Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2007 Issue

Spain, Its Neighbors, and Latin America from Paul Orssich

Orssich64

Catalogo 64 from Paul Orssich.


By Michael Stillman

We have received our first catalogue from London bookseller Paul Orssich. However, it is his Catalogo 64. As the title implies, Orssich specializes in Spanish works, despite the London location. While the focus is on Spain, material extends to its Iberian neighbor, Portugal, Mediterranean islands such as Gibraltar, nearby Northern African lands such as Morocco, and the once Spanish lands of Latin America and the southwestern United States.

Familiarity with the Spanish language will be helpful in reading this catalogue, though it is not a requirement. Descriptions are most often in Spanish, so it will be a challenge to read about books that are themselves in Spanish. However, many of the books reflect Orssich's English location, that is, they are written in English. Often, there are quoted bibliographic descriptions that are also in English. The result is that English-speaking collectors of Spain and the New World (which is to say Americana) will easily be able to navigate many of the titles offered. There are also several books in French, particularly relating to the era of Charles V who ruled as Spanish King and Holy Roman Emperor, and continually argued with France, which lay in between his home in Spain and his not-so holy possessions to the east. Here are a few items among the 200+ offered.

A logical starting point, especially for those who do not complete the reading of this review, is Gatherings from Spain, by Richard Ford. This is because Thomas J. Hamilton, writing almost a century after this book was published in 1851, says, "For the reader who has time for only one book on Spain, the work to be recommended above all others is Richard Ford's Gatherings from Spain." Ford had traveled through Spain in the 19th century and noted the sufferings of the people brought about by mismanagement and war. Hamilton was looking back from another bad era, the early years of Franco's Fascist rule, pointing out that Ford's "...account of misery which bad government brought to a superb people is as valid today as it was when it was published..." Item 57. Priced at £150 (British pounds, or approximate U.S. equivalent of $302).

Speaking of Franco, item 84 is an account of journalist and writer Arthur Koestler of his days with Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War. He was reporting on the war when captured by Franco's forces in 1937. Writes Koestler, "I was captured by General Franco's troops and held for several months in solitary confinement under sentence of death, witnessing the executions of my fellow prisoners and awaiting my own." Fortunately for Koestler, British authorities were able to negotiate his release. His book is Dialogue with Death, published in 1954. £20 (US $40).

Item 5 is a 1796 French edition of Lettres Portuguaises, attributed to Mariana Alcoforado, a 17th century Portuguese nun. These are love letters to a French officer who deserted her, and you can already see the problem, what with Miss Alcoforado being a nun. The story is that the young nun spotted the French officer from her window, fell in love, and whatever...we don't know. Sadly, the officer returned to France without her.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions