• <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 17:</b> [EINSTEIN, ALBERT]; JOHN GRAUDENZ [PHOTOGRAPHER]. Photographic portrait of Albert Einstein by John Graudenz, taken circa 1928. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 17:</b> ENIGMA M4. A fully operational four-rotor ("M4") Kriegsmarine Enigma Cipher Machine. Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Germany, Heimsoeth und Rinke, 1942. $300,000 to $500,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 17:</b> FEYNMAN, RICHARD P. <i>“Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman”. Adventures of a Curious Character.</i> New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1985. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 17:</b> An intact egg of the Aepyornis Maximus, or Elephant Bird. Pre-17th century, Madagascar. $35,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 17:</b> Palm frond with fish. Green River Formation, Wyoming, United States. <i>Sabalites sp.,</i> and <i>Diplomystus dentatus</i> Cenozoic, Eocene (53-33 million years ago). $60,000 to $70,000.
  • <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> <i>The Birds of America; from Original Drawings by John James Audubon</i> $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> <i>The Birds of America; from Original Drawings by John James Audubon</i> $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> <i>The Birds of America; from Original Drawings by John James Audubon</i> $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> <i>The Birds of America; from Original Drawings by John James Audubon</i> $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> <i>The Birds of America; from Original Drawings by John James Audubon</i> $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Currier & Ives, <i>The Mississippi in Time of Peace,</i> hand-colored lithograph, 1865. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Hartmann Schedel, <i>Liber Cronicarum...,</i> Nuremberg, 1493. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Claudius Ptolemaeus, <i>Geographicae Enarrationis Libri Octo,</i> Lyons, 1535. $20,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Thomas Jefferys, <i>The American Atlas,</i> London, 1776-77. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> John Speed, <i>A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World,</i> 20 miniature maps, London, 1665. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> <i>Biblia Das ist: Die Gantze Heilige Schrifft Durch D. Martin Luther Verteutscht,</i> illustrated cartographic Bible, Basel, 1665. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Early Hawaiian-language school geography, Lahainaluna Seminary, 1840. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Cornelis de Jode, <i>Africae Vera Forma, et Situs,</i> Antwerp, 1593. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Maria Vincenzo Coronelli, <i>America Settentrionale Colle Nuove Scoperte Sin All Anno,</i> Venice, 1688. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Johann Christoph Volkamer, <i>Nürnbergische Hesperides,</i> Nuremberg, 1708-1714. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Johann Bayer, <i>Uranometria, Omnium Asterismorum Continens Schemata...,</i> 51 celestial charts, c. 1603. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Manuscript map of Commodore Perry’s Black Ship squadron at Edo Bay, with manuscript sketchbook, ink & watercolor, Japan, c. 1853. $2,500 to $3,500.
  • <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> CLEMENS, SAMUEL L. <i>The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.</i> Hartford: The American Publishing Company, 1876. $14,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> BATEMAN, JAMES. <i>The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala.</i> London: J. Ridgway & Sons for the author, [1837]-1843. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> WHITMAN, WALT. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn: [For the author by Andrew and James Rome,] 1855. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> LEE, HARPER. Three “Seckatary Hawkins”-related books inscribed and signed by Harper Lee. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 18:</b> POE, EDGAR ALLAN. <i>The Raven.</i> New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845. $120,000 to $180,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2019 Issue

Japanese and Chinese Books, Manuscripts and Scrolls from Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller


Japanese & Chinese books, manuscripts, & scrolls.

Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, has created a catalogue of Japanese & Chinese Books, Manuscripts, and Scrolls. We can add to this that most of these items easily qualify for the label "antiquarian." Most are written in Japanese/Chinese characters, so reading will be a challenge to those not immersed in the language. However, for a great many, just as with many fine western books, it is the artwork that makes them so desirable. There are many manuscripts and hand-written scrolls filled with skilled drawings. And then, some items are in Latin languages, such as a series of items from San Francisco's Grabhorn Press published for the Book Club of California in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Here are a few of these selections.


We begin with one of those items you don't need to be able to read to appreciate. The title is "Shozoku shuyo sho" (costumes of the court comprehensively gathered and explained). Hill attributes this to the mid-Edo period. The Edo ran from 1603-1868. The text draws from three earlier texts whose timing places this in the 1700s. There are many illustrations in color, some in black and white. It is divided into five volumes. The first focuses in detail on the appropriate costumes for the emperor. They cover formal ceremonies and religious events. Detailed illustrations display such items of clothing as headgear, belts, jackets, trousers, inner wear, socks, shoes, fans, jewelry, and scepters. Later volumes work their way down in level of importance of people. The second covers the emperor "emeritus," crown price, other princes. Then there come costumes for attending aristocrats, then guards, and finally royal children. Hill notes that the "color illustrations are of very great complexity and beauty," with "ample use of gold." Item 4. Priced at $15,000.


Next we have a scroll with 61 color illustrations. I would not call these beautiful, as I might those from the last item, but that reflects on the subject matter rather than the artist's skill. Item 15 is an illustrated depiction of the Dissection of Heijiro. Heijiro was a thief, a recidivist who stole one time too many. He was executed in 1783. This was still a time when dissection of human bodies was frowned upon, but Heijiro had the honor of becoming a pioneer in the field in Japan. Hill writes that this scroll is "an important record of the most famous of all early human dissections to take place in Japan; these dissections materially changed the Japanese knowledge of human anatomy." At the time, Japan was relying on Chinese teachings to study human anatomy. The dissection of Heijiro played an important role in changing the orientation of the study of anatomy and medicine from old beliefs to those based on actual observation. These are detailed illustrations of body parts in various stages of dissection. They aren't pretty, but they are real life, or perhaps, real death. For example, we get a look at Heijiro's face and head as it was in life, but then with the flesh removed from the face, and then with the skullcap removed. The chest cavity is opened to display ribs and muscles, and then those are removed to show internal organs. Such exposed views are continued right down to the feet. The explanations of what we see were written by Genshun Koishi, a physician interested in western medicine, while the chief artist was Ranshu Yoshimura. $40,000.


Here is another anatomical scroll, but this one is focused on the human eye. You may think this scroll is watching you. It depicts nearly 200 pairs of eyes, suffering from various diseases. Eye diseases were common in the late Edo period in Japan due to malnutrition and infectious disease. This manuscript is typical of doctors treating eye diseases in Japan at the time, and is derived from Chinese medicine. The first images show eye diseases such as cataracts and inflammation, followed by pairs of eyes showing their structural relationships to the "five wheels." Those are five internal organs - heart, lung, liver, kidney, and spleen. Then there are relationships to the "eight boundaries," and from these, appropriate therapy can be determined. This is followed by pharmaceutical recipes, using such ingredients as gypsum, camphor, deer musk, herbs, ground oyster shells, mint, orange rinds, rhubarb, and animal horns. I have serious doubts about the science here or the efficacy of these remedies, but it probably wasn't any worse than the bloodletting going on in the West at the time. Item 6. $6,500.


This is a pair of finely illustrated scrolls that are very Japanese in design, but of great interest to American collectors. They illustrate the second visit to Japan of American Commodore Matthew Perry in 1854. Neither side knew very much about the other, and Perry certainly wasn't welcomed to their homeland by the Japanese. The United States wanted to open Japan to international trade, while Japan wanted to be left alone. Ultimately, Perry's warships convinced Japan of the benefits of trade. These scrolls depict some of the machinery on Perry's ships, such as a telegraph transmitter, a furnace, cannon, and steam engine. There is a miniature locomotive Perry brought as a gift. The Japanese were unfamiliar with trains. Perry and his Chief of Staff, Henry Adams, are also drawn. The five warships are depicted offshore, three rowboats filled with American sailors, a cannon, and America flag, four Americans in uniform, many American tools and armaments, and more. Item 42. $25,000.


Next is an album of drawings, but these are much prettier than dissected body parts or diseased eyeballs. Item 34 is an album of morning glory drawings, 62 pages of them from the late Edo period. Hill tells us that morning glories were brought to Japan from China, and were at first used for medicinal purposes. However, they soon became appreciated for their beauty, and in the 19th and 20th centuries, there were morning glory booms, similar to the tulip mania of 17th century Holland. Most of these drawings are in full color, with each labeled. The blossoms are shown in various stages of development, from buds to full bloom to wilting flowers. $9,500.

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, Dec. 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Macbeth: A Tragedy.</i> London, 1673. FIRST SEPARATE AND FIRST QUARTO EDITION. THE CHARLTON HESTON COPY. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 5:</b> HEMINGWAY, ERNEST. <i>In Our Time.</i> Paris, 1924. FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 5:</b> HAWTHORNE, NATHANIEL. <i>Fanshawe, A Tale.</i> Boston, 1828. FIRST EDITION OF AUTHOR'S FIRST BOOK. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 5:</b> THOREAU, HENRY DAVID. <i>Walden; Or, Life in the Woods.</i> Boston, 1854. FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies.</i> London, 1685. THE FOURTH FOLIO, Brewster/Bentley issue. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 5:</b> STEIG, WILLIAM. Original maquette and 58 finished drawings for <i>The Agony in the Kindergarten,</i> one of Steig's most important books. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 5:</b> VERNE, JULES. <i>A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.</i> New York & London, 1872. FIRST EDITION, RARE AMERICAN ISSUE, with Scribner & Welford cancel title. $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 5:</b> KING, STEPHEN. <i>Carrie.</i> New York, 1974. INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION, OF AUTHOR'S FIRST BOOK. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 4:</b> APPLE MACINTOSH PROTOTYPE. 1983. The earliest known Macintosh with "Twiggy" drive, one of only two known working machines. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 4:</b> PLATO. <i>Timaeus</i> [AND] <i>Critias</i> [from Ficini's 1484 Opera]. A LANDMARK OF SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 4:</b> LOVELACE, AUGUSTA ADA. Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage Esq. London, 1843. FIRST EDITION, JOURNAL ISSUE, MOST IMPORTANT PAPER IN EARLY DIGITAL COMPUTING. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 4:</b> APPLE-1 COMPUTER. Signed by Steve Wozniak, used in development of Apple II. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 4:</b> DARWIN, CHARLES. 1809-1882. <i>On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection.</i> London, 1859. FIRST EDITION. $80,000 to $120,000.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Seeking Consignments.</b> Churchill (Winston) & Others. 1944 Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference, 27 April 1944. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Seeking Consignments.</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses.</i> First English edition, 1922. £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Seeking Consignments.</b> Belzoni (Giovanni Battista). <i>Plates Illustrated of the Researches and Operations...in Egypt and Nubia,</i> FIRST EDITION, 1821-1822. £14,375 inc Buyers Premium.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Seeking Consignments.</b> Astor (John Jacob). A collection of rare letters, 9 January 1812- 4 September 1837. £26,000 inc Buyers Premium.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Seeking Consignments.</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first issue, 1997. £27,500 inc Buyers Premium.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Seeking Consignments.</b> Royal Family. Photograph of Queen Elizabeth, George VI, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, signed, 1946. £3,640 inc Buyers Premium.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Seeking Consignments.</b> Collodi (Carlo). <i>Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino,</i> FIRST EDITION, 1883. £8,401 inc Buyers Premium.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions