National Book Auctions



Sunday, October 28, 2018

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Lot 6001


Title: English Botany; or, Coloured Figures of British Plants, with their Essential Characters, Synonyms, and Places of Growth
Author: James Edward Smith - Sir James Edward Smith was an English botanist and founder of the Linnean Society.

Smith was born in Norwich in 1759, the son of a wealthy wool merchant. He displayed a precocious interest in the natural world. During the early 1780s he enrolled in the medical course at the University of Edinburgh where he studied chemistry under Joseph Black and natural history under John Walker. He then moved to London in 1783 to continue his studies. Smith was a friend of Sir Joseph Banks who was offered the entire collection of books, manuscripts and specimens of the Swedish natural historian and botanist Carolus Linnaeus, following the death of his son Carolus Linnaeus the Younger. Banks declined the purchase but Smith bought the collection for the bargain price of £1,000. The collection arrived in London in 1784 and in 1786 Smith was elected Fellow of the Royal Society.

Between 1786 and 1788 Smith made the grand tour through the Netherlands, France, Italy and Switzerland visiting botanists, picture galleries and herbaria. He founded the Linnean Society of London in 1788, becoming its first President, a post he held until his death. He returned to live in Norwich in 1796 bringing with him the entire Linnean Collection. His library and botanical collections acquired European fame and were visited by numerous entomologists and botanists from the entire Continent. In 1792, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Smith spent the remaining thirty years of his life writing books and articles on botany. His books included "Flora Britannica and The English Flora" (4 volumes, 1824 – 1828). He contributed 3,348 botanical articles to Rees's "Cyclopaedia" between 1808 and 1819, following the death of Rev. William Wood, who had started the work. In addition, he contributed 57 biographies of botanists. He contributed seven volumes to the only major botanical publication of the eighteenth century, Flora Graeca, the publications begun by John Sibthorp. A fruitful collaboration was found through descriptions Smith supplied to publisher and illustrator, James Sowerby. Depiction of flora in England had previously only found patronage for aesthetic concerns, but an interest in gardening and natural history saw illustrated publications, such as the exotic "A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland" and the 36-volume "English Botany," reaching new audiences.

In 1797 Smith published "The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia," the earliest book on American insects. It included the illustrations and notes of John Abbot, with descriptions of new species by Smith based on Abbot's drawings.

Smith's friendship with William Roscoe (after whom he named the genus Roscoea) saw him contribute 5000 plants between 1806 and 1817 to supplement the Roylean Herbarium. This was to become the Smith Herbarium held by the Liverpool Botanic Garden. After Smith's death the Linnean Collection, together with Smith's own collections, were bought by the Linnean Society for £3,150.

He was married to Pleasance Reeve (1773–1877). She survived her husband by 49 years and edited his memoirs and correspondence. They are buried together at St Margaret's, Lowestoft.

The standard author abbreviation Sm. is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name.

Publisher: Wilks and Taylor
City: London
Year: 1801
Binding Style: Hardcover
Number of Volumes: 36 Full Set: No
Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Book Details: This is the sixteenth volume of a thirty-six volume botanical series, complete with 71 colored engraved plates by James Sowerby.

English Botany is the title of a major publication of British plants, an enormous set of volumes that was issued between 1790 and 1813. The brief, but formal descriptions were supplied by the founder of the Linnean Society, James Edward Smith, and published and illustrated by the botanical illustrator and natural historian, James Sowerby.

The focal point of this work is the admirable, hand-colored engraved plates prepared by James Sowerby. The bulk of the leaves in each book are plates, with pages of textual explanation occasionally inserted, resulting in an estimated 1,553 plates in all. James Sowerby (1757 – 1822) was an English naturalist, illustrator and mineralogist. Celebrated published works include his detailed and appealing plates. The use of vivid color and accessible texts were intended to reach a widening audience interested in works of natural history.

Condition / Notes: This antique volume shows well bound in full leather with gilt lettering and bands on the spine.

