A short list for spring days

Page 1

“God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.”

Plaster cast of the face of William Shakespeare taken from the playwright’s funerary monument in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. The monument is by either Gerard Johnson or his brother Nicholas, carved at some unknown date between Shakespeare’s death in 1616 and the deaths of Gerard in 1623 and Nicholas in 1624.

The cast is in excellent condition, slightly browned to the lower part of the face. A very striking object. The date of this mask is unknown although it is known that casts were being taken by the mid-eighteenth century. While some were legitimately made, there was also a small but significant trade in masks secretly taken during night visits to Shakespeare’s tomb. It is probably now impossible to discover the circumstances surrounding the making of this mask but it would be nice to think that it involved a bit of midnight skulduggery.

[3872] £1,500

1. ANONYMOUS. Shakespeare Tomb Portrait Mask late 18th/early 19th century

hilosophers’ letters: an Aldine incunable

2. MUSURUS, Marcus. Epistolae diversorum philosophorum, oratorum, rhetorum.

Venice: Aldus Manutius, Romanus 1499

First edition and the editio princeps of many of the letters in this collection of classical letters. Two parts bound in one volume. 206x150mm. Part two bound before part one and each part with a manuscript note on the first page stating (incorrectly) Pars Prima and Pars Secunda. Part one lacking twelve leaves (four each from gatherings alpha, gamma and zeta which are also bound out of order) and part two lacking six leaves (whole of the sixth gathering zeta). Part two lacking engraved frontispieces. Twentieth century quarter tan morocco, tan cloth covered boards, spine lettered in gilt. Some staining to top edge of some leaves, foxing in places and soiling to first two leaves of part two and two leaves repaired but overall in very good condition, a fresh, crisp copy. Title page of part two (although the first page in this volume) has a contemporary ownership inscription “D. Gregy cler. reg. S. Aptory (?)”.

Marcus Musurus (1470-1517) was one of the great Humanist scholars of the renaissance. A professor of Greek in Rome, Padua and Venice, he was admired by Erasmus and taught many of the later generations of Humanists. He was a noted bibliophile and librarian to two noted collections of manuscripts in Carpi and Rome. He first visited Venice in 1493 where he began a lifelong collaboration with Aldus Manutius as an editor and translator. His first Aldine publication was a 1494 Latin translation of Musaeus’s Hero and Leander and he was involved with numerous editio princeps for Aldus including works by Aristophanes, Euripedes, Aristotle. His most important book for the Aldine Press was the complete works of Plato in Greek. The present book is a compendium of letters by writers including Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great and a number of the Desert Fathers. As well as a scholarly resource of previously unpublished letters, Musurus’s Epistolae was an important tool in humanistic education, as the letters provided examples of rhetorical and epistolary style for the civilised young gentleman. The Aldine Epistolae Graecae 'was not replaced by an equally useful collection until 1873, the date of R. Hercher's Epistolographi graeci' (Wilson, Byzantium to Italy, p.150). ISTC.

[3862] £3,000

From Sara Coleridge

3. COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit and some miscellaneous pieces by Samuel Taylor Coleridge edited from the author’s MS by Henry Nelson Coleridge London: William Pickering 1849

A very good association copy with gift inscription from Sara Coleridge to her son Herbert. Second edition. 8vo in 4s. 170x105mm. pp. xlviii, 289 [1bl], 2pp adverts. Red half calf, marbled paper covered board, spine with four raised bands, decorated in gilt, second and fourth compartments with red morocco labels lettered in gilt. Marbled endpapers. In excellent condition, near fine internally. The title page in inscribed “Herbert Coleridge from his affectionate Mother Sara Coleridge July 18th 1849”. Sara was Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s daughter. In 1829 married her cousin Henry Nelson Coleridge who, on the poet’s death in 1834 became his literary executor, editing Aids to Reflection, Literary Remains and the present work. He also published Coleridge’s Table Talk Henry died in 1843 leaving Sara to continue and complete the editing and publication of her father’s work including this second edition of Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit. Her son Herbert, to whom Sara gave this copy, was a brilliant linguist and philologist. He was a founding member of the Philological Society committee whose work on the compilation of a new dictionary led to the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary. Sadly though Herbert’s involvement was cut short by his early death at the age of thirty.


The thumb-print of a genius

4. HAWKING, Stephen. My Brief History.

London: Bantam Press 2013

First edition. Signed by Hawking with his right thumb-print and a stamp confirming this and that it was witnessed by Judith Croasdell who was his PA from 2004 to 2014. The title page is also inscribed with the date 12 September 2013 and “Stephen Hawking. DAMTP, University of Cambridge, U.K.” 200x148mm. pp.[10], 127, [3], [1pp advert]. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs. Original black cloth, lettered in gilt to the spine. Illustrated dust jacket. All in immaculate condition. Internally fine.



The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand

5. ANONYMOUS. Manuscript Calligraphy Workbook. mid 19th century?

A notebook of thirty six leaves, with a printed frontispiece followed by twenty four leaves containing examples (on recto only) of calligraphy exercises. Quarter red morocco, green cloth covered boards, decorated in blind. Corners bumped and worn, rubbing to head of spine and some marking and creasing to the cloth but overall in very good condition for what is a workbook.

The first five leaves are alphabets - Roman, German, Old English and Italic. These are followed by exercises in a variety of calligraphic hands with texts mostly taken from the Bible (the Sermon on the Mount and The Lord’s Prayer) but there are two leaves with examples of trade advertisements. The last eleven leaves are blank. There is an excellent variety of calligraphy styles on display and the work was clearly done by an accomplished amateur with an inventive and imaginative mind. An attractive little book. [3875]


Limited edition proof copy

6. MANTEL, Hilary. Bringing up the Bodies.

[London] 4th Estate n.d.

