Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2015 Issue

Some Very Old Books from James Gray Booksellers

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Fascicule 5.

James Gray Booksellers has published their Fascicule no V, also known as number 5. Gray focuses on the very old in books, most titles being 17th century or earlier. Not surprisingly, many of the works relate to theology, the field then subsuming much of what today is science, medicine and the like. Still there are many tracts just relating to science, or math, travels (particularly early visits to New England), botany, and even some good old gossip. They may have seen things differently then, but their curiosity was similar to our own. Here are a few items from this collection.

 

Are you reading this article because you chose to read it, or do you have no choice but to read it, no matter how much you don't want to? It's the age old question – freedom or determinism. That question became more debated after the Protestant Reformation, but it was a question even earlier. Item 722G is De Divina Praedestinatione. There are multiple books with this title, but this is one once attributed to Felicianus, now believed to be the work of Petrus de Ilperinis. We don't have a date of authorship, but it preceded printing since de Ilperinis died in 1381. This first edition was published in 1473-74. I have not been able to find much out about the author, other then he was a Dominican and his brother a cardinal. Nor have I been able to learn what his position was on predestination. My Latin is insufficient to read his book. It appears that interest today is less in Petrus' words than in the beauty of the book, the work of the short-lived press at the Monastery of SS. Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg. Priced at $15,500.

 

Item 721G is an important work in American history. It is New Englands Memoriall: or, A Brief Relation of the most Memorable and Remarkable Passages of the Providence of God, manifested to the Planters of New-England in America; With special Reference to the first Colony thereof, Called New-Plimouth. Despite the reference to God in the title, this is the first secular work printed in English America, the first true historical tract printed in America. It was published in 1669. The author was Nathaniel Morton, who had a front row seat to watch the development of the Plymouth colony. He arrived in 1623, just three years after the Pilgrims, and after his father died, he was raised by his uncle, Governor William Bradford. Morton not only had his own experiences to draw upon. He had access to the many manuscripts Bradford left, as well as writings of other important figures in the colony. Morton, himself, was one of Plymouth's most important figures of the 17th century. $65,000.

 

Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, unmarried, childless, but highly respected. By the end of the 17th century, her supposed love life had become the subject of numerous exposés. What, if any, love life Elizabeth had is unknown. It is known she had some favorites, and the one she seemed most likely to marry was Robert Dudley. For whatever reason, perhaps political, it never came to pass. Dudley died in 1588. Her affections would later grow for Dudley's stepson. Now an elderly lady, that stepson, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, was more than 30 years her junior. He was brash, adventuresome, personable, and ambitious. At times he got away with behavior disrespectful to a queen, but she had a soft spot for him. He used that to advance his career. However, a poor showing while leading troops in Ireland, plus a sudden, unannounced return to England to justify his behavior when told not to leave Ireland, led to a sort of house arrest. More importantly, he was stripped of his authority and source of income. Rather than seeking to make amends, the brash Devereux tried to mount a rebellion. He was quickly defeated and sent to the Tower of London, where his head was removed from the rest of his body. The old Queen knew when the borders of sentiment had been breached. Item 503F is a bit of revisionist history from 1695, The Secret History Of the Most Renowned Q. Elizabeth And the E. of Cssex [sic]. By a Person of Quality. Maybe, but not of a whole lot of quality. $1,500.

 

Next up is a very early combination natural history and travel guide for New England. Item 603G is An Account of Two voyages to New-England. The voyager was John Josselyn, who visited New England in 1838-39 and again in 1663-71. His brother lived in Maine, which was then part of Massachusetts. Published in 1673, Josselyn writes about the flora and fauna of New England, as well as about its government, society, folk medicine and other observations from his extensive travels throughout the region. He also provides advice on those considering emigrating to the new land. $35,000.

