Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2019 Issue

The House of Romanov from Shapero Rare Books

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The House of Romanov.

Shapero Rare Books has prepared a catalogue of material relating to The House of Romanov. The Romanovs ruled Russia for 300 years. The family came to power somewhat reluctantly during a time of uncertainty in 1613. Late in that century, they would begin to rise to the role of an international power under Peter the Great. The Romanovs would continue unchallenged until late in the 19th century. Their popularity then began to wane, a defeat against the Japanese in 1904, and enormous casualties during World War I further eroded the last Romanov Tsar's power. He abdicated during the Revolution of 1917, and Tsar Nicolas and his family were executed by Bolsheviks in 1918.

 

Many of the items in this catalogue are in the Russian language, and we cannot display their Russian titles because they use the Cyrillic alphabet. However, many others are written in French, some in English. Here are a few samples from this catalogue.

 

We begin with the first item in the catalogue, which takes us all the way back to the beginning of the dynasty. It is not contemporary. It is the only printed account of the wedding of the first Romanov Tsar, Mikhail, to Evodokiia Stereshnev in 1626. Mikhail had been married in 1624, but his first wife died only four months later. This highly illustrated account of the wedding was published in 1810. Platon Petrovich Beketov, who operated his own press, conducted a great amount of research, including use of an historical manuscript account, to create the book. This copy includes the full compliment of 65 illustration (most copies have 63) and the images have been hand-colored. Mikhail was a gentle ruler, not at all the tyrant, and his rule saw great expansion of Russian territory. Item 1. Priced at £16,500 (British pounds, or approximately $21,086 in U.S currency).

 

Next we move along to Mikhail's grandson, one of three to become Tsar. He is perhaps the greatest of all, which logically explains having "Great" in his name. Actually, he was Peter I, but everyone knows him as Peter the Great. For a while, he was a co-regent with his half-brother, but including that time, he was Tsar from 1682-1725. During that period, Russia grew to an empire, and Peter, appropriately enough, became as emperor. Peter ruled over not only a larger Russia, but a modernized one as well. He sought to learn from other countries, westernizing the more backward country, while strengthening a weak military. His was, for the most part, a progressive rule, though Peter could be brutal with his enemies. Item 2 is the almost contemporary History of the Life of Peter I. Emperor of Russia, by John Mottley. Mottley was an English scholar, but usually wrote anonymously as his father was forced into exile for his support of James II, deposed in the Glorious Revolution. Late in life, Mottley wrote two books under his own name, this being one. It was almost contemporary with Peter's reign, having been published in 1739, 14 years after Peter died. It was published in London and is written in English. £2,500 (US $3,198).

 

Actually, Peter wasn't the only great Tsar. There was also Catherine II, known as Catherine the Great. After disruptions in the direct Romanov line, her husband, Peter III, became Tsar in 1762. His mother was a daughter of Peter the Great, but he was raised in Germany, and while a great reformer, attempting to initiate democratic and humanitarian reforms, his pro-Prussian stands were not well received. He also had a bad relationship with his wife, Catherine, and both conducted extra-marital affairs. This poor relationship more than foreign policy was instrumental in Catherine joining with others to overthrow her husband after just half a year as Tsar. Peter III died under mysterious circumstances a short time later. Catherine, on the other hand, ruled from 1762 until her death in 1796. Catherine, too, was a reformer, though perhaps not as much as her husband wished to be. Item 9 is a copy of Catherine's Instructions in French, Instructions. Adressées par sa Majesté l'Impératrice de tourtes les Russies... published in 1769. This French edition was published by the Russian Academy of Sciences but not offered for sale. Catherine had read texts of the French Enlightenment and this was an enunciation of her intention to bring these ideas to Russia. The Instructions were never really implemented, but it was a good thought. Item 9. £1,800 (US $2,303).

 

Item 46 is a lavish book dedicated to an exhibition by the Committee for the Construction of the 1812 Museum in Moscow. This does not pertain to the War of 1812 known by Americans. In Russia, this was the year the Russians forced Napoleon to retreat from Russia, not because of defeat on the battlefield, but by denying his troops access to supplies. Russian winters are not easy to survive without adequate supplies. An exhibition was prepared on the 100th anniversary in 1912, with exhibits housed in the Historical Museum on Red Square pending construction of the new museum. Material was gathered from other museums and private collections. There was more than could actually be displayed, and some of the items herein were therefore not on display. Unfortunately, the delay took the project into the time of World War I, and then there was the Russian Revolution, and the project was abandoned. However, such a museum was opened on the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's defeat. £7,000 (US $8,958).

