Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2018 Issue

Natural History from Shapero Rare Books

Natural History 2018.

Shapero Rare Books has issued a new catalogue of Natural History 2018. Actually, it contains more than just natural history. The contents are broken down to Natural History, Sporting Books, and Works on Paper, including Watercolors and Modern & Contemporary Prints. The works on paper are essentially single page items while the others are full books. What almost all of these items have in common are the illustrations, many of them virtually works of art on their own. Illustrated bird and flower books and single images, of which there are many, are practically guaranteed to be beautiful based on their subject matter. Here are a few selections from this catalogue of natural history and more.

 

We begin with an album of distinctively Chinese culture. It is an album of 14 watercolors on Chinese paper depicting the life cycle of the silkworm. The moth/worm's production of silk was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago, and they managed to keep it secret for most of that time. Over that period, they bred the silkworms for greater production and egg laying capacity. The result is an insect that can no longer live on its own, but is dependent on humans to raise and care for it. Eventually, the secret was smuggled out of China, first to Japan, Korea, and India, and finally making its way to Europe. This album, bound in contemporary Chinese cloth, was produced circa 1820. Item 5. Priced at £8,500 (British pounds, or about $11,312 U.S. dollars).

 

Many of the most notable and beautiful of natural history books were illustrated texts about birds. Here is one of the more significant ones around. The title is A natural history of birds. Illustrated with a hundred and one copper plates, curiously engraven from the life. Published by the author Eleazar Albin, and carefully colour'd by his daughter and self... What Albin neglected to mention in the title was the contribution of his sons. For his colors Albin ground vermilion pigment and combined it with boys' urine. Perhaps that explains the "curiously" part of the title. Since this first edition, first issue of three volumes was published 1731-1734, it surely is well-dried and clean by now. This was the first British bird book to provide colored plates. There are 306 of them with captions in English and Latin. Albin placed his birds on branches or on the ground, giving them a more life-like appearance. Item 1. £35,000 (US $46,590).

 

This next book unites England with America. It is the work of the greatest of English illustrators of birds, England's Audubon, so to speak. John Gould wrote and illustrated numerous books about birds, but most were of British birds, or those from Europe, Asia or Australia. However, he did one on American birds, and this is it: A Monograph of the Odontophorimae, or Partridges of America. Given a choice between those two names, we'll stick with calling them "partridges." Gould was shown some specimens brought back by Capt. Frederick Beechey on his voyage to the west coast of America and found them to be extraordinarily beautiful. He then traveled all over to see more, visiting Paris, Brussels, Frankfort, Berlin, Amsterdam, and numerous other locations. One place he did not go to was America. That was too far, but he visited and drew specimens in collections all over Europe. This book contains 32 plates hand-colored by Gould and H. C. Richter. It is easy to see why Gould found the birds to be so beautiful. The book is dedicated to Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a noted French ornithologist who encouraged Audubon. He wrote a book about American birds and actually spent a few years in the country. Charles Lucien was a nephew of the more famous Bonaparte, Napoleon. Item 15. £19,500 (US $27,858).

 

The next item connects America with Germany. It is a very rare book, privately published, with Shapero only being able to locate one other copy anywhere. The title is Jagd-Ausflug dirch die Rocky Mountains (hunting trip through the Rocky Mountains) published in 1893. The author was Philip Leibinger, and perhaps you remember him as proprietor of Leibinger Brewing in New York. Probably not, as that brewery shut down in 1899. Leibinger was a sportsman, going on outdoor expeditions as well as participating in yachting events. I have not been able to find what happened to him after the brewery closed. What is notable about this book is the illustrations, 60 photographs taken by Leibinger on this hunting trip. They include pictures of the hunting party, its horses and weapons, and a bear they hunted. There are also pictures of the scenery, with many of them taken in Yellowstone Park. This is a presentation copy, inscribed by the author to German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in honor of his 80th birthday in 1895. Item 54. £37,500 (US $49,703).

 

Here is another hunting book, but this time we will connect Russia and France (and without the benefit of a Bonaparte who connected those two nations in an unpleasant way). Item 52 is La Chasse Grand-Ducale et Tsarienne en Russie. Periode du Xe-XVIe siecle; La Chasse Tsarienne en Russie. XVIIe siecle, two volumes published in St. Petersburg, 1896-1900. This is the first edition in French of the first description of hunting published in Russia. It actually consisted of four volumes, but only two were translated to French. The author was Nicolas Coutépoff (Nikolay Kutepov). He describes not just the hunting, but the entire related lifestyle of the Russian court. It includes numerous illustrations of hunting and the royal Russian lifestyle. The volumes cover the time period from the 10th through the 17th century (the untranslated volumes continued through the 19th century). £15,000 (US $19,878).

