Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2015 Issue

Michael S. Kemp Bookseller Offers a Wide Variety of Material

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Michael Kemp's Catalogue 80.

This month we received out first catalogue from Michael S. Kemp Bookseller. It is his Catalogue 80. We are a little late to the game, as Kemp has been selling books since 1979. He is located in Sheerness, a town on an island in northern Kent, England. Naturally, English material would predominate, but as we shall soon see, it is not exclusive. What you will find in Kemp's catalogue is a lot of rare if not unique items, mostly books and other works on paper, but there is an occasional non-paper item, such as an 1840 Charles Tilt child's bookcase. Here are a few of the varied works we find in this 80th catalogue from Michael Kemp.

 

We start with the first item in the catalogue and it is totally American. It is an album of 50 mounted (and one loose) cartes de viste from the Civil War era. Cartes de vistes are portrait photo cards, usually of notable celebrities, that were passed around. They were sort of the baseball cards of their day. They took advantage of the relatively new medium – photography – to let people see what the personalities about whom they read looked like. This collection is a who's who of the time, featuring many generals, on both sides of the conflict, presidents and other leaders, and a few others, such as one of Longfellow and one of Longfellow's daughters. There are numerous generals from both sides, some well remembered, others not. From the Union side we find Halleck, Burnside, Hooker, Fremont, Banks, Pope, Butler and McClellan, who would unsuccessfully attempt to unseat Lincoln in the 1864 election. Strangely missing is one U.S. Grant. Union admirals include Wilkes and Farragut. The Confederates didn't have much of a navy, but they had generals, and this collection includes Lee, Jackson, Beauregard, and Magruder. Presidents, naturally enough, include Lincoln, but we also find cards for former Presidents Van Buren, Pierce, and Jackson. For Jackson, it is the 1844 Mathew Brady portrait, taken just as photography was being born and Jackson was about to die. Other notable political leaders are Seward, Stanton, Everett and Sumner. From the Confederate side we find their President, Jefferson Davis, along with Breckenridge, Slidell and Mason. Another card features the Beechers – Dr. Lyman, Rev. Henry, and Mrs. Harriet Stowe. Priced at £3,250 (British pounds, or roughly $5,084 U.S. dollars).

 

Before Noah Webster, even before Samuel Johnson, there was Nathan Bailey. Bailey was a lexicographer who expanded the art to include many more common terms, prior English dictionaries having focused on technical words. Item 5 is a second edition of his dictionary (1736), Dictionarium Britannicum: or a More Compleat Universal Etymological Dictionary Than Any Extant... which would appear in 30 editions through 1802, though Bailey died in 1742. It was the most popular dictionary of its time, and is generally regarded as the best until Johnson came along. £420 (US $657).

 

Item 24 is a 10-volume collection of the works of Aelius (or Claudius) Galenus, better known simply as Galen. It was published in 1597, though this date would have been the distant future to Galen who died sometime around the year 200. Galen was knowledgeable in several fields, but his greatest specialty was medicine. His teaching dominated the field until the second half of the second millennium, an example of how slow progress was for around 1,500 years. Obviously, Galen lacked the resources later physicians would have, and lived under the theories of his day. He understood the need for first-hand observation of anatomy, but dissection of humans was prohibited in the Rome of his time so he was forced to use animals. Galen got some things right, a lot of things wrong, but it would take many years for modern medical researchers to improve on what Galen offered and replace his theories where they were mistaken. The title of this 1597 set is Galeni. Opera ex Septima Iuntarium Edione. £2,750 (US $4,303).

 

Item 20 is an amazing collection of illustrations, Nature Printing in Many and Diverse Ways, published in 1878. It contains 36 nature prints, 31 etchings, and 10 original drawings. It was the work of Richard Cockle Lucas, who started as a sculptor but evolved to producing various forms of art. He was also noted as a very eccentric individual, riding around the streets of his town in a Roman Chariot (Galen could have gotten away with this, but not someone living in 19th century Britain). Nature printing involves the inking of specimens, most frequently botanical ones, and printing directly from them. The process became particularly popular during the 1850's, but faded from use because of its high cost. This was evidently not so much of a concern for Lucas who was printing on a very small scale. Lucas expanded nature printing from just a means of creating a more accurate representation of the subject to a form of art. He would apply different colors to the leaves, overlay one impression with another, or add his pen work. It appears that each copy was unique, as might be expected from such a work, with the overall number quite small. £15,000 (US $23,476).

 

What could provide an even more accurate representation of a specimen than nature printing? The answer is the specimen itself. Item 21 is Algae Hibernicae by William M'Calla, two volumes published in 1845 and 1848. Each of these volumes contains 50 leaves (paper leaves, that is) with a mounted specimen. Page leaves contain a printed name and location for the specimen. Some of the smaller specimens are housed in a pocket attached to the page. The specimens are described as being "in excellent state of preservation." £9,750 (US $15,257).

 

Michael S. Kemp Bookseller may be reached at +44 (0) 1795 663675 or orders@kempbooksellers.co.uk. The website is found at www.michaelkemp.co.uk

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €

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