Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2018 Issue

A Miscellany from Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller


A miscellany from Jonathan A. Hill.

The latest from Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller is Catalogue 224 A Miscellany. You may find many different things in a miscellany, but don't look for anything new. There are just degrees of antiquarian books here. Most are European, with a great many books in French. Another type of book you will find throughout this selection is auction catalogues, along with some catalogues of private libraries. The auction catalogues are also quite old, mostly from the 18th to the early 19th century. There were some fantastic private collections then, the type that would be almost impossible to duplicate today, not just because of the cost but the fact that so many of these books are now in institutional libraries. These are some of the items offered in this selection.


Tennis anyone? Here is the first book to describe how the game is played. The title is Trattato del Giuoco della Palla di messer Antonio Scaino da Salo (Treatise on the Ball Game by Mr. Antonio Scaino of Salo). Antonio Scaino was an Italian priest who wrote this book in 1555 to resolve disputes in the rules of games. It covers five games, including a precursor of soccer, but it most thoroughly describes the rules of an early version of tennis. Much remains the same. The game was already popular among nobility by this time, but played in a variety of forms with different rules. Scaino not only describes the sport, but sets down a common set of rules. He establishes the proper size of the court, proper scoring (15-30-45), and uses predecessors of terms still used today - "vantaggio" (advantage) and "a due" (deuce). He also establishes the deuce in scoring, the need to win by at least two points as he felt one point insufficient to show clear superiority. Item 84. Priced at $45,000.


Here is another first. It is a first edition of the first practical bibliography written. Its title is Liber de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis. Despite its title, it is not limited to ecclesiastical books, though they do form the great majority. The author of this 1494 book was Johannes Trithemius. Trithemius (or Tritheim) was a polymath, but professionally, he was an abbot at the monastery of Sponheim. When he arrived, it had 48 books in its library. He expanded that number to 2,000. In the process, he began organizing and cataloging the collection. Trithemius received many inquiries concerning books as a result of his great knowledge, which led him to the idea of creating a bibliography of ecclesiastical writers. He began work on this book in 1487, as he set out in alphabetical order a list of nearly a thousand writers, eventually recording almost 7,000 books. Being a polymath, Trithemius wrote on a variety of topics, including one book that made it to the Church's banned book list. It covers magic and the occult, topics which fascinated Trithemius but not the Catholic Church. Item 96. $75,000.


We mentioned that there are many personal library and auction catalogues in this collection. Here are several which allow us to follow one such collection through its building to its piecemeal dispersion. Claude Gros de Boze was an 18th century French scholar and numismatist, an expert on medals. He was in charge of the King's collection of medals and was elected to the French Academy. De Boze was also a book collector, and developed one of the finest collections of his time. It featured such items as a Gutenberg Bible and a Mainz Psalter of 1457. Item 17 is the Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de M. De Boze, a catalogue of de Boze's library, published in 1745. It is a beautiful catalogue, printed by the King's Printer. It was printed in a limited edition for friends. Hill has found various estimates by bibliographers for the print run, all short - 12, 25, 36, and 50. This copy contains a portrait of de Boze, a mystery since Hill has found no other copies with it. It may have been added by his nephew as a tribute to his uncle. $45,000.


Next up we have an edition of the above title published in 1753. That was the year de Boze died, this issue being published posthumously. It was prepared for the en bloc sale of his collection by auctioneer Gabriel Martin. The over 2,700 item collection was sold to two collectors, Jules Francois de Cotte and Charles Robert Boutin, ahead of the planned auction. The two kept the books they wanted and sold off about half of the remainder for almost what they paid for them all to Louis-Jean Gaignat. No need to feel sorry for Gaignat for paying too much. He sold them to another collector for a healthy profit. Item 18. $2,500.


Next we have the Catalogue des Livres provenans de la Bibliothéque de feu M. de Boze... published in 1754. This sale was put on by Gabriel Martin and consisted of the remainder of the de Boze collection Cotte and Boudin retained from the sale to Gaignat but did not wish to keep for themselves. Among this group was de Boze's Gutenberg Bible. Item 19. $1,250.


Now for one more piece to the de Boze dispersal. It comes from many years later - 1804. This is the auction Catalogue des Livres rares et précieux, et des Manuscrits, composant la Bibliotheque de M. Jules Francois de Cotte. This sale included the books de Cotte had retained from the de Boze collection along with others he owned. De Cotte obviously chose to sell off his collection while still living as he died in 1811. Item 32. $3,500.


Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller may be reached at 646-827-0724 or jonathan@jonathanahill.com. The website is www.jonathanahill.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Smith, Joseph. <i>The Book of Mormon.</i> Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin for the Author, 1830. First printing. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Last Words of Joseph Smith. Autograph Letter Signed from a Mormon disciple, conveying a contemporary account of the Prophet's final words, Nauvoo, July 27, 1844. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> John Brown's Body. Autograph Letter Signed from the daughter of John Brown attempting to arrange the return of her father's body, North Elba, Essex Co, NY, November 29, 1859. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Powell Expedition. Autograph diary of Rhodes C. Allen kept during the Powell Expedition of 1868, June 29, 1868 - November 16, 1868. $20,000 to $40,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> NASA archive with 351 photographs, silver & chromogenic prints, 1960-2002. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, suite of 18 cyanotypes, 1910-14. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, <i>Horse Capture, Atsina,</i> unique copper plate for <i>The North American Indian,</i> 1908. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> John Whipple, <i>Harriet Beecher Stowe,</i> salted print from a calotype negative, 1853. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Lewis Carroll, <i>Xie Kitchen,</i> albumen print, circa 1872. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Ansel Adams, <i>Taos Pueblo,</i> limited, signed first edition of the artist's first book, 12 silver bromide prints, 1930. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b><br>JFK in his motorcade about 2 mins before his assassination, chromogenic print, 1963. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Anton Guilio Bragaglia, 6 photomechanical postcards with facsimile signatures, 1911-13, printed 1932. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Société Anonyme, Inc, group of 9 postcards, including 8 real photo postcards, 1920-30. $25,000 to $35,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> BELON. <i>L’Histoire de la nature des oyseaux.</i> Paris : Corrozet, 1555. $17,000 to $23,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> MIOMANDRE – BARBIER. <i>Dessins sur les danses de Vaslav Nijinsky.</i> Paris. 1913. $23,000 to $34,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> HOKUSAI. <i>Fugaku Hyakkei, Edo : Nishimura Yûzô.</i> 1834-1875. $58,000 to $80,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> EDWARDS. <i> <br>A Natural History of Uncommon Birds…</i> London : Printed for the Author. 1743-1764. $35,000 to $46,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> VESALIUS. <i><br> De Humane Corporis Fabrica libri septem...</i> Basle : J. Oporinus. 1555. $58,000 to $80,000
  • <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>Die Französische Expedition gegen Mexico /Beilagen zum Beiheft des Militair - Wochenblattes
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>The Architecture Of M. Vitruvius Pollio. London, 1791.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Estatuto Provisional del Imperio Mexicano. México: Imprenta de Andrade y Escalante, 1865.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Historia de Méjico... México, 1849 - 1852.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Juárez, Benito - Ogazón, Pedro. Legajos de Bandos del Estado de Guadalajara, 1860-1863.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos. Mapa de las Aguas que por el Círculo de 90 Leguas Vienen a la Laguna de Tescuco... Méx, 1748.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Cruces y Campa / Aubert / Valleto. Pareja Imperial, Fusilamiento de Maximiliano, Tipos Mexicanos... ca,1875.

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