• <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Monroe Schulz, <i>The Peanuts gang,</i> complete set of 13 drawings, ink, 1971. Sold June 15 — $50,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Family Archive of Photographs & Letters. Sold June 1 — $60,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Victor H. Green, <i>The Negro Motorist Green Book,</i> New York, 1949. Sold March 30 — $50,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>King Lear; Othello;</i> [and] <i>Anthony & Cleopatra;</i> Extracted from the First Folio, London, 1623. Sold May 4— $185,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> William Samuel Schwartz, <i>A Bridge in Baraboo, Wisconsin,</i> oil on canvas, circa 1938. Sold February 16 — $32,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Lena Scott Harris, <i>Group of approximately 65 hand-colored botanical studies, all apparently California native plants,</i> hand-colored silver prints, circa 1930s. Sold February 23 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Suzanne Jackson, <i>Always Something To Look For,</i> acrylic & pencil on linen canvas, circa 1974. Sold April 6 — $87,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> complete with 50 printed collotype plates, Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold June 15 — $68,750.
  • <b><center>Case Auctions<br>Fall Fine Art & Antiques Auction<br>October 6-7, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> John Speed 1676 Map of Virginia, Maryland, and Chesapeake Bay. $1,000 to $1,200.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Andrew Jackson Coffin Handbill and Political Cartoon. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Three Andrew Jackson Bank War Cartoons, incl. Way to Arabay. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Three Andrew Jackson period Political Cartoons inc. Petticoat Affair. $500 to $600.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Cdre. Jesse D. Elliott ALS and Sarcophagus Print, Andrew Jackson & USS Constitution elated. $500 to $600.
    <b><center>Case Auctions<br>Fall Fine Art & Antiques Auction<br>October 6-7, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Presidential Autographs & Portrait Prints incl. Eisenhower Photo, 18 items. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Group of three Robert E. Lee Cabinet Card Photographs, Miley Studio. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Eight Fugitive Writer related books incl. Andrew Lytle, R.P. Warren, J.C. Ransom, Allen Tate. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Group Early Southern and Civil War Era Sheet Music. $300 to $350.
    <b>Case Auctions, Oct. 7:</b> Henry Miller, <i>Insomnia or the Devil at Large;</i> Signed; Loujon Press 1970. $500 to $600.
  • <b><center>Australian Book Auctions<br>Voyages, Natural History &c.<br>October 4, 2023<br>9:00 AM Australian Western Time</b>
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> PURCHAS, Samuel (circa 1577-1626). <i>HAKLUYTUS POSTHUMUS OR PURCHAS HIS PILGRIMES…,</i> London, 1625-1626. First edition. $40,000 to $60,000 AUD
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> GOULD, John. <i>THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA,</i> Volume IV. Folio, 104 fine handcoloured lithographed plates. London, 1848. $20,000 to $30,000 AUD
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> REICHENOW, Dr. Ant. <i>VOGELBILDER AUS FERNER ZONEN, abbildungen und beschreibungen der Papageien.</i> Kassel, 1878-1883. Folio, 33 hand-finished chromolithograph plates. $3,000 to $5,000 AUD
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> WALLIS, <i>E. WALLIS’S ELEGANT AND INSTRUCTIVE GAME exhibiting the Wonders of Nature, in Each Quarter of the World.</i> Handcoloured view, 26 numbered scenes. $400 to $600 AUD.
    <b>Australian Book Auctions, Oct. 4:</b> GREENAWAY, Kate. <i>ALMANACK FOR 1883</i> [and following years]. Twenty-two volumes, including six duplicates in variant bindings. $1,400 to $1,800 AUD.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Bibliotheca Brookeriana: A Renaissance Library<br>Magnificent Books and Bindings<br>11 October 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Francesco Colonna, Hypnerotomachie, Paris, 1546, Parisian calf by Wotton Binder C for Marcus Fugger. $300,000 to $400,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Leonardo da Vinci, Trattato della pittura, manuscript on paper, [Rome, ca. 1638–1641], a very fine pre-publication manuscript. $250,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Paradis, Ung petit traicte de Alkimie, [Paris, before 1540], contemporary morocco by the Pecking Crow binder for Anne de Montmorency. $300,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Capocaccia, Giovanni Battista, A wax relief portrait of Pius V, in a red morocco book-form box by the Vatican bindery, Rome, 1566–1568. $250,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Serlio, Il terzo libro; Regole generali, Venice, 1540, both printed on blue paper and bound together by the Cupid's Bow Binder. $400,000 to $500,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 11:</b> Tiraboschi, Carmina, manuscript on vellum, [Padua, c. 1471], the earliest surviving plaquette binding. $280,000 to $350,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Bibliotheca Brookeriana: A Renaissance Library<br>The Aldine Collection A–C<br>12 October 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Anthologia graeca, Venice, Aldus, 1503, printed on vellum, Masterman Sykes-Syston Park copy. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano, Venice, Aldus, 1528, contemporary Italian morocco gilt, Accolti-Landau copy. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano, Venice, Aldus, 1545, contemporary morocco for Thomas Mahieu, Chatsworth copy. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Cicero, Epistolae familiares, Venice, Aldus, 1502, printed on vellum, illuminated, Renouard-Vernon-Uzielli copy. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Venice, Aldus, 1499, Gomar Estienne binding for Jean Grolier, Spencer copy. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 12:</b> Crinito, Libri de poetis Latinis, Florence, Giunta, 1505, Cupid's Bow Binder for Grolier, Paris d'Illins-Wodhull copy. $250,000 to $300,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2021 Issue

