Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2020 Issue

Peter Harrington's Christmas Catalogue for 2020

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Christmas from Peter Harrington.

Peter Harrington has created a catalogue for Christmas 2020. This is not a subject-specific catalogue. There is something that everyone would like for Christmas. The selections are divided into two categories – main catalogue and gift selection. The difference appears to be price – main catalogue items are priced over £1,000, gift items under £1,000. At over £1,000, it is best to keep the books for yourself. These are just a few of the almost 300 selections being offered.

 

This was one of if not the most important of voyages of discovery, but not for the typical reasons. It did not find any new lands. Its importance was not obvious until many years later. Item 37 is Narrative of a Surveying Voyage of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, published in 1839. There were two voyages between 1827-1838. The first volume recounts the first voyage and was written by its captain, Philip Parker King. The second volume comes from the second and momentous voyage, by its captain, Robert Fitzroy. The third comes from the naturalist on the Beagle for the second voyage, the man whose name we all know, Charles Darwin. He described natural findings primarily in southern South America and nearby islands. He noticed similarities, yet differences, between species found in different locations. He provided no groundbreaking theories for what he saw, at least not immediately. Back home in the years ahead he developed a theory which he finally disclosed to the public two decades later. He explained it in his book On the Origin of Species, one of the most significant, and controversial, books ever written. Priced at £85,000 (British pounds, or approximately $112,890 in U.S. dollars).

 

Charles Darwin was not the first person, not even the first Darwin, to come up with the idea of evolution. Half a century earlier, Erasmus Darwin thought of the same thing. However, his theory had not evolved, so to speak, as far as did Charles'. Erasmus did not have an explanation as to why species evolved, whereas Charles attributed it to natural selection. Erasmus Darwin was a physician and poet, an inventive and highly respected man in the late 18th century. He was also Charles' grandfather. Interestingly, Charles was not elaborating on his grandfather's beliefs. Erasmus had died before Charles was born and it was not until years later that Charles understood his grandfather's genius and began to seriously research his family's past. Item 38 is The Poetical Works of Erasmus Darwin, published posthumously in 1806. Darwin's poems include his ideas about evolution, described poetically. It includes 24 plates, five engraved by William Blake. £2,250 (US $2,990).

 

If you are a collector of James Bond, you will want this set of Bond novels, although it is not likely you can afford it. Ian Fleming's James Bond novels have become enormously (as in expensively) popular in recent years, though they are not all that old. There are 14 of them, published from 1953-1966. They were popular, but likely would not be all that well known today were it not for the movie adaptations, starting with those which had Sean Connery in the lead role (Connery died just a month ago). Each of these books is a first edition, first issue, and each was inscribed by Fleming except for The Man with the Golden Gun, which was issued posthumously. We won't list the titles because if you are ready to invest this much on the perfect set of Bond novels, you undoubtedly know them all already. Item, 56. £500,000 (US $663,500).

 

This one isn't even a book. It's a record. Actually, while the vinyl is quite valuable, most of the value is in the paper here, the album cover. This is from the first pressing of The Velvet Underground & Nico, by, well... that is obvious. Released in 1967, it was the first album from the Velvets. They joined up with German singer and model Nico for this one album at the behest of their manager, Andy Warhol. The album was not a commercial success, nor was any of their follow-up albums. They were critically ignored. Even if the music had been radio-friendly, and it wasn't, it still wouldn't have received any airplay, the lyrics often describing drugs and the decadent lifestyle of 60's New York. Still, the creative genius of one art form, Warhol, recognized it in another art form, music. If not a success by traditional standards, their influence was enormous, and even if their music is still obscure to much of the general public, it would not be an exaggeration to say they were the most influential rock band ever, more so than even contemporaries the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Punk, and the whole collection of styles under the alt. rock banner, trace themselves to the Velvet Underground, a band way ahead of its time. The iconic album cover features the peel off banana art created by Andy Warhol for them. Warhol, who also served as producer of the album, has signed the front cover. Item 146. £15,000 (US $19,900).

 

These aren't books either but rather, holiday-type cards. One has a Christmas type of family scene on the front, the other a holly border with the word “Peace” written on the cover. These are not quite so harmless and endearing as they appear. They are actually propaganda leaflets dropped from an airplane on allied troops during the Korean War. The single sheet Christmas card was targeted to British soldiers, encouraging them to abandon their American allies. It says, “It is 28 months since the Yanks dragged Britain into this war. Nearly 10,000 British lads have been killed or wounded in this period,” continuing, the “Glosters” (Gloucester Regiment) have “suffered particularly high casualties as a result of American selfishness.” The four-page “Peace” card targeted to American soldiers says that they have been told they are fighting “Communist aggression” and yet everywhere they hear people yelling “'Yanks go home!' This wasn't the way GI's were greeted everywhere in World War II, when they were really fighting against aggressors – the Nazis and Japanese warlords. Then they got flowers. So something went wrong. What is it?... the American government has been stolen from the American people by greedy Big Business.” Item 219. £375 (US $498).

 

Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 (USA 011 44 20 7591 0220) or mail@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman<br>Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana<br>April 13, 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> The first book-form printing of the Declaration of Independence. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Paine, Thomas) <i>The American Crisis. Number I.</i> "These are the times that try men's souls." $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> First printing of the Treaty of Paris, with distinguished contemporary provenance. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman<br>Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana<br>April 13, 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> Washington, George. Letter signed as first President-Elect. Washington prepares to embark "again on the ocean of publick affairs." $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Hamilton, Alexander). Manuscript document. The launch of one of the most consequential careers in American public life. $180,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Lexington & Concord). <i>A Bloody Butchery, by the British Troops…</i> $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Yorktown Campaign—Jean-Nicolas Desandrouins). A Yorktown Campaign map from the personal archive of the Comte de Rochambeau. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Lyscosthenes, Conrad. <i>Prodigiorum ac ostentorum chronicon,</i> Basilea: Henricus Petrus, c. 1557, first edition, folio. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Collection of Ethiopic Religious Texts, in Ge'ez , illuminated manuscripts on vellum, c. 1700-20th c. (5 pcs.) $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Augustinus, Aurelius Sanctus.<br><i>De Civitate Dei,</i> Venice: Bonetus Locatellus per Octavianus Scotus, 9 Febbraio, 1486, 4to. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Choiseul-Gouffier, Marie Gabriel Comte de. <i>Voyage Pittoresque de la Grece,</i> Paris, J.J. Blaise, 1782-1809-1822, first edition. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Rufinus, Tyrannius (c. 345-411). <i>Expositio in symbolum apostolorum,</i> [Cologne, Ulrich Zel, c. 1472], first edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Magnus, Albertus. <i>Summa de eucharistiae sacramento,</i> Ulm: Johann Zainer, 1474. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Strabo. <i>Rerum geographicarum libri septemdecim. A Guilielmo Xylandro Augstano magna cura recogniti…,</i> Basel, Henricpetri, (August 1571). $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Riou, Stephen (1720-1780). <i>The Grecian Orders of Architecture. Delineated and Explained from the Antiquities of Athens,</i> London, 1768. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Mair, Paul Hektor. <i>Geschlechter Buch...der...Statt Augspurg,</i> Frankfurt am Maim, Sigmund Feyerabend, 1580. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Polybius (c. 200-118 B.C.). <i>Historiarum libri priores quinque,</i> Basel: Johann Herwagen, 1549. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Bellori, Giovanni Pietro. <i>Columna Antoniniana Marci Aurelii Antonini Augusti rebus gestis insignis Germanis simul...,</i> Rome, [1672]. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> <i>Ecclesiasticae Historiae, Eusebii Pamphili...Eiusdem de vita Constantini...Socratis...,</i> Paris, Robert Estienne, 1544. $800 to $1,200.

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