Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

British Books and Owners from Antiquates Ltd.

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British Books and Owners.

Antiquates Ltd. Fine & Rare Books has issued a catalogue of British Books and Owners. You just need those two names to understand what is offered herein. They are books written or owned by British authors and collectors, and as the bookseller's name implies, they are all very old. Some are older than others, but even the most recent material goes well back into the 19th century. With that brief, but complete description, we will plow ahead to a few examples of the material available.

 

We begin with a prayer book Americans will undoubtedly find touching. It is a short book of, A Form of Prayer to be used in all Churches, On Friday the 27th of February, 1778. That would have been all Anglican churches in England. Showing their deep concern for Americans, then in open rebellion against England, the service includes, A Prayer for our Enemies, which calls for giving "Grace...to our unhappy Fellow-subjects in America, that seeing and confessing the Error of their Ways, and having due Sense of their Ingratitude for the many Blessings of thy Providence, preserved to them by the indulgent Care and Protection of these Kingdoms, they may again return to their Duty, and make themselves worthy of thy Pardon and Forgiveness." Talk about damning with faint prayer! Another calls for divine support for King George III to "restore Tranquility among his unhappy deluded Subjects in America, now in Defiance of all Subordination and legal Government, in open Rebellion against his crown." These prayers went unanswered. Item 3. Priced at £1,250 (British pounds, or approximately $1,803 U.S. dollars).

 

King George would soon enough need prayers for his own well-being. Fortunately, he would recover from an unspecified illness, or so thought novelist and poet Samuel Jackson Pratt when he penned this Ode on his majesty's recovery; By the author of sympathy and humanity. Pratt avoids not only the nature of the King's illness, but the political maneuverings going on behind the scenes. George was suffering from mental illness, with extreme manifestations in 1788, the year before the publication of this ode to his recovery. In the background, parliament debated over a regency and the power that regent, the Prince of Wales and future George IV, would have. However, as Pratt celebrates, George III recovered before a regency was required. He would rule despite mental issues for the next 20 years, but in 1810, and for the last ten years of his life, his son took over as regent as George III drifted further into insanity and dementia. Item 72. £1,000 (US $1,443).

 

Here is another British George, and one who did much praying himself. A contemporary of George III, George Gregory was an Anglican clergyman as well as a writer. In 1885, he published Essays Historical and Moral, a collection of essays covering such subjects as "language, superstition, female education, republicanism, and suicide." However, his best known essay pertained to slavery and the slave trade. As a clerk for a Liverpool merchant while a young man, he would have been familiar with the realities of the trade. His essay has sections on "Of the Justice and Humanity of the Slave Trade," and "Of the Good Policy of the Slave Trade." Antiquates notes that those essays are "perhaps unwisely titled," because although Gregory displayed some critical cultural judgments toward the Africans, as typical for his time, he was actually sympathetic to the slaves and an abolitionist. He states that "slavery is directly contrary to the obvious principles of justice and humanity." Item 40. £500 (US $721).

 

If there was ever a tragic literary family, it must be the Brontes. After two older sisters and their mother died when they were young, sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne became very close, taking to writing stories together. In 1846, they managed to get a book of poetry published. As women writers were not well accepted at the time, they used a vague pseudonym as the author, Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. In 1846, their book was published under the simple title Poems. It was a monumental flop. About 39 copies were distributed, but as few as two may actually have been sold. However, the following year, Charlotte published her first novel, Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell. This one was a smashing success, creating a sudden demand for more works from "Currer Bell." The unsold copies were given a new title page and republished in 1848 (though the title page still says 1846). Item 20 is a copy of this second issue of Poems. Sadly for this tragic family, Anne and Emily as well as their only brother died between 1848 and 1849, leaving Charlotte the sole survivor. She too succumbed a few years later in 1855. £1,750 (US $2,525).

 

Item 32 is what was effectively the first edition in English of the massive, groundbreaking French Encyclopedie of Denis Diderot and Denis D'Alembert. The Encyclopedie was, as one might expect of an Encyclopedia, a compilation of everything under the sun, and yet it was still more. It was the voice of the Enlightenment, expounding on very liberal philosophies for its time, such as tolerance, freedom, and democracy. An abortive attempt had been made to translate the entire text to English earlier, but only a small portion was completed. This, then, was the first completed publication, though it was hardly intended to translate it all. Rather, this edition is titled Select essays from the encyclopedy, being the most curious, entertaining, and instructive parts of that very extensive work... It was published in 1772, the year the final part of the French original was completed. This English version did not wow the reviewers, a contemporary writer in The London Magazine saying, "...the translation is lame, the spirit and elegance of the original totally evaporated." But, it is a first. £850 (US $1,226).

 

Antiquates Fine and Rare Books may be reached at 07921 151496 or sales@antiquates.co.uk. Their website is found at www.antiquates.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <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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