Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2018 Issue

Peter Harrington's Books for Display at Masterpiece 2018

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Masterpiece 2018.

Peter Harrington has prepared a catalogue of Items Displayed at Masterpiece 2018 London. Masterpiece is an annual show of the most desirable of material, primarily works of art. It takes a very healthy budget to take something home with you. Fortunately, books generally don't reach the astronomical prices of art, but nonetheless, you will need to be able to buy the best if you attend Masterpiece. That is all you will find. The fair began on June 28, but continues through July 4. Here are a few of the items you will see if you stop by Harrington's display (Stand D4).

 

When asked who is the greatest writer in the English language, my guess is the name that will most be spoken is that of William Shakespeare. His plays are as popular, if not more so, today than when they were written in the early 17th century. However, many of them would have been lost, as they were not published during his lifetime. Thankfully, a few years after he died, some of his friends gathered them up and published the book that would assure they survived, Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. The first four editions are generally referred to now as the "folios," distinguished by their number, and published through the 17th century. The first was published in 1623 and is now practically unobtainable. The earliest still reasonably available is this, the Second Folio, published in 1632. This edition was actually published by five different publishers as each had rights to certain plays, and were released at different dates, but we will leave these complex variations to the experts. This copy comes in a mid-19th century red crushed morroco binding by Hayday. Priced at £275,000 (British pounds, or approximately $365,230 in U.S. dollars).

 

Next we have one of the great works of fantasy, with the popularity to match its reputation. This is a true first edition from 1726 (with the points to differentiate it from two similar editions of the the same year) of Travels into Several Nations of the World. Like the Shakespeare folios, nobody refers to it by its actual title. This book is known as Gulliver's Travels. It was stated as written by Lemuel Gulliver, but he was no more real than his fantastic adventures. The author was Jonathan Swift. The fantastic lands and beings Gulliver visited have entertained readers of all ages ever since. At the time it was written, explorers were still discovering unknown lands and reporting back to the European public, so the premise was believable, even if the findings were so extreme as not to be. Gulliver was actually more than mere fantasy. There were all sorts of political references to the day, but that has mostly been lost, and few readers would recognize it today. £150,000 (US $199,186).

 

This is an important book in American history combined with an interesting provenance and a couple of notable signatures. The book is A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, by John Adams. Concerning various state and foreign constitutions, it was published in 1787, just as the new country was preparing to write its own constitution. In it, Adams describes that state constitutions and promotes a system of checks and balances, a chief executive, a two-house legislature, and an independent judiciary. The book was influential in both America and Europe. This copy is inscribed by Adams to Richard Henry Lee, with a request that Lee return any comments he had to Adams. Richard Henry Lee was a delegate to the Continental Congress and the initiator of a resolution of independence in June of 1776. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was part of the powerful Lee family of Virginia, many of whom would serve in government offices. His great-grandfather was the first Lee to emigrate to America from England and through him Richard Henry was related to George Washington confidant "Light-Horse Harry Lee" and his son, Confederate General Robert E. Lee. When Lee died, this copy passed to his son Ludwell, who died in 1836. Written and dated in it is the statement "John Strohm's Book" 1846. Above that, and below John Adam's signature, is that of his son and fellow President, John Quincy Adams. Strohm served in Congress with Quincy Adams from 1847-1848 when the latter died. That is likely when it was signed as it is a shaky signature of an aged man. Adams was 80 years old at that time. £110,000 (US $145,904).

 

Here is a book that is much closer to Gulliver than Adams, a work of fantasy, although of a different sort. This one is a children's book, naturally enough for the genre, featuring anthropomorphic animals. Try that word out on the kids. It is The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter. This is a true first edition, one of the 250 copies Potter had privately printed in 1901. She was unable to find a publisher, but she had enough confidence in her book to publish it herself. She was right. Its popularity was such that Potter did a second private printing and the following year, publisher Frederick Warne picked it up. The rest is history there is no need repeating. £75,000 (US $99,519).

 

We conclude with an amazing archive of material related to John F. Kennedy. The material ranges from Kennedy's first congressional race in 1946 up to his election to the presidency in 1960. The archive was compiled by David Powers, who was a close personal confidant of JFK from that first congressional run until his assassination in 1963. Powers was riding in the Secret Service car behind Kennedy at that tragic moment. Harrington describes Powers as "Kennedy's most intimate friend, advisor, and personal 'fixer.'" JFK's Michael Cohen? With all due respect to Mr. Cohen, Powers was a very different sort of "fixer," just as Kennedy was a different sort of President. The archive contains manuscript drafts, reading copies, related notes and other mementos. Much of it has never been published. There is also an inscribed copy of Kennedy's inaugural address. The reason there are no drafts and notes after the election is that the Presidential Libraries Act encouraged the preservation of presidential records for government collections. This would be mandated in 1978 by the Presidential Records Act, but Kennedy already followed the spirit of the act. Powers was Kennedy's Special Assistant during his presidential years, and later served as Curator of the Kennedy Presidential Library until his retirement in 1994. £375,000 (US $497,759).

