Thursday, February 05, 2015

Antiquarian Book News

PBA Galleries – February 8 – 8.00am
Sale 553 – At Oakland
Sunday, February 8, 2015
8:00 AM Pacific Time

Rare Books & Manuscripts with Early Medical Works from the George Bray Collection

At the Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel – Room 201 on Level II 1001 Broadway, Oakland, California
Venue of the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair

Among the highlights:
  • Stoneware pitcher presented by pirate/privateer William Kidd to the Gardiners of Gardiner's Island, off Long Island, New York, in 1699, in exchange for safekeeping treasure. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000.


  • The Second Folio Edition of the Works of William Shakespeare, 1632, with his Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, and an introductory leaf containing the first appearance in print of John Milton. Estimate: $120,000-180,000.

  • An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ Vaccinæ… Known by the Name of the Cow Pox, by Edward Jenner, 1798, leading to development of the smallpox vaccine. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000.

  • William Gilbert's De Magnete, 1600, the first major English scientific treatise based on experimental methods of research, concluding that the earth was a giant magnet. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000.

  • James Joyce's Ulysses, the first edition, first printing, 1922, one of 750 copies printed on handmade paper, arguably the greatest work of literature of the twentieth century. Estimate: $12,000-$18,000.

  • Rare autograph manuscript by Sir Isaac Newton, on Christ's capacity to open "the sealed book" of Revelations, a 10-line fragment with corrections and emendations in Newton's hand. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000.

  • The editio priceps of Plato's Opera, 1513, the second of two parts, containing Republic and other important dialogues, printed in the original Greek for the first time at the Aldine Press in Venice. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000.

  • A Treatise of the Scurvy by James Lind, first edition, 1753, a rare presentation copy of the seminal work, advising supplementing sailor's diets with oranges, lemons and green vegetables. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000.

  • The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by J.R.R. Tolkien, the first American edition, Boston: 1938, in the rare original dust jacket. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000

Each lot illustrated in the online version of the catalogue.
Bid directly from the site. Now available in the Bid Live Now section
PBA Galleries is pleased to offer 196 select lots of Rare Books & Manuscripts, including 42 important medical works from the 15th through 20th centuries, from the collection of George Bray. The items on offer range from landmarks of science and literature to rare illustrated books, historical accounts of travels through the world, original manuscripts and letters, and much more. The medical books from the Bray Collection cover breakthroughs in anatomy, pathology, immunization, with early herbals, massive anatomical atlases, and many others. Concluding the auction are nearly 50 lots of material donated by antiquarian booksellers to be sold for the benefit of the Elisabeth Woodburn Fund, which provides financial support for scholarly research and education relevant to the antiquarian book trade.
Personal letters of Jane Austen acquired by the Huntington

The Huntington Library in California has acquired 52 unpublished letters, poems and other material from six generations of the Leigh family. Jane Austen’s mother was Cassandra Leigh, and the novelist visited her Leigh family in Adlestrop several times, with some believing that the setting of Mansfield Park is partly drawn from the Gloucestershire village.

The letters are “deeply personal”, said Vanessa Wilkie, curator of English historical manuscripts at the Huntington, and although they do not mention the author of Pride and Prejudice specifically, they “will help people develop a more vivid understanding of Austen’s immediate world”. Most of Austen’s own letters were burned by her sister, after her death. The items were acquired from a UK rare book and manuscript dealer.
Bonhams, Knightsbridge, Wednesday 25 March 2015

The Library of the late Hugh Selbourne, M.D., Part I
Representing forty years of collecting, Selbourne’s library encompasses a wide range of subjects, from incunabula to modern first editions and manuscripts. Highlights include an important presentation first edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, presented by Darwin’s mentor John Stevens Henslow to his uncle, the Rev. John Gunn (£50,000-70,000), a fine first edition of Boyle’s most famous book, The Sceptical Chymist or Chymico-Physical Doubts & Paradoxes (£40,000-60,000), an illuminated Flemish Book of Hours dating from the fifteenth century in a binding by Ludovicus Bloc (£25,000-35,000), a 1634 first edition of The Two Noble Kinsmen… written by the memorable worthies of their time Mr John Fletcher and Mr. William Shakespeare’ (£15,000-20,000), a first edition of Newton’s Opticks, noteable for containing the author’s first mathematical papers in print, (£15,000-20,000) and a large collection of correspondence by John Ruskin (£40,000-60,000).
The remainder of the collection will be sold at their Oxford saleroom in the autumn of 2015.
On the Origin of Species sells well but when!

