Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2015 Issue

Books and Other Items from Douglas Stewart Fine Books

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Melbourne 2015.

This month we received our first catalogue from Douglas Stewart Fine Books of Melbourne, Australia. The title of this catalogue is Melbourne 2015. Rare books and documents 1459-2012 exhibited for sale at the 43rd Australian Book Fair. That's quite a date range. Talk about something for everyone! 553 years. It begins with a leaf from the fourth book ever printed. It then runs through numerous very old to old books, then photographs from the early days of photography, and the more recent items are works of art. Along the way there are also some interesting ephemeral items. There are more Australian pieces than in the typical, say, European or American catalogue, but there is much to be found from other locations as well. After all, they weren't printing too many books in Australia in 1459. Here are a few samples.

 

We begin with that very old leaf. It comes from Rationale Divinorum Officorum, by Guillelmus Duranti. Duranti didn't collect his royalties, having died in 1296. He was a 13th century bishop who wrote about ecclesiastical matters, including practical things like building and furnishing church buildings. It was printed in Mainz, the same place as the first book printed with movable type, Gutenberg's 1455 bible. The printers were Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer. They had assisted Gutenberg with his bible, and followed that up with psalters in 1457 and 1459. This fourth book came off the press in October of 1459. The leaf is folio in size and is printed on vellum. Item 1. Priced at AU $32,000 (Australian dollars, or approximately $22,536 in U.S. dollars).

 

The world didn't know much about Australia when James Cook set out on the first of his three voyages. It still didn't know much after he returned, but it was far more than people knew before. Joseph Banks was hired on as Cook's naturalist, and he brought along a couple of artists. One of them was Sydney Parkinson. Cook was sent out to observe the Transit of Venus, attempt to locate an imagined great southern continent, and chart the area. There was no great southern continent, but Cook charted substantial portions of Australia. Parkinson was the first European artist to draw images of the natives of Australia and New Zealand. He also drew botanical specimens and many other subjects, some 1,300 drawings in all. Like Duranti, Parkinson never saw his book published. He came down with dysentery and died in Batavia (today Jakarta) in 1771. However, after Cook returned, Parkinson's brother, Stanfield, published A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship, the Endeavor. Faithfully transcribed from the papers of the late Sydney Parkinson. An injunction was issued to prevent the book from being published prior to the official account. It was published the same year as, but later than, the official account in 1773. Item 8. AU $12,000 (US $8,451).

 

It didn't take long for the British to come up with a practical use for this vast newly discovered land. Their prisons were terribly overpopulated and they didn't know what to do with all the criminals. They could hang 'em, but not even King George and his men felt all that comfortable with executing people for minor crimes. Australia was the solution. Ship them off to someplace so far away they could never return. So began the transportations. They began in 1787 and continued as late as 1847. Along the way, many books were written about them. The topic was fascinating in its own morbid way to the British public. Not all were completely accurate. Item 16 is The Extraordinary Life of James Stewart, the unhappy Transport. There weren't many happy transports, but Stewart was not as unhappy as most since he was a fiction. He supposedly worked in tobacco fields with black slaves for 12 years. Perhaps he accidentally was transported to the Caribbean. Nor are there any records of Stewart or his supposed crimes. Nevertheless, this 1824 book undoubtedly provided hours of entertainment. These books were obviously intended to discourage the crimes that resulted in transportation, and just as obviously were unsuccessful at doing so. AU $3,000 (US $2,112).

 

Item 25 is a photo album with the cover title Album Chinois (Chinese Album). It contains a page of text and 41 leaves of mounted albumen photographs. It was anonymously produced, but the text (in French) likely places it with missionaries from the Compagnie de Jésus. They were missionaries in China at the time. It is undated, but contains an inscription from French painter Augustin Aubert, who died in 1857. That places this as a quite early collection of photographs of China. It includes portraits of both missionaries and Chinese people, along with historical scenes. AU $15,000 (US $10,563).

 

What would an Australian catalogue be without kangaroos? We don't have to worry about that. Item 42 is The History of Hoppers. This children's book contains verses by Bessie Parker and illustrations by Nancy Parker. This circa 1912 book contains the adventures of a family of anthropomorphic kangaroos. Item 42. AU $2,850 (US $ 2,007).

 

Douglas Stewart Fine Books may be reached at +61 3 9066 0200 or info@douglasstewart.com.au. Their website is found at www.douglasstewart.com.au

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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