Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2009 Issue

A List of Books Exhibited at the San Francisco Fair by Librairie Thomas-Scheler

Thomas-schelerlistsf

Books exhibited in San Francisco.


By Michael Stillman

Librairie Thomas-Scheler of Paris recently printed a List of the Books Exhibited, this being books shown at the recent ABAA Book Fair in San Francisco. Thomas-Scheler brought some truly fine books across the Atlantic to display in America. There are more than a few that will interest those who collect the finest antiquarian books, but time constraints will hold us to describing just a few. There are many more like these, though those not sold have undoubtedly made their way back to France, where you may reach proprietors Bernard and Stephane Clavreuil.

Item 38 is a very early look at human anatomy: Anatomia Emendata per doctorem Mellerstadt, by Raimondo Mundinis (Mondino). This is a first illustrated edition from 1493, and the first anatomy published anywhere outside of Italy (it is from Leipzig, Germany). There were five editions, all extremely rare and essentially unobtainable, published earlier in Italy. However, the work itself is older still, it having been completed long before printing in 1316. This is the first modern work devoted entirely to anatomy. Mondino had re-introduced human dissection, abandoned for some 1,500 years at the time. He describes the various internal organs, and if his descriptions are a bit confusing, this was a widely admired work and remained in print until the middle of the 16th century, when it was surpassed by Vesalius' anatomy. Priced at $45,000.

Item 12 is a book that revealed the answer to one of the great mysteries of the age of exploration. La Perouse was one of the greatest French explorers. In 1785, he set out on a great expedition. His ships traveled around South America, then to Hawaii, and back to the Pacific coast and California and Alaska. There they picked up furs which they traded in Macau. Then it was over to Japan and Russia, where La Perouse sent Barthelemy de Lesseps back on a harrowing, year-long overland journey to Paris with his latest update. Next, La Perouse headed south, by Samoa, and eventually to Botany Bay in Australia. He had a cordial meeting there with the British, and next headed west. La Perouse and his ships were never seen again. It was a great mystery, and the French set out ships to find him. It was no use. No trace of La Perouse could be found. It was a mystery for 40 years, when one day, trader Peter Dillon was shown some European goods on the distant Santa Cruz Islands. Dillon believed these must be relics from the La Perouse expedition, and traveled to Vanikoro where they were found. He learned that the ships had been wrecked on the reefs during a storm, and that the crew had built a boat from the wreckage and sailed away, except for two crewmen who stayed behind, but were no longer around when Dillon arrived. Dillon brought some of the artifacts to de Lesseps, the sole remaining survivor, who identified them as from La Perouse's mission. Item 12 is a presentation copy from Dillon of the first French edition of his report, Voyage aux Iles de la mer Sud en 1827 et 1828 et relation de la decouverte du sort La Perouse, published in 1830. $6,500.

We all owe a debt of gratitude, though it may be given grudgingly, to Pierre Fauchard, as he has been called the "father of dentistry." He wrote a pioneering work on the field in 1728, and one can only imagine what a trip to the dentist must have been like then. His book is entitled Le chirurgien dentiste, ou traite des dents. It would only take another two centuries for novocaine to be invented. Item 19. $9,500.

Item 53 is the earliest printed book with technical illustrations. The title is De Re Militari, and offered is a first edition from 1472. Author Robertus Valturius created a treatise on the art of war, while including 92 woodcuts that showed military equipment, such as ladders for sieges, paddle-wheels, pontoons, and such (the latest in 15th century weaponry). These were not merely decorative illustrations, but technical drawings meant to provide practical guidance. The actual artist remains unknown, though some likely names have been suggested. $650,000.

Item 43 is A view of Sir Isaac Newton's philosophy, by one well-qualified to write on the subject. Henry Pemberton was a friend of Newton's physician who knew the great scientist. In his preface, Pemberton writes about his personal recollections of Newton, particularly in the latter's old age. The book also includes a poem about Newton by 16-year-old Richard Glover. $1,800.

Librairie Thomas-Scheler may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@thomas-scheler.fr.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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