Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2017 Issue

The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries from Antiquates Ltd.

C682e88e-93f3-4fce-9e17-e60feb0082ac

The 16th and 17th centuries.

Antiquates Fine & Rare Books is offering a catalogue highlighting The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. This is seriously old stuff, mostly from England. The English were always fighting each other over something (along with fighting the rest of Europe – how did they manage it?). There are satires, political tracts, some plays, science, medicine, and lots of theology. I don't think they were that much more devout than we are today. Theology was often the means of skewering your opponents, or at least, deciding who it was you didn't like. This may not sound like the stuff of healthy living, but in the days before technology, there wasn't much to do but argue with your neighbor. The English were good at it. Here are a few items from this fascinating look at times 300-500 years ago.

 

If old folks complain about this generation not being sufficiently religious and moral, you can be sure their parents thought the same of them. Here is a work dating to 1667 which claimed religious values were already sinking fast: The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety. The writer was Richard Allestree. He had been chaplain to the king and held various high university positions by this time. He was not some sort of fanatic, but a man highly respected and moderate in his views for his time. Still, the decay he was witnessing would likely be seen as quaint today, even by our older generations. Item 2. Priced at £950 (British pounds, or about $1,188 U.S. dollars).

 

Andrew Marvell was a writer, poet, politician, and generally incorruptible man of strong opinions. He was also a great friend of John Milton and may have saved the anti-monarchical poet's life after the Restoration. Marvell served in Parliament at various times through the Restoration until his death in 1678, so he knew his colleagues well. He was not impressed. Item 80 is Flagellum Parliamentarium: Being Sarcastic Notices of Nearly Two Hundred Members of the First Parliament After the Restoration. A.D. 1661 to A.D. 1678. This edition was published in 1827, and contains a different (and more inflammatory) title than the 1677 original, which was published anonymously and in Amsterdam. It describes the character and motives of 178 MP's. For example, Sir Gilbert Talbot is described as, "The King's Jeweller; a great cheat at bowls and cards, not born to a shilling." £100 (US $125).

 

Speaking of John Milton, item 83 is a first edition of his Epistolarum Familiarium, published in 1674, the year he died. The title translates to "familiar letters." It is a collection of 31 letters he wrote between 1625 and 1666. Along with being a renown poet, Milton was a strong republican in terms of political beliefs. He went into hiding after the Restoration and was briefly imprisoned despite a general pardon. It was then that influential friends such as Marvell saved him. £350 (US $437).

 

Here is another satire: Triumphs of Rome over Despised Protestancy. The title itself is satirical. Author and Bishop George Hall despised Catholicism, not Protestantism. This was a time of division between conformists and nonconformists, so this allowed Hall to ridicule those whom both sides despised. Among the targets of Hall are the Church's lists of prohibited books and the Inquisition. This first edition was published in 1667. In 1668, Hall died when he was stabbed by a knife in his pocket after he fell from a terrace in the rectory garden. Item 54. £250 (US $312).

 

Here is a fun book: The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying. In which are described the means and instruments of preparing our selves, and others respectively, for a blessed death... by Jeremy Taylor, published in 1651. Not only must we live right, we need to die right too. The book is designed to prepare the Christian for a blessed death. It was intended to be a tribute to the Countess of Carbery, wife of his patron, but she died before it was completed (hopefully in a holy manner). Instead, the book was dedicated to the Earl of Carbery himself. Taylor added a note concerning his own wife who also died prior to publication. This is all way too sad. Item 109. £125 (US $156).

 

If your recognizing someone's death, holy or otherwise, this book will come in handy. Item 45 is Threnoikos. The House of Mourning; Furnished with Directions for Preparations to Meditations of Consolation at the Houre of Death. Daniel Featley provides some sermons preached at funerals for "divers faithfull servants of Christ." It was published in 1640, and presumably the sermons could be recycled for use today for those who are faithful Christians. £350 (US $437).

 

There are lots of men who will defend women's rights today, but not so many in 1683. I'm not sure there were any besides James Norris, author of Haec & Hic; or, the Feminine Gender More Worthy than the Masculine, Being a Vindication of that Ingenious and Innocent Sex from the Biting Sarcasms, Bitter Satyrs, and Opprobrious Calumnies, Wherewith They are Daily, Tho Undeservedly; Aspers'd by the Virulent Tongues and Pens of Malevolent Men. That title says it all. As for "haec" and "hic," those are the feminine and masculine Latin words for "this." Published in 1683. Item 87. £3,500 (US $4,377).

 

In the 17th century, thought was very much scattered and divided as to what causes tides. Thomas Philipot tried to unravel this mystery in A Phylosophical Essay, Treating of the Most Probable Cause of that Grand Mystery of Nature, the Flux & Reflux: or, the Flowing and Ebbing of the Sea, published in 1673. Philipot describes ten theories, which he is able to reject. Some were far-fetched, such as the guidance of an angel, giant earthly lungs, subterranean fires, huge whirlpools, electric like forces, and the movement of the earth. He rejected all of those, along with Kepler's theory that it was caused by the pull of the moon's gravity. Philipot can be forgiven for rejecting that theory as Galileo rejected it too, believing it was a sloshing motion from the earth's spinning. Instead, Philipot attributes it to some sort of salts or spirits in the sea, combined with atmospheric pressure and impressions from the sun and moon. Newton would clear this one up a few years later. This pamphlet is offered within a sammelband of eleven other works. Item 94. £1,250 (US $1,563).

 

Antiquates Fine and Rare Books may be reached at (+44) 01929 556 656 or sales@antiquates.co.uk. Their website is found at www.antiquates.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions