Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2015 Issue

Antiquarian Books on Agriculture, Bibliography, and More from Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller

Catalogue 214 from Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller.

Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller has released Catalogue 214 – Mostly Recent Acquisitions. There is no descriptive title, but here is what we found. These are overwhelmingly English and European books. The majority are in the English language though certainly not all. They can easily be called "antiquarian," coming from the 19th century or earlier. A couple of topics stand out. There is much in the way of bibliography, including many of a genre closely related – auction catalogues of important book sales. If we turn the clock back 200 years or more, we find there were some magnificent and incredibly large collections, and they regularly made their way to the auction rooms when their owners made their exits from this world. There are also a large number of books in the field of gardening, and plant and animal husbandry. Some of it was decorative, but most of these works are focused on gaining the most crops from your fields. Then, other topics also appear in smaller numbers, including science, medicine, anatomy, and health. Here are a few samples of the 100 books to be found in the pages of this catalogue.

 

We begin with the first book from noted English agricultural writer (some say the greatest ever) Arthur Young. He didn't start out that way, instead writing some political pamphlets, attempting to start a magazine, and training to be a merchant. However, after his father died, his mother called him back to their small country estate. Young began to farm, experimenting in ways to improve production. In 1867, he published his first book, The Farmer's Letters to the People of England: containing the Sentiments of a Practical Husbandman, on various Subjects of the utmost Importance... In time, Young would write a great many more books, mostly on agriculture, and come to view this first attempt as more of a testament to his ignorance than his knowledge. It was at this time that Young purchased a larger farm and began conducting more experiments. Item 93. Priced at $2,500.

 

In 1768, Young published the first of his touring books. It was here that Young's reputation as a writer began to grow, and become a greater means of making a living through farming than by farming itself. Item 95 is A Six Weeks Tour, through the Southern Counties of England and Wales. The book was primarily focused on agriculture, as Young conducted surveys of what other farmers were doing on their land. However, he also wrote about economic and political issues, speaking about the economics of labor and provisions, and of the conditions of the poor, and of those on the other side of the income line. Young published a "six months tour" of northern England two years later (also offered in this catalogue), as well as tours of eastern England, France and Ireland. Several of his other agricultural works are also available in this catalogue. $1,750.

 

Item 28 is a catalogue of a vast library, Index Bibliothecae..., which in effect made it one of the earliest bibliographies. The library's owner was Francesco Barberini, progeny of a wealthy family that became even wealthier due to the position of Francesco's uncle. In 1623, his uncle was elected Pope, serving the next 21 years as Pope Urban VIII. Urban took care his family. He elevated his brother and two of his nephews to be cardinals, including young Francesco, then 26 years old. Francesco benefited financially from his position, becoming a patron or the arts and building his massive library. Along with books it included many ancient Greek and Roman manuscripts. When his uncle died, the new Pope sought to diminish the Barberinis wealth. They were forced to flee to exile in France, but in time, with the help of a marriage uniting the new Pope's family and theirs, all was forgiven. While Cardinal Barberini made the most of papal nepotism to advance his personal interests, in his defense it should be noted that he was one of only three judges in Galileo's second trial who refused to sign his sentence, and then worked to see that the great scientist lived his remaining days in comfortable surroundings, rather than being shipped off to a monastery. When Cardinal Barberini died in 1679, the library contained 60,000 books. This 1681 catalogue, which was written in then-revolutionary alphabetical order by name, covers the books. A planned catalogue of the manuscripts was never published. This catalogue is very rare in the marketplace. $22,500.

 

This next item takes bibliography one step further. It is Dissertation sur les Bibliotheques avec une Table Alphabetique... Hill notes that it is more than a catalogue of collections in France and elsewhere, but is, in effect, a bibliography of bibliographies. This copy is bound together with Table Alphabetique des Dictionnaires..., the first bibliography of dictionaries, with about 1,000 titles. Both were the work of Jacques Bernard Durey de Noinville and published in 1758. Item 40. $950.

 

Item 14 is the rare auction catalogue for Bibliotheca Fageliana. A Catalogue of the valuable and extensive Library of the Greffier Fagel, of the Hague. The sale was set for March 1, 1802, beginning "precisely" at 12:00, to be handled by Mr. Christie. It never happened. Greffier (a diplomatic post) Henrik Fagel was the inheritor of the Fagel family library that had been built over almost two centuries. After his country was overrun by French revolutionaries for a time, he was able to return. Fagel, in financial straits, decided to ship his library off to London to be sold. The catalogue was prepared and the auction set. However, funds were raised on behalf of Trinity College in Dublin to purchase the entire library, with the result that the almost 10,000 lots were sold together without benefit of an auction for £8,000. The collection still resides at Trinity in Dublin. $3,000.

 

Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller may be reached at 646-827-0724 or or jahillbooks@aol.com. The website is www.jonathanahill.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.

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