 

Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 (USA 011 44 20 7591 0220) or mail@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Daniel Giraud Elliot. <i>A Monograph of the Phasianidae, or Family of the Pheasants,</i> 1870-1872, coloured plates. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Georg Braun und Franz Hogenberg. <i>Civitates orbis terrarum.</i> Cologne, 1597-c.1606, 5 volumes, hand-coloured, calf. £140,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Qianren Huang. "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Abraham Ortelius. <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum,</i> 1595. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Maxime Du Camp. <i>Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques.</i> Paris, 1852. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>China, Canton School. A superb album of 141 watercolours, c.1800. £70,000 to £100,000.
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. The Rocky Mountains. Emigrants Crossing the Plains, 1866. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in English]. <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English.</i> Rheims, 1582. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in Latin]. <i>Biblia latina.</i> Venice: Franz Renner of Hailbrun [Heilbrunn], 1483. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822). Autograph letter signed ("P. B. S."), to Charles Ollier. Florence, Italy, 15 December 1819. “MY PROMETHEUS IS THE BEST THING I EVER WROTE.” $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> RAMSAY, David (1749-1815). <i>The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina…</i> Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1785. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BINDINGS]. MUIR, John (1838-1914). <i>The Writings of John Muir.</i> Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916-1924. 10 vols. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [CHICAGO] -- <i>Park & Guide Map of Chicago.</i> Chicago: Jas. Van Vechten, 1873. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [ALLEN PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). <i>Romeo and Juliet.</i> Greenbrae: Allen Press, 1988. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BEMELMANS, Ludwig (1898-1962). Pencil drawing on paper. 247 x 198 mm, sight, matted and framed. Showing a child shooting at a baby's balloon. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [LOGAN ELM PRESS]. HARVEY, Rebecca. <i>Any Number of Things.</i> Ohio State University, 2013. Single sheet paper scroll. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BINYON, Laurence (1869-1943). A small archive of letters and pamphlets. $200 to $300.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Mariette (Pierre-Jean). <i>Traité des pierres gravées / Recueil des pierres gravées...,</i> 2 vols., 1750. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> [Bryant, Jacob & William Cole]. <i>Gemmarum Antiquarum Delectus, [Marlborough Gems],</i> 2 volumes, [privately printed, 1780-83], £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Caylus (Anne Claude Philippe, Comte de). <i>Recueil d'Antiquités Egyptiennes, Estrusques, Grecques et Romaines,</i> 7 volumes, Paris, 1756-67, £700 to £1,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Devonshire Gems. <i>Duke of Devonshire's Collection of Gems,</i> privately printed, c. 1790, [one of 8 copies], £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Goltz (Hubert). <i>Le Vive Imagini di tutti quasi gl'Imperatori,</i> Antwerp, 1557, £500 to £800.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Manuscript. <i>An Explanation of Dassier's Medals, by Charlotte Hanbury,</i> c. 1795-1800, £700 to £1,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Paoletti (Bartolomeo and Pietro). A collection of 300 plaster cameos presented in 7 leather-bound double-sided faux book boxes, Rome, c. 1820, £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Mayer (Luigi). <i>Views in Egypt, from the Original Drawings, in the Possession of Sir Robert Ainslie,</i> London: Thomas Bensley for R. Bowyer, 1805, £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Blaeu (Willem Janszoon & Johannes). <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Atlas novus, pars quarta</i> [England and Wales], Amsterdam: Johannem Blaeu, 1648, £6,000 to £8,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Reuter (O.M. & Mela, A.J.). <i>Finlands Fiskar. The Fishes of Finland,</i> 12 parts (complete), Helsingfors: G.W. Edlund, 1883-93, £500 to £800.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Lunardi (Vincenzo). <i>An Account of the First Aerial Voyage in England,</i> 2nd edition, London: Printed for the Author, 1784, £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> North America. Jansson (Jan). <i>Virginiae partis Australis et Floridae partis Orientalis,</i> circa 1641. £400 to £600.

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