Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2017 Issue

27 Items for the RBMS Meeting from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller

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27 Books.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has published Short List 8. 27 Books for RBMS. RBMS is the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, part of the American Library Association. The RBMS recently held their annual conference. Windle offers a variety of material, often with an artistic bent, though not necessarily so. We won't try to cite a particular time period for what we find, since Windle has managed to find items ranging from 1477 to 2011 in just 27 pieces selected. So, we will just describe a few items that are somewhat representative of what you will find, but not entirely so. Some are simply not like the others. Here, now, are a few.

 

Cotton Mather was America's most notable pre-Revolutionary religious figure. He was a stern man, too willing to believe in witches at the time of the Salem witch trials. However, he wrote about other subjects as well, as in the case of this book: Magnalia Christi Americana: or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England, from the First Planting in the Year 1620. Unto the Year of Our Lord 1698. Published in 1702, it covers much more than just church history. Instead, it is a complete history of what was going on in 17th century New England, from the time of the Pilgrims' landing in Plymouth. For Mather, church and secular history all blended together so he writes about the colony's governors and ministers, Harvard and miracles, provides puns and poems, and writes of the Salem witch trials. Windle notes that while "not entirely historically accurate," Mather's book "provides a garrulous overview of the state of society and manners in New England during the early colonial period." Item 18. Priced at $7,500.

 

No one outside of her natives even knew America existed when this book was published. Item 5 is a leaf from the first substantial book printed in England, The Canterbury Tales. This is the first printed edition of the English classic by Geoffrey Chaucer, written in the 14th century. The publisher was England's first printer, William Caxton. Caxton also printed the first book in the English language a few years earlier, but that was in Bruges, now part of Belgium. In 1476, he picked up his press and sailed across the channel to set up shop in England. This was his first significant publication, printed in 1477. The leaf here offered contains fragments from the first and second part of The Clerk's Tale. $9,500.

 

Next up is Charles Darwin's continuation of what he revealed a decade earlier in his Origin of Species, as applied specifically to humans. Item 10 is The Descent of Man... published in 1871. In it, Darwin makes the first use of a term that does not appear in the Origin - "evolution." He also makes an interesting, and ultimately correct observation on the geographical origin of humans. Darwin observed that living mammals are found in areas where there are closely related extinct species. Therefore, he concludes that in Africa, where there are apes, it is likely extinct species of gorillas and chimpanzees will be found. He continues, "...as these two species are now man's nearest allies, it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere." Offered is a first edition, first issue. $8,950.

 

Item 2 is a strange though important medical work, Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice, and the Physiology of Digestion, published in far northern Plattsburgh, New York, in 1833. The author was William Beaumont, an army physician who has been called the "Father of Gastric Physiology" for this study. However, the subject of the study was not Beaumont but one Alexis St. Martin. St. Martin was a French-Canadian trapper who suffered a close-up gunshot wound to the stomach. It was not in war, simply an accident, but Beaumont attended to him though St. Martin was not expected to live. The hole never completely healed, but Beaumont fashioned a flap of skin to cover it. He then proceeded to use that flap to peer inside and observe what was going on. Since St. Martin could not readily return to his work, he became Beaumont's assistant, affording regular observations. The physician performed such experiments as tying some food on a string, putting it in St. Martin's stomach, and pulling it out to observe what had happened. Beaumont also made observations on the effect of emotions on the gastric juices, a forerunner of Pavlov's later studies. As for poor M. St. Martin, he lived for another 50 years after his accident. $3,750.

 

Next up is another odd book, though in a very different way. The title is, The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid in which Coloured Diagrams and Symbols are used instead of Letters for the Greater Ease of Learners, published in 1847. Rather than using letters to describe such things as lines and angles, author Oliver Byrne used different colors. He claimed, "It is based on the theory that by means of colour the Elements of Euclid can be acquired in less than one third the time usually employed." From looking at the pages, my guess is it would take three times as long, it being harder to follow, in my opinion, than letters. However, if Byrne did not create an easier way to learn geometry, he did create something that has been described as one of the most beautiful books of the century. Indeed, he has created "a unique riot of red, yellow and blue," in something that looks like a work of mathematical cubist art. I don't even like cubist art (or math books) but this is spectacular. Item 11. $19,500.

 

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller may be reached at 415-986-5826 or john@johnwindle.com. Their website is www.johnwindle.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <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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