Very Early Manuscripts and Books from Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books


Early manuscripts and books.

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books has created a catalogue of Collecting Culture. Manuscripts and Early Printed Books. This is a spectacular catalogue, not just for the material offered within, but for the illustrations reproduced on its pages. These are the handwork of enormously skilled artists and illustrators from five to nine centuries ago. Naturally, many are on manuscripts as they precede Gutenberg's invention, though illuminated manuscripts continued to be created after that date. Others are hand-colored copies of printed books. What is found here is rare, beautiful, and very old.


Most of the material in this catalogue is religious in nature, not surprising for literature from medieval times or shortly thereafter. Considering all the wars, killing and subjugation of weaker people precipitated in God's name, the image of hugging warriors on the cover is quite moving. I don't know whether it is of enemies reconciling or leaders embracing before taking off on a killing mission, but it's still a touching image. It comes from a book of hours in Latin and French produced in Bourges, France, 1500-1510. It was the work of an illuminator known as the Master of Spencer 6, containing 36 full-page miniatures and 35 small ones. It is known as the G & H Book of Hours, as the patron who commissioned it is unknown, but it has a coat of arms with the initials G and H intertwined with a love knot. That's nice too. From early biblical days we see Adam and Eve meeting with God. We can tell it is their pre-sinful days as they are unclothed. We are still paying the price for their impertinence! In the follow-up, they are expelled from the garden. A double-page spread illustrates the story of the three living and the three dead, a tale which usually features three aristocrats who meet three speaking corpses in the woods. They bring the living a warning, not to lead sinful lives as they did or they will pay a terrible price in the hereafter. One mystery to this codex is that the smaller images were painted over earlier text. It is unknown why these were added later and in such a fashion. Item 17. Price on request.


Item 7 is another book of hours, an illuminated manuscript on vellum from Salzburg, Austria, created around the same time that Gutenberg was starting up his press, 1450-1460. It was likely made for a male patron who is pictured within, before the Virgin and Child, and kneeling as a confessant before a friar. It too depicts the story of the three living and the three dead. It follows the older telling in which the three living are kings, but in a twist, the three dead are speaking corpses of themselves lying in their coffins. They provide the usual warning to change their ways before it is too late. Scared straight. Priced at 155,000 € (euros, or approximately $181,630 in U.S. dollars)


This next book picks up on the theme of the three living and the three dead. It's title is Ars Moriendi (the art of dying), and it was published 1467-1469 in the Netherlands. It displays various people on their deathbeds. Some are surrounded by loving people and angelic figures, others by devilish and hideous creatures. Who would you like to be your escort to the afterlife? Then you better shape up while you still can. The temptations that led the unfortunates to their sad fate are also displayed. This is a block book, sort of an alternative to the printing press, where illustrations and text are cut into wood blocks. It likely started slightly before Gutenberg and continued for a while thereafter as movable type printing was still very expensive in its earliest days. Only one side of a leaf was printed and in this case, one leaf was pasted on the next to create a version of a doubled-sided page. This book has been hand-colored, but only on some portions, with illustrations having colors in limited areas while the rest of the page is uncolored. It is not the best quality of coloring, more akin to a child's coloring book that was not completed. Still, it is the best you are likely to find. Block books are very rare, and this is one of only two known copies of this one. Item 8. 760,000 € (US $890,580).


This next item is a remarkable manuscript, one that comes from Mexico rather than Europe. From 1571, it was created in Huejotzingo, a small city in Central Mexico. As such it is called the San Salvador Huejotzingo Manuscript. It is one of only six extant manuscripts from Huetjotzingo, the other five being in institutional collections. This is a bilingual book, Spanish and Huetjotzingo pictographs. It shows that half a century after the Spanish conquest, the native pictographs were still understood. This codex records two lawsuits. The people of Huetjotzingo had joined the Spanish conquistadors in subduing the Aztec Empire, with which they had bad relations, but perhaps by this time they were rethinking their allegiances. One of these lawsuits pits the indigenous people of San Salvador against church authorities. It accuses the authorities of mistreating people, not paying artisans who worked for the church or only paying them half, taking more than their share of corn and other products produced by the people, and charging for marriages, baptisms, and burials. The Canon was found guilty of some charges and he was ordered to pay the indigenous people for their work, but he was acquitted of most charges. Item 20. 960,000 € (US $1,125,000).


Next is the oldest item in this catalogue. It is an English bible, in the Latin Language, dating from 1250-1260. It was likely produced in Oxford or Salisbury. It features historiated initials containing detailed color illustrations. For example, a page length “I” from Genesis displays scenes from the creation. A seated creator observes the results of his efforts through the six days of creation, ending with a day of rest. The “L” which begins the Gospel of Matthew features a sleeping Jesse, behind him the tree of his descendants, King David, the Virgin, and Christ. Item 1. 580,000 € ($679,650).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Nobu Shirase and the Japanese Antarctic Expedition: the Collection of Chet Ross<br>October 12, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> [BYRD]. VEER, Willard Van der and Joseph T. RUCKER, cinematographers. The 35mm motion picture Akeley camera that filmed the Academy Award-winning documentary “With Byrd at the South Pole”. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> [SHIRASE, Nobu, his copy]. RYUKEI, Yano. <i>Young Politicians of Thebes: Illustrious Tales of Statesmanship.</i> Tokyo(?), 1881-84. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> SHACKLETON, Ernest H. <i>The Antarctic Book.</i> Winter Quarters 1907-1909 [dummy copy of the supplement to: <i>The Heart of the Antarctic</i>]. London, 1909. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> [USS BEAR]. The original auxiliary deck wheel from the famed USS Bear, 1874-1933. “PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS SHIP IN THE HISTORY OF THE COAST GUARD” (USCG). $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 12:</b> HENSON, Matthew. <i>A Negro Explorer at the North Pole.</i> With a forward by Robert Peary. Introduction by Booker T. Washington. New York, [1912]. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli: Auction 46 Books<br>Autographs & Manuscripts<br>Oct 3rd-5th 2023</b>
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Tilson - Zanotto, Il vero tema. 2011. Starting price 150 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Munari, Storia di un filo. Starting price 400 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Debord, Contre le cinéma. 1964. Starting price 150 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Futurism books and ephemera
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Travel books
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Medicine books
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Levaillant, Histoire naturelle des perroquets. 1801-1805. Starting price 52.000 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Carrera, Il gioco de gli scacchi. 1617. Starting price 3200 €
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Vergilius, Opera. 1515. Starting price 800 €

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions