• <b>ALDE, Apr. 18:</b> CASAS (BARTOLOMÉ DE LAS). <i>La Découverte des Indes occidentales par les Espagnols,</i> Paris, 1697. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b>ALDE, Apr. 18:</b> GARCILASO DE LA VEGA. <i>Primera parte de los commentarios reales, que tratan del orígen de los Yncas…,</i> Lisbonne, 1609 [1608 au colophon]. €8,000 to €10,000.
    <b>ALDE, Apr. 18:</b> GARCILASO DE LA VEGA. <i>Histoire des Yncas rois du Pérou. On a joint à cette édition l'Histoire de la conquête de la Floride,</i> Amsterdam, 1737. €800 to €1,000.
    <b>ALDE, Apr. 18:</b> LAET (JOHANNES DE). <i>L'Histoire du nouveau monde, ou description des Indes occidentales,</i> Leyde, 1640. €8,000 to €10,000.
    <b>ALDE, Apr. 18:</b> LAFITAU (JOSEPH-FRANÇOIS). <i>Mœurs des sauvages amériquains, comparées aux mœurs des premiers temps,</i> Paris, 1724. €1,200 to €1,500.
    <b>ALDE, Apr. 18:</b> ORRIO (FRANCISCO XAVIER ALEXO DE). <i>Solución del gran problema acerca de la población de las Americas,</i> Mexico, 1763. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b>ALDE, Apr. 18:</b> [ROCHEFORT (CHARLES DE)]. <i>Histoire naturelle et morale des Îles Antilles de l'Amérique,</i> Amsterdam, 1716. €800 to €1,000.
    <b>ALDE, Apr. 18:</b> TURGOT (ANNE-ROBERT-JACQUES). <i>Mémoire sur les colonies américaines, sur leurs relations politiques avec leurs métropoles…,</i> Paris, 1791. €1,000 to €1,200.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Roman binding.- Pindar. <i>Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, Isthmia,</i> translated by Johannes Lonicer, contemporary Roman binding by Niccolo Franzese, Basel, 1535. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Raverat (Gwen). Comprehensive album of 530 wood engravings, circa 1909-1950. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Hemingway (Ernest). <i>Fiesta,</i> first English edition, first impression dust-jacket, 1927. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, first impression, 1953. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>Great Expectations,</i> 3 vol., first edition, first impression, Chapman and Hall, 1861. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Campbell (Colen) & others. <i>Vitruvius Britannicus, or The British Architect...,</i> 5 vol., vol.1-3 later editions, vol.4 & 5 first editions, [?1731]-31-67-71. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Geography.- Mela (Pomponius). <i>Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis,</i> Venice, Franciscus Renner de Heilbronn, 1478. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> America.- [?Espinosa y Tello (José)]. <i>Relacion del Viage hecho por las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana en el Año de 1792,</i> 2 vol. including Atlas, first edition, Madrid, 1802. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Australasia.- Péron (Francois) and Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet. <i>Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes,</i> 5 vol. including Atlas, second edition, Paris, 1824. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Botany.- Curtis (William). <i>The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed,</i> 83 vol. in 62, 1794-1956. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Darwin (Charles).- Lecky (W.E.H.) <i>The Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe,</i> 2 vol., Darwin's copy with inscription "Charles Darwin 1865", pencil marginalia and pencil notes, 1865. £7,000 to £10,000.
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>April 5<br>Printed Books, Maps, Atlases & Caricatures</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Speed (John). <i>The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine...</i> bound with <i>The Prospect of the most Famous parts of the World,</i> Thomas Bassett & Richard Chiswell, 1676. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> China. De Jode (Cornelis), <i>China Regnum,</i> Antwerp [1593]. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> World. Hondius (Henricus), <i>Nova totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula.</i> Auct: Henr. Hondio. Amsterdam, circa 1630. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>April 5<br>Printed Books, Maps, Atlases & Caricatures</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> World. Blaeu (Willem Janszoon), <i>Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula</i> auct: Guilelmo Blaeuw, Amsterdam [1635 - 58]. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Acosta (Emanuel). <i>Rerum a Societate Iesu in Oriente gestarum ad annum usque à Deipara Virgine…,</i> 1st edition, Dillingen: Sebald Mayer, 1571. £3,000 to £5,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Ruggieri (Francesco). <i>Scelta di Architetture Antiche e Moderne della Citta di Firenze…,</i> 4 volumes bound in two, Florence, Appresso l'Editore, 1755. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>April 5<br>Printed Books, Maps, Atlases & Caricatures</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Parry (William). <i>Journal of a Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage,</i> 6 vols in 5, 1st editions, 1821-27. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Hunter (John). <i>A Treatise on the Blood, Inflammation, and Gun-Shot Wounds,</i> 1st edition, 1794. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Furber (Robert). <i>The Flower-Garden Display'd, in above Four Hundred Curious Representations of the most Beautiful Flowers…,</i> 1st quarto edition, London, 1732. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>April 5<br>Printed Books, Maps, Atlases & Caricatures</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Friedman (Milton). <i>A Theory of the Consumption Function,</i> 1st edition, 1957. £500 to £800.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Clarkson (Thomas). <i>The history of the ... abolition of the African slave-trade,</i> 2 vols., 1808. £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Apr. 5:</b> Civil War Pamphlets. A sammelband of 19 pamphlets relating to events of the English Civil War, 1640-1661. £2,000 to £3,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2023 Issue

A Collector Left a 70,000 Book Collection with No Instructions on How to Proceed

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The attic of Bruno Schroder's Library/Home (Daniel Winkelkoote image).

It is not the largest book collection ever amassed by a private owner. It does not equal the 100,000 book and manuscript collection of 19th century obsessive Thomas Phillipps. Nor, obviously, does it match the 300,000 books amassed by the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. There is no need to compare it with those of the two individuals who have claimed the largest collections, John Q. Benham of Avoca, Indiana, and Anke Gowda of India. They both estimate (at this level you can only estimate) collections of 1.5 million books. Bruno Schroder's collection of 70,000 books may not be the largest, but there haven't been too many larger private ones either.

 

Bruno Schroder was a mining engineer in the small German town of Mettingen. He spent much of his working life underground. Above ground, it was spent with books. His wife's legally appointed caretaker described him as a very reserved man. Few people in his hometown knew anything about his book collection. Schroder's home is an inconspicuous one, perhaps even somewhat worn-looking from outside. Inside, it is a wonderland of books, amassed over his long lifetime, Schroder died last year at the age of 88.

 

One notable feature about Schroder is that he was no Phillipps, with books strewn in piles all over the house. Nor did he have the money of a Lagerfeld to have storage professionally built. Schroder was a handy man and built the bookshelves with his own hands. Virtually every room was filled with books. Add the cellar and the attic to that. As the photo shows, he even built shelves into the attic's sloped ceiling to house his books. His home was neat, despite all the books. You could describe it as a library, except no one but the librarian ever went there and he could not possibly have read more than a small fraction of the books.

 

Schroder bought most of his books from the local bookstore. The proprietor described him as his best customer. No surprise there. He might buy 10-20 books a week. The subjects were varied and they might be hard or soft cover. The only place he drew a line was with romance novels. He didn't like them. What motivated his collecting interests is unknown. He did not explain himself, not even to his bookseller. Whatever it was, it enabled him to build a very attractive library but not a valuable one. That clearly did not matter to him. He must have simply loved the look of his books.

 

When the time came for his wife to move to a retirement home, her doctor and caregiver tried to convince Schroder to join her. He declined. He wanted to stay with his books. That was where they found him one morning. A care team checking up on him found Schroder on the floor in the hallway of his house, his books watching over him.

 

What is to become of his collection? Like his motivation, that is unknown as of this writing. Unlike most aging collectors who struggle to decide what to do with their books, it must not have concerned him. Schroder left no instructions as to what he wished to be done. His wife is not able to direct the task. They had no children and apparently there are no close relatives. Her caretaker is managing the estate but finding a home for the books is not easy. She did get one dealer to make an offer of €7,000 (US $7,700), but the dealer backed out. No other offers have been forthcoming. Many of the books are essentially of no value and will simply have to be disposed of. She has even expressed a willingness to give them away to anyone who wants them, but so far there have been no takers. It is sad because if they were valuable there might be a library that would take them, even if only to cherry pick the best and turn the others over to a library sale. At least there would be something remaining of what Schroder devoted a large part of his life to collecting. Sadly, it looks like a lifetime of love and work will disappear in short order, leaving no trace of the man or his work.

 

Daniel Winkelkoote of WDR has created a short video of Schroder's magnificent library/collection. It is easily worth the 37 seconds it takes to tour his home. Click here.


Posted On: 2023-03-01 04:15
User Name: mairin111

Thank you for this news piece, Michael;
I didn't see the subject covered in the NY Times.
And special thanks for that video. For additional photos:
< https://bookstr.com/article/70k-books-found-in-hidden-library-in-this-germany-home/>
A sad story, really; let us know of any follow up.
- M.E. Mulvihill, Collector
___


Posted On: 2023-03-01 17:59
User Name: keeline

It would be interesting to know if the local bookstore was selling him used or new books. Also, how much duplication was present in the books? From the description, he could have been adding books because he liked the looks of them and not curating a collection of any kind. The photo with the books shelved on the sloped ceiling with strips of wood to hold them in place creates a puzzle of how he could get one out to read it without the others all falling down. Perhaps he saw the books as good insulation material with an aesthetic that he appreciated?

James


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript African Americana:<br>March 30, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Victor H. Green, <i>The Negro Motorist Green Book,</i> New York, 1949. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Papers of pianist-composer Lawrence Brown relating to Paul Robeson & more, various places, 1925-54. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Freedom Summer archive of civil rights activist Karen Haberman Trusty, Atlanta & elsewhere, 1963-64. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> New York, 1933. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Archive of letters from the sculptor Richmond Barthé to a close Jamaican friend, various places, 1966-85. $25,000 to $35,000.

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