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The magna carta

The Magna Carta of 12 October 1297, issued in the name of King Edward I of England as an inspeximus by letters patent of a charter of the ninth year of Henry III, written in medieval Latin on parchment, now repaired and in places rebacked. Approx. 370 X 420 + 32mm., with margins of 10 (left), 28 (top) and 15mm. (right). The writing on ruled lines, with feint ruled vertical plumb lines for the margins. The capital E of the King's name Edwardus decorated and extending down two lines of text. Written throughout in a neat chancery-style hand, in 68 lines of text, the final line extended with a note of warranty Scowe (the name of the chancery official, John of Stowe) infilling the line to the right hand margin. Sealed sur double queue (on a fold at the foot of the document), using a parchment tag (22mm. wide) through a single slit at the foot. On the tag, an impression of the small seal of Edward I, used as the seal of absence by the regency council in England whilst the King was in Flanders 1297-8: natural wax, the central portion of the seal, broken and repaired, various details legible including the letters EDW..........., and the small lion or leopard between the King's legs on the obverse side, the King seated in majesty on a bench-like throne, carrying two rods or sceptres, one of which remains topped with a fleur-de-lys device. The reverse of the seal, and the dorse of the document inaccessible inside its modern argon-filled display cabinet. Recorded in photographs, the endorsements: Magna Carta (s.xvi/xvii); 25 E(dward) I (s.xvii) to the left on the dorse: Magna Carta 25 Ed(ward) I repeated on the right of the dorse; 1296 (?s.xvii); a nineteenth-century stamp mark of the Brudenell family motto En Grace Affie ('On grace depend') with the call number A.viii.6 written in pen at the centre and repeated in pencil at the foot of the dorse. On the outside of the fold, to the left of the seal tag, the word Buk', denoting that this was the exemplar of the charter sent into Buckinghamshire. On the fold to the right of the seal tag, the words tradatur Rogero Hodelyn de Neuport (c.1297): a unique detail, recording the proclamation of the charter within the county (see below p.XXX). In generally good to excellent condition, legible throughout save for a very few characters, but with some rubbing, damp staining and soiling. Two small and two slightly larger passages of damp damage obliterating letters along former folds on the left hand side of the document. A long vertical passage of damp staining to the right of the document reaching down to the fold, but without obliterating the text. Various smaller patches where the lettering has been rubbed or stained. A cross marked in the right hand margin (?s.xvii) next to the line of text recording the ruling that there be a single measure of grain throughout the realm. Provenance: since 1983 the property of the Perot Foundation, until recently deposited in the National Archives in Washington. Prior to 1983, certainly since the nineteenth century, probably since the seventeenth century, and perhaps since the fourteenth century, the property of the Brudenell family of Amersham Buckinghamshire and later of Deene Park Northamptonshire. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

  • USAUSA
  • 2007-12-18
Prix ​​d'adjudication
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WASHINGTON, GEORGE, President. UNITED STATES, First Congress, First Session. Acts passed at a Congress of the United States of America, : begun and he

WASHINGTON, GEORGE, President. UNITED STATES, First Congress, First Session. Acts passed at a Congress of the United States of America, : begun and held at the city of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, in the year M,DCC,LXXXIX. and of the independence of the United States, the thirteenth. Being the acts passed at the First Session of the First Congress of the United States, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia; which eleven states respectively ratified the Constitution of Government for the United States, proposed by the Federal Convention, held in Philadelphia, on the seventeenth of September, one thousand eight hundred and seven. New York: Printed by Francis Childs and John Swaine, Printers to the United States, [1789]. THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT: PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON'S PERSONAL COPY OF THE CONSTITUTION, THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND OTHER KEY ACTS OF THE FIRST CONGRESS IN 1789 IN A SUPERB CONTEMPORARY BINDING, WITH WASHINGTON'S ARMORIAL BOOKPLATE AND HIS BOLD SIGNATURE ("GO: WASHINGTON") WITH WASHINGTON'S AUTOGRAPH MARGINALIA, HIGHLIGHTING THE DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT Folio (305 x 190mm., 12 x 7½ in.). Collation: [A] B-C [D] E-Z2 Aa1 Bb-Dd2: 53 leaves. Various watermarks. (A number of quires evenly and lightly age-toned, due to varying paper stocks). BINDING: Contemporary