Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2008 Issue

Varied New Acquisitions at Michael Sharpe Rare & Antiquarian Books

Book List 2 from Michael Sharpe.


By Michael Stillman

Michael Sharpe Rare and Antiquarian Books has issued their Book List 2, dated June 2008. It is described as "A selection of newly acquired books, music, photographs, and autograph letters." In other words, you can find just about anything in this catalogue of widely diverse material. If there is a theme, it is that this varied material is all of significance and meant for collectors. Here are a few of the recently acquired items now available.

Item 80, with one of its lithographs shown on the cover of this catalogue (click thumbnail image above), is Mexico in 1827. The British government sent Henry George Ward to the newly independent country to learn more of its potential for mining, but Ward came back with much more detail about the nation. This is an unusual copy of Ward's 1828 first edition. Most copies have one hand-colored plate, but in this copy, all 13 have been colored by a contemporary hand. Sharpe has found no record of any other such copy and believes this one may have been prepared for presentation by the author. Priced at $5,000.

As long as we are on the south side of the border, here is an even older Mexican report: The History of Mexico, by Francisco Clavigero. This first edition in English was published in 1787, during the later years of Spanish rule. Item 12 contains the bookplate of Theodore Hoover, President Herbert Hoover's brother. $4,500.

Item 36 is a copy of a very important American work, Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia. This was the only book by Jefferson published during his lifetime. It covered not only details about the commonwealth, but also some of Jefferson's philosophical views. Offered is a third edition printed in 1801, the year Jefferson became president. It contains a bookplate stating it is "The Property of the Fallsington Library Co." It was once, though undoubtedly deaccessioned many years ago. The Fallsington Library, of Fallsington, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1800 and opened for business in 1802. According to the Historic Fallsington website, it was started with just 238 books. Considering the timing of its opening, the publication date of this volume, and the importance of this book, it seems likely this was one of the 238. $750.

Item 74 includes a copy the first book by Henry David Thoreau: A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, published in 1849. It recounts a boating trip with his brother, a look at life in the wilderness, a recurring theme for Thoreau. This copy contains several pencil annotations in Thoreau's hand, including a handwritten last three lines of page 396, which were dropped from the printing. Thoreau effectively took responsibility for the publishing and selling of this book, which explains why in some copies the missing lines are supplied in Thoreau's hand. Unfortunately, the book was not a success, and Thoreau for years found himself in debt. No wonder he wanted to escape to the woods. Of course, if he could have sold just one copy at today's prices, he would not have had another care in the world. Offered with his first book is an 1854 first edition of Thoreau's best-known work, Walden; or, Life in the Woods. $45,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000

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