Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2019 Issue

European and Japanese Books and Ephemera from Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller

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Europe and Japan.

Jonathan A. Hill Bookseller has issued their Catalogue 227. It doesn't have a name, but it would be hard to provide one for a catalogue featuring two vastly different topics. So, to clarify, here they are. Part I: Science, Medicine, Art, Comets, Festivals, History, Manuscripts, Bibliography, & Literature. Part II: Japanese Books, Manuscripts, & Scrolls. Material in Part I is in various Latin based languages. If you are reading this, you undoubtedly speak at least one of them. Items in Part II are in Japanese characters. While reading Japanese is necessary for textual understanding, many of these, such as the scrolls, are more notable for their art, the work of skilled artists of centuries ago. Language is not required to appreciate them. Here are a few samples of what we found in this catalogue.

 

We will begin with one of those ephemeral items, a mounted photograph of great importance for collectors in the field of photography, with a strong aside for those focused on astronomy. The heading on the mount reads The Forty-Foot Telescope at Slough Photographed by Sir John F. W. Herschel. The photograph was taken on September 9, 1839, and those familiar with photography will recognize this as the year when this experimental process began to make its way into the public consciousness. Herschel, like his father, Sir William Herschel, was an astronomer, but his great scientific mind expanded to numerous fields. Earlier that year, he heard from a friend about Daguerre's newly developed process. It took Herschel but a couple of days to duplicate and expand upon Daguerre's work (as noted, Herschel was really sharp). He quickly developed a negative/positive process for creating images (he coined the terms "negative" and "positive" with regard to photography). The subject of Herschel's photography was his father's telescope. This 40-foot tall monster, which weighed over a ton, was the largest in the world. Sir William Herschel had been the first to discover the planet Uranus. None of these earliest of John Herschel's photographs have survived. Later that year, he became the first to make glass plates for the negatives, allowing him to create greater clarity on the positive images. None of these contemporary positives are known today either. However, some of the original glass negatives survived. In 1890, the best one of these was taken from an exhibit at the Science Museum and used to create 25 photographs. This is one of them. It is not the sharpest of photographs, but the best you will find. The glass negatives have now faded virtually beyond recognition. The mounting paper has been signed by two of Herschel's sons. As for his father's telescope, it had become unstable and was taken apart shortly after this photograph was taken. Naturally, it is the only image of it, along with being the first image of any scientific instrument, the earliest surviving image taken on glass, and the only surviving camera image taken by Sir John Herschel. This one of the 25 photographs is one that was kept by Herschel's family, and has come by direct descent through his family. Item 44. Priced at 25,000.*

 

This catalogue has a surprising number of publications about comets. Here is one of them from a master scientist, Galileo. The title is Discorso delle Comete di Mario Guiducci... published in 1619. Though Mario Guiducci, Galileo's student and assistant, is the stated author, the original manuscript shows that it was mostly written by Galileo. It was a response to a work by Jesuit Orazio Grassi. This came at a time shortly after the Church had outlawed the teaching of Copernicus' theory of a heliocentric universe. Grassi's work implied that theory was false, and while Galileo was warned not to defend it, he did, at least surreptitiously, choose to argue against Grassi's views. Actually, Galileo was wrong, believing comets were an optical phenomenon, but his argument here is based more on Grassi's not providing scientific backing for his theory. The debate continued in warring publications for a few more years until Galileo, feeling he had won the argument, stopped responding. Item 18. $40,000.

 

Here is another work on comets, Réflexions sur les Cometes qui peuvent approcher de la Terre, by Joseph-Jerome de Lalande. Lalande was a highly respected French astronomer, chair of astronomy at the College of France for 46 years. He or his staff just missed out on discovering Neptune. They noticed a slight change in position compared to nearby stars due to planetary movement, but misinterpreted it as being an observation error. Lalande wrote many works in the field, and his respect had the effect of causing a bit of a panic in Paris as a result of the lecture memorialized in this book. Lalande speculated on the slight possibility that planets might alter the path of a comet sufficiently to cause it to crash into the earth. Some people mistook this as a prediction and panicked. Item 32. $1,750.

 

It was one of the earliest of world's fairs and it was a smashing success. This was the Great Exhibition of 1851 which took place in London. Almost 14,000 exhibitors from 26 countries participated. Over 6 million visitors attended. A massive structure of steel and glass was designed to house the exhibition. The Crystal Palace would later be moved to a new site, but burned down in 1936. Unfortunately, the structure also contained wood. Competitions were held between the exhibitors and prizes awarded. Item 39 is the official account of the competitions: Exhibitions of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851. Reports of the Juries on the Subjects in the Thirty Classes into which the Exhibition was divided. Presentation Copy, published in 1852. The reports were compiled by experts in the fields and are often quite detailed. Item 39. $2,250.

 

Item 73 is a collection of manuscript and printed documents, drawings, and photographs relating to the construction of the Ashio Railway in Japan. This was a challenging undertaking as it had to travel through deep valleys subject to periodic flooding. The construction took place from 1898-1912. The end of the line was the Ashio copper mine, for centuries Japan's largest source of copper. It dated back to around 1600. Production was ramped up in the late 19th century, with the mine producing 39% of Japan's copper at the time. Back then, copper had to be pulled out by horses, supplies brought in via the same route. Naturally, a railway was far more efficient, connecting to existing lines. There was a downside to the increased production - environmental disasters that severely harmed fishermen and farmers in the area. The mine continued in operation until 1973. $7,500.

 

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

 

*To see John Herschel's photograph of his father's telescope, go to page 2.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Nebel, Carl. The War Between the United States and Mexico. New York, 1851. $270,000 - $300,000 MXN / USD $15,000 - $16,666
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Nebel, Carl. The War Between the United States and Mexico. New York, 1851. $270,000 - $300,000 MXN / USD $15,000 - $16,666
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Bolaños, Joaquín. La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte... (“The Portentous Life of Death”) México, 1792. $50,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,777 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Tratado de Paz… entre la República Mexicana y los Estados Unidos. (“Treaty of Peace… Between the Mexican Republic and the United States”) 1848. $80,000 - $90,000 MXN / USD $4,444 - $5,000
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Fabregat, Josep Joaquín. Vista de la Plaza de México… (“View of the Square of Mexico”) México, 1797. $60,000 - $100,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $5,555
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel. Invitación al Coronel Narciso de la Canal… (“Invitation to Coronel Narciso de la Canal…”) 1810. $170,000 - $200,000 MXN / USD $9,444 - $11,111
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Gálvez, Joseph de. Real Cédula de Erección de la Compañía de Filipinas. (“Royal Notice of the Creation of the Company of the Philippines”) 1785. $40,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,222 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Colección de Constituciones de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (“Collection of Constitutions of the United Mexican States”) México, 1828. $50,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,777 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Ruelas, Julio. Poemario Manuscrito Ilustrado, Dedicado a Lorencita Braniff (“Collection of Illustrated Poem Manuscripts, Dedicated to Lorencita Braniff”). 1903. $60,000 - $70,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $3,888
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Espinosa de los Monteros, Juan J. Aviso de la Junta Soberana al Público (“Notice of the Sovereign Meeting to the Public”) 1821. $60,000 - $80,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $4,444
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Constitución Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos... (“Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States”) México, 1824. $140,000 - $150,000 MXN / USD $7,777 - $8,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Alcaraz, Ramón. Apuntes para la Historia de la Guerra entre México y los EU (“Notes on the History of the War between Mexico and the United States”). 1848. $40,000 - $50,000 MXN / USD $2,222 - $2,777
  • <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.
  • <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>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.

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