polished tree calf, covers with thin Greek-key borders at edges; upper cover with rectangular green morocco label gilt-lettered PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; rounded spine gilt in six compartments with five raised bands; two compartments with red or green morocco gilt-lettered labels (LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES and FIRST SESSION 1789); the remaining four compartments with a gilt patera tool and four small hollow star tools; marbled endpapers, edges tinted pale yellow, BOUND BY THOMAS ALLEN OF NEW YORK (who bound identical copies for Thomas Jefferson and John Jay.) CONDITION: Very slight rubbing to corners, raised bands and spine extremities, surface abrasion in several places on covers, catching small bits of the Greek-key border, otherwise in fine condition. Blue morocco clamshell case. Washington's personal copy of the Constitution and proposed Bill of Rights does not carry Allen's printed binder's ticket. But the classical style of Thomas Allen's elegant binding is identical to that of copies owned by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Chief Justice John Jay, strongly suggesting that Washington himself had a direct hand in their design. All three bindings employ polished calf, use a distinct Greek-key roll at the cover edges and bear a gilt-lettered rectangular morocco panel on the upper covers. Little is known of Allen, whose binder's ticket reads: "Bound by Thomas Allen, No. 16, Queen- Street, New York." When the first Congress was meeting in New York, Washington's presidential residence was a large home at Number 1 Cherry Street, on the corner of Queen Street (now Pearl Street); a short distance from Fraunces Tavern (at 54 Queen Street, where many governmental offices were housed) and Allen's shop and bindery. WASHINGTON'S ENGRAVED BOOKPLATE In addition to the large signature on the title page, Washington has pasted in to the front endpaper his engraved armorial bookplate, featuring the Washington family coat of arms ("Argent two bars Gules, in chief three mullets in fess of the second") a decorative escutcheon with Washington's name and the motto exitus acta probat ("the end justifies the deed"). This bookplate is no doubt one of a shipment ordered from England by Washington in December 1771, through his friend Robert Adam and the agent Robert Cary. The engraving was the work of a London engraver, S. Valliscure. He charged Washington 14 shillings for the plate and an additional six shillings for 300 prints from the plate, printed on good quality laid paper. Washington seems to have reserved these specially ordered bookplates for the more important books in his library. WASHINGTON'S MARGINALIA It is striking that Washington, the owner of an extensive library at Mount Vernon, added marginalia in only this and one other volume (a copy of James Madison, View of the Conduct of the Executive. Here, in this volume, he has added brackets and marginal notes in light but readable pencil. All appear in the text of the Constitution itself and all relate to the duties and prerogatives of the chief executive in the new government. -- At Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 (on page vi), Washington has written "President" in the margin and has added a long bracket alongside the passage detailing the process by which legislation originates in Congress and is then subject to the approval or veto of the president: "Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law." In a further section of Section 7, Clause 2 (on page vii), Washington has written "President" twice, next to a description of two additional methods by which laws may be enacted or rejected: "But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law." In addition, at Clause 3, President Washington brackets another block of text: "Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill." -- At Article II, Section 2 (on page ix) Washington has written "President" and "Powers" in the margin, and has bracketed Clauses 1, 2 and 3, each stipulating critical responsibilities of the chief executive. First, Washington brackets Clause 1: "the President shall be Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in cases of Impeachment." Clause 2, dealing with treaties and their ratification, and presidential powers of appointment is also bracketed by Washington: "He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors and other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law; but the Congress may by Law vest the appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments." Additionally, Clause 3 is bracketed: "The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session." At Article II, Section 3 (page ix), Washington has written "required" and bracketed text stipulating further duties of the chief executive. "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and speedy; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the Officers of the United States." SELECT TABLE OF CONTENTS - Constitution of the United