Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2007 Issue

Early English and Italian Works from Samuel Gedge, Ltd.

Gedge1

Catalogue I from Samuel Gedge, Ltd.


By Michael Stillman

We recently received Catalogue I from U.K. bookseller Samuel Gedge, Ltd. Recently established in Mundesley, Norfolk, Samuel Gedge and Ernesta Campaner apply their expertise in English and Italian books and manuscripts prior to 1850 to the trade. However, as you will see from some of the titles, their offerings extend farther than that might imply, as some of these books connect to areas all over the world. Samuel Gedge Ltd. has put together a collection of unusual and often quite rare titles that will cover the interests of many different collectors.

Among the types of books found in Gedge's first catalogue are those designed to help English speakers navigate various foreign languages. Others provide guidebooks to foreign lands, or a guidebook for outsiders to England itself. There are very early schoolbooks, and a large collection of works pertaining to plagues in Italy during the early 17th century. Violations of various quarantines were punishable by death. The cures offered were often entertaining, though hardly effective. Between the punishments, cures, and the plague itself, this was a very dangerous time. Here are a few of the works you will find in this most interesting new catalogue.

Rimedi preservativi... is a 1630 translation of remedies for the plague by the French physician Auger Ferrier. Ferrier was the personal physician of Catherine de Medici, and in accordance with the beliefs of the times, liberally recommended blood-letting. However, in credit to Ferrier, he had figured out that many "cures" were spurious. As Gedge notes, he advised against, "mercury pills, urine drinking, scorpion oil and ashes of frogs." Out of that bunch, I guess the overdone frogs legs sound best, but antibiotics were truly a major step forward. Item 77. Priced at £550 (US equivalent of approximately $1,077).

If you are planning a trip to Rome, The Antiquarian or the Guide for Foreigners to go the Rounds of the Antiquities of Rome, by Angelo Dalmazzoni should help. The guide dates to 1803, but presumably the antiquities haven't changed. Dalmazzoni, himself a personal guide, notes that while there are many other such books, they are all "copied one from another," and all contain "the same unbecoming praises, the same faults, and equally want exactness, brevity and erudition." His, obviously, is better, though today very scarce. Item 23. £1,400 ($2,741).

Here is an even more fascinating guidebook for Englishmen who did not plan on traveling quite so far. Published in 1780 by an author who preferred to remain anonymous, the title is Characters of the Present Most Celebrated Courtezans. Interspersed with a Variety of Secret Anecdotes Never Before Published. This is a most useful reference book for gentlemen, something of a Consumers' Report for the trade. For the once lovely Mrs. B-dd-y, we are told, "...the utmost stretch of human imagination is inadequate to conceive any thing more delicately lovely than the tout ensemble of this adorable girl...the wretched vestiges of which are scarcely to be treated in the present emaciated remains of Mrs. B-dd-y...her eyesight is decayed, her memory extinct, and her whole frame relaxed to a degree of almost infantile imbecility, by a dreadful indulgence in love, liquor, lust, and laudanum..." Mrs. F-rr-r fares little better.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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