Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2019 Issue

A Variety of Antiquarian Books from Erasmushaus

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Rare Book List III.

Erasmushaus recently published their Rare Book List III. This one is hard to describe. It is like the bookseller's native Switzerland - a lot of languages are spoken here, no one dominating. There is English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian. Maybe I've forgotten some others. These are antiquarian in terms of dates and subjects are varied. Many feature beautiful illustrations, others more textual. Here are a few samples that may at least give a bit of this selection's flavor.

 

First up we have a major early work on photography by a scientist, actually a polymath, Sir John Frederick William Herschel. Published in 1842, the title is On the Action of the Rays of the Solar Spectrum on Vegetable Colours, and on Some New Photographic Processes. Herschel, like his father who discovered the planet Uranus, was primarily an astronomer. In the 1830s, he went to South Africa to study the southern stars, but while there, he and his wife created numerous illustrations of flowers with the assistance of a camera lucida. In 1839, Herschel heard in a letter from a friend of Daguerre's experiments with photography, and within a few days, was producing them himself. He quickly came up with a better way of fixing images to paper, and soon was writing papers on the process. His may have been the first published use of the term "photography," along with others he may have created, such as "positive" and "negative." In this work, he expands his findings to discuss his early achievements in color photography. He found that certain vegetable juices responded differently to rays of the spectrum which enabled him to make advances toward the development of a color process. However, Herschel soon turned his attention to other matters and did not continue his focus on photography. This copy was inscribed by Herschel to Eugene Chevreul, a French chemist who studied colors. Item 26. Priced at CHF 7,500 (Swiss francs, or approximately $7,442 in U.S. dollars)

 

Here is an early photograph album from Chile, though not so early as Herschel's photographs. It contains 69 albumen prints of views from Chile in 1906. There are some panoramic views of the Atacama Desert, a dry strip of land on the Pacific side of the Andes Mountains, one of the driest places on earth. As these photographs attest, it is a barren place. Perhaps the most interesting are the photographs of Valparaiso shortly after the earthquake of August 16, 1906. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 may be better known, but the Valparaiso one was estimated to reach a level of 8.2 versus 7.9 for San Francisco. The death toll from Valparaiso was higher as well, almost 4,000 compared to 3,000 in San Francisco. Another 20,000 were injured while the damage was immense. Item 16. CHF 3,200 (US $3,172).

 

French wine-making has been around for a long time, as shown by this book: Traité sur la Nature et sur la Culture de la Vigne, sur le Vin, la Facon de la Faire, et la Maniere de le Bien Gouverner, published in 1759. The author was Nicolas Bidet, who operated a vineyard and later served as sommelier to Queen Marie Antoinette. He passed on of natural causes long before she did of unnatural ones. Bidet produced wines not just for local consumption but was involved in exports to Holland and Britain. Evidently, the British were the most demanding in terms of standards in wine at the time. The book not only discusses wine making, but is illustrated with pictures of grapevines, wine barrels, a wine press, and other equipment used in the process. This is a second and greatly expanded edition of a book first published in 1752. This expanded and "authoritative" edition contains 304 pages compared to 102 in the first. Item 6. CHF 2,400 (US $2,374).

 

Next we have a German explorer whose name is familiar to those interested in early Native American culture, Prince Maximilian Wied-Neuwied. However, before he came to the United States, he traveled to Brazil, and his account is regarded as one of the best looks at that country around the turn of the 19th century. The title is Reise nach Brasilien in den Jahren 1815 bis 1817 (trip to Brazil in the years 1815-1817) and it was published in 1820-1821. It comes in three volumes, two text and an atlas. Maximilian traveled from the capital up the east coast of the country, much of which was still covered by rain forests. Plates depict images of the Brazilian Indians, sort of a preview of the publication arising from his later U.S. trip. Maximilian and his partners brought back many samples of flora, fauna, and minerals which today are housed in the Museum of Natural History in New York. In the 1830s, Maximilian made his second trip to the Americas where he and artist Karl Bodmer visited various North American native tribes, this account being widely recognized as one of the best looks at these tribes in the days before their cultures were substantially altered by European-American exposure. Item 59. CHF 8,500 (US $8,408).

 

Now we have a chance to sample a great delicacy for those with a taste for fungi. Item 15 is La Truffe, the truffle, by Adolphe Chatin. Chatin was a French physician, botanist, and mycologist. He was also a member of the Academy of Science, Academy of Medicine, and Botanic Society of France. Erasmushaus describes this as a "remarkable work on all aspects of all sorts of truffles, describing the soil, climate, producing countries, chemical composition, cultivation, harvest, commerce, frauds, nutritional qualities, conservation, and the culinary preparations of the tubercules..." I doubt if all that much has changed about truffles since this was published in 1892, so it is likely still a useful source of information as well as a rare and unusual collectible. CHF 2,400 (US $2,374).

 

Erasmushaus may be reached at +41 61 228 99 44 or hdb@erasmushaus.ch. Their website is found at www.erasmushaus.ch.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest Hemingway's Typewriter Used to Write "A Moveable Feast", Impeccable Provenance From His Biographer A. E. Hotchner. $50,000 to $100,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Samuel Colt, "The Gun that Won the West": 3 Signed Patent Items for "Revolving Cylinder Guns". $40,000 to $50,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Jack Kerouac's Own Typewriter From His Estate Used to Write His Very Last Book. $18,000 to $20,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Rare Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence Printed in 1848. $15,000 to $18,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Superb Tchaikovsky ALS to Napravnik, 4pp on "Mazeppa". $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Wounded Knee Massacre Same Day Eyewitness Account by Participant, "the 7th needn't be ashamed of today's record". $10,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> F. Scott Fitzgerald Signed Gordon Bryant Portrait -- Finest Known. $8,000 to $9,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Neil Armstrong ALS on NASA Letterhead Regarding His X-15 Flights. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> M. Gandhi Letter: "the life span of human beings is preordained..." -- Fantastic Spiritual Content. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> "Damn the torpedoes!" Riveting 24pp ALS of Admiral Farragut's Steward Describing the "Battle of Mobile Bay”. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Abraham Lincoln Signed Order to Suspend Execution. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Napoleon DS Featuring Imperial Eagle and Enormous Great Seal Appointing Norman Politician Baron of the Empire. $4,000 to $5,000.
  • <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 €
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.

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