States, (pp. v-xii) - Resolution to the states regarding ratification of the Constitution (17 September 1787), (pp. xiii-xiv) - [Oath of allegiance] Act to regulate the Time and Manner of administering certain Oaths (the Presidential, Vice-Presidential and other oaths), (pp. 15-16) - An Act for establishing an Executive Department, to be denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs [renamed State Department in late 1789], (p. 21) - An Act to establish an Executive Department, to be denominated the Department of War (p. 46) - An Act to provide for the Government of the Territory North-West of the River Ohio (p. 47) - [Treasury Act] An Act to Establish the Treasury Department (pp. 62-64) - An Act to provide for the safe-keeping of the Acts, Records and Seal of the United States (pp. 65-67) - [Post-Office Act] An Act for the temporary Establishment of the Post-Office (p. 68) - [Congressional Salary Act] An Act for allowing Compensation to the Members of the Senate and House of Representatives (pp. 68-70) - An Act for allowing a Compensation to the President and Vice-President (p. 71) - [Supreme Court Judiciary Act] An Act to establish the Judicial Courts of the United States (pp. 72-85) - [Bill of Rights] Articles in Addition to, and Amendment of, the Constitution...ratified by the Legislatures of the Several States...[12 articles], pp. 92-93 THE MOUNT VERNON LIBRARY "There is little evidence that he ever read for the mere pleasure of it," writes Eugene Prussing, and due to the unrelenting demands of public service and the care and upkeep of the Mount Vernon plantation, Washington "had neither time nor much inclination...for general reading" (The Estate of George Washington, Deceased, Boston 1927, pp.138,142). Nevertheless, Washington's library at Mount Vernon at the time of his death was substantial, comprising between 800 and 1,000 books and hundreds of pamphlets. After Washington's death, an inventory of the library was prepared by Tobias Lear, Washington's private secretary, with a team of Virginia appraisers. Lear's inventory recorded (no.254) seven folio volumes under the title "Laws of the United States," valued at $28.00, and six octavo-format volumes, under the identical rubric (nos.267, 272 and 277), which were appraised for a total of $10.75. While the books subsumed in these cryptic entries may never be precisely identified, William Coolidge Lane, Librarian of the Boston Athenaeum, in an appendix to the 1897 catalogue of the Athenaeum's Washington collections, attempted to reconcile these listings and to trace the volumes in question (Appleton P.C. Griffin, The Washington Collection in the Boston Athenaeum...With An Appendix...by William Coolidge Lane, Boston, 1897, pp.533-534). Lane was able to identify three folio-format editions of the Acts of the First Congress owned by Washington, plus three small-format reprints. All were offered in the 1876 Lawrence Washington auction. The folios identified by Lane are as follows: [This copy] Lane, no. 1: (First Session) Evans 22189. Bound by Allen of New York (with his binder's ticket), with gilt-lettered label, with bookplate, signatures and marginalia. (For detailed provenance, see below). Lane, no. 2: (First, Second and Third Sessions) Evans 223842, 22952, 23845. 1) Philadelphia: Childs & Swain [1791]; 2) Acts passed at a Second Session...New York: Childs & Swaine [1790]; 3). Acts Passed at a Third Session.... Philadelphia: Childs & Swaine [1790. Bound by James Muir of Philadelphia, with gilt-lettered label and signature. Provenance: George Washington -- Bushrod Washington -- Lawrence A. Washington (sale, Thomas & Sons, 28 November 1876, lot 100) -- John R. Baker (sale, Philadelphia, February 1891, lot 38) -- W.F. Havemeyer -- The Chapin Library, Williams College. Lane, no.3: (First, Second and Third Sessions) Evans 23842, 22952, 23845. 1) Philadelphia: Childs & Swain [1791]; 2) Acts passed at a Second Session...New York: Childs & Swaine [1790]; 3). Acts Passed at a Third Session.... Philadelphia: Childs & Swaine [1790]. Bound by James Muir of Philadelphia, with gilt-lettered label, without bookplate or signature. Provenance: George Washington -- Bushrod Washington -- Lawrence A. Washington (sale, Thomas & Sons, 1876, lot 118) -- Senator Joseph Roswell Hawley -- Michael Papantonio -- Unidentified owner (sale, Christie's, 19 May 1995, lot 91, $310,500) -- Private collection. In addition, three other specially bound, association copies of the first acts are extant: 1. Richard Varick's copy: (First session). Evans 22189. Acts Passed at a Congress...New York: Francis Childs and John Swaine [1789]. First Edition. First Session. Evans 22189. Bound by Thomas Allen. Presented by Washington to Varick (1753-1831), with Varick's autograph inscription -- Princeton University Library. 2. John Jay's copy: (First Session. Acts Passed at a Congress... New York: Francis Childs and John Swaine [1789]. First edition. First Session. Evans 22189. Bound by Allen of New York. Inscribed by Jay: "9 Dec. 1789: Presented by the President of the United States to John Jay." With gilt-lettered label, no bookplate or signature. Evans 22191. Provenance: John Jay -- with A.S.W. Rosenbach -- Estelle Doheny -- Doheny Library (sold, Christie's, 22 February, lot 2026) -- Richard Manney (sale, Sotheby's, 11 October 1991, $210,000) -- Private collection. 3. Thomas Jefferson's copy: Acts Passed at a Congress...New York: Francis Childs and John Swaine [1789]. First Session. Evans 22191. Bound by Thomas Allen of New York, with gilt-lettered label, Jefferson's concealed ownership markings. Provenance: Thomas Jefferson -- Josiah Kirby Lilly (blue morocco bookplate) -- Lilly Library, Bloomington, Indiana. Provenance of Washington's personal copy: 1. President George Washington (gilt morocco label, engraved bookplate, signature on title-page and penciled marginalia) 2. Bushrod Washington (1762-1829), nephew of the above, who inherited Mount Vernon, its library and Washington's extensive archive 3. Lawrence A. Washington, son of the above, by descent (sale, M. Thomas & Sons, Auctioneers, Philadelphia, 28 November 1876, lot 114). 4. C.H. Hart (sale, Thomas Birch's Sons, April 5-6, 1892, lot 842, sold for $1,150) 5. Mrs. Senator George [Phoebe] Hearst 6. William Randolph Hearst 7. Colton Storm 8. Heritage Foundation, Deerfield, Massachusetts (sale, Parke Bernet Galleries, Inc., 17 November 1964, lot 148), bought by George Sessler of Philadelphia on behalf of 9. Estate of H. Richard Dietrich, Jr.

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-06-22
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AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851)

AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838. The exceptional Duke of Portland set of Audubon's masterpiece – among the finest copies in private hands of this icon of American art, and the finest color-plate book ever produced. Four volumes, double-elephant folio (c.977 x c.645mm). Complete with the engraved title-page in each volume and with 435 hand-colored copperplate etchings with aquatint and engraving, by William Home Lizars and Robert Havell Jr. after original life-size watercolor drawings by Audubon assisted by Joseph Mason [some botanical details], George Lehman [some backgrounds], Maria Martin [some botany and entomology], and his sons John and Victor Audubon; printed by Robert Havell Sr. and Robert Havell Jr. on J Whatman and J Whatman Turkey Mill paper watermarked 1827 to 1838 [see Appendix B for a list of the watermarks appearing throughout this set]. Bound in contemporary red morocco by royal bookbinder John Mackenzie (1788-c.1850), signed with his stamp, with blank flyleaves watermarked "J Whatman 1838". [Complete with the text volumes:] AUDUBON, John James. Ornithological Biography, or an Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America; accompanied by descriptions of the objects represented in the work entitled The Birds of America. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1831-1849 [i.e. 1839]. Five volumes, octavo (255 x 157mm). Bound in contemporary red morocco by Mackenzie, uniform with the plate volumes. Condition of the plates A superlative copy in excellent condition, the plates with fresh and vibrant original coloring. See Appendix B for condition details of the plates individually. In general, defects are minor and include: some minor tears and a very few small paper flaws neatly repaired; light offsetting from some plates onto the blank verso of the facing leaf; occasional light spotting, chiefly marginal; the largest plates with a few instances of the caption being partly obscured by the binding, shaved or cropped; occasional shallow creases; occasional finger soiling in some margins. The first five plates in volume I are on contemporary guards. A copy of an independent conservation report is available on request. Variants in the text and plates The title-page of volume I is in the first state [i.e. before the addition of a volume number and composed in 13 lines, before the addition of two lines listing Audubon's affiliation to various learned societies]; the first ten plates are all engraved by William Lizars alone [i.e. before retouching by Robert Havell], and all the remaining plates in this volume are also early states, with Arabic numbering when called for [these are numbered 11-14, XV, 16-100]. See Appendix A for a list of the captions in the first ten plates, and Appendix B for a list of the imprints throughout. Binding John Mackenzie (1788-c.1850) flourished in the second quarter of the 19th century, during which time he held the office of Bookbinder to both King George IV and King William IV. Mackenzie is noted for his use of richly gilt hard-grain morocco leather, most prominently on the natural history and color-plate books of preeminent noble collections, including in the Broxbourne and Grenville libraries. Contemporary English red morocco by John Mackenzie, signed with his stamp on the front free endpaper of each plate volume, the blank flyleaves watermarked "J Whatman 1838"; the covers gilt with a roll-tooled outer border and central panel, and with a stylized scallop-shell tool at the outer corners of the central panel; the spines richly gilt in compartments and with green morocco lettering- and numbering pieces; marbled endpapers; board edges and turn-ins gilt; edges gilt (front hinges strengthened and some minor wear expertly repaired by James & Stuart Brockman Ltd; light wear at the extremities; faint darkening to the boards of some plate volumes). The plate volumes housed in individual red leather-backed clamshell cases, and the text volumes housed together in one matching case, all by J. & S. Brockman Ltd. Edition size and rarity Audubon's final list of subscribers to The Birds of America comprises 161 entries, although a somewhat larger number of complete sets was certainly produced. Bibliographers estimate that the edition is likely to have comprised 175 to 200 completed copies. Susanne Low, in her various updates to Fries' 1973 census, concludes that 120 complete copies are known to survive; of these, 107 are in institutions "such as universities, libraries, museums, athenaeums, societies, and the like". Of the thirteen sets in private collections, the Portland copy is undoubtedly among the very finest. Provenance The Dukes of Portland (c.1839-2012; sold Christie's New York, 20 January 2012, to:) – Carl W. Knobloch, Jr., gifted to: – The Knobloch Family Foundation. William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck (1768-1854), 4th Duke of Portland, probably purchased this set as a completed set soon after Audubon finished his project in 1838, and commissioned the binding from Mackenzie. Portland was the eldest son of Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland; he served in various positions in the governments of George Canning and Lord Goderich, including as Lord President of the Council. All the evidence suggests that the 4th Duke was the original purchaser; the binding is strictly contemporary (the endpapers are watermarked 1838), with no trace of earlier ownership, and other books in the library known to have been bought by the 4th Duke underscore his serious interest in natural history. Each volume in this set bears the armorial bookplate of his descendant William, 6th Duke of Portland. According to the keepers at Welbeck Abbey, seat of the Dukes of Portland, there is no consistency in the "bookplating" of the library: many books certainly acquired by the 4th Duke have no earlier bookplate than that of the 6th Duke, and others do not have a bookplate at all. While it is possible that the set was acquired by the 5th Duke of Portland, after the 4th Duke died in 1854, or by the 6th Duke when he inherited the estate in 1879, this is unlikely: Audubon returned to America in September 1839 taking with him the remaining fifteen copies still with the engraver; these he sold by 1850, recording the names of the buyers (see Fries pp. 122-23). William John Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879), was a notable eccentric who preferred his own company and excavated an extensive network of tunnels and rooms under the estate, including an underground library and ballroom. William John Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland (1857-1943), inherited the estate from his cousin in 1879. The 6th Duke was rather more sociable than his reclusive predecessor: he carried the imperial state crown during the coronation ceremony of King George VI. Earlier, in 1913, he hosted Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his visit to England, and took him shooting on the estate. Portland records in his memoirs that "one of the loaders fell down. This caused both barrels of the gun he was carrying to be discharged, the shot passing within a few feet of the Archduke and myself. I have often wondered if the Great War might not have been averted, or at least postponed, had the archduke met his death there and not at Sarajevo the following year" (Men, Women and Things, London: 1937). Context A magic power transported us into the forests which for so many years this man of genius had trod. Learned and ignorant alike were astonished at the spectacle... Imagine a landscape wholly American, trees, flowers, grass, even the tints of the sky and the waters, quickened with a life that is real, peculiar, trans-Atlantic. On twigs, branches, bits of shore, copied by the brush with the strictest fidelity, sport the feathered races of the New World, in the size of life, each in its particular attitude, its individuality and peculiarities. Their plumages sparkle with nature's own tints; you see them in motion or at rest, in their plays and their combats... It is a real and palpable vision of the New World, with its atmosphere, its imposing vegetation, and its tribes which know not the yoke of man... And this realization of an entire hemisphere, this picture of a nature so lusty and strong, is due to the brush of a single man; such an unheard-of triumph of patience and genius! – Philatère Chasles, reviewing