Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2010 Issue

From The Seattle Fair by Kevin F. Kelly, Bookseller

Kellyseattle2009

Kevin F. Kelly at the Seattle Book Fair.


By Michael Stillman

Kevin F. Kelly, Bookseller, issued a recent catalogue for The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair and Book Arts Show. What he brought to the show was a varied lot. You can find anything from ancient children's fables to tales of mutiny and piracy. His booth must have been an enticing place, but since the show is now over, we will have to look at the catalogue instead. Here are a few of the books and ephemera it describes.

Item 65 is Liber chronicarum, what is more commonly known as the Nuremberg Chronicle. This was a massive 15th century undertaking by physician Hartmann Schedel. It is an account of the history of the world, from creation through its year of publication, 1493. Even more notable than its extensive text are the voluminous number of illustrations, 1,809 woodblocks in all. They were created by Michael Wohlgemuth and Wilhelm Pleydenwurif, though some undoubtedly were designed by Albrecht Durer, who was an apprentice to Wohlgemuth at the time. The illustrations include kings and bishops, along with biblical and historic scenes, and numerous city views (sometimes repeated for different towns). It also contains an important world and European map. The world map depicts the world as it was known when Columbus set sail. A note in the Latin edition may imply that Martin Behaim of Nuremberg and James Canus of Portugal had discovered the New World a decade earlier, but if this is the implication, it was likely an attempt to discredit Columbus rather than an accurate portrayal of their African journey. Offered is a copy of the first issue, first edition, from July 12, 1493, published in Latin (a German edition was published later that year). Priced at $98,000.

Item 8 is an item fit for a queen: Romances mises en musique par S.M.L.R.H. (Her Royal Majesty Queen of Holland). Hortense de Beauharnais was born in 1783, the unwanted daughter of a military man who soon divorced her mother and was executed during the French Revolution. She seemed destined for an obscure life, but all of that changed when her mother, Josephine, remarried a little French guy named Napoleon. There was a man Hortense loved, but when her step-father became Emperor, diplomacy forced her in a different direction. It was determined that she should marry the childless Napoleon's brother, Louis Bonaparte, thereby creating the opportunity for issue with the bloodlines of both Napoleon and his wife. Napoleon set up his brother as King of Holland, making Hortense the Queen. She was miserable, having no love for her husband, a feeling that was reciprocated. So she amused herself with other activities, from having a lover to writing this book of romantic musical poems. The copy offered belonged to the Queen herself. Circa 1810. $19,500.

Item 50 is an 1803 letter from President Thomas Jefferson to Maryland Congressman Joseph Nicholson. The topic is the war with the Barbary pirates, a subject that tore at Jefferson's thinking. The United States had paid the leaders of the North African, Barbary states tribute to stop them from pirating American vessels in the Mediterranean. It was a practical policy, but one that Jefferson could not stomach on principle. So, he sent American naval vessels to battle the pirates. However, Jefferson did not like a standing military, believing in local militias that could be called up in time of crisis. Jefferson reassures Nicholson that the conflict was limited and the U.S. would soon be able to reduce its presence in the Mediterranean. The President proved to be wrong, as the Barbary leaders upped the level of conflict and it took several more years for the U.S. to subdue the pirates. $50,000.

Of course, America had her pirates too, but they served a more noble cause. Item 18 is the History of the American Privateers, and Letters-of-Marque, during our War with England in the years 1812, '13, and '14. This is an 1856 book by George Coggeshall. Unlike the British, America had no real navy during the War of 1812, so the nation turned to private ships, enabling them to operate like pirates against British shipping interests. $750.

Kevin F. Kelly, Bookseller, may be reached at 646-895-9858 or books@kevinkellybookseller.com. The website is www.kevinkellybookseller.com.

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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