Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2008 Issue

Exceptional Works from Michael Sharpe Rare and Antiquarian Books

Sharpe2

Catalog No. 2 from Michael Sharpe Rare and Antiquarian Books.


By Michael Stillman

Now available is Catalog No. 2 from Michael Sharpe Rare and Antiquarian Books. Sharpe offers a variety of material, from history to travels, literature, science, theology, art, maps, illuminated books and more. Just about anything may show up in the pages of this catalogue. What is common to the selections is that these are significant works and their condition is generally exceptional for their age. Here are a few samples of what Sharpe has available for us this time.

Here is one of the greatest seafaring adventures ever, combining mutiny and a most remarkable escape and survival, and it's all for real. Item 16 is Captain William Bligh's A Narrative of Mutiny on board His Majesty's Ship Bounty, a first edition from 1790. Bligh's account, intended to absolve him from blame for the mutiny, tells the amazing story of survival by he and 18 loyal crewmen. The mutineers cast them off in a small boat, facing seemingly hopeless odds. Instead, Bligh managed to lead them across 3,500 miles of open seas, three months on the water before finally finding safe haven in Timor, a Dutch island. Bligh even managed to chart some of the largely unknown coast of Australia as they passed by. He would go on to have a successful, if sometimes checkered career in the Royal Navy (he suffered another mutiny while Governor of New South Wales), retiring as a Vice Admiral. Priced at $28,000.

Item 39 recounts a much quicker journey: 20 hrs. 40 min. Our Flight in the Friendship. This was Amelia Earhart's account of being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. The flight and book release both occurred in 1928, the year after Charles' Lindberg's first trans-Atlantic flight. Although this flight made Earhart a celebrity, she expected few accolades, as her role was little more than a passenger, brought along for the publicity. However, she would earn her fame a decade later when she almost completed her flight around the world, disappearing on the last leg and still missing today. Offered is one of the 150 signed copies of the book issued and a flag she brought along on the flight. $10,000.

Item 88 is Edgar Allen Poe's bestseller, at least during his lifetime. It does not concern birds such as ravens, but only lowly mollusks. The title is The Conchologist's First Book; or A System of Testaceous Malacology arranged expressly for use in Schools... This was a science book for schools, essentially ripped off from an earlier British text. Nevermind. This 1839 book was an immediate success, ran into several editions, and provided Poe with the money necessary to focus on writing his more creative works of the following decade. $2,500.

Poe wasn't the only one with strange tales to tell. In 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson published his classic Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This story is the ultimate case of split personality, as the good Dr. Jekyll, with the aid of some strange drugs, becomes the murderous Mr. Hyde. It is a look at the good and evil in all of us, as well as an entertaining story. Item 113 is the "authorized" American edition, which Sharpe tells us actually preceded the London edition by four days, the latter being held back so it would not get lost in the Christmas rush. $10,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.

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