Audubon's December 1826 exhibition at the Edinburgh Royal Institution. With his timeless masterpiece, Audubon revealed America's natural splendor to the world and to itself. America, as Audubon found it when the 18-year old emigrated from France in 1803, was a country of barely 6 million people, two-thirds of them living within 50 miles of the Atlantic coast. Lewis and Clark were just setting out West. It was a rugged, young country in which many priorities trumped the drawing of creatures that were primarily seen as food rather than legitimate subjects of artistic consideration. Audubon is now recognized as America's first preeminent watercolorist, but his goal through the decades was always The Birds of America. The culmination of his own artistic ambition, his chef d'oeuvre, was the printed book itself, with the original watercolors preliminary to it. Audubon did not conceive the drawings as independent works of art and he did not sell them: they served as models for the printer and colorists, and he displayed them in exhibitions to attract subscribers to the books. As beautiful as they are, the drawings were functional stepping stones on Audubon's winding path. The Birds of America is the product of total dedication over the course of a lifetime, and through countless vicissitudes. For much of his decades-long project there was a vast gulf between the scale of Audubon's ambition and the reality of his strained circumstances. "No life was at once more unusual and yet more representative of that expansive era when a national character emerged than Audubon's. Celebrate him for his wonderful birds, but recognize him as well as a characteristic American of the first generation – a man who literally made a name for himself" (Rhodes II, p.3). John James Audubon was born on April 26, 1785 on a sugar plantation in Haiti, the illegitimate son of Jean Audubon, a French naval officer and agent for a Nantes mercantile firm, and his mistress Jeanne Rabine, a twenty-seven-year-old chambermaid who died within months of giving birth. In 1791, sensing a slave revolution, Jean sent young Audubon and his half-sister (Jean's illegitimate daughter by another mistress) to Nantes to join him and his broad-minded wife Anne Moynet. The two were legally adopted in 1794, and Jean-Jacques Fougère Audubon (his full legal name at adoption) spent his early youth in and near Nantes where he received a basic education. Here, Audubon's lifelong preoccupation with birds found its earliest expression, collecting specimens during countless countryside rambles, later to be stuffed and drawn. In 1803, worried that his son might be conscripted into Napoleon's army, Jean sent John to America, ostensibly to help manage Mill Grove, a farm that he owned near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Here he was free to indulge his boyhood interest in drawing birds, and here too he met his future wife and unsung collaborator Lucy Bakewell, the daughter of a prosperous neighbor. Their courtship included observing Eastern Phoebes together, close to a cave on Perkiomen Creek. Wanting to know if a pair were returning to a previously abandoned nest, Audubon tied a silver thread to the leg of each – possibly the first recorded instance in America of bird-banding, now a routine technique to study bird migration. It was there, too, just months after they met, that Lucy told John that she returned his love. They married in 1808 and moved first to the new settlement of Louisville, and later to Henderson, Kentucky. Despite much enterprise and industry, John's businesses succumbed to the economic crisis that followed the British blockade during the War of 1812. In July of that same year, Audubon faced another devastating blow: Norway rats got into his box of drawings, shredded hundreds of leaves and lined their nests with the scraps; by Audubon's own account he lost close to a thousand specimens that he had drawn over the years. But 1812 is also the year that Audubon became a naturalized American citizen – the source of great pride for Audubon, as his personal seal and visiting card make evident: they feature a wild turkey and the motto "America my country". The largely unspoiled wilderness of Kentucky allowed Audubon access to a broader range of birds to hunt and draw. In 1810, Audubon briefly met the distinguished ornithologist Alexander Wilson at Louisville, where he saw the first two volumes of the artist-author's pioneering American Ornithology. Audubon was about to sign up for a subscription when his business partner stopped him: he cautioned him in French, with Wilson standing by, "what induces you to subscribe to this work? Your drawings are certainly far better". Audubon put down his pen; "vanity on the encomiums of my friend prevented me from subscribing" (quoted in Rhodes I, p. 67). The idea to publish first entered his mind on this occasion, but it was not until 1820, when he was declared bankrupt after the Panic of 1819, that Audubon decided to follow his passion and to gather material for a volume