A first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species has sold for a total of £32,500 at Lyon & Turnbull’s Edinburgh auction rooms on 28 January 2015. The book was initially valued at £15,000 and £25,000 and the copy came from Lady Mary Stewart’s library. The book, published in 1859, is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology.

Lady Mary Stewart explained in a letter to a London bookseller, her great grandfather sailed on board The Beagle, leading her to add one of the most sought-after works of natural history to her library. [However we note that the text with an illustration of the volume, on the auctioneer's website states 28 September 2014!]
An 800-year-old medieval Papal document acquired by UBC Library.

An extraordinary Papal document which is nearly 800 years old has become a valuable teaching and research tool at University of British Columbia, thanks to a history instructor’s passion and the university library’s restoration efforts.

The medieval item, called a Papal bull, was written in 1245. A legal decree issued in Latin by Pope Innocent IV to the Italian convent of San Michele in Trento, it features the signatures of the Pope and 13 cardinals (including future pope Nicholas III).

While there are other Papal bulls elsewhere in Canada, most are from the 15th century or later. UBC Library’s bull, which is housed in the Rare Books and Special Collections, is amongst the oldest of its kind in Canada.
Support the Library at the California Institute of the Arts by building your own!

Selected works from the California Institute of the Arts Library will be offered in the February Bibliophile sale at Bloomsbury Auctions alongside the residual working library of Scottish author George MacDonald Fraser and works from other private collections. The sale on Thursday 12th February 2015 will be held at Bloomsbury Auctions' Godalming saleroom in Surrey.

Auction Highlights:

A first edition of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), in the more desirable red dust-jacket, leads the Modern First Editions section [Lot 67, estimate £600-800].

BloomsburyFrom the property of the California Institute of the Arts Library come 11 volumes of the first edition of the first comprehensive description of Ancient and Modern Egypt; Description de l'Egypte, (1809-22). The 11 volumes cover maps, botany, mineralogy, antiquities and natural history and are illustrated with over 600 engraved plates [Lot 229, estimate £2,000-3,000]. When sold as a 20 volume complete set this work can be expected to achieve in excess of £30,000. The proceeds from this and all pieces from the California Institute of the Arts Library will go towards supporting their library.

Other private collections include a selection of rare and collectable playing cards from the property of a gentleman, including Grand Jeu des Adventures de Robinson Crusoe (circa 1770), comprising 25 hand-coloured engraved cards depicting Robinson Crusoe, each with explanatory text [Lot 345, estimate £400-600].

Under the topic of magic is an excellent book on conjuring, card tricks and magical games; Natürliches Zauber-Buch oder Neu-eröffneter Spiel-platz rarer Künste (1745). The woodcut illustrations include a magic lantern, palmistry and mechanical cars. [Lot 205, estimate £400-600].

Elsewhere in the sale is a 40-lot strong section of Art reference works, which include books on Hogath, Julia Margaret Cameron, George Moreland and Whistler amongst others [Lot 304-344].

From the growing Middle-Eastern department at Bloomsbury Auctions comes a collectable travel book on Persian Kouli Kan; Complete History of Thomas Kouli Kan?Sovereign of Persia (1742) [Lot 478, estimate £800-1,200].

The Bibliophile Sale will be held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' Godalming saleroom in Surrey on Thursday 12th February 2015. The catalogue is available to view and download online at
Tintin reaches for the stars.

The original cover design for Tintin adventure "The Shooting Star" has been sold for $A3.63 million in a near-record for a work by the boy detective's Belgian creator Herge. The yellowing, line sketch that Herge made for the 1942 book was bought by a European investor.

The published, colour version of the cover shows Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy looking on in astonishment as a huge, red and white-capped mushroom swells up out of a barren rocky beach, part of a meteorite, hence the title, which has fallen into the sea.
The price is one of the highest for a work by Herge who sold some 230 million Tintin copies by the time of his death in 1983.

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