Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2016 Issue

Early Printed Books from James Gray Booksellers

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Fascicule VI.

James Gray Booksellers has released their latest selection, Fascicule VI Early Printed Books. We will allow "early printed books" to stand as the best description of what is offered. Subjects vary. Just think of what people were writing about in the 17th and 18th century and you will have a good idea of what sort of material you are likely to find. We will provide a few samples of the early books to be found in James Gray's latest catalogue.

 

These days, the name "Mather" will most likely bring up thoughts of Cotton Mather and the Salem witch trials. It is unfortunate that this misstep is the their most remembered incident, as the Mather family was the source of the leading theological figures of colonial America. The line began with Cotton's grandfather, Richard Mather, who came to America in 1635. He was something of a rebellious soul, one a bit more open-minded than his illustrious son and grandson. He was a strong believer in congregational polity, a point of view at obvious odds with those of the Church of England, where central authority dominated. Mather believed that each congregation should choose its own fate, rather than be controlled by outside authority. He believed a community of churches was a good thing. They could look out for each other's welfare, provide guidance where one congregation had greater knowledge on a question, provide financial support for poor churches, even help each other resolve internal disputes. However, final decisions were to be made by each individual congregation, and advice and support could be rejected by that congregation if it so chose. Item 631G is Richard Mather's A Platform of Church Discipline, gathered out of the Word of God... reprinted by William Bradford (New York's first printer) in 1711, it having originally been prepared in 1649. Priced at $15,000.

 

This next book has a very long title, as was the wont of the day, but we will repeat it all as it displays a dilemma facing those who believed in science back in the 18th century: Miscellaneous discourses concerning the dissolution and changes of the world. Wherein the primitive chaos and creation, the general deluge, fountains, formed stones, sea-shells found in the earth, subterraneous trees, mountains, earthquakes, vulcanoes, the universal conflagration and future state, are largely discussed and examined. The "formed stones" of which author John Ray speaks are fossils. Ray was a notable scientist, a member of the Royal Society best known for his work on plant classification. The issue with which he was dealing when he wrote this book in 1692 was that of making the geologic records, fossils in particularly, consistent with biblical history, which he did not question. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Ray did believe that fossils were the remnants of once living animals, but he concluded they were the result of Divine intervention, the flood of Noah. Item 452G. $2,500.

 

Katherine Philips was one of the earliest if not the first female English poet to have her work published, though she was unhappy about it when it happened. Katherine was 16 years old when she married a man of some substance more than twice her age. She began writing poetry likely not that long after, but she only circulated it among friends. In her circle, she used the name "Orinda," which would lead to her being called "the Matchless Orinda" when her poetry was published after she died. Her poetry was quite proper. She wrote of love between women friends, but strictly of the platonic type. She avoided anything controversial, which enabled her poetry to be acceptable for public consumption. However, the only publication of her poetry during her lifetime was unauthorized, and incurred her displeasure. Item 717G is Poems. By the Incomparable Mrs. K. P., published in 1664. It was published and sold by a bookseller without her approval. Mrs. Philips said that she never intended for any of her poetry to be published, and the book was withdrawn, but the damage had been done. $8,000.

 

Mrs. Philips died in 1664, and after that, a friend gathered her poetry for publication. We will presume that this time she offered no objections. Item 718G is Poems By the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips The matchless Orinda. It also includes a French play she had translated, the only book on which she participated published with her permission during her lifetime. The authorized Poems was published in 1667. $5,800.

 

This is one of the first psychiatric books, though it is unlikely that author Robert Burton would have thought of it that way, or even known what that means. The title is The Anatomy of Melancholy What it is, With all kindes, causes, symptomes, prognostickes and severall cures of it. What Burton thought of as melancholy is what we would today call depression. Burton suffered from the condition himself, and so did many others, as can be testified by the great popularity of his book. Burton did not possess any great scientific knowledge, but tried to find ways to reduce the condition's effects. He believed that keeping busy helped to reduce the symptoms. Travel to places where melancholy is not much of a problem was also a good curative. Burton read everything he could find on the subject, providing numerous theories from others as well as his own. If his theories were not always correct, he gave it a great effort, and the popularity of his book evidences that it must have helped many readers. Item 319G is a fifth edition of over 70 published. This edition was published in 1638. $5,500.

 

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>Timed auction, April 29</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1032. RATZER, BERNARD. Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1011. [BROADSIDE]. Life, Last Words and Dying Confession, of Rachel Wall... $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1055. BEATON, CECIL. Scrapbook prepared by Cecil Beaton over the period 1935-1944, with some later inclusions. $800 to $1,200.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>Timed auction, April 29</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1051. ADDAMS, CHARLES. Original drawing "I hope the power doesn't go out until after Masterpiece Theatre." $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1037. The Campaign Speeches of Nixon of Kennedy, inscribed to William Safire by Richard Nixon and secretarially for John Kennedy. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1036. Celebration of the Commencement of Work on Rapid Transit Railroad. March 24th 1900, one o'clock, City Hall Park, New York. $200 to $300.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1005. 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers signed baseball including Jackie Robinson. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 12. OKLAHOMA! Celeste Holm's vocal score for Oklahoma! inscribed by Richard Rodgers. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 20. WILSON, DOOLEY. Fine inscribed photograph to Celeste Holm with Casablanca reference. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 79. Original production script of the Broadway musical CATS with notes written by Claude Tessier. $600 to $900.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 139. STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Autographed musical manuscript signed for "Broadway Baby" from Follies. $500 to $800.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 180.<br>Cecil Beaton. Headdress for Liza at the Ball, from My Fair Lady, circa 1962. $700 to $900.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 177.<br>Cecil Beaton. Set Design for The Gainsborough Girls, 1951. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000

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