 

James Gray Bookseller may be reached at 617-678-4517 or Jamesgray2@me.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 20.<br>Mrs S. C. Belnos.</b> <i>The Sundhya or the Daily Prayers of the Brahmins,</i> 1st edition, 1851. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 20.<br>Sir Harry Darell.</b> <i>China, India, Cape of Good Hope and Vicinity,</i> 1st edition, 1852. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 20.<br><i>Scots Magazine,</i></b> 61 volumes, 1739-1800. With important maps of North America. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>Ian Fleming.</b> <i>Casino Royale,</i> 1st edition, 1953. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>Virginia Woolf.</b> <i>Really and Truly,</i> 1915. Autograph confessions book. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>Evelyn Waugh.</b> <i>Vile Bodies,</i> 1st edition, 1930. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>J. R. R. Tolkien.</b> Autograph letter signed on Old English, with corrected typescript. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>Lewis Carroll.</b> <i>The Hunting of the Snark,</i> 1st edition, 1876. Presentation copy. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>Essex House Press.</b> <i>Poems of William Shakespeare,</i> 1899. One of 450 copies. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>Lafcadio Hearn.</b> <i>A Japanese Miscellany,</i> 1st edition, 1901. Presentation copy. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>Jules Verne.</b> <i>Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas,</i> 1st UK edition, 1873. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Jan 21.<br>Charles Dickens.</b> <i>The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit,</i> 1st edition, 1844. Original cloth binding. £800 to £1,200.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>January Auction<br>January 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>Carolina Parrot, Plate 26.</i> London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838. $125,000 to $175,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>Fish Hawk or Osprey, Plate 81.</i> London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838. $145,000 to $175,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>Brown Pelican, Plate 421.</i> London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838. $75,000 to $100,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>January Auction<br>January 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> DE BRY, Johann Theodore, attributed to. Pair of Watercolor studies of Tulips. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> FUERTES, Louis Agassiz. <i>Alaskan Brown Bear.</i> Watercolor and gouache on board. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> HILL, Thomas. <i>Big Trees.</i> Oil on canvas. c. 1903. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>January Auction<br>January 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> GOULD, John. <i>A Monograph of the Macropodidae or Family of Kangaroos.</i> London: by the author, August 1st 1841-May 1st 1842. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> GOULD, John. <i>A Monograph of the Odontophorinae, or Partridges of America.</i> London: Richard and John E. Taylor for the Author, [1844]-1850. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> JANSSONIUS, Joannes. <i>Atlantis majoris quinta pars, orbem maritimum seu omnium marium…</i> Amsterdam: Joannes Janssonius, 1652. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>January Auction<br>January 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> DONCKER, Hendrik. <i>De Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Waereld, vertoonende alle de Zee-Kusten van het bekende deel des Aerd-Bodems.</i> Amsterdam: Henrick Doncker, [1658-1665]. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> BURR, David. <i>Map of the City and County of New York with the Adjacent Country.</i> Engraved map with original hand color. Ithaca, NY: Stone & Clark, 1839. $9,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 23:</b> CURRIER, Nathaniel and IVES, James Merritt. <i>The City of New York.</i> Lithograph with original hand color. New York: Currier & Ives, 1884. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Joseph F. Kernan, <i>College Football,</i> oil on canvas, <i>The Saturday Evening Post</i> cover, 1932. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Joseph C. Leyendecker, <i>Golfer Lighting a Cigarette,</i> oil on canvas, c.1920. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Howard Chandler Christy, <i>In the Field,</i> charcoal & watercolor, published in <i>Scribner’s,</i> 1902. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> N.C. Wyeth, <i>Standish Reading,</i> pen & ink, for <i>The Courtship of Miles Standish,</i> 1920. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Johnanna Stewart Mapes, <i>A Fairy Book,</i> conté crayon, for <i>St. Nicholas Magazine,</i> 1907. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Arnold Lobel, pen & ink, for <i>The Frog & Toad Coloring Book,</i> 1981. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Antonio Lopez, <i>Today’s Fashions,</i> study for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1981. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Charles Schulz, <i>“I’ll have to go back to the house…I forgot my rubbers…”</i> pen & ink, original 4-panel <i>Peanuts comic,</i> 1960. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jan 28:</b> Constantin Alajalov, <i>Family Tree,</i> watercolor and gouache, cover for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1938. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <center><b>Il Ponte Casa d'Aste<br>Books and Manuscripts<br>26 January 2021</b>
    <center><b>Il Ponte Casa d'Aste<br>Books and Manuscripts<br>26 January 2021</b>
    <center><b>Il Ponte Casa d'Aste<br>Books and Manuscripts<br>26 January 2021</b>

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