Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2007 Issue

Birds, Maps, and Landscapes from Arader Galleries

Ranier

Albert Bierstadt's large painting of spectacular Mt. Ranier.


By Michael Stillman

We have received the Arader Galleries' Directors Report for September-October 2007. Their Directors Reports offer a look at a few interesting items they are handling, along with news of events going on. These reports offer a more personal communication than the typical catalogue, an undoubtedly welcome update to friends and customers. Meanwhile, it offers a chance to consider a few of the more recent acquisitions available at Arader's six galleries across the U.S.A. They feature books, art and maps in particular. Here are a few of the items featured.

From the New York Galleries comes a complete set of The Naturalist's Library, by Sir William Jardine, issued from 1833-1845. These hand-size books, 4 1/2 x 6 3/4, make up for their small size in quantity. There are 40 volumes in all. This is a thorough encyclopedia of animal life, containing 1,280 plates of birds, insects, fish and other animals, along with detailed descriptions. Jardine was a particular scholar in the field of ichthyology, having written an extensive treatise on British salmon and trout.

Albert Bierstadt was one of the finest western artists of the 19th century. He began traveling to the sparsely inhabited territories of western America mid-century, and came back with sketches that became famous paintings. Bierstadt was of the Hudson River School, a group of artists who painted dramatic, romantic landscapes, primarily around the Hudson River Valley and nearby areas. All of that applies to this painting except location. The Arader Galleries has one of only four large-scale Bierstadt oil paintings from the Pacific Northwest. This painting is 65" x 94 3/4" and depicts 14,410 foot high Mt. Ranier, a far cry from the Catskills of the Hudson River Valley. Ranier dominates the Washington landscape for many miles, as this spectacular painting confirms (click the thumbnail image above left to view the painting).

The Philadelphia Gallery has a collection of watercolors of exotic animals painted around the turn of the 19th century. The artist was Charles Hamilton Smith, and he visited numerous museums and zoos to view the then strange animals he painted. These paintings may have been intended for a book that was never published.

The New York Galleries have the most important map from one of the most important atlases, the 1513 atlas from Martin Waldseemuller. The map is headed Tabula Terre Nove, and it depicts the New World just 20 years after its discovery by Columbus. While the proportions are a bit off, Cuba and Hispaniola are easy to recognize, as is a small but obvious Florida and Gulf of Mexico. Arader notes that Waldseemuller did not label the land "America," as he had on a map six years earlier, and attributes the observations on which it was based to the "Admiral," thought to be Columbus. This may indicate that Waldseemuller was correcting what he thought to be an earlier mistake in attributing the land's discovery to Amerigo Vespucci. If so, it was too late. The name stuck.

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:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.

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