Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2016 Issue

Valuable and Uncommon Books from Michel Scognamillo Livres Anciens et Modernes

9984fe5e-18f7-49df-8b84-b822db9fe1ad

The first catalogue from Michel Scognamillo.

Michel Scognamillo Livres Ancien et Modernes has issued their first catalogue, Un Choix de Livres – Précieux ou Curieux. That translates to "a choice of books – valuable or uncommon." Obviously, this catalogue is written in French. Not surprisingly, many of the books are written in French as well. However, others are not. The "anciens" part of the books are often in Latin. Many are seriously anciens, dating as far back as the 15th century. There are also some books in English, and if that is insufficient for English collectors, there are several more that will appeal to those who collect English writers or French books – French editions of books written by English or American authors.

 

It is hard to place these books into a specific category, as variety is inevitable when such a wide date range is represented. The items appear in chronological order and date from 1492 until 1966. The topics of typical books evolved over five centuries. Fortunately, M. Scagnamillo is a noted expert in the book trade, so the selections are universally significant and desirable even as subjects change.

 

Before describing a few samples, I need to acknowledge a personal shortcoming in this review. The catalogue is entirely in French, and my familiarity with the language is limited to high school instruction half a century ago. Even then, I was a mediocre student. My intentions here are good, but my skills are sorely wanting. I cannot guarantee perfection in descriptions.

 

We will begin with one of those works which bridge English and French collectors. The book, actually a one-act play, is written in French: Salomé. Drame en un acte. Nevertheless, the author is the English-speaking (though Irish) writer Oscar Wilde. Wilde would have several occasions to prefer things French to those English, spending his last few years in France in self-imposed exile after having been imprisoned in England. However, this play was written much earlier, and this first edition was written in French for a different reason. The drama is loosely based on a New Testament story, and as such was proscribed from performances in England, where it was illegal to put on a play based on biblical characters. So, Wilde responded by writing the play in French. As such, this is the true first edition, not a first translated one. Item 48 is one of only 50 copies of the 1893 first edition on handmade paper and contains a most interesting inscription and provenance. It was inscribed from Paris in the year of publication to Madame Arman de Caillavet. Born Léontine Lippmann, she married Albert Arman, though she is less remembered for her marriage than her long-running affair with author Anatole France. Mme Arman de Caillavet was noted for her salon in Paris, and many if not all of the great French authors and visiting writers of the day made their appearances at her home. That included Wilde. Priced at €55,000 (euros, or approximately $60,973 U.S. dollars).

 

Next up is one of the great masterpieces of French literature, Les Trois Mousquetaires (Three Musketeers), by Alexandre Dumas. This is a lengthy novel, eight volumes in this 1844 first edition. It is a work of historical fiction, set in the 17th century, the time of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu, one of the historical figures who makes his appearances. It is based on the memoirs of Charles d'Artagnan and the three musketeers he befriended, but while d'Artagnan was real, these memoirs are fictional. The condition of this set is described as exceptional. Item 30. €100,000 (US $110,860).

 

In the days before much understanding of psychological issues and the existence of psychiatric help, Robert Burton recognized an issue still common today, even if his comprehension of it was limited. Item 9 is The Anatomy of Melancholy What it is, With all kindes, causes, symptomes, prognostickes and severall cures of it..., a first edition published in 1621. What Burton called "melancholy" is what today we would refer to as depression. Burton suffered from it, and so did many of his contemporaries and later generations, as attested by his book running through over 70 editions. Burton did not know the cause, nor much of a cure, but he sympathized with fellow sufferers, and compiled what advice was known in his day to at least provide some comfort. Burton found distraction to be helpful, advising his readers to keep busy with other activities. He also recommended traveling to places where melancholy was not so prevalent. If not the most modern advice, this book is still recognized for its great importance as a precursor to psychiatry. €25,000 (US $27,715).

 

Here is a man whose name has become sort of a term of endearment more than a proper name. Item 28 is a biography of Casanova, the real person. Giacomo Casanova was an 18th century native of Venice, a diplomat, though he did spend much of his life in France. He was a hopeless romantic. He seduced countless women along the way, charm being his method of conquest. These were not bar pick-ups, but elaborate productions. He would generally find a woman somewhat vulnerable, romance her, treat her with great respect, perhaps help financially, and eventually so charm and indebt her she could not resist. When he tired of the relationship, Casanova would assure the lady he was unworthy of her and help find a more suitable man for her station. Those interested in learning how one accomplishes such a reputation can read his memoirs, Memoires de J. Casanova... 12 volumes published from 1826-1838. Item 28. €25,000 (US $27,715).

 

Michel Scognamillo Livres Ancien et Modernes may be reached at +33 (0)6 77 13 92 76 or scolivre@gmail.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><br>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases<br>Natural History<br>& Color Plate Books<br>December 9, 2021</b>
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. Carolina Parrot. Plate 26. Hand-colored aquatint and engraved plate from Audubon's <i>Birds of America.</i> $80,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Francisco Henrique Carls. [Album de Pernambuco e seus Arrabaldes]. Fifty-three chromolithographed plates of landscape, town views and more of the state of Pernambuco, northeast Brazil. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Captain Thomas Davies, after. Group of 5 engraved topographical scenes of North American waterfalls. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><br>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases<br>Natural History<br>& Color Plate Books<br>December 9, 2021</b>
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> William R. Morley. Morley's Map of New Mexico. Large lithographed pocket map with original hand-color in outline. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Frederick William Beechey, et al. <i>The Zoology of Captain Beechey's Voyage; Compiled from the Collections and Notes Made by Captain Beechey…</i> $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> ZUDA ROKASHI (Priest Hotan.) Nansenbushu Bankoku Shoka No Zu. Woodblock wall map of the world on 16 sheets joined. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b><center> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on November 29th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b> Latin Book of Hours, Langres around 1490. Est: €50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br>T. Livius, <i>Römische Historien,</i> 1533. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br>G. Mendel, <i>Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden,</i> 1865-66. Est: €30,000
    <b><center> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on November 29th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br>A. Verard, Book of Hours, around 1488. Est: €30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br>A. Ortelius, <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum,</i> 1601. Est: €80,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br><i>Der Sturm,</i> 1910-1916. Est: €16,000
    <b><center> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on November 29th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b> <i>Cronica van der hilliger Stat Coellen,</i> 1499. Est: €25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br>M. Catesby, <i>Piscium serpentum insectorum,</i> 1777. Est: €25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br>W. Grohmann, <i>Das Werk Ernst Ludwig Kirchners,</i> 1926. Est: €20,000
    <b><center> Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on November 29th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br>P. Borgo, <i>Aritmetica mercantile,</i> 1491. Est: €16,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b><br>D. Roberts, <i>Egypt and Nubia,</i> 1846-49. Est: €8,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, Nov. 29:</b> <i>Estampes,</i> with the suite by P. Picasso, 1950. Est: €15,000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Zang Tumb Tuuum:<br>la révolution futuriste<br>Online Auction<br>30 November – 7 December</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 18:</b> The "Official Edition" of the United States Constitution and the First Printing of the Final Text of the Constitution, 1787. $15,000,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. I Paroliberi Futuristi. 1914-1915. 8 p. Unique corrected proofs, for an anthology that remained unpublished. €40,000 to €60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Cangiullo, Francesco. Studenti in Lettere. Università. 1915. Seminal work, featured in 3 historical futurist exhibitions. €20,000 to €30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Cangiullo, Francesco. Chiaro di luna. Circa 1915. Collage and gouache on paper. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. Manicure. Faire les ongles à l'Italie. Circa 1915. A fantastic parody of an advertising poster. €20,000 to €30,000.
  • <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>December 9</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 47. Roosevelt, Theodore. Photograph inscribed to Morris J. Hirsch. May 7th 1918. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 178. Whitman, Walt. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York: [Printed for the author], 1955. First edition in the first issue binding. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 38. Mather, Cotton. <i>Magnalia Christi Americana; or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England.</i> London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, 1702. First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 55. Taylor, Zachary. Autograph letter signed as President-Elect. Baton Rouge: January 15, 1849. $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 203. Picasso, Pablo. <i>Verve</i> Vol. V, Nos. 19-20. Paris: Editions Verve, 1948. Inscribed on the title page by Picasso. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>December 9</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 211. Domergue, Jean-Gabriel. L'Ete a Monte Carlo. Lithographed poster, Lucien Serre & Cie, Paris, circa 1937. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 105. Manuscript Illumination attr. to Neri da Rimini. Large excised initial "N" from a choirbook, extensively historiated. [Likely Rimini: first quarter of the 14th century]. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 40. McKenney, Thomas L. and Hall, James. <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs.</i> Philadelphia: Rice, Rutter & Co., 1870. $3,00
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 222. Searle, Ronald. [Pets--a dog, cats and a parrot-- surrounded by books, and inspecting a globe, perhaps planning global domination]. Original drawing, 17 3/8 x 13 1/2 inches. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 98. Faden, William; Scull, Nicholas and George Heap. A Plan of the City and Environs of Philadelphia, Survey'd by N. Scull and G. Heap. London: William Faden, 12 March 1777. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <i>Der Sturm.</i> 1922. Sold October 2021 for € 13,000.
    Diophantus Alexandrinus, <i>Arithmeticorum libri sex.</i> 1670. Sold October 2021 for € 18,000.
    <i>Cozzani Ettore e altri, l’Eroica. Tutto il pubblicato.</i> Sold October 2021 for € 11,000.
    Newton Isaac, <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> 1714. Sold October 2021 for € 7,500.
    Manetti Saverio, <i>Storia naturale degli uccelli.</i> 1767-1776. Sold April 2021 for € 26,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions