Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2018 Issue

Literature from Shapero Rare Books


Literature from Shapero Rare Books.

Shapero Rare Books has issued a catalogue entitled Literature. The title is then repeated in several different languages, a message that it is not limited to English literature. The contents are divided into four sections to make it even more understandable: British and American, Continental and Russian, Modern Firsts, and Children's. These are a few of the literary masterpieces that you will find in this collection.


We will start with Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress. By "Boz." We all know it actually was by Charles Dickens. This is Dickens at his Dickensian best. It is the story of an orphan boy, sold into child labor, who escapes to turn to street life and crime as do other boys of poverty. It was a look at the social ills of England in the first half of the nineteenth century. It was not a pretty picture. This is one of the scarce first edition, first issues of this book. Shapero recounts its history. When publisher Bentley decided to publish the book version of what had been running as a serial in 1838 before the final sections had been released in periodical form, illustrator George Cruikshank was forced to complete his part under a short time clock. Dickens did not have a chance to review the illustrations until the last minute. He did not like one of them, the "Fireside" plate of Rose Maylie and Oliver. A new plate was designed and substituted, but not in time to make it into the earliest copies. That is what distinguishes this copy as being from the first issue of the first edition. Item 12. Priced at £7,500 (British pounds, or approximately $9,789 U.S. dollars).


Next up is one of the greatest masterpieces of writing, the Encyclopedie of Denis Diderot and Jean d'Alembert (along with many other contributors). This is, naturally enough, an encyclopedia, but it proved to be much more. Originally, the publisher was looking for a mere translation of another work, but Diderot came up with a much grander plan. It would be an enormous work, covering just about everything imaginable, employing the greatest writers in France at the middle of the eighteenth century. That is what it became, 35 volumes published over 30 years, containing 2,796 plates. But, size alone does not explain the work's importance. What it became was the voice of the Enlightenment, a voice for democracy and human rights. It was so much so that by 1759, the government rescinded its approval of the project, d'Alembert dropped out, and Diderot, assisted by others equally enlightened, published the remaining volumes clandestinely. Begun in 1751, the project was completed in 1780. Item 49 is a complete set of this monumental accomplishment. £55,000 (US $71,829).


This is not the sort of item that one today associates with Isaac Newton, though it was more reflective of his fundamental beliefs than is his enormously important works on physics and optics. Item 30 is The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms... published posthumously in 1728. We remember Newton as a great scientist, but he was a philosopher, with a greater interest in theology than science. Indeed, his scientific works were intended to show the validity of his theological beliefs. While certain of Newton's religious beliefs would likely have been considered heretical in the day, and he did not allow them to be published while he was alive, he was surprisingly quite a biblical literalist. Forces like gravity, to Newton, were part of God's way of keeping the world working, though God did have to intervene on occasion so it didn't fall out of order. This book looks back at ancient times and fits them in with the history described in the Bible. £1,500 (US $1,958).


This one probably does not quite fit our description of the books in this catalogue being "literary masterpieces," but it is an interesting one nonetheless. Item 39 is The Letters of Queen Victoria. A Selection of Her Majesty's Correspondence between the years 1837 and 1861. Published by Authority of His Majesty. His Majesty in 1907, when this collection was published, was Edward VII, who authorized their publication six years after Queen Victoria died. The years described range from her ascending to the throne at the age of 18 until the death of her husband, Prince Albert. After his death, the Queen went into a lengthy period of withdrawal and deep mourning. This copy contains an inscription from King Edward to his daughter, Princess Victoria. It remained in the family after her death, ending up with Princess Margaret, the current Queen Elizabeth's sister. Margaret's collection, including this book, was sold after she died in 2002. £8,500. (US $11,101).


Here is the first book by Ernest Hemingway published in America (the second overall). It is a first American edition, and first trade edition, published in 1925 (a year after the limited run Paris edition). It is a collection of short stories, expanded from the Paris edition. The title is In Our Time, and it changed Hemingway from an unknown to a recognized and critically acclaimed writer. Shapero notes that it is "now recognized as one of the most original short story collections in twentieth century literature." The dust jacket contains boxes of positive reviews from known literary figures to encourage readers to take a chance on this unknown writer. Item 85. £17,500 (US $22,878).


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>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> NASA archive with 351 photographs, silver & chromogenic prints, 1960-2002. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, suite of 18 cyanotypes, 1910-14. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, <i>Horse Capture, Atsina,</i> unique copper plate for <i>The North American Indian,</i> 1908. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> John Whipple, <i>Harriet Beecher Stowe,</i> salted print from a calotype negative, 1853. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Lewis Carroll, <i>Xie Kitchen,</i> albumen print, circa 1872. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Ansel Adams, <i>Taos Pueblo,</i> limited, signed first edition of the artist's first book, 12 silver bromide prints, 1930. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b><br>JFK in his motorcade about 2 mins before his assassination, chromogenic print, 1963. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Anton Guilio Bragaglia, 6 photomechanical postcards with facsimile signatures, 1911-13, printed 1932. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Société Anonyme, Inc, group of 9 postcards, including 8 real photo postcards, 1920-30. $25,000 to $35,000.
  • <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
  • <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> BELON. <i>L’Histoire de la nature des oyseaux.</i> Paris : Corrozet, 1555. $17,000 to $23,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> MIOMANDRE – BARBIER. <i>Dessins sur les danses de Vaslav Nijinsky.</i> Paris. 1913. $23,000 to $34,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> HOKUSAI. <i>Fugaku Hyakkei, Edo : Nishimura Yûzô.</i> 1834-1875. $58,000 to $80,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> EDWARDS. <i> <br>A Natural History of Uncommon Birds…</i> London : Printed for the Author. 1743-1764. $35,000 to $46,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> VESALIUS. <i><br> De Humane Corporis Fabrica libri septem...</i> Basle : J. Oporinus. 1555. $58,000 to $80,000
  • <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>Die Französische Expedition gegen Mexico /Beilagen zum Beiheft des Militair - Wochenblattes
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>The Architecture Of M. Vitruvius Pollio. London, 1791.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Estatuto Provisional del Imperio Mexicano. México: Imprenta de Andrade y Escalante, 1865.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Historia de Méjico... México, 1849 - 1852.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Juárez, Benito - Ogazón, Pedro. Legajos de Bandos del Estado de Guadalajara, 1860-1863.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos. Mapa de las Aguas que por el Círculo de 90 Leguas Vienen a la Laguna de Tescuco... Méx, 1748.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Cruces y Campa / Aubert / Valleto. Pareja Imperial, Fusilamiento de Maximiliano, Tipos Mexicanos... ca,1875.
  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
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