Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2019 Issue

Fine Illustrated Books [and] Captain Cook: An Anniversary Catalogue from Shapero Rare Books

6f0df08b-ece3-4cc3-93e2-41333e80e6b7

Two catalogues from Shapero Rare Books were received this month at Rare Book Hub—Fine Illustrated Booksand Captain Cook: An Anniversary Catalogue—and they are both impressive for different reasons. Fine Illustrated Books demonstrates the vastness of the field, with maps, natural history, art, and Hebrew material some of the representatives. In an era where visual works are highly sought after, there is something appealing for the serious collector of many different individual subjects contained within. Captain Cook, on the other hand, reflects the opposite side of the collecting spectrum: an intense focus on a singular subject. Even with this sort of focus, it’s not just books that can make up a collection, and this catalogue offers a fair amount of prints, several medals and portrait medallions, and a painting as well.

 

Fine Illustrated Books features 50 lots, with asking prices beginning at £9,500 and topping out at £300,000. This is serious material consistent with what the field has come to expect from the firm. So, you might be wondering what the £300,000 item is. Item #12 is Maxime du Camp’s Vues on Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins photograhiques recueillis pendant les annees 1849, 1850, et 1851, accompagnés d’un texte explicative et précédés d’une introduction par Maxime Du Camp, chargé d’une mission archéologique en Orient par le ministère. The work is described as “a landmark in the history of the photobook, illustrated with 125 salt prints. This famous volume is renowned for its stark images, a radical departure from the Romantic model.” Two full-page examples of the photographs (and another occupying half a page) are included in the catalogue, and they are striking to say the least.

Natural history is a particularly strong part of the catalogue. Daniel Giraud Elliot’s The new and heretofore unfigured species of the birds of North Americawas said to be intended as a supplement to both the works of John Audubon and Alexander Wilson, and with its 73 hand-colored lithographs of birds not included in either of their publications, it certainly seems to make sense as such. You can find it as item #14 with an asking price of £27,500. Several items later we see the work that boasts the catalogue’s cover art: John Gould’s The Mammals of Australia. First edition sets (here offered in three volumes) of Mammalsare rare, in no small part because it was issued in thirteen parts over no less than eighteen years (1845 to 1863). The effort of collecting such a work, which additionally serves as visual evidence of many species now extinct, does not come with small cost: asking £150,000. Further offerings include Jean-Louis Prevost’s Collection des fleurs et des fruits peints d’apres nature (item #38, £75,000), Henry Sander’s Reichenbachie. Orchids illustrated and described (item #41, £37,500), Richard Bowdler Sharpe’s Monograph of the paradiseidae or the birds of paradise and ptilnorhynchidae or bower-birds (item #43, £42,500), and Robert John Thornton’s New illustration of the sexual system of Carolus von Lannaeus comprehending… the temple of glora, or garden of nature(item #47, £125,000). It’s a strong assemblage indeed.

One item of personal interest to me, with family from Taiwan and having lived there for a time myself, is the last item in the catalogue. This is the Pingding Taiwan deshung tu [Victorious Battle Prints of the Taiwan Campaign.] Comprising twelve prints depicting the Qing dynasty’s Taiwan campaigns against bandits and Ming loyalists between 1787 and 1788. This set is quite rare and is notable for its vivid depictions of both seascapes and naval battles. In a catalogue made up mostly of western material (though there are several items related to India), this Taiwan item makes up for a nice wrap up to the catalogue.

 

It’s been 250 years since Captain Cook departed on the HMS Endeavour for Australia and New Zealand, and to commemorate the anniversary, Shapero Rare books has released the catalogue Captain Cook: An Anniversary Catalogue. It contains 88 various items, though, as one would expect, the majority are books—63 of 88. Asking prices for books range from £350 to £150,000, while the rest of the catalogue, dubbed “pictorial items,” begin at £150 and max out at £45,000. And while Fine Illustrated Books is organized alphabetically by author, Cookillustrates a key strength of focused collecting: a chronological ordering of items that together tell the story of one history’s most famous mariners.

The material amassed for sale here is varied enough that there are entry points for both new and established collectors with a range of collecting budgets. For example, several editions of James Magra’s A Journal of a Voyage round the World in His Majesty’s Ship Endeavour in the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, and 1771 are offered. Magra’s account is the first detailing Cook’s first circumnavigation, and also contains the first printed account of the east coast of Australia. Item #3, the rare first issue of the first edition, carries an asking price of £37,500, while items #6 and #7, the first Irish and French editions respectively, are both priced at £2,250.

The item with the highest asking price is a book, but surprisingly, it’s not the pages of the book that make it valuable. Alexander Shaw’s [A Catalogue of the Different Specimens of Cloth Collected in the three Voyages of Captain Cook] contains several full-sized samples of cloth and smaller, more common “snippets” (39 samples of tapa cloth total). Evidently artifacts from Cook’s voyages themselves carry a premium, and this work is very rare. Of 66 known copies, 57 are in institutions, 6 in private hands, and 3 copies unknown. Additionally, no two copies are identical. As item #41, Shaw’s Clothis priced at £150,000.

  

Both Fine Illustrated Books and Captain Cookare high quality catalogues with the material to back up the presentation. Fine Illustrated Books is accessible online here, and Captain Cook is viewable online here. Shapero Rare Books’ store is located in London at 32 St George St, Mayfair. You can get in touch via telephone at +44 (0)20 7493 0876 or through email: rarebooks@shapero.com.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions