Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2018 Issue

A Fair List from Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts

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A fair catalogue.

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts printed a listing of books for the recent New York Antiquarian Book Fair. This is not one of the spectacular catalogues for which they are known, but listings with brief descriptions. It is most appropriate for use by those attending the fair, who don't need illustrations as they can look at the books themselves. Nevertheless, illustrated listings or not, the books are the same, and this is an exciting collection of mostly very old works. They are easily worth a look.

 

Baroness Bettina von Hutten wrote a lot of romantic books early in the twentieth century They are not all that well remembered, but she was a noted and scandalous personality in her day. Despite that name, she was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, to a family that included a couple of American diplomats and the President of the Erie Railroad. Her father took her on sojourns to Europe, and on one of those, she met the Baron. They married in 1897, divorced in 1909. According to a newspaper report at the time of their split, the tall, beautiful "Pam," as she was known, "sings, paints, writes and is an accomplished musician." The Baron was a "plain, thrifty, matter-of-fact German." This was not a marriage made in heaven. Even she said he was nice, too nice a person for her. For the last seven years of their marriage, they spent only three months together. However, the article touchingly notes, "the Baron and she have always exchanged telegrams on anniversaries." Unfortunately, she was exchanging her affections with a tenor. She got no alimony and he was granted custody of the children. Thanks to her books, she had her own income. Item 12 is Our Lady of the Beeches, a 1907 edition noted more for its binding than its content. It was prepared by Cedric Chivers of Bath, England. It is vellucent (transparent vellum) covering a painting of a grove of trees with a sundial in the foreground. It is highlighted with mother-of-pearl inlays. Priced at $2,750.

 

Here is another work more notable for its press work and binding than content. That is not to say there is anything textually wrong with Robert Browning's Dramatic Romances and Lyrics, from 1899. It's just that the notable English poet had departed this world ten years prior to the publication of this edition, so it doesn't have much priority. What it does have are decorative borders and woodcut initials by Charles Ricketts, a notable artist, book designer, printer, typographer, and operator of the Vale Press. The binding comes from the Guild of Women Binders, in this case, Willa St. George Moore, who was a student of Annie MacDonald. The Guild was formed in 1898 by an English bookseller to promote the work of women binders. It only lasted for six years, but it served as a training ground for women entering the field and for showing their skills. Moore has used an ornate curling frame wrapping around the covers, with an image of a cavalier on the front cover, a Puritan on the back. Item 16. $4,500.

 

Now, if you want to take the level of decoration up a notch, here is a spectacular book for you. Actually, it is a set of four volumes. It is a Catalogue of the Collection of Miniatures. The Property of J. Pierpont Morgan, published 1906-1908. It is worthy of the collection of one of the world's wealthiest men. Pirages notes, "An immense and breathtaking production that perfectly represents the beauty and high aesthetic standards of the collection it catalogues and, by extension, the almost unimaginable luxury of Morgan's Gilded Age." This is No. 3 of 20 copies on vellum, intended for private circulation only. Along with a magnificent binding, it features 23 miniatures painted on vellum, along with 398 plates of miniatures in Morgan's collection. This copy contains the bookplate of Lessing J. Rosenwald, one of the greatest book collectors of the twentieth century, who gave thousands of great books to the Library of Congress and even more prints to the National Gallery of Art. Item 26. $55,000.

 

Next we have a treatise on a dreaded disease you don't hear very much about these days. Item 57 is Erotomania, or a treatise discoursing of the essence, causes, symptomes, prognostocks and cure of love or erotique melancholy, by James Ferrand, published in 1640. "Erotomania" is defined as a delusional disorder where one believes that a person of higher social standing or celebrity status is in love with them. We do hear of such people these days, though I was not previously aware of the term. Ferrand provides some treatments for the condition. $9,500.

 

John Rainolds had a sterling reputation in the academic and theological fields, but he probably wasn't much fun. In 1599, he published this attack on the theater, Th' Overthrow of Stage-Playes. Rainolds was a serious Puritan, not noted for being a fun-loving people. Rainolds was particulary offended by cross-dressing in the theater. This was a habit in the day as all the actors were male, forcing men to take on the roles of women. His offense was somewhat ironic as in his college days, he had portrayed a woman in a play, but he recanted his youthful indiscretion. In this treatise, Rainolds points to the Bible forbidding men to wear women's clothes. Rainolds was also highly concerned about the effect of plays on their actors and audiences. He believed watching improper behavior, even when depicted to show that bad behavior leads to bad results, would stir the passions of the viewers and lead them to similarly misbehave. Item 66. $7,000.

 

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts may be reached at 503-472-0476 or info@pirages.com. Their website is www.pirages.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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