that would surpass Wilson. When his future looked the darkest, having lost everything except his drawings, Audubon "would prove to be phoenix-like, willing to reinvent himself after adversity – an American role model before that concept developed" (Olson, p.21). As he had remarked earlier "hopes are shy birds flying at great distance seldom reached by the best of guns" (Mississippi journal, December 8, 1810). Audubon set off for Louisiana, earning a precarious living as an itinerant artist and tutor. Lucy was left to support herself and their two sons until they eventually settled together at Bayou Sara, north of New Orleans, "a region of supernatural beauty with an abundance of birds" (Olson, p.25). Audubon's few predecessors had limited their studies to Eastern species; Audubon now extended the range of American natural history by recording the birds of the Mississippi flyway. It is while working in Louisiana and in Mississippi, after years of constantly refining his technique, that Audubon came into his full powers as a brilliant watercolorist and natural historian. "From this time on, the new draftsmanly precision of his work was matched by a new mastery of color, sensitivity to modeling, and skillful execution of realistic detail, a metamorphosis also shaped by his singular combination of media [...] Once established, his artistic vision remained unchanged throughout his production" (Shelley, p.116). In the spring of 1824, Audubon tried to find a publisher for his work in Philadelphia – the nation's intellectual and publishing epicenter at the time. In the City of Brotherly Love he met chiefly with closed doors and animosity. Audubon's work and his rustic persona antagonized supporters of Alexander Wilson, chief among them George Ord, who had completed the last two volumes of American Ornithology left unfinished at the time of Wilson's death. Ord developed a "pathological hatred of Audubon [and] was incensed by JJA's threat to his idol's preeminence"; he blocked his election to the Academy, maligned his scientific qualifications, and ensured that no engraver or publisher would work with him (Olson, p.27). To publish his great American masterpiece Audubon had to look abroad, although this was not his first choice. In July 1826 he landed in England, where he quickly found the support and appreciation that was so lacking back home. The new arrival's exotic demeanor – buckskin frontier pantaloons, and shoulder-length hair dressed with bear grease – resonated with locals: "The Last of the Mohicans had been published in London in April and was blooming to a nationwide fad, and some who met Audubon in Liverpool judged him a real life Natty Bumppo. The letters he carried introduced him to the first family of Liverpool shipping, the Rathbones, Quaker abolitionists who recognized his originality and sponsored him socially. Within a month, he was a celebrity, his presence sought at every wealthy table" (Rhodes II, p.7). Before long Audubon had met Walter Scott, John Murray, Thomas Lawrence, Humphry Davy, and could count a young Charles Darwin in the audience of one of his lectures (Audubon is quoted three times in On the Origin of Species). "The dramatic impact of his ambitious, complex pictures and a romantic image as 'the American woodsman' secured Audubon entry into a scientific community much preoccupied with little-known lands. He met the leaders of society and science and was elected to the leading organizations" (DSB). Before the American Civil War, Audubon was one of just a handful of Americans elected to the Royal Society of London, the leading scientific institution of its time – another was Benjamin Franklin. Audubon publicized his work in a series of exhibitions. At one of these, in Manchester, Audubon met F.S. Brookes, the American consul, who advised him to publish his "Great Work" by subscription, a traditional method of raising funds in advance of the great expenses demanded by such a publication. The public exhibitions became an important tool for signing up subscribers, and for generating start-up revenue through admission fees. Originally, The Birds of America was planned to be issued in eighty parts of five plates each, for a total of 400 plates. Eventually, the final count increased to 435 plates in 87 parts, as Audubon identified new species from western expeditions to various places including Texas and Oregon (Thomas Nuttall and John Kirk Townsend sent many specimens from the 1834 Wyeth expedition to the Columbia River). Capitalizing on his newfound status, and armed with his subscription model, Audubon travelled extensively to sign up subscribers in Britain, Europe, and America, among them the kings of England and France. In 1830, no longer a provincial curiosity, Audubon was received at the White House by President Andrew Jackson, and the House of Representatives subscribed to The Birds of America. That Audubon could complete his monumental project by subscription, with no institutional backing or noble benefactor, was "a staggering achievement, as