Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2009 Issue

Books Exhibited in New York by Librairie Thomas-Scheler

Librairie Thomas-Scheler exhibited at the recent New York Book Fair.


By Michael Stillman

Librairie Thomas-Scheler printed a List of the Books Exhibited at the New York Antiquarian Bookfair. The French bookseller made the long journey to New York last month bringing along some very special and valuable books for display. For those not able to attend, here are a few of the books that made the journey.

Visitors from France would have seen a very different America had they come here in 1835 instead of 2009. Of course that is no longer possible, but a look at that more rural and primitive America can still be found in American Scenery or Land, Lake and River illustrations of Transatlantic Nature. This two-volume set by William Henry Bartlett and Nataniel Willis was published in 1839-1840. Bartlett was a British artist and engraver who traveled to America in 1835 and began drawing the local sights. There are three from the city of New York, a couple of Boston, the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario, the Hudson River and Hudson valley, and six from Niagara Falls and vicinity. While the cities would be barely recognizable, the Falls, excepting the shoreline, would not have changed that much since Bartlett's day. Altogether, there are 119 plates, colored by a contemporary hand, one map, and text provided by Mr. Willis. Item 6. Priced at $10,000.

Of course, the America Bartlett saw was highly civilized and modern compared to the America visited by Francis Drake. Drake did not see a lot of North America. His primary mission was to harass Spanish shipping, or to put it more bluntly, plunder the treasures they found. However, after running the coasts of South America, Drake rested in a still unknown bay north of New Spain, which would put it in today's United States, most likely somewhere in California. He returned to Britain in 1580, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Item 12 is Le Voyage de l'Illustre seigneur et chavalier francois Drach... a 1613 French translation of an account put together by Hakluyt in 1589. $28,000.

Even before Drake visited California, the French were attempting to set up a colony in Florida. Ultimately it failed, for various reasons, but the account is one of the most important works of very early Americana. Rene Laudonniere was commissioned by Charles IX to build a Huguenot settlement in Florida in 1564. Along with skilled workmen, he carried a group of young gentleman who paid their own way to come along. They established friendly relations with the natives and built a fort (Fort Caroline along the banks of the River Mai, now St. John's River). However, the group was not well suited for living in the wilderness. The young gentlemen rebelled at the type of work demanded. Some settlers stole the boats and left. Then, the natives decided to stop providing the settlers with provisions, threatening them with famine. A French ship arrived and informed Laudonniere that France believed he had been disloyal and stripped him of his governorship of Florida. He decided it was time to return home to defend himself, but then the Spanish arrived and proceeded to slaughter every settler unable to escape to the woods and hide. Laudonniere eventually made his way back to France, where he was coldly received, spending the remainder of his life in retirement. His account of this pioneering North American settlement, long before Plymouth and Jamestown, is titled L'Histoire notable de la Floride... and was published in 1586. Item 19. $150,000.

The novel Giphantie, by Charles-Francois Tiphaigne de la Roche, is noted for its uncanny prediction of photography. A utopian novel published in 1760, long before even the vaguest of direct images were created, it speaks of a process whereby images strike a surface like a mirror, but instead of being reflected, they are captured. Light strikes a special type of treated canvas, which retains the image. "This impression of the image is instantaneous. The canvas is then removed and deposited in a dark place. An hour later the impression is dry, and you have a picture the more precious in that no art can imitate its truthfulness." Item 29. $2,800.

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
  • 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
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LEBEDEV (VLADIMIR). Russian Placards - Placard Russe 1917-1922. Saint-Petersbourg, Sterletz, 1923. €1,000 to €1,200.
    ALDE, May 28: MARDRUS (JOSEPH-CHARLES). Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris, F.-L. Schmied, 1927. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: TABLEAUX DE PARIS. Paris, Émile-Paul Frères, 1927. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MAGNAN (JEAN-MARIE). Taureaux. Paris, Michèle Trinckvel, 1965. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.

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