The book shows light age/wear externally concentrated at the extremities. The binding is secure with a cracked front hinge. The hand-colored plates and text on laid paper are clean with moderate age toning. Moderate smudging and soiling appears on the flyleaf and title page. The bookplates of previous owners are affixed to the front and rear pastedowns.
Lot 6002


Title: Sacrae Theologiae Doctoris Collegiati... Opus Posthumum
Author: Francisci Bordoni - Francisci (Francesco) Bordoni was a Franciscan in the Third Order of Saint Francis and was a renowned scholar and theologian. He studied philosophy and theology in the Studium Parmense in Parma, Italy, where he received a doctorate and then taught theology for twenty years. He was chosen master of novices, prior, and provincial in the Province of Bologna. From 1653 to 1659, he governed the Order as minister general. His first literary production appeared in 1630, and from then until his death his writing was prolific, with forty-one printed works and almost as many unprinted works that remain extant.
Publisher: Pauli Monti
City: Parma
Year: 1703
Printing Information: First Edition
Binding Style: Hardcover
Pagination: 451 pages
Width: 9.5" Height: 14"
Book Details: This impressive antique folio volume is bound in full vellum with a manuscript title on the spine cover. The work is engraved on heavy laid paper and is embellished with engraved vignettes, headpieces, tailpieces and historiated initials. Particularly striking is a large second-strike engraving of a heraldic crest occupying nearly half of the first page of text.

This posthumously published work of Francesco Bordoni consists principally of a lengthy assembling of meditations on The Miracles. This is followed by an essay entitled, “An Deus Faciat Semper Id, Quod Melius Est?” The work concludes with two indices.

Condition / Notes: This antique volume shows beautifully with sound vellum bearing a fine patina. External age/wear is minimal. The binding is firm and secure and the pages are generally clean and bright with a small amount of scattered foxing/marks. A small number of pages show more advanced overall toning.

This volume has been collated and is complete. The pagination is as follows: unnumbered leaves, 1 – 14, 1-452, 1 unnumbered leaf. There is an open tear measuring approximately 1” which in the top margin of page 21/22. There is an open tear measuring approximately ½ ‘ along the top margin which does not affect the text.
Lot 6003


Title: Thirteen Months in the Rebel Army: Being a Narrative of Personal Adventures in the Infantry, Ordnance, Cavalry, Courier, and Hospital Services; with an Exhibition of the Power, Purposes, Earnestness, Military Despotism, and Demoralization of the South. By an Impressed New Yorker.
Author: William G. Stevenson
Publisher: A. S. Barnes & Burr
City: New York
Year: 1862
Printing Information: First Edition
Binding Style: Hardcover
Pagination: 232 pages
Width: 4.5" Height: 6.75"
Book Details: This antique volume is bound in brown cloth with gilt lettering on the spine. The work contains a frontispiece illustration of a Confederate Council of War around a campfire before the battle of Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh).

From "A View of this Book:"
"'Thirteen Months in the Rebel Army' gave 'An Impressed New Yorker' rare opportunities of knowing what is to be known outside of Richmond Cabinet. Let a sharp-witted young man make his way from Memphis to Columbus and Bowling Green, and thence to Nashville, Selma, Richmond, and Chattanooga; put in contact with Morgan, Polk, Breckenridge, and a bevy of Confederate generals; employ him consecutively in the infantry, ordinance, cavalry, courier, and hospital services; then put a pen in his hand, and if his sketches of men and things in the land of darkness have no interest and value, pray what would you read in war-time?"

Condition / Notes: This antique volume is firmly bound in the publisher's blindstamped cloth covers showing light age/wear. The pages show occasional light moisture marking, mostly concentrated towards the end of the text. The front endpapers have a previous owner's inscription dating to 1862.
Lot 6004


Title: Oriental Tales: The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night / Tales from the Arabic / Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp / The Persian Letters / The Thousand and One Quarters of an Hour (Tartarian Tales)
Author: Various
Translor: John Payne - John Payne was an English poet and translator. Initially he pursued a legal career, and associated with Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Later he became involved with limited edition publishing, and the Villon Society. Payne is now best known for his translations of Boccaccio's "Decameron," "The Arabian Nights" and the "Diwan Hafez."
Publisher: Printed for the Suscribers
City: London
Year: 1901
Printing Information: Limited Edition
Binding Style: Hardcover
Number of Volumes: 15 Full Set: Yes
Width: 6.75" Height: 9.25"
Book Details: This attractive antique is complete in 15 volumes, embracing the main text and the supplemental works. This is copy number 208 from a limited run of 1,000 copies known as the Delhi Edition. The set has been nicely bound in aquamarine cloth with printed paper spine labels. deckled page edges, tissue-guarded frontispieces and plates.

