Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2018 Issue

From Black Sea to China Sea from Shapero Rare Books

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From the Black Sea to the China Sea.

Shapero Rare Books has published a catalogue entitled, From Black Sea to China Sea. New Acquisitions in Asia 2018. That may be only a single continent, but this catalogue will take you from the edge of Europe to the Western Pacific. Shapero has divided the continent into five regions to make it easier to find what you want. They are: (1) Turkey, the Levant, Holy Land, and Arabia; (2) Central Asia; (3) Indian Subcontinent; (4) South-East Asia; and (5) China & Mongolia. If your collecting focus is east of Europe and west of America, you will surely find material of significant interest. These are a few selections.

 

The western end of Asia was the source of much our knowledge of the earliest modern societies. It was, after all, the "Cradle of Civilization." Heinrich Schliemann was an amateur archaeologist who devoted much of his time (and fortune) to making discoveries in the ancient world. Though a German, he made his fortune in Gold Rush California, and still more in Russia. With that, he headed to what he correctly identified as the location of ancient Troy. Schliemann believed that ancient Greek writings were based on historical fact, and his research helped to establish his point. While Schliemann's excavations were not conducted as carefully as one would want today for preservation, standards were not that well understood in the 1870s and 1880s. Item 31 is an account of his excavations in Troy in 1862, Troja. Results of the Latest Researches and Discoveries on the Site of Homer's Troy and in the Heroic Tumuli and other Sites, made in the Year 1882. It was published in that same year. Priced at £850 (British pounds, or approximately $1,177 in U.S. dollars).

 

Paulo Emilio Botta was another 19th century researcher determined to unravel the ancient past. Botta was appointed French Consul to Mosul in 1842, an appointment he made the most of to search ancient sites in the area. He published his findings in 1849-50 in Monument de Ninive. Botta thought he found the ancient site of Nineveh. He didn't, but no matter. It was the palace of Sargon II, a magnificent structure built around 710 BC. Sargon was the leader of Assyria, who conquered Babylon and Israel, capturing both land and wealth. He died as he lived, in battle. Botta excavated a complex of rooms and discovered numerous carved and inscribed gypsum slabs, and colossal winged bulls with human heads that look like genetic engineering gone terribly awry. Some of these sculptures were shipped to the Louvre where they became very popular. Botta's book contains numerous plates of illustrations along with descriptions of the excavations. The book was highly costly, 2,000 francs, which put it out of reach of many other scholars. Item 45. £30,000 (US $41,559).

 

Joseph Dalton Hooker was one of Britain's most famous botanists, a contemporary, best friend, and supporter of Charles Darwin. Darwin asked Hooker to help prepare his botanical notes after his return from South America, and ran his conclusions past his friend as he developed his theory of evolution. Hooker was one of the first to know, and first to defend Darwin's theory once it was made public. Hooker undertook several expeditions himself to study plants. In this case, he climbed high in the Himalayas gathering specimens. If that sounds cold, Hooker was prepared, having earlier done the same on Ross' Antarctic expedition. He spent 1848-50 in the Himalayas, climbing to 19,000-20,000 feet. At the time, it was the highest any European had climbed. Hooker's account is entitled Himalayan Journals, published in 1854. Item 83. £2,500 (US $3,463).

 

Next we have another man associated with cold climates, though he managed to stay away from them himself. The northernmost point in the United States, Point Barrow, Alaska, is named for him. Sir John Barrow spent most of the final four decades of his life in the Admiralty, and as such, he promoted British exploration of the Arctic. He later wrote about these explorations. However, this is an account of an earlier voyage, to a much warmer place, one in which he was a participant. Item 98 is A Voyage to Cochinchina, in the Years 1792 and 1793. Cochinchina is now the southern part of Vietnam. Barrow accompanied a mission to the Emperor of China as an interpreter, but the voyage made several stops along the way, including Madeira, Rio, and Batavia. Barrow provides an account of the voyage, along with much information on Cochinchina taken from a manuscript by French naval officer Captain Barissy. £2,750 (US $3,810).

 

This is the rare and beautiful A Panoramic View of the Holy City of Benares. Benares, more often known as Varanasi, is the holiest of cities to Hindus. It is also one of the oldest cities. Located in India, it is a site of pilgrimages, with many believing that those who die there will be freed from the unending cycle of birth and rebirth. This panorama by John Dalrymple was printed and published in Calcutta in 1827. When opened, it measures 9 ½" x 126". £22,500 (US $31,171).

 

Shapero Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)20 7493 0876 or rarebooks@shapero.com. Their website is www.shapero.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Koller Auctions: Books & Autographs. March 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Jacques Gamelin. <i>Nouveau recueil d'osteologie et de myologie, dessine d'apres nature...</i> 2 parts in 1 vol., large folio, 82 copper plates. CHF 12,000 to 18,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Melchior Pfintzing. <i>Die geverlicheiten und einsteils geschichten des loblichen streytparen...</i> 118 woodcut engravings, first edition. CHF 30,000 to 50,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Book of hours. Handwritten Latin text on vellum. With 17 large miniatures, Flanders, c.1460. CHF 70,000 to 90,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Maria Sibylla Merian. <i> Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium,</i> 72 copper plates, Den Haag, 1726. CHF 60,000 to 90,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Princess Diana, group of 6 ALS to the editor of British Vogue, 1989-92. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing with news after pledging support to King George III against the American rebels, 1776. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Ulysses S. Grant, photograph dated & signed as President, portrait by Brady, 1875. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Alexander Graham Bell, ALS, accepting an invitation to tea during his only trip to Japan, 1898. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Nikola Tesla, signature & date on his monogrammed correspondence card, 1935. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Richard Wagner, ALS, concerning his opera Rienzi, 1869. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, autograph note signed, requesting the address of Yvette Guilbert, 1895. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Claude Monet, ALS, to painter Harry Lachman, complaining that his vision has not improved, 1920s. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Friedrich Hölderlin, autograph manuscript, unsigned, 7 lines quoting Michael Denis's <i>Ossians und Sineds Lieder.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Guestbook for Lüchow's restaurant, over 400 signatures, including W.H. Auden, Grace Kelly & drawings by Charles Addams, NYC, 1950-56. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> George Washington, lottery ticket, signed, 1768. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Vaslav Nijinsky, postcard dated & signed, showing a drawing of him in <i>Schéhérazade,</i> 1916. $2,500 to $3,500.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Greco (Gioachino). <i>Primo modo del gioco de Partito…</i> Manuscript, France, 1624 or 1625. A collection of partiti, or 'chess problems' by one of the most important figures in the history of chess. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Herodotus. <i>Historiae,</i> translated into Latin by Lorenzo Valla and edited by Antonio Mancinelli. Venice, 1494. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Darwin (Charles). Autograph Letter signed to his cousin Reginald Darwin, Down, Beckenham, Kent, 27th March 1879. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Nicolay (Nicolas de). <i>The Navigations, peregrinations and voyages, made into Turkie,</i> first edition in English, Imprinted at London by Thomas Dawson, 1585. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Saint-Exupéry (Antoine de). <i>The Little Prince,</i> number 66 of 525 copies signed by the author, 1943. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Catlin (George, 1796-1872). Tuch-ee, A Celebrated War Chief of the Cherokees, watercolour, [circa 1834]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Genetics.- A collection of c.300 pamphlets on genetics comprising many of the major contributions from the first half of the 20th century. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> India.- Rajasthan.- Kota School (probably late 18th c.). Elephant in a landscape with chains around his feet, brush and black ink with opaque pigments. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Commelin (Caspar). <i>Horti medici Amstelaedamensis plantae rariores et exoticae,</i> first edition, 48 finely hand-coloured engraved plates, Leiden, F.Haringh, 1706. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Plague-water and cookery & medical recipes.- Jackson (Mrs Sarah). Medical and cookery recipes, manuscript in several hands, title and 134pp., 1688-1755. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Vernet (<i>After</i> Joseph, 1714-1789). <i>[Vues des ports de France],</i> sixteen plates (of 18), etchings and engravings by Charles Nicolas Cochin fils and Jacques Philippe Le Bas, [c.1760-1780]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Detmold (Edward Julius, 1883-1957). Parrots and Butterflies, watercolour. £2,500 to £3,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000

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