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>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <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>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800

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