“The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night” is an English translation of “One Thousand and One Nights” (the “Arabian Nights”) is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age (8th-13th centuries) by the British explorer and Arabist, Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890).

Burton's translation was one of two unabridged and unexpurgated English translations done in the 1880’s. The first was by John Payne, under the title “The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night.” Burton's version was published almost immediately afterward with a slightly different title. This, along with the fact that Burton closely advised Payne and partially based his books on Payne's, led later to charges of plagiarism. Owing to the sexual imagery in the source texts and the strict Victorian laws on obscene material, both translations were printed as private editions for subscribers only, rather than being published in the usual manner.
Condition / Notes: These books show well with some external age/wear concentrated at the extremities, including some marks to the exterior of the third volume. The bindings are firm and secure and the nteriors are clean and without markings.
Lot 6005


Title: The Badianus Manuscript (Codex Barberini, Latin 241) Vatican Library. An Aztec Herbal of 1552
Author: Emily Walcott Emmart, Henry E. Sigerist
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins Press
City: Baltimore
Year: 1940
Binding Style: Hardcover
Pagination: 341 pages
Width: 9.75" Height: 12.25"
Book Details: This vintage volume is bound in tan cloth covers. The front cover and spine are adorned with stamped gilt lettering and ornamentation.

A beautifully illustrated Aztec herbal from a manuscript discovered in 1931 in the Vatican which holds "'a unique place in the medical history of not only Mexico but of North America' as no earlier manuscript on the subject is known to exist."

This is the first published facsimile of the earliest American medical codex.

Condition / Notes: This book shows well with some typical indications of age and wear including minor shelfwear and rubbing to high points. The endpapers show some darkening. Pages are clean with mild age toning.
Lot 6006


Title: Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Made Under the Direction of the Secretary of War, 1853-54, According to Acts of Congress of March 3, 1853, May 31, 1854, and August 5 1854.
Author: United States Congress
Publisher: A. O. P. Nicholson, Printer
City: Washington, D. C.
Year: 1855
Binding Style: Hardcover
Number of Volumes: 1 Full Set: No
Width: 9.25" Height: 11.75"
Book Details: Bound in marbled paper with leather spine, this antique volume was published by the 33rd Congress, 2nd Session, House of Representatives. Executive Document No. 91, Volume II, contains color-tinted lithograph plates, and engraved illustrations of fossils and plants, as well as tables of data and a fold-out map and chart.
Condition / Notes: This handsomely bound antique title displays some indications of age and wear including shelfwear and rubbing, with partial tears to the upper and lower spine cover. The hinges are partially cracked, however the binding remains firm. Text, illustrations, and fold-outs remains clear and crisp through mild age toning.
Lot 6007


Title: Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan in the Years 1857, '58, '59
Author: Laurence Oliphant - Laurence Oliphant was a British author, traveller, diplomat, and mystic. Best known for his 1870 satirical novel "Piccadilly," he spent a decade in later life under the influence of the spiritualist prophet Thomas Lake Harris. Oliphant was Member of Parliament for Stirling Burghs.

Publisher: Harper & Brothers, Publishers
City: New York
Year: 1860
Printing Information: First Edition
Binding Style: Hardcover
Pagination: 645 pages, plus advertisements
Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Book Details: This antique first American edition is bound in brown cloth covered boards with gilt debossed dragon design on the front cover. A hand-colored, tissue-guarded frontispiece adorns the title along with numerous in-text illustrations.

The work is a detailed account of the people, governments, and societies of the Empires of China and Japan as they were just after the mid-19th century. Elgin's mission followed closely on the heels of the American Commodore Perry's military and trade expedition to Japan, the first to open Japan to the outside world. Oliphant was the private secretary of Lord Elgin, and accompanied him on the mission that is the subject of the work.

In 1857, Lord Elgin was appointed High Commissioner and Plenipotentiary in China and the Far East to assist in the process of opening up China and Japan to Western trade. During the Second Opium War, he led the bombardment of Canton (Guangzhou) and oversaw the end of the war by signing the Treaty of Tientsin (Tianjin) on 26 June 1858.
Condition / Notes: This antique volume shows well with light rubbing to the boards and spine cover edges. The interior pages show well with light age toning. The frontispiece and title page show moderate moisture markings. Occasional leaves are uncut.
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