 

Shapero Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)20 7493 0876 or rarebooks@shapero.com. Their website is www.shapero.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 546. Christoph Jacob Trew. Plantae selectae, 1750-1773.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 70. Thomas Murner. Die Narren beschwerung. 1558.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 621. Michael Bernhard Valentini. Museum Museorum, 1714.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 545. Sander Reichenbachia. Orchids illustrated and described, 1888-1894.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1018. Marinetti, Boccioni, Pratella Futurism - Comprehensive collection of 35 Futurist manifestos, some of them exceptionally rare. 1909-1933.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 634. August Johann Rösel von Rosenhof. 3 Original Drawings, around 1740.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 671. Jacob / Picasso. Chronique des Temps, 1956.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1260. Mary Webb. Sarn. 1948. Lucie Weill Art Deco Binding.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 508. Felix Bonfils. 108 large-format photographs of Syria and Palestine.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 967. Dante Aligheri and Salvador Dali. Divina Commedia, 1963.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1316. Tolouse-Lautrec. Dessinateur. Duhayon binding, 1948.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1303. Regards sur Paris. Braque, Picasso, Masson, 1962.
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: McCarthy (Cormac). Cities of the Plain, N.Y., 1998, First Edn., signed on hf. title; together with Uncorrected Proof and Uncorrected Advance Reading Copies, both signed by the Author. €800 to €1,000.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Stanihurst (Richard). De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis, Libri Quattuor, sm. 4to Antwerp (Christi. Plantium) 1584. First Edn. €525 to €750.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Fleischer (Nat.) Jack Dempsey The Idol of Fistiana, An Intimate Narrative, N.Y., 1929, First Edn. Signed on f.e.p. by Rocky Marciano. €400 to €600.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Smith - Classical Atlas, Lond., 1820. Bound with, Smiths New General Atlas .. Principal Empires, Kingdoms, & States throughout the World, Lond. 1822. €350 to €500.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Rare Auction Catalogues – 1856: Bindon Blood, of Ennis, Co. Clare: Sotheby & Wilkinson. €320 to €450.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Mavor (Wm.)] A General Collection of Voyages and Travels from the Discovery of America to the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century, 28 vols. (complete) Lond., 1810. €300 to €400.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Mc Carthy (Cormac). Outer Dark, N.Y. (Random House)1968, Signed by Mc Carthy. €250 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Three signed works by Ted Huges - Wodwo, 1967; Crow from the Life and Songs of the Crow, 1970; and Tales from Ovid, 1997. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: The Garden. An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Horticulture in all its Branches, 7 vols. lg. 4to Lond. 1877-1880. With 127 colored plates. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Procter (Richard A.) Saturn and its System: Containing Discussions of The Motion (Real and Apparent)…, Lond. 1865. First Edn. €160 to €220.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Ashe] St. George, Lord Bishop of Clogher, A Sermon Preached to the Protestants of Ireland, now in London,... Oct. 23, 1712, London 1712. Second Edn. €130 to €180.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Piccolomini's De La Sfera del Mondo (The Sphere of the World), 1540.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Vellutello's Commentary on Petrarch, With Map, 1525.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Finely Bound Definitive, Illustrated Edition of I Promessi Sposi, 1840.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Rare First Edition of John Milton's Latin Correspondence, 1674.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Giolito's Edition of Boccaccio's The Decamerone, with Bedford Binding, 1542.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of the First Biography of Marie of the Incarnation, with Rare Portrait, 1677.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Aldine Edition of Volume One of Cicero's Orationes, 1540.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Bonanni's Illustrated Costume Catalogue, with Complete Plates, 1711.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: An Important Incunable, the First Italian Edition of Josephus's De Bello Judaico, 1480.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Jacques Philippe d'Orville's Illustrated Book of the Ruins of Sicily, 1764.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: An Incunable from 1487, The Contemplative Life, with Early Manuscript.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Ignatius of Loyola's Exercitia Spiritualia, 1563.

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