• <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters, signed to his family, 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Allen Ginsberg, 11 autograph manuscripts, including 10 drafts of poems & a page of notes, circa 1948. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Joan Miró, illustrated autograph note signed to MoMA Director of Exhibitions & Publications, 1959. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Carl Gustav Jung, typed letter signed to a colleague, 1948. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Gustav Mahler, ALS, arranging a meeting during his historic visit to New York, circa 1908. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Mark Twain, ALS, explaining the target of his new book, 1902. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Charles Dickens, ALS, accepting an invitation in the voice of a <i>Martin Chuzzlewit</i> character, 1843. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Jacob Lawrence, illustrated greeting card signed, 1960. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Robert E. Lee, ALS, to the colonel of the Kanawha Valley volunteers, boosting morale, 1861. $15,000 to $25,000
  • <b>Bonhams: Sale Results from <i>Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I.</i> September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. Sold for $97,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. Sold for $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. Sold for $87,50
    <b>Bonhams: Sale Results from <i>Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I.</i> September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. Sold for $8,750
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. Sold for $37,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. Sold for $6,875
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. Sold for $3,750
  • <center><b> The Library of Pierre Bergé<br>Auction Pierre Bergé & Associés<br>in association with Sotheby’s<br>Paris-Hôtel Drout<br>December 14, 2018<br><br>New York Exhibition<br>Oct. 16 to Oct. 20</b>
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> BARTHOLOMEUS ANGLICUS. <i>Le Proprietaire des choses.</i> Lyon, [circa 1484]. 150 000 / 200 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> MONTAIGNE, Michel de. <i>Essais.</i> Bordeaux, 1580. 400 000 / 500 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> PROUST, Marcel. <i>Du côté de chez Swann.</i> Paris, 1914 [1913]. 600 000 / 800 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> MONSTRELET, Enguerrand de. <i>Le Premier [-Tiers] Volume des Cronicques.</i> Paris, circa 1503.<br>300 000 / 400 000 €
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2018 Issue

Paris Will be Paris, Update 18.01

640c3e40-87a5-4019-a7c9-416d069ee5bb

Before Mercier’s LeTableau de Paris (Neuchatel, 1780), books about Paris were mostly catalogues of monuments and compilations of historical anecdotes or satirical writings. Mercier, focusing on the details of everyday life, penetrated the heart of Man, and drew a moving portrait of his contemporaries. He inspired many, including Jean-Baptiste Pujoulx (1762-1821), who published Paris à la Fin du XVIIIe Siècle (Paris), some twenty years later. In between broke the French Révolution (1789). Thus, Pujoulx’s book appears to be an update to Mercier’s.

 

Second First Edition

 

This in-8° volume was apparently printed for the first time in 1800—Year IX of the Republican, or revolutionary calendar established in 1792, and abandoned in 1806. In fact, although mentioned in Feller’s Dictionary... (Lyon, 1823), this first edition is nowhere to be found on the Internet, unlike the so-called second one, published in 1801, chez Brigite Mathé, Libraire, Palais du Tribunat, sous les colonnades du Passage Radziwill—An IX, 1801. Regarding the latter, the French expert Benoît Forgeot wrote in a catalogue of a Pierre Bergé’s sale in 2011: “Second edition, published the same year than the first one.” Yet, could this 1801 edition be the very first one? A second edition did come out in 1801, indeed—but at La Librairie Economique...(Paris), Year IX—1801. The title page of this edition also bears the mention “SECOND EDITION”. Then the forewords state: “There are two ways the author of a book can judge of its success; the opinions of the reviewers and the promptness of the sales. This edition is the proof that the first one sold very quickly.” Could it refer to a first Libraire Economique’s edition? This was nowhere to be found either. The confusion could come from the Republican calendar—according to it, Year IX went from September 1800 to September 1801. To make it even more complicated, in La France Littéraire (Paris, 1835), J.M Quérard lists two editions: 1) Paris, Brig(ite). Mathé, 1800, in-8 of 390 pages, 3 fr. 50c. 2) Seconde edition. Paris, Librairie Economique, 1801. Yet, all the Brigite Mathé’s copies I have come across (Year IX—1801) feature 388 pages only! Was Quérard counting the half-title page? Or did he make a mistake?

