Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2017 Issue

The Islamic World from Antiquariaat Forum and Antiquariat Inlibris

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The Islamic World.

The Antiquariaat Forum, together with Antiquariat Inlibris, has issued a catalogue entitled The Islamic World 6. The "6" refers to the number of catalogues about the Islamic world they have produced. The subtitle notes that there is also a selection of Chinese interest, and that the material has been selected for the Abu Dhabi Book Fair. That explains the concentration of Islamic world material, which is primarily from the centers of that world – the Middle East and North Africa. However, there are also some items that I cannot really connect with the Islamic world – a rare inscribed copy of Marx's Das Kapital, or manuscripts in the hand of Beethoven and Schubert. My guess is they are here as they are of universal interest, even in Abu Dhabi. So be prepared for a few surprises when you open the pages of this catalogue. Now, here are a few samples.

 

Much of our oldest history emanates from Egypt and the Holy Land, and yet it was mostly a mystery to those in the West. Francis Frith was an early photographer, opening a studio in Liverpool in 1850. He recognized a desire for images more precise than paintings existed among people who never visited far off sights, so in 1856, he set out for Egypt to begin capturing the land on film. He had to use a large, bulky camera and primitive developing methods by today's standards, and yet he was able to capture the land as few had done before. He took three trips to these places and in 1858-59 published two volumes entitled Egypt and Palestine. Photographed and Described. It contains 76 photographs with a separate leaf of text for each. These are some of the earliest photographs of Aswan, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Damascus, Luxor, Nazareth, Giza, Hebron, and many other locations. Item 55. Priced at €40,000 (euros, or approximately $43,471 in U.S. dollars).

 

Next is a volume containing the first two books on Arabic ever printed, Arte para ligeramente saber la lengua araviga... and Vocabulista aravigo en letra castellana. The two books are bound together, as they are usually found. These are the first published grammar and the first published vocabulary of the Arabic language. They were written by Pedro de Alacala, a Spanish monk, at the request of the Archbishop of Granada. They were published in 1505. It had only been a little over a decade earlier that Granada, the last Moorish outpost on the Iberian peninsula, had fallen to the Christians. Many of the Moors stayed on, so the Archbishop needed a means of learning their language so they could be converted. Item 128. €250,000 (US $271,815).

 

Everyone knows the meaning of the word "assassin," but it is unlikely most know where the word originated. The Assassins were an Islamic sect in Persia that formed in the 11th century. They were never powerful enough to form a standing army, but they had a warrior class who would provide sneak attacks on leaders of their enemies, assassinations, if you will. They came to be feared for their tactics. The Assassins' reputation reached the West when they were encountered by the Crusaders, and they were described by Marco Polo. They were eventually wiped out during the 13th century Mongol invasion, though some persisted and acted as mercenaries for some years thereafter. However, the sect's name has lived on as a descriptive word for their type of behavior. Item 66 is Die Geschichte der Assassinen aus morgenlandischen Quellen, by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, published in 1818. It is a history of the Assassins. Hammer-Purgstall compares them to fanatics of his own day, something which could be done in our day as well. He writes (translated) his plan is to give "a vivid account of the pernicious influence of secret societies under weak governments, and of the hideous abuse of religion for purposes of committing atrocities of unscrupulous ambition and unfettered despotism." Yes, that does sound familiar. €3,500 (US $3,805).

 

This next one might be out of your price range, but we will mention it anyway. It is a book of French Renaissance original watercolor drawings of birds, held in a modern box with the spine title Recueil de dessins d'oiseaux (collection of bird drawings). They predate Audubon by roughly three centuries, circa 1550-1560. They are attributed to Pierre Gourdelle. There are 50 leaves, most of which contain a drawing of one bird. A few have multiple drawings, resulting in a total of 58. There are falcons, hawks, eagles, owls, a vulture, numerous water and song birds, a parrot, parakeet and peacock among others. There is even a bat – perhaps he didn't know it was a mammal. A pelican is shown feeding its young with its own blood, a myth believed at the time. There is even a phoenix rising from the flames, one drawing we will assume he did not make from life. Little is known of Gourdelle, particularly at this point in his life. Later on, in the 1570's and 1580's, he was painting portraits and became a printer, along with working for Catherine de Medici. He married in 1583 and died in 1590. He did receive a mention in the book L'histoire de la nature des oyseaux by Pierre Belon, published in 1555. Belon acknowledges an indebtedness or contribution by Gourdelle, and several of these watercolors are close enough to drawings in that book that there is an evident connection. Others are quite different, and there are drawings in this collection and Belon's book not found in the other. Item 57. €2,800,000 (US $3,042,540).

 

Item 24 is a historic book. It was, appropriately enough, published in that most historic of cities for printing, Gutenberg's Mainz. The title is Peregrinatio in terram sanctum, the author Bernhard von Breydenbach, the publication date 1486 (first edition). This book is notable as the first illustrated travel account ever printed, and the first authentic Western source for the Near and Middle East based on someone who actually visited the area. Breydenbach traveled to Venice to embark upon a trip to the Holy Land with other pilgrims. He brought along two friends, one an interpreter and the other artist Erhard Reuwich. It is Reuwich's artwork that provides the visual documentation of the trip. He has illustrated people, animals, costumes, architecture, and other things he saw. Breydenbach was also able to bring back information from lands he did not visit because they met distant travelers who had also come to the Holy Land. The three set out in 1483 and returned via Egypt in 1484. This copy is not quite complete in its plates, which is why it is much less expensive than complete copies. €45,000 (US $48,904).

 

You may reach the Antiquariaat Forum at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@forumrarebooks.com. Their website is www.forumrarebooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Nebel, Carl. The War Between the United States and Mexico. New York, 1851. $270,000 - $300,000 MXN / USD $15,000 - $16,666
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Nebel, Carl. The War Between the United States and Mexico. New York, 1851. $270,000 - $300,000 MXN / USD $15,000 - $16,666
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Bolaños, Joaquín. La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte... (“The Portentous Life of Death”) México, 1792. $50,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,777 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Tratado de Paz… entre la República Mexicana y los Estados Unidos. (“Treaty of Peace… Between the Mexican Republic and the United States”) 1848. $80,000 - $90,000 MXN / USD $4,444 - $5,000
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Fabregat, Josep Joaquín. Vista de la Plaza de México… (“View of the Square of Mexico”) México, 1797. $60,000 - $100,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $5,555
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel. Invitación al Coronel Narciso de la Canal… (“Invitation to Coronel Narciso de la Canal…”) 1810. $170,000 - $200,000 MXN / USD $9,444 - $11,111
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Gálvez, Joseph de. Real Cédula de Erección de la Compañía de Filipinas. (“Royal Notice of the Creation of the Company of the Philippines”) 1785. $40,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,222 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Colección de Constituciones de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (“Collection of Constitutions of the United Mexican States”) México, 1828. $50,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,777 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Ruelas, Julio. Poemario Manuscrito Ilustrado, Dedicado a Lorencita Braniff (“Collection of Illustrated Poem Manuscripts, Dedicated to Lorencita Braniff”). 1903. $60,000 - $70,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $3,888
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Espinosa de los Monteros, Juan J. Aviso de la Junta Soberana al Público (“Notice of the Sovereign Meeting to the Public”) 1821. $60,000 - $80,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $4,444
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Constitución Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos... (“Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States”) México, 1824. $140,000 - $150,000 MXN / USD $7,777 - $8,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Alcaraz, Ramón. Apuntes para la Historia de la Guerra entre México y los EU (“Notes on the History of the War between Mexico and the United States”). 1848. $40,000 - $50,000 MXN / USD $2,222 - $2,777
  • <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.
  • <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 €
  • <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.

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