Limited edition proof. 245 of 500. xviii, 411, [1bl]. Illustrated paper covers in excellent condition. Internally near fine. A superb proof copy of the second of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Like its predecessor Wolf Hall, this novel won the Booker Prize. The three novels are regarded as one of the great recent achievements in modern English literature.



One of the great war novels in a striking dust jacket

7. REMARQUE, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front

London: Putnam 1930

First Cheap Edition in the scarce dust jacket. 8vo. 184x120mm. pp. 320. Original grey cloth and original pictorial dust jacket, in near fine condition. Internally very good with only slight foxing in place. An immediate success, All Quiet on the Western Front was printed twenty-one times in English in 1929, its first year of publication. This cheaper edition was published the following year and is usually found without the striking jacket.



“Creative criticism”

8. NABOKOV, Vladimir. Nikolai Gogol. Norfolk, Connecticut: New Directions Books 1944

First edition. 177x117mm. pp. [6], 172. Frontispiece portrait of Gogol and one further photograph. Original beige cloth, spine lettered in dark brown. Original illustrated dust jacket. In very good condition with two small chips to top edge of dust jacket. Protected by mylar wrapper. Internally fine. Front pastedown has label of Van Shaik’s bookstore in Pretoria, South Africa. Nabokov’s Gogol was the fifth volume in New Directions’ “The Makers of Modern Literature” series. Described as a work of “creative criticism”, it sought to place Gogol in his proper, Russian context.


The Father of Modernism


9. BAUDELAIRE, Charles. Intimate Journals Translation by C.H.Isherwood. Introduction by T.S.Eliot.

London and New York: The Blackamore Press and Random House 1930

First English edition, translated by Christopher Isherwood, limited to 400 copies of which this is number 175 so this is one of the 250 for sale jointly in the US and UK. Printed on Arches Paper. 8vo. 203x140mm. pp. 128. Frontispiece self-portrait and seven further drawings by Baudelaire reproduced by D. Jacomet and described in a note at the end of the book as “studies of introspection, at times as profound and as vital as certain passages of the Intimate Journals”. Original blue cloth with Baudelaire’s facsimile signature stamped in gilt to upper cover, spine lettered in gilt. Some staining to edges of boards and very slight bumping to corners, top edge gilt. Internally near fine, fore-edges and lower edges untrimmed. A very nice copy of this limited edition containing Baudelaire’s piercing thoughts and observations: “The Beautiful is something intense and sad, something a little indeterminate, leaving scope for conjecture”. T.S.Eliot’s introductory essay was important in establishing Baudelaire’s reputation as one of the principal influences on literary Modernism.



Annotations and an inscription by Ginsberg

10. GINSBERG, Allen. Mind Breaths. Poems 1972-1977

San Francisco: City Lights Books 1978

Inscribed by Ginsberg. Number Thirty Five in The Pocket Poets Series. Second printing. 159x124mm. pp. [8], 123, [5]. Black and white paper covers, scuffed in places and with some creasing to lower cover and spine but overall in very good condition. Inscribed to recto of front free endpaper: “for Scott Eden from round the world - one or 2 poems here are from 1973 England - not much from 1979 visit. As ever Allen Ginsberg. Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Boulder Colo. May 15, 1981”. There are also pencil annotations by Ginsberg to the poem “Father Death Blues” on pp83/4. These are mostly musical directions - “Up flute”, “Trill Down”, the poem being set to music on page 85. Scott Eden is a Scottish poet who worked with Ginsberg. They travelled around the Western Isles together in 1973 and Eden accompanied Ginsberg on his tour of Britain that year. Loosely inserted is a review of Mind Breaths from the TLS. A nice association copy.


11. STEADMAN, Ralph. The Joke's Over. Bruised Memories: Gonzo, Hunter Thompson and Me

London: William Heinemann. 2006

First edition. Inscribed on the title page “For Greg! Ralph Steadman 2006” with a drawing by Steadman. 232x150mm. pp. xviii, [2], 396. Original black cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Original illustrated dust jacket. Illustrated endpapers. Very slight toning to top edge of dust jacket but otherwise a near fine copy of Steadman’s wild memoirs of his time with Hunter S Thompson.


£450 GONZO

12. DOUGLAS, Norman Some Limericks. Collected for the use of Students, & ensplendour’d with Introduction, Geographical Index, and with Notes Explanatory and Critical [Florence]: Privately Printed [Orioli]. 1928

First edition issued to subscribers only. Limited to 110 copies of which this is number 78. Royal 8vo. 250x165mm. pp.97, [1bl]. Original yellow/gold rough canvas with title stamped in red on upper cover. Corners slightly bumped and light soiling on the covers. Internally very good with some slight marking in places. Overall a very nice copy.

Some Limericks has long been a popular work, famous for its obscene verse and clever, amusing mock-scholarly apparatus. It has appeared in a number of pirated editions. The publisher, Pino Orioli, was a bookseller in Florence where Douglas lived for a number of years. It was a brave decision of Douglas to have it published in 1928 although, of course, Douglas was not averse to taking risks and lived much of his life on a precarious knife-edge. Even today, some of these limericks are strong stuff. Utter filth in many cases. But here is a comparatively gentle one to warm you up:

There was a young student of John’s Who wanted to bugger the swans, But the loyal hall-porter

Said: “Pray take my daughter!

The birds are reserved for the dons”.

Utter Filth
[3868] £950

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.