 

Romanov rule would come to an end in 1917. Nicholas II, who became Tsar in 1896, had little ability to handle the deteriorating situation around him. He was the wrong man at the wrong time. Military defeat by Japan, terrible casualties during the First World War, workers' demands answered with a slaughter in 1905, and finally revolution sealed his fate. Nicholas abdicated in 1917, he and his family were killed in 1918. Item 31 is sort of a last look at the old order. It is a photograph, circa 1913, of his four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. The close-knit sisters, who were also great-granddaughters of England's Queen Victoria, look bright but innocent, the four surrounding a table with an open book. Each of the sisters has signed the photograph and it is dated 1916. They could not have imagined the terrible fate that awaited them just two years hence. £35,000 (US $44,792).

 

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>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Very Fine. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Neill, John R. Pen-and-ink drawing from Oz, "He raised his gun, took aim and fired," $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>June 13 - New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Thompson, Kay. <i>Eloise at Christmastime.</i> New York: Random House, [1958]. First edition. In custom binding by Asprey. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. $7,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Taylor, Deems. <i>Walt Disney’s Fantasia.</i> New York: 1940. In custom binding by Asprey. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. $1,500 to $2,500
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> <i>Dramatized Sales Methods,</i> designers unknown, 36 pamphlets, 1930. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Paul Rand, <i>IBM,</i> 1982. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Peugeot,</i> 1926. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Wladyslaw Strzeminski, <i>[Create the “Week of the Red Gift” Everywhere],</i> 1919. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Twining,</i> 1930. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Lion Noir / Cirage – Crème,</i> 1949. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, <i>Triplex,</i> 1931. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, <i>Étoile du Nord,</i> 1927. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Edward McKnight Kauffer, <i>Shop Between 10 and 4, The Quiet Hours, And by Underground,</i> 1930. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Lester Beall, <i>Rural Electrification Administration,</i> 1939. $20,000 to $30,000.
  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 29:</b> Rumphius (Georgius Everhardus). <i>D’Ambionsche Rariteitkamer,</i> FIRST EDITION, 61 handcoloured engraved plates, 1705. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 29:</b> Collodi (Carlo) Le avventure di Pinocchio. <i>Storia di un burattino,</i> FIRST EDITION, frontispiece and 61 illustrations by Enrico Mazzanti, 1883. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 29:</b> De Bry (T, J T & J I). <i>[Great Voyages, part IV] Americae sive Insignis & Admiranda Historia de Reperta primum Occidentali India,</i> FIRST EDITION, 23 engraved plates, 1594. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 29:</b> Wine & Beer.-Kellermaysterey. <i>Gründtlicher bericht wie man alle wein Teütscher und Welscher landen vor allen zufallen bewaren...,</i> 16 leaves of manuscript notes, 1548. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 29:</b> Table Globe'- Doppelmayr (J G) & Puschner (J G, engraver). An 8-inch German terrestrial table Globe, diameter c.200 mm, height c.300 mm, 1730. £6,000 to £8,000
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions</b
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 30:</b> An album with 107 original watercolours featuring landscapes and views of various places in England, Scotland and Ireland, late 1840s. £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 30:</b> Hemingway (Ernest). Black and white, landscape photograph of man on horseback, signed and inscribed by Hemingway. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 30:</b> Unrecorded autograph letter by Charles William Stewart to his father the Marquess of Londonerry, describing the ceremony of the presentation to Consul Bonaparte in January 1803. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 30:</b> Davis (William Heath). <i>Seventy-five Years in California,</i> Author's Section of the Argonaut Edition, no. 142 [of 250 copies] signed by the editor and publisher on limitation leaf. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, May 30:</b> Prussian Royal Family. Six signed photographs of members of Prussian Royal Family, in a contemporary folding triptych, ebonised wood display case. £1,500 to £2,000
  • <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 27th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br><i>Breviarium Romanum,</i> before 1478. Est: € 15,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>C. Ptolemaeus, <i>Geographie,</i> 1513.<br>Est: € 140,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>M. Chagall, <i>Daphnis & Chloé,</i> 1961.<br>Est: € 130,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 27th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>F. Colonna, <i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,</i> 1499. Est: € 20,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>J. H. van Linschoten, <i>Itinerarium,</i> 1644. Est: € 50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>M. Chagall, <i>Cirque,</i> 1967.<br>Est: € 120,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 27th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>G. L. L. Buffon, <i>Histoire naturelle des oiseaux,</i> 1765-83. Est: € 30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>K. Marx, <i>Das Kapital,</i> 1867.<br>Est: € 30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>P. J. Redouté, <i>Les liliacées,</i> 1802-16.<br>Est: € 120,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 27th</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>M. E. Bloch, <i>Naturgeschichte der Fische,</i> 1782-95. Est: € 50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>H. A. Châtelain, <i>Atlas historique,</i> 1718-20. Est: € 18,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:</b><br>Bauhausbücher, complete series, 1925-30. Est: € 28,000

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