Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2022 Issue

Libraries – Catalogues and More from the Past from Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books


Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books has released a catalogue of Libraries – public, private, lending, women's, circulating & for sale. These are works related to libraries, including many catalogues of their collections, sales, and other topics related to libraries. These aren't collections you are likely to find in your local library unless it has an antiquarian and rare books room. These are 18th and 19th century libraries, from a time when there were few public libraries. Most were membership ones or those associated with a learning institution. They provide a fascinating look at what people read a long time ago, or in the case of science and medicine, what the existing beliefs were when knowledge was primitive by today's standards. These are a few of the items you will find in this catalogue.


We start with a library that existed in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was the first public library in Newcastle-on-Tyne at a time when public libraries were few and far between. The library was in St. Nicholas' Church. Rev. Robert Thomlinson donated his collection of 1,200 books and a library was built attached to St. Nicholas' cathedral. It was opened in 1741. The public was invited. They could read the books at a time where most libraries were open only to dues-paying members. A librarian was hired and a fund set aside to purchase new books. Unfortunately, over the years, things did not go so well. Successor librarians were either incompetent or derelict and the building suffered disrepair, little being added to the collection. In 1829, they finally published a catalogue, A Catalogue of the Public Library St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle Upon Tyne; with a Copy of the Will of R. Thomlinson...to which is added a Catalogue of Books Contained in the Old Library. The second part included books obtained even earlier than Thomlinson's gift. A few years earlier, an attempt was made to clean up the library and this catalogue was intended to let the public know what they had and the regulations for using the services. Patrons were required to sign a form saying they would not “abuse” the books and various other things. Ultimately, it was too little too late and another public library had opened in Newcastle. A few years later, St. Nicholas' library was shut down and the books transferred, I believe to that other public library. Priced at £1,200 (British pounds or approximately $1,560 in U.S. dollars).


Robert Walpole is generally regarded as the first British Prime Minister. Some dispute the exact dates, but it was roughly 1721-1742. He was, and still is, the longest serving British Prime Minister. A member of the Whig party, he steered a moderate course. Nevertheless, he did elicit his share of controversy and had his vociferous opponents, but for years he was able to outmaneuver them. Having the King's favor didn't hurt. Walpole was a master politician. Eventually, time caught up to him and he resigned after a motion of no confidence. A century after his term as PM, his descendants decided to put together a bibliography of material about him. The title is Catalogue of Political Pamphlets Relating to Sir Robert Walpole's Administration. It is a manuscript account with a title page and notes by MP Frederick Walpole circa 1840 although most of the writing is in another hand. Arranged alphabetically by title, Schulz-Falster describes this as “a fascinating labour of love and a record of familial interest.” £2,800 (US $3,641).


This one pertains more to booksellers than libraries. The title is Dissertazione Accademica sul Commercio degli antichie moderni librai... (Academic Dissertation on Commerce of Ancient and Modern Booksellers). The author is Angelo Battatglini, the book published in 1787. Battaglini was a cleric and writer and a second custodian of the Vatican Library. Using his library research Battaglini wrote about the book trade in early and modern times. Evidently, even in ancient times authors were not always pleased with book dealers. In those days (pre-printing), book dealers were copyists as much as sellers. They would be hired to copy existing manuscripts. Battaglini says that in Roman times authors were complaining that scribes were incompetent and overcharged. Later, complaints turned more to poor printing and editing. £1,250 (US $1,629).


This is the first catalogue of a very old and important German scientific society. The title is Academiae Caesareae Leopoldino-Carolinae naturae curiosorum Bibliotheca physica, medica, miscella partim sociorum munificentia partim ipsius sumtibus comparata. This translates to “Leopold-Carolina's library of physical, medical, miscellaneous curiosities of natural history, partly through the generosity of his allies, and partly by his own sums.” The Leopoldina Academy was founded in 1652 to promote the sciences in Germany. It obtained its unusual name through gifts from the friends of and the Emperor, Leopold I, himself. In 1731, their library was founded in Nuremberg, and this catalogue prepared by Andreas Elias Buechner was published in 1755 to celebrate (a little late) the academy's 100th anniversary. Today it is known as the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. This catalogue lists 1,270 entries, sorted by date of accession. There is also an author index at the end. Buechner was the sixth president of the Leopoldina and also wrote a history of the academy. £3,750 (US $4,900).


Here are some books not to read. Better not. Catalogue des écrits, gravures et dessins condamnés depuis 1814 jusqu'au 1er Janvier 1850. Suivi de la liste des individus condamnés pour délits de presse, attributed to Victor Gaillard, Commissaire de Police de la Librairie. That translates to “catalogue of condemned writings, engravings and drawings from 1814 to January 1, 1850. Follow-up to the list of individuals convicted for press offenses.” This is not the usual list of banned books put out by the Church but one generated by civil authorities. The first three parts cover banned political pamphlets and engravings from three time periods, 1814-1830, 1830-1848, and 1848-1850 (the date of publication). They correspond with three eras of leadership in France. The fourth part deals with items banned for immorality, obscenity, and issues of that sort. Finally, it lists 335 journalists, writers, publishers, printers and booksellers charged with these offenses. Punishments ranged from fines to imprisonment, with an occasional acquittal. £200 (US $261).


Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0) 1993 811 100 or susanne@schulz-falster.com. Their website is www.schulz-falster.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Fine Books and Manuscripts
    8 December 2023
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: [Austen, Jane] — Isaac D'Israeli. Jane Austen's copy of Curiosities of Literature. 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: [Austen, Jane]. A handsome first edition in boards of the author's debut novel. 70,000 - 100,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Brontë, Charlotte. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me..." 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Eliot, George. The author's magnum opus. 25,000 - 35,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Whitman, Walt. Manuscript written upon the Death of Lincoln, 1865. 60,000 - 80,000 USD
  • Sotheby’s
    Important Modern Literature from the Library of an American Filmmaker
    8 December 2023
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Kerouac, Jack. Typescript scroll of The Dharma Bums. Typed by Kerouac in Orlando, Florida, 1957, published by Viking in 1958. 300,000 - 500,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Hemingway, Ernest. The autograph manuscript of "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." [Key West, finished April 1936]. 300,000 - 500,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Miller, Henry. Typescript of The Last Book, a working title for Tropic of Cancer, written circa 1931–1932. 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Ruscha, Ed. Twentysix Gasoline Stations, with a lengthy inscription to Joe Goode. 40,000 - 60,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Hemingway, Ernest. in our time, first edition of Hemingway’s second book. 30,000 - 50,000 USD
  • Swann
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: Samuel Augustus Mitchell, A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with the Regions Adjoining, Philadelphia, 1846. $3,500 to $5,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: 17th–19th-century case maps of various locations. $1,500 to $2,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Andreas Cellarius, Haemisphaerium Stellatum Boreale Cum Subiecto Haemisphaerio Terrestri, celestial chart, Amsterdam, 1708. $2,500 to $3,500.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: Vincenzo Coronelli, Set of engraved gores for Coronelli’s monumental 42-inch terrestrial globe, Venice, circa 1688–97. $18,000 to $22,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, group of four navigational charts, Antwerp, 1580s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Thomas Bros, Block Book of Berkeley, Oakland, 1920s. $800 to $1,200.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Nieuhoff & John Ogilby, An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, map of China, plan of Canton, London, 1673. $1,200 to $1,800.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Frederick Sander, Reichenbachia, St. Albans, 1888-1894. $5,000 to $7,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Two early illustrated works on horsemanship and breeding, Nuremberg, early 18th century. $700 to $800.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Gould, A Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Family of Toucans. Supplement to the First Edition, London, 1834; 1855. $40,000 to $60,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Pinkerton, A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World, London, 1808–14. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Oakley Hoopes Bailey, Hackensack, New Jersey, Boston, 1896. $800 to $1,200.
    Valuable Books and Manuscripts
    London auction
    13 December
    Find out more
    Christie’s, Explore now
    TREW, Christoph Jacob (1695–1769). Plantae Selectae quarum imagines ad exemplaria naturalia Londini in hortus curiosorum. [Nuremberg: 1750–1773]. £30,000–40,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    VERBIEST, Ferdinand (1623–88). Liber Organicus Astronomiae Europaeae apud Sinas restituate. [Beijing: Board of Astronomy, 1674]. £250,000–350,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ALICE & NIKOLAUS HARNONCOURT. Master of Jean Rolin (active 1445–65). Book of Hours, use of Paris, in Latin and French, [Paris, c.1450–1460]. £120,000–180,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    A SILVER MICROSCOPE. Probably by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723), c.1700. £150,000–250,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    C.1311. £100,000–150,000
  • Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Roberts (David) & Croly (George). The Holy Land, Syria, Idumae, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia. Lond. 1842 - 1843 [-49]. First Edn. €10,000 to €15,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Incunabula: O'Fihily (Maurice). Duns Scotus Joannes: O'Fihely, Maurice Abp… Venice, 20th November 1497. €8,000 to €12,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: An important file of documents with provenance to G.A. Newsom, manager of the Jacob’s Factory in Dublin, occupied by insurgents during Easter Week 1916. €6,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: WILDE (Oscar), 1854-1900, playwright, aesthete and wit. A lock of Wilde’s Hair, presented by his son to the distinguished Irish actor Mícheál MacLiammóir. €6,000 to €8,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Heaney (Seamus). Bog Poems, London, 1975. Special Limited Edition, No. 33 of 150 Copies, Signed by Author. Illus. by Barrie Cooke. €4,000 to €6,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Binding: Burke, Thomas O.P. (de Burgo). Hibernia Dominicana, Sive Historia Provinciae Hiberniae Ordinis Praedicatorum, ... 1762. First Edition. €4,000 to €6,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: COLLINS, Michael. An important TL, 29 July 1922, addressed to GOVERNMENT on ‘suggested Proclamation warning all concerned that troops have orders to shoot prisoners found sniping, ambushing etc.’. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Scott Fitzgerald (F.) The Great Gatsby, New York (Charles Scribner's Sons) 1925, First Edn. €2,000 to €3,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Yeats (W.B.) The Poems of W.B. Yeats, 2 vols. Lond. (MacMillan & Co.) 1949. Limited Edition, No. 46 of 375 Copies Only, Signed by W.B. Yeats. €1,500 to €2,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Miller (William) Publisher. The Costume of the Russian Empire, Description in English and French, Lg. folio London (S. Gosnell) 1803. First Edn. €1,000 to €1,500.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Miller (William) Publisher. The Costume of Turkey, Illustrated by a Series of Engravings. Lg. folio Lond.(T. Bensley) 1802. First Edn. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Mason (Geo. Henry). The Costume of China, Illustrated with Sixty Engravings. Lg. folio London (for W. Miller) 1800. First Edn. €1,400 to €1,800

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