Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2007 Issue

Antiquarian Books from Librairie Thomas-Scheler

Livres

The latest from Librairie Thomas-Scheler.


By Michael Stillman

Recently published is the 33rd catalogue of Livres Anciens (or Old Books) from Librairie Thomas-Scheler of Paris. This catalogue is written in the French language, as are the great majority of books offered therein. However, that does not mean that the works themselves are only of interest to collectors of French works. Topics go well beyond the borders of France itself. We will focus on a few books that are of particular interest to American or English collectors since there is no way we can do justice to works of primarily French interest with our lack of fluency in the language. We will simply recommend that those well-versed in the language and who collect French books obtain a copy of this catalogue as soon as possible. For those whose primary tongue is English, here are some titles that may well belong in your collections despite their not being written in your first language.

Item 21 is Nouveaux voyages aux Indes Occidentales...by Jean Bernard Bossu. Published in 1768, it relates Bossu's travels up the Mississippi River (he preferred to call it the "St. Louis River"). The book is taken from letters Bossu wrote home during his journeys between 1751 and 1762. Bossu traveled from Alabama to the east as far north as Illinois. Along with relaying then current information about the people who lived in the area, primarily local Indians, he was also able to gather historic reports of the earliest settlers, as memories of those days were still relatively fresh. Among the earlier events recounted was the death of La Salle. The book was banned for a while due to criticism of government and religious figures. Bossu's account provides one of the better looks at the Louisiana Territory while still under French authority. Priced at €2,500 (Euros, or approximate U.S. equivalent of $3,240).

Item 44 is an Italian title, published in Venice in 1789, Storia delle California, opera postuma (History of California, posthumous work). The author was Francesco Clavigero, a Jesuit father who spent thirty years in lower California before the Order was expelled. He died in 1787, two years before this book was published. It focuses primarily on the settlements and natives of Baja California, but also covered is the founding of the mission at San Francisco and missions in what is now Arizona. €5,000 (US $6,467).

Item 39 is Voyage en Californie pour l'observation du passage de Venus... (Voyage to California to observe the transit of Venus) from Jean-Baptiste Chappe d'Auteroche, published in 1772. Chappe d'Auteroche was sent by the French to the Pacific for much the same reason as Captain Cook was sent by the British, to observe the transit of Venus in front of the sun. This information could be used to calculate the then unknown size of the solar system. Chappe d'Auteroche's story is the tale of a race against time to reach the Baja part of California where the transit was to be observed. He would reach his goal just in time to make the mission a success. Sadly, Chappe d'Auteroche contracted an illness two days later and died. This work, like the last, was published posthumously. €10,000 (US $12,937).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Les Cigarettes Mekka,</i> 1919. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Plinio Codognato, <i>Cicli Fiat,</i> circa 1910. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> L.N. Britton, <i>Warning! Consider the Possible Consequences,</i> c. 1917. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Leonardo Bistolfi, <i>Première Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs Modernes,</i> 1902. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Paquet Pernot / Biscuits Pernot,</i> 1910. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Francesco Nonni, <i>Font Meo / Acqua Minerale Naturale,</i> 1924. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Frederick Winthrop Ramsdell, <i>American Crescent Cycles,</i> 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> <i>Be a Tight Wad! Own Something!</i> designer unknown, 1925. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Candido Aragonese de Faria, <i>Chamonix–Mont–Blanc,</i> c. 1910. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> W.E.J., <i>Irishmen Avenge the Lusitania,</i> c. 1915. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books<br>Fine Art<br>Antique Engravings & Lithographs<br>Works on Paper<br>Accepting bids until August 7</b>
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Maitres Affiches by MUCHA - Papier a cigarettes Job. 202. $5,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> De Bry - Map of the West Indies (including Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Parts of Central & South America, Sea Monsters, Ships). $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Gould - Short-billed Toucan (Ramphastos Brevicarinatus). $5,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books<br>Fine Art<br>Antique Engravings & Lithographs<br>Works on Paper<br>Accepting bids until August 7</b>
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Redoute, Folio - Pale Iris - Iris flavescens. 375. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Gillray - Light Expelling Darkness or The Sun of the Constitution. $200 to $500.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Gerard - Wild Hemp or Weed, Cannabis. 708. $150 to $450.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Shaw & Nodder - Head of The Dodo. 165. $100 to $300.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Your Own Sylvia:<br>Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes and other items,<br>Property of Frieda Hughes<br>9 to 21 July 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Family photograph album ("The Hughes family Album"), 1957-1962. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on "my own private doctrine", with a poem, 5 October 1956. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Pen and ink portrait of Ted Hughes, [1956]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Your Own Sylvia:<br>Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes and other items,<br>Property of Frieda Hughes<br>9 to 21 July 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Joint autograph letter signed, to William and Edith Hughes, March 1960. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Photographic portrait by David Bailey, inscribed by Plath, 1961, and another press photo. £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Tarot de Marseille. Deck of cards owned by Sylvia Plath. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Pair of gold wedding rings. £6,000 to £8,000.

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