. La Rochefoucauld was a nobleman, a duke, and yet he was a political liberal and personal friend and admirer of Franklin. In his speech, La Rochefoucauld described the uncommon Franklin as a common man. La Rochefoucauld died two years later while attempting to flee Paris, the revolution having turned far more radical than was he. The third came from Abbé Claude Fauchet, perhaps the greatest orator of them all. He was a bishop who had been a leader of the storming of the Bastille. Fauchet would become a legislator and popular orator, called on for important speeches. He lived the longest of the three after Franklin's death – three years. He advocated imprisonment for the King, not death, a sign of moderation that soon became intolerable. He was sent to the guillotine in 1793. These three items, naturally enough, are in the French language. Item 101. CHF 1,500 (US $1,610).

 

Wherever that boundary between bravery and insanity lies for explorers, Englishman Mungo Park must be a prime candidate for one who crossed it. Park traveled to Africa in 1795 and ventured inland to the area of the headwaters of the Niger River. It was not a pleasant journey. He was both imprisoned and became very ill. Back home, it was assumed he was lost, but Park persevered and made it back. However, a mystery remained. No one knew where the Niger exited into the sea. Not that its mouth was not visible, but its long, circuitous route prevented people from matching the Niger with the river that exited far to the east. So, Park returned in 1805, and his second journey made the first look like child's play. Fever spread throughout the camp, and by the time they reached the Niger, only 12 of the 45 Europeans were still alive. Park pressed on. They rode down the river, losing more along the way, until there were but three Europeans left. That last group, including Park, was killed by natives before ever solving the mystery. Item 203 is The Journal of a Mission to the Interior of Africa, in the Year 1805..., the first edition published in 1805. It contains letters and notes Park sent back to England while on his final journey. CHF 1,200 (US $1,288).

 

This next item is also a travelogue... of sorts. It was all quite obviously fictional. Item 227 is Relation d'Un Voyage du Pole Arctique, au Pole Antarctique... The author was Joseph Hall, an Anglican bishop, though he published it under the pseudonym Mercurio Brittanico. This is the French edition, published in 1721. Hall meant it only to be circulated among friends, but it became widespread. In it, travelers from Amsterdam to Greenland are sucked into a giant vortex and spit out in Antarctica. At this point, Hall was free to use his imagination, as most people believed there was an enormous southern continent, but no one had been there yet to check it out. All sorts of features and creatures are discovered there, with much of it being satire for current events in England, and some stabs at the Catholic Church. Hall would go on to write much theological material throughout his lifetime, but nothing else quite like this. CHF 2,400 (US $2,576).

 

You may reach Erasmushaus at +41 61 228 99 44 or hdb@erasmushaus.ch. Their website is found at www.erasmushaus.ch.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <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.
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Dubliners,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1914. £100,000 to £150,000
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Automaton Chess Player & Mechanical Illusion.- Reynell (H., printer). “The Famous Chess-Player, No.14, St.James's-Street, next Brooks's,” broadside advertisement for "The famous Automaton", [1784]. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Clemens (Samuel Langhorne). <i>Life on the Mississippi,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1883. £8,000 to £12,000
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal, called). <i>Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus Celebriores,</i> 3 parts in 1, Richard Ford's copy, Venice, Giovanni Battista Pasquali, 1751. £10,000 to £15,000
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Atlases.- Speed (John). <i>A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World,</i> bound with <i>The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine,</i> 1631-27. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Anatomical illustration.- Aselli (Gaspare). <i>De lactibus sive lacteis venis... dissertatio,</i> first edition, Milan, Giovanni Battista Bidelli, 1627. £20,000 to £30,000
  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first issue, 8vo, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000
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    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> [Mirk (John)].- <i>Liber festivalis et Quatuor sermons</i> [bound with], [Le Roy (Pierre)] <i>A Pleasant Satyre or Poesie,</i> first edition in English, Widdow Orwin for Thomas Man, 1595, 8vo. £1,500 to £2,000
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    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Manson (John). Twelve by Sixteen Papers of John Mason, a collection of 50 sheets of paper, some watermarked, 12 x 16”, c.1978. £800 to £1,200
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    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Eliot (T.S.) <i>Four Quartets,</i> NUMBER 121 of 290 COPIES, signed by author, 1960. £400 to £600

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