Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2022 Issue

81 Precious Books from Librairie Clavreuil and Stéphane Clavreuil Rare Books


81 precious books.

Librairie Clavreuil of Paris, along with Stephane Clavreuil Rare Books of London, have combined to create a spectacular catalogue, 81 Livres Précieux (81 Precious Books). It features “Incunables, Sciences, Voyages, Littérature, Gastronomie 1473-1955.” That requires no translation for English speakers. However, the entire catalogue is in French, which is a challenge to those whose fluency is that of a “C” French student in high school many, many years ago. Do not expect much detail, or guaranteed accuracy from this review.


The family's involvement in the book trade goes back 120 years to the original Librairie Clavreuil in Paris. It was managed by Lucien Scheler, who later took over the shop and it became known as Librairie Thomas-Scheler. However, it was repurchased for the family by Bernard Clavreuil after working in the store for several years, and the original name was later restored. Meanwhile, Bernard Clavreuil's son, Stéphane, opened up the business in London.


By way of that introduction, we can explain why the Clavreuils chose to have 81 books in this catalogue. It's because the catalogue is a year late. It was originally planned to celebrate Bernard's 80th birthday. Unfortunately, nothing went as wished last year and all sorts of projects had to be delayed. So now it has finally arrived, a year behind schedule. The positive is the catalogue now has a bonus book, one more than the original 80.


Due to the language issues, I will keep it brief, in hopes that will still be sufficient to appreciate the importance of the material herein. Those who do speak French will find lengthy, very detailed descriptions along with numerous pictures of the material offered.


You won't need to know French to understand item 14. In fact, it won't do you any good. It is a polyglot bible in four languages, none of which is French. Nor is there any English. The languages are Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. With that combination, you might have guessed it's a bible. This is the Complutense Bible published from 1514-1517. It was the project of Cardinal Jiminez de Cisneros. He undertook the project to celebrate the birth of Charles V. Cardinal Cisneros was not trying to make the bible accessible to speakers of these various tongues but because he thought that if it were available in multiple languages, multilingual scholars having difficulty understanding a passage could look to another language in which the intent might be more clear. The bible's odd name derives from its being published at Complutense University in Alcala, Spain.


Item 70 will be especially appealing to Americans as it is about America's Indians at a time when to a large degree they still lived a traditional lifestyle, like the days before Europeans arrived. This is Indian Tribes of North America with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs, published 1836-1844. The authors were Thomas McKenny and James Hall. McKenny was appointed Superintendent of Indian Trade in 1816 and in 1824 became the first Director of the Office of Indian Affairs. He visited the frontiers and was involved in inviting many chiefs to Washington. In a time when many Americans looked down on the Indians and considered them to be “savages,” McKenny had a deep respect for the country's natives. He said, “the Indian was, in his intellectual and moral structure, our equal.” McKenney was dismissed from office by President Jackson, not noted for being a friend of the Indian, but that gave him an opportunity to undertake this great project with James Hall. He brought in illustrators to create the images displayed on the 120 hand-colored plates in the book. McKenny hoped that by illustrating the great leaders and others of the tribes along with scenes of how they lived, he could preserve their way of life for future generations to see, as he realized the vast western migration would soon overwhelm the traditional customs. The original portraits went to the Smithsonian but most were destroyed in a fire, leaving the book as the sole source by which the portraits of these leaders were preserved.


Next is one of the greatest travel books in its first French edition, Sensuyt le Nouveau Monde et Navigations, published 1517-1523. This was Antonio Fracanzano da Montalboddo's collection of some of the earliest voyages to explore the world. The New World was truly new when it was first published, Columbus' discovery of America only a decade and a half ago at the time. It covers voyages to the West by Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci, and also voyages of discovery to the East, notably that of Vasco da Gama. Europeans knew little of these far off lands then, this book being credited with disseminating information of the New to the Old World for the first time. The book contains first-hand accounts, including Columbus' letters.


Here is a book that ties France and America together as do few others. America was still a young nation in 1831, trying out its new form of government – democracy. That is when Alexis de Toqueville came from France to America, to study the prison system in this country. However, his travels led him to a much wider critique of the American system. While not without its shortcomings, he viewed American democracy, and the liberties it brought, favorably. Europe was still ruled by kings and tyrants, with individual liberties limited, wealth held by established families, and little opportunity for the common people to join the wealthier classes. America was different in the opportunities it afforded. Item 69 is the first edition of Toqueville's Democracy in America, or in French, De la Démocratie en Amérique, published 1835-1840.


Librairie Clavreuil in Paris may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@librairieclavreuil.com. Stephane Clavreuil Rare Books in London may be reached at +44 798 325 2200 or stephane@clavreuil.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br> The Library of Henry Rogers<br>Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven<br>Part I<br>18 May 2022</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> John James Audubon and James Bachman. <i>The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.</i> New York: J.J. Audubon, 1845-1848. £150,000 to £250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Thomas and William Daniell. <i>Oriental Scenery,</i> London, 1795-1807 [but 1841], 6 parts in 3 volumes, folio. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Mark Catesby. <i>The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands...</i> London, 1731-1743, 2 volumes. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Gould and Lear. <i>A monograph of the Ramphastidae,</i> 1854; <i>Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae,</i> 1832. £60,000 to £90,000.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Graphic Design<br>May 19, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, <i>Triplex,</i> pencil maquette, 1930. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Claude Fayette Brandon, <i>The Chap Book,</i> circa 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Various Artists, a complete set of <i>Das Plakat,</i> set of 10 hardcover volumes, 1912-21. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Javier Gómez Acebo & Máximo Viejo Santamarta, <i>San Sebastian / XI Circuitto Automovilista,</i> 1935. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Ephraim Moses Lilien, <i>Berliner Tageblatt,</i> circa 1899. $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Birds.- Gould (John). <i>The Birds of Great Britain,</i> 5 vol., first edition, [1862-]1873. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Canadiana.- Cockburn (Maj. Gen. James Pattison, 1779-1847), After. [Six Landscape of Quebec City and Six Views of Niagara Falls], 2 suites in 1 vol., comprising 12 aquatints, 1833. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses,</i> number 218 of 150 copies on verge d'arches, Paris, Shakespeare & Company, 1922. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first paperback edition, signed by the author, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Du Maurier (Daphne). <i>Rebecca,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to her governess, 1938. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Magna Carta.- An exact copy of King John's Great Charter of 1215, transcribed from the fire damaged but legible manuscript in the Cottonian Library, British Library, J. Pine, 1733. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Woolf (Virginia). <i>Mrs Dalloway,</i> first edition, Hogarth Press, 1925. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Tudor exiles opposed to the Marian regime.- Mary I (Queen of England) Letter signed "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, signed at head, titled at head "By the King and Quene", 1556. £8,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> America.- Newfoundland.- Whitbourne (Sir Richard). <i>A discourse and discouery of Nevv-found-land…,</i> second edition, By Felix Kingston, 1622. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cervantès Saavedra (Miguel de). <i>El Ingenioso Hidalgo Do Quixote de la Mancha,</i> 4 vol., Madrid, Por Don Joaquin Ibarra, 1780. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Stubbs (George). <i>The Anatomy of the Horse,</i> first edition, first issue, Printed by J. Purser, for the Author, 1766. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cardiology.- Lower (Richard). <i>Tractatus de Corde item De Motu & Colore Sanguinus et Chyli in cum Transitu,</i> first edition, 1669. £5,000 to £7,000.
  • <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>Initial A on vellum, Cologne around 1300. Est: €25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Androuet du Cerceau, <i> Bastiments de France,</i> 1607. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Cerillo, <i>Dipinti murali di Pompei,</i> 1886. Est: €2,500
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>L. de Austria, <i>Compilatio de astrorum scientia,</i> 1489. Est: €9,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>B. Besler, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> around 1750. Est: €50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br><i>PAN,</i> 1895-1900. Est: €15,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Colonna, <i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,</i> 1545. Est: €40,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Schiller, <i>Die Räuber,</i> 1781. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Albers, <i>Formulation : Articulation,</i> 1972. Est: €18,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>G. B. Ramusio, <i>Delle navigationi e viaggi,</i> 1556-1613. Est: €14,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>M. Wied Neuwied, <i>Reise in das Innere Nord-America,</i> 1839-41. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Paolozzi, <i>Bunk,</i> 1972. Est: €25,000

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