Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2006 Issue

Three Copies Of Le Chavalier Delibere From Librairie Thomas-Scheler

Thomas

An illustration from the 1484 manuscript of Le Chevalier Delibere.


By Michael Stillman

One of the interesting challenges of preparing catalogue reviews for the Americana Exchange is the opportunity to write about those written in a language you do not understand. I am not assigned too many of these, for which I am most grateful, but once in awhile, my monolingual limitations are exposed, and I am forced to fake it or report to the unemployment insurance office. I choose to fake it. So here we go. We have received an attractively illustrated catalogue from Librairie Thomas-Scheler, operated by Bernard and Stephane Clavreuil of Paris. As is often the case, Parisian booksellers publish their catalogues in French. So, before I try to explain what I cannot understand, I will caution that this is a catalogue which will be best appreciated by those able to read (and understand) French.

The title and subject of the catalogue is Le Chevalier Delibere, in English, "The Resolute Knight." This was a 15th century work by Olivier de la Marche, and the many printings and even manuscripts that appeared in numerous languages for several centuries attest to its once great popularity. This is a poem, written in 1483, in 2,704 lines. It is what was known as an epic poem, a literary format very popular through the 19th century.

The fictional knight of this poem evidently philosophizes over the issues of life and death in an era when knights (and just about everyone else) had short life spans. He contemplates whether his demise will come at the hands of allegorical Lord Accident or Sir Debility. This is a weighty, though probably not very happy poem. Along the way, this poor knight learns about others who have died, from his own lifetime and in ancient history. This poem is not a lot of laughs, but times were hard in the 15th century.

Writer Olivier de la Marche lived from 1426 to 1502. He was active in the Court of Burgundy, a very loyal officer, who wrote a few works, including history as well as poetry. His memoirs are one of the better of the historical resources for this time.

Librairie Thomas-Scheler has three copies from the 15th century of Le Chevalier Delibere. Language shortcomings prevent me from describing these in any detail. There is a manuscript version from Flanders written in 1484. The others are printed editions from 1488 and 1489. All three are illustrated. For more details, you will need to contact Librairie Thomas-Scheler. They may be reached via email at basane@thomas-scheler.fr or by telephone at +33 (0)1 40 46 91 46.

Rare Book Monthly

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    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> KNIGHT, HILARY. The Original Portrait of Eloise that Hung at the Plaza Hotel. $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> WARHOL, ANDY. "Iced Lemon Delight," an Original Watercolor Presented to Hilary Knight's cat, Phoebe $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SENDAK, MAURICE. <i>Where the Wild Things Are.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED with drawing to Hilary Knight in the month following publication. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> NOLAND, KENNETH. Original circle painting, untitled, acrylic and ink on cloth, for cover of monograph $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> TOULOUSE-LAUTREC. <i>Histoires Naturelles,</i> 1899. With 22 original lithographs. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>A Collection of Poems,</i> [1711]. The first authoritative and complete collected Sonnets.$15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> LONDON, JACK. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> 1903. First edition, first state jacket. $2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> FROST, ROBERT. Autograph Manuscript of "Build Soil," 12 pp, 1932-1936. $15,000 to 20,000
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    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> PLATH, SYLVIA. EARLY Autograph Letter Signed, about her beginnings as a writer, Northampton, MA, 1951. $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> HOUDINI, HARRY. A collection of 11 cast iron shackle and lock items from Houdini's personal collection. $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> M4 ENGIMA MACHINE, with very rare RARE HYDRA KEY ENVELOPE. $400,000 to 600,000
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    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> WETZEL, CHARLES M. American Fishing Books. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> BISSELL, ALFRED E., <i>In Pursuit of Salar.</i> $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> <i>The Settler and Sportsman in Anticosti.</i> $400 to $600
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    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> SAWADA, KEN, <i>The Art of the Classic Salmon Fly.</i> $300 to $500
    <center><b>Doyle: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson<br>Online Only Auction ending Dec. 18</b>
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> SOUTHARD, CHARLES ZIBEON, <i>The Evolution of Trout and Trout Fishing in America.</i> $400 to $600
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    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jean de Mandeville, <i>Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land,</i> Strassburg, 1488. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> José González Cabrera Bueno, <i>Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica,</i> Manila, 1734. Sold for $55,000.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Louise Bourgeois, <i>He Disappeared Into Complete Silence,</i> portfolio with complete text & 9 engravings, 1947. Sold for $413,000.
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