• Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 4. Blaeu's Magnificent Carte-a-Figures World Map in Full Contemporary Color (1642) Est. $12,000 - $15,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 125. 1775 Edition of the Landmark Fry-Jefferson Map of Virginia and Maryland (1775) Est. $15,000 - $18,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 673. Rare Frontispiece in Full Contemporary Color with Gilt Highlights (1662) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 717. Complete Tanner Atlas with Important Maps of Texas & Iowa (1845) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 3. Henricus Hondius' Baroque-Style World Map (1641) Est. $9,500 - $11,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 258. Complete Set of De Bry's Native Virginians & Picts from Part I of Grands Voyages (1608) Est. $2,750 - $3,500
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 608. Superb Work on 18th Century Russia with over 100 Maps and Plates (1788) Est. $3,500 - $4,250
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 49. One of the Most Important 16th Century Maps of the New World (1556) Est. $5,000 - $6,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 706. Superb Image of the Annunciation in Contemporary Hand Color (1518) Est. $900 - $1,100
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 123. One of the Earliest Maps to Show Philadelphia (1695) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 631. One of the Earliest Printed Maps of Afghanistan & Pakistan (1482) Est. $1,900 - $2,200
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 689. Proof Copy Engraving of the Senate Floor During the Compromise of 1850 (1855) Est. $1,500 - $1,800
  • Bonhams, June 15-25: 18th Century American Sea Captain's Journals of Voyages to Hawaii, China, and South America. $35,000 - $45,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Admiral Richard E. Byrd's Autograph Diary from Bolling Advance Base, Winter 1934. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Thoreau, Henry David. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Cellarius, Andreas. Harmonia macrocosmica seu atlas universalis et novus, totius universi creati cosmographiam generalem, et novam exhibens. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Nobelist George Stigler's Copy of Ricardo's Classic on the Science of Economics. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris: F. L. Schmied, 1927. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Fine Copy of Walras's Classic on the Theory of Marginal Utility. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Arion Press Moby Dick. Melville, Herman. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Venegas, Miguel. Noticia de la California, y desu conquista temporal, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente. $7,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Carelton Watkins, Yosemite and the West. Portfolio of 21 imperial albumen prints. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: An Unpublished Archive of Thornton Wilder Correspondence to F.J. O'Neil. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. $100,000 - $150,000
  • Bonhams, June 25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. $200,000 - $300,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Gersdorff, Hans Von. 1455-1529. Feldtbuch der wundartzney. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Pare, Ambroise. C.1509-1590. La Methode Curative des Playes, et Fractures de la Teste humaine. Avec les pourtraits des Instruments necessaires pour la curation d'icelles. $25,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Reisch, Gregor. 1470-1525. Margarita Philosophica. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bright, Richard. 1789-1858. Reports of Medical Cases, Selected with a View of Illustrating the Symptoms and Cure of Diseases by a Reference to Morbid Anatomy. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Berengario da Carpi, Giacomo. C. 1460-1530. Tractatus de fractura calve sive cranei. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Vicq D'Azyr, Felix. 1748-1794. Traite d'antomie et de physiologie. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Croce, Giovanni Andrea Della. 1509?-1775. Chirurgia libri septem... $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bruno Da Longburgo. 1200-1286. La cyrogia di Maistro Bruno: Expertissimo in quella. Tradutta in vulgare. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Schwann, Theodor. 1810-1882. Mikroskopische Untersuchungen uber die Ubereinstimmung in der Struktur und dem Wachsthum der Thiere und Pflanzen. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Cowper, William. 1666-1709. The Anatomy of Humane Bodies, with Figures Drawn after the Life… $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bidloo, Govard. 1649-1713. Anatomia humani corporis, centum & quinque tabulis, per artificiossis. G. de Lairesse ad vivum delineatis. $6,000 - $9,000

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2021 Issue

Ornithology from Shapero Rare Books

Ornithology from Shapero Rare Books.

Shapero Rare Books has published a new catalogue entitled Ornithology. There are few subjects that attract as much collecting interest as the study of birds. The reason, and why many of the highest prices ever paid for a book were for Audubon's Birds of America, is that few subjects are as beautiful as birds. A skilled artist and a book about birds is bound to be a work of art. That is true of the 28 selections found in this catalogue.

 

While some of these titles are specifically books about birds, others are accounts of exploration voyages. However, those books are ones that studied the natural history of the places they visited, with birds being a focus of study and illustration. They are simply more than just books about birds, not less. Here are a few of these selections.

 

Bird books from the 18th century don't get much attention. Audubon in America, Gould in England, in the 19th century so dominate public attention that earlier bird books can be almost forgotten. There were some good ones, and this is up near the top of them: A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, and of Some Other Rare and Undescribed Animals, Quadrupeds, Reptiles, Fishes, Insects... It was published from 1743-1751. It is bound with Gleanings of Natural History, Exhibiting Figures of Quadrupeds, Birds, Insects, Plants (1758-1764). Both are by George Edwards. Edwards was a skilled natural history artist who was appointed librarian at the College of Physicians through the influence of Sir Hans Sloane, whose massive natural history collection was part of the foundation of the British Museum and British Library. Sloane hired Edwards to draw the curiosities in his collection, providing the latter with the income needed to take on the project of painting the images for these books. Along with European birds, he included many found in India and America. While this might seem like an odd combination today, he had to draw his images from collections that others had amassed, not actually going to the places they inhabited as such travel was prohibitive at the time. Offered is the complete seven-volume set which contains 362 hand-colored engravings. Item 7. Priced at £30,000 (British pounds or approximately $39,980 U.S. dollars).

 

This is perhaps the second most important bird book after Audubon's Birds of America. This is John Gould's The Birds of Europe, published while Audubon was publishing his American magnum opus, 1832-1837. It was Gould's first multi-volume set, five volumes in all. Gould studied birds in England, Europe, Australia, and other places, for which he provided the information. While an artist, he was not one of the greats, and therefore had others do most of the finished paintings. The most prolific of these was his wife, Elizabeth Gould. This set has 448 hand-colored lithograph plates, 380 by or after Elizabeth Gould. The other 68 were drawn and lithographed by Edward Lear, who is recognized as one of the greatest artists of birds ever. His skills and influence made Gould's work the classic it is today. He also provided the guidance Elizabeth Gould needed to become the talent she was. Prior to Lear's participation, she struggled with perspective in her drawings, but under Lear's tutelage, her artwork blossomed. Item 11. £95,000 (US $126,615).

 

François Le Vaillant was an explorer, adventurer, natural history student, and a major figure in ornithology in the late 18th and early 19th century. The son of the French Consul to the Dutch colony now Suriname, by the time his family returned to Europe, he was 10 years old with wanderlust in his eyes. While visiting Paris, he became interested in natural history and determined to go exploring in the remotest part of the globe. To him, that was the interior of Africa. He was able to bring back a collection of specimens and later became a prolific writer on natural history. His specialty was ornithology. Among those is his book on paraquets (or parakeets if you prefer), Historie Naturelle des Perroquets. It was published in two volumes, 1801, 1805. The illustrations were provided by the noted artist of birds, Jacques Barraband. Vaillant's works are not without controversy. He would not adopt normal specie classifications and his books have numerous errors, but what he contributed to a world with limited knowledge was valuable, and if the illustrations are not always completely accurate, they are still beautiful. Item 19. £125,000 (US $166,548).

 

Next is what Shapero calls “one of the most admired bird books.” One look at the illustrations will explain why. The title is A Monograph of the Paradiseidae or Birds of Paradise, by Daniel Giraud Elliot, published in 1873. The Birds of Paradise, native to New Guinea and Eastern Australia, are some of the most beautiful of birds anywhere. Daniel Giraud Elliot was a zoologist and ornithologist, a founder of the American Ornithologist Union and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He was not an artist, but he was a wealthy man, so he was able to hire the best to illustrate the beautiful color-plate books he wrote and produced. This is one. He had the illustrations created by Joseph Wolf, another great bird artist who also illustrated for John Gould. Speaking of Wolf, Shapero notes he “was universally regarded as the greatest bird artist of his time, if not of any time for his sheer technical genius.” His illustrations are as colorful as the birds themselves, even capturing their iridescent hues. Item 8. £50,000 (US $67,167).

 

This is what is considered the “foundation book” of Australia, The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay, with the Account of the Establishment of the Colonies of Port Jackson & Norfolk Island. The primary author is Gov. Arthur Phillip himself, though the book is a compilation of his accounts and dispatches back home along with some made by others. Phillip was a sea captain, put in charge of the First Fleet sent to seriously colonize eastern Australia only a few years after it was visited by James Cook. He landed at Botany Bay, discovered and named by Cook, but ironically found it unsuitable for farming. He moved the settlement to Port Jackson, now site of Australia's largest city, Sydney. Most of Phillip's settlers were not immigrants longing to be free, though undoubtedly they so wished. They were English prisoners sent on the first transportation as there was not enough room to house them back home and the British figured Australia was far enough away they could never get back. Conditions were hard and food was scarce in the early time of settlement, but by 1792, the food shortage and other critical issues had been resolved and Phillip took his leave, sailing back to England, never to return. Offered is the rare hand-colored deluxe issue of this book. It contains 19 drawings of birds with credit given to John Latham. Item 25. £25,000 (US $33,583).

 

Shapero Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)20 7493 0876 or rarebooks@shapero.com. Their website is www.shapero.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Keats, John] Spenser, Edmund: The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. $50,000 - $80,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: (Walton, Izaak): The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing. $30,000 - $50,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Thomas, Gabriel: An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pensilvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America. $25,000 - $35,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Carroll, Lewis]: The Game of Alice in Wonderland. $2,000 - $3,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Athias, Joseph, et al.: Biblia Hebraica. $7,000 - $10,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Warhol, Andy, and Jens Quistgaard] Dansk Designs Salesman's Presentation Catalogue. $2,500 - $3,500.
  • Sotheby’s, June 26: Poe, Edgar Allan. Tamerlane — the most poignant rarity in American literature. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." 2,500,000 - 5,000,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: William Blake. “Poems with very wild and interesting pictures” 1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: Thomas Taylor [artist]. The original cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
  • Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 70 - Warner (Robert). The Orchid Album, 11 volumes, 1882-1897. £5,000 to £8,000
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 151 - United States. Melish (John), Map of the United States with..., British & Spanish Possessions, 1816. £40,000 to £60,000
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 159 - World. Speed (John), A New and Accurat Map of the World, 1676. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 503 - American Civil War playing cards. Union Cards, New York: American Card Co., 1862. £500 to £800
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 573 - Shepard (Ernest Howard), 'The Hour is Come’, original watercolour, [1959]. £10,000 to £15,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 922 - Wilde (Oscar). An Ideal Husband, large paper limited issue, 1899. £4,000 to £6,000
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 744 - Disney (Walt). “Sketch Book” [of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs], 1938. £700 to £1,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 771 - Auden (Wystan Hugh). Portrait of the head of W. H. Auden, 1970. £1,000 to £1,500
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 822 - Fleming (Ian). Goldfinger, 1st edition, signed by the author, 1959. £6,000 to £8,000
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 895 - Rowling (J. K.). A complete inscribed set of Harry Potter books plus ephemera. £8,000 to £12,0000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 883 - Orwell (George). Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1st edition, London: Secker & Warburg, 1949. £3,000 to £5,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 700 - Ashendene Press. T. Lucreti Cari De Rerium Natura Libri Sex, Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1913. £4,000 to £6,000
  • Heritage Auctions, June 27
    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The Great Gatsby
    New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Mary Shelley
    Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus
    London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, 1818
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again
    London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1937
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Jane Austen
    Emma: A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the Author of "Pride and Prejudice," &c. &c.
    London: Printed for John Murray, 1816
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Robert Louis Stevenson
    An Inland Voyage
    London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1878
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Ernest Hemingway
    Three Stories & Ten Poems
    Paris: Contact Publishing Co., 1923
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
    History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark
    Philadelphia, 1814
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Emily Dickinson
    Autograph letter signed ("Emily and Vinnie"), to Mary Adelaide Hills
    Amherst, MA, Late April, 1880
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    John Keats
    Autograph letter signed ("John Keats"), to Mrs. Jeffrey
    Honiton 4 or 5 May 1818
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Samuel Johnson
    A Dictionary of the English Language: In which the Words are deduced from their Originals…
    London, 1765
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    H. P. Lovecraft
    Small archive of nine lengthy autograph letters signed variously over a period of six years to J. Vernon Shea.
    Various places, 1931-1937
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Izaak Walton
    The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man's Recreation…
    London: T. homas Maxey for Rich. ard Marriot, 1653

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