Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2016 Issue

Beautiful Antiquarian Books from Librarie Clavreuil

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Beautiful antiquarian books from Clavreuil.

Librairie Clavreuil of Paris has issued a catalogue of Beaux Livres Ancien, or beautiful antiquarian books. This is part one, covering authors from letters A-L. Clavreuil is a continuation of the 80-year-old firm of Librairie Thomas-Scheler, the name recently having been updated to reflect current ownership of Bernard and Stéphane Clavreuil. However, they note their continued respect for the traditions established by their founder and predecessor, Lucien Scheler. Their focus remains the best of antiquarian books, and this catalogue continues that tradition. Subjects vary, but the books are all special. These are a few of them.

 

We begin with a pioneering work in the field of mining, metallurgy and chemistry, De Re Metallica, published in 1556. Its author was Georgius Agricola, known as the "father of mineralogy." Printing and the Mind of Man referred to this book as "one of the first technological books of modern times." At the time, there was no systematic text related to mining. Agricola provided a thorough description of mining and the related metallurgical processes, including prospecting, mining administration, and the duties of officials. Herbert Hoover described this work as "the first important attempt to assemble systematically in print the world-knowledge on mining, metallurgy, and industrial chemistry." For those wondering why the 31st President of the United States reviewed this book, Hoover's earlier career was in mining, working his way from an engineer and consultant to a wealthy investor in mining enterprises. Item 1. Priced at €35,000 (euros, or approximately $39,239 in U.S. currency).

 

Few inventions captured public imagination like the one announced in this book: Historique et Description des Procédés du Daguerréotype et du Diorama... This is Louis-Jacques Daguerre's announcement of his photographic process, known as daguerréotype. No one can be said to be the inventor of photography, as several were working on the idea at the time, including Niepce, whose work is described by Daguerre. However, Daguerre was the one who brought the process from laboratory to practical use, raising it from experimental to employment creating images for public consumption. His process would continue to be used from its introduction in 1839 to the 1850's, when superior methods would supplant it. The first printing of this manual was released on August 20, 1839. Seven more issues by various printers were issued of this quickly popular book in 1839, this one being from Giroux of Paris in September 1839. Item 32. €4,500 (US $5,047).

 

This next item is an American in Paris, so to speak. Item 10 is American Scenery or Land, Lake and River Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature. It combines the art of William Henry Bartlett with the text of Nathaniel Willis. Bartlett was a British artist and engraver who came to America in 1835 to draw scenes across the country. He drew views of cities, including New York, Boston, and Albany, notable structures including Mount Vernon, Yale College, and the Erie Canal, and scenic locations such as Lake Ontario, Saratoga Lake, and several of Niagara Falls. The two volumes include 119 plates and in this copy they have been hand colored in a meticulous contemporary hand. €3,500 (US $3,924).

 

Item 31 is Recherches sur les ossements fossiles de quadrupèdes... a study of fossil quadruped bones, published in 1812. The author was Georges Cuvier, notable for his expertise in comparative anatomy and paleontology. It enabled him to combine the two fields in that he not only compared the anatomical features of living animals, but also with those long since extinct but preserved in the fossil record. Despite the similarities of features in so many different animals, Cuvier was never led to considering evolution. In fact, he totally did not believe in it. Of course, these were the days before Darwin, but still there were evolutionists in the era, they just believed it was caused by some sort of predisposition within species, rather than by natural selection. Cuvier did believe in extinction, even that being controversial at a time when creationism prevailed. Many did not think that God would create a species and then let it die out. What would be the point? Cuvier believed in catastrophic events which would kill off life at various times, to be replaced by new forms. The way he found similar fossils in distinct layers led him to conclude that each represented a specific ancient time period, with the next layer representing the start of a new era after the previous cataclysm. €8,500 (US $9,533).

 

Pierre Belon was a Renaissance man, both literally in terms of the time period in which he lived, and in the figurative sense of being knowledgeable in a wide variety of fields. He was an explorer, scientist, archaeologist, and writer. Within science he studied fishes, birds, plants, and was one of the first to tackle comparative anatomy. Item 11 is L'Histoire de la Nature des Oyseaux, his book on birds, published in 1555. This is not an Audubon style book, highlighting beautiful drawings of birds. Belon's illustrations are simpler and his text scientific. One shows the skeleton of a bird next to the skeleton of a human, allowing for a comparison between the two. The Dictionary of Scientific Biography says, "Belon can be considered the originator of comparative anatomy." Belon traveled through southern Europe and the Middle East to observe the specimens about which he wrote, rather than relying on ancient texts as was often the case in these early days of scientific study. €25,000 (US $27,943).

 

Librairie Clavreuil may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@thomas-scheler.fr

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest Hemingway's Typewriter Used to Write "A Moveable Feast", Impeccable Provenance From His Biographer A. E. Hotchner. $50,000 to $100,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Samuel Colt, "The Gun that Won the West": 3 Signed Patent Items for "Revolving Cylinder Guns". $40,000 to $50,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Jack Kerouac's Own Typewriter From His Estate Used to Write His Very Last Book. $18,000 to $20,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Rare Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence Printed in 1848. $15,000 to $18,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Superb Tchaikovsky ALS to Napravnik, 4pp on "Mazeppa". $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Wounded Knee Massacre Same Day Eyewitness Account by Participant, "the 7th needn't be ashamed of today's record". $10,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> F. Scott Fitzgerald Signed Gordon Bryant Portrait -- Finest Known. $8,000 to $9,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Neil Armstrong ALS on NASA Letterhead Regarding His X-15 Flights. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> M. Gandhi Letter: "the life span of human beings is preordained..." -- Fantastic Spiritual Content. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> "Damn the torpedoes!" Riveting 24pp ALS of Admiral Farragut's Steward Describing the "Battle of Mobile Bay”. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Abraham Lincoln Signed Order to Suspend Execution. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Napoleon DS Featuring Imperial Eagle and Enormous Great Seal Appointing Norman Politician Baron of the Empire. $4,000 to $5,000.
  • <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 €
  • <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.

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