 

Brigite Mathé or Mathey

 

The “Year IX—1801” edition was published by Brigite Mathé. You won’t find much about her either, until you correct the spelling of her name in Mathey. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) states that she became a librarian in 1791, aged 22, and that she also had a “reading salon.” “The bookshop and the salon,” the BNF states, “were funded by the printer-librarian and journalist Antoine-Joseph Gorsas (1751-1793)—Mrs. Mathey used to be his servant.” They were actually lovers—Gorsas was a married man—, and when the revolutionary government put a price on Gorsas’ head following his implication in politics, he naturally sought refuge with her. “Not only was he careless enough to go to a mistress of his,” the Biographie Nouvelle des Contemporains... (Paris, 1822) reads, “but he also showed up in the middle of the assistance of her salon.” Consequently, he was arrested and “guillotiné” (beheaded) on October 7, 1793. Brigite Mathey later worked with Gorsas’ widow—until they fell out with each other—, and then she directed the Gazette de Paris (around 1797) and took care of the subscriptions of La Toilette. She retired in August 1824, selling her licence to Augustin Vattebault.

 

Update 18.01

 

The period following the Révolution was a bloody and confused one. Paris became the theatre of massacres, political revolutions, and Mercier’s portraits were now vague souvenirs from another world—and his Nouveau Paris/New Paris (Brunswik, 1800) was not as good as the “old” one. All these dramatic events made Pujoulx a prudent man. In his preface, he makes sure that his observations are “of a man of letters, who remained sort of independent during this long period of time, when all excesses, errors and crimes degraded humanity.” Consequently, his book shows that, beyond politics, and as Napoléon Bonaparte was reigning, Paris was still Paris.

 

Drawers of Water 18.01

 

The drawers of water, described by Mercier 20 years earlier were now enjoying a far better condition: “Sliding on the pavement with their hooves, they used to break their necks; and had to walk 8 miles a day to earn 30 pieces. Nowadays, they have their small horse-drawn carts, upon which they put their barrel—the barrel is nicely painted, the horse well harnessed (...). Thus, their job is less difficult and more lucrative.” The four or five ice cream vendors who used to control the lemonade business were now replaced by dozens of Italians, and the coaches, described by Mercier as filthy—some even used them as a last resort to relieve their stomachs—, were now so clean that they stood the comparison with the best private coaches; except, Pujoulx notes, for the insolence of their drivers—some things never change, and taxi drivers in Paris are still rude today.

 

 

Voltaire 18.01

 

Great writers such as Voltaire or Rousseau had a crucial influence on society, especially during the Révolution—yet, in the street, they were far less popular than secondary, and sometimes anonymous authors, whose works were even rented by the hour on the sidewalk—Mercier says that some of these books had to be split in several parts in order to satisfy the demand! The dramatic events of 1789 gave birth to a multitude of writings—but Pujoulx wasn’t impressed: “Have a look at the thousands of brochures that have been published over the past twelve years, if you dare,” he says. “What do you learn? Nothing, or almost.” People in 1801 were reading a lot, especially novels “full of haunted castles, dark forests, ugly caves and dreadful tunnels.” He means Gothic novels—books of little value, according to him, in both senses of the word. “A penny only! Two pennies!, is what you can hear the most on the boulevard Montmartre and the Quai du Louvre; and what does the vendor sell, according to you? Small cakes? No, books!” The police of books was no more, yet nobody was pouncing on Voltaire’s fiery writings, except for the vendors—“for the past six months, (...) all the vendors of my community have been wrapping their merchandise in leaves taken from the Letters of Voltaire, nice fonts and paper.” If you think that the 2008 crisis was a blow to book business, then think again: “Should the collection of the Duke de la Vallière, that was sold for almost a million Francs 15 years or so ago, be sold today, it wouldn’t bring more than 50,000 Francs; and most of it would end up on the “one penny” pile.” Pujoulx adds: “Let’s be honest, a few books like dictionaries, treatises of geography, or travel books are still selling—at a very low price.

 

Rousseau 18.01

 

One of the most interesting parts of Pujoulx’ book regards education, which he calls “the base of happiness”—a notion that is still at the heart of French society today. Rousseau did a lot for children before 1789, especially with his book Emile ou De L’Education (La Haye, 1762); but his method, Pujloux thought, was too demanding, unrealistic, and discouraged many people of good will. He had his own views. First, he wanted to free young children, who were tightly wrapped in nappies. “We all agree that this horrible habit of suffocating our children (...) is the cause of all their deformities and diseases, because of the ill-circulation of blood or the compression of the lungs that it implies.” It is true that a lot of engravings from the 18th century show children wrapped like eggrolls. “Most of these children cry and shout when being wrapped; those who do not are probably even more miserable, since they are used to a suffering that they endure with resignation; most of them cry and throw up during this daily torture.” Pujoulx calls it “physical slavery”, and then he goes on: “Here is what I advocate: you bind your children, set them free! You treat them like exotic plants, treat them like acclimated beings; you beat them, caress them instead; you flatter their pride, you’d better teach them their mutual dependency, and teach them love for their likes.” Update 20.18?

 

Pujoulx’s book is very entertaining and full of interesting facts about Paris and his contemporaries. Yet, it doesn’t stand the final comparison, and gently joins the dozens of other books on the “not-as-good-as-Mercier’s Tableau de Paris” pile. Paris will be Paris... and Mercier will be Mercier.

 

 

Thibault Ehrengardt

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. October 31, 2018</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> SHACKLETON, Ernest Henry, Sir. <i>Aurora Australis. Printed at the Winter Quarters of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907, During the Winter Months of April, May, June, July, 1908.</i> $60,000 to $80,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> HUMBOLDT, Alexander von, and Aime J. A. BONPLAND. <i>Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique.</i> Paris, 1810. $30,000 to $40,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> COOK, James, Captain. [Collected Voyages]. London: Strahan and Cadell, 1773, 1777, 1784. First editions of the second and third voyages. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. October 31, 2018</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> DARWIN, Charles. <i>A Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the years 1826 and 1836.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> SPILBERGEN, Joris van (1568-1620). <i>Speculum orientalis occidentalisque Indiae navigationum.</i> Leiden: Nicolaus van Geelkercken, 1619. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> DRAKE, Francis, Sir. <i>Sir Francis Drake Revived. Who is or may be a Pattern to stirre up all Heroicke and active Spirits of these Times…</i> London, 1653 [i.e. 1652]. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. October 31, 2018</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> SHACKLETON, Ernest Henry, Sir, Louis C. BERNACCHI, and Apsley George Benet CHERRY-GARRARD, editors. The South Polar Times. London, 1907-1914. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> ANSON, George. <i>A Voyage round the World, In the Years 1740...</i> 1744. London: John and Paul Knapton for the author, 1748. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> HERRERA Y TORDESILLAS, Antonio de. <i>Description des Indes Occidentales, Qu'on appelle aujourdhuy Le Nouveau Monde...</i> Amsterdam: Michel Colin, 1622. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. October 31, 2018</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> NOORT, Olivier van. <i>Description du Penible Voyage fait entour de l'univers ou globe terrestre...</i> Amsterdam: Cornille Nicolas, 1610. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> LEO AFRICANUS, Johannes. <i>A Geographical Historie of Africa, Written in Arabicke and Italian.</i> London: George Bishop, 1600. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> SCHOUTEN, Willem Corneliszoon. <i>Journal ou Description du Merveilleux Voyage de Guillaume Schouten, Hollandois natif de Hoorn, fait es années 1615, 1616, & 1617.</i> 1619. $4,000 to $6,000
  • <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Aegidius Sadeler (Flemish, 1570-1629), engraving on laid paper "Madonna and Child in a Landscape", after a drawing by Albrecht Durer. $800 to $1,200
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), drypoint etching on paper "On Hemso Island", 1917, pencil signed. $400 to $600
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Joseph Pennell (American, 1860-1926), etching on paper "Setting Up Columns", pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> William Lee Hankey (British, 1869-1952), drypoint etching on paper "Affection", pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> William Walcot (English, 1874-1943), drypoint etching on paper "Lower Broadway, New York", 1924, pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Auguste Brouet (French, 1872-1941), color etching "La Pirouette", pencil signed, ed 111/250. $400 to $600
    <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975), lithograph on paper "The Boy", pencil signed. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> John Stockton de Martelly (American, 1903-1979), lithograph on paper "Looking at the Sunshine", pencil signed, original AAA certificate. $400 to $600
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Jacques Hnizdovsky (Ukrainian-American, 1915-1985), woodcut on paper "Moppet", pencil signed and dated 1965, ed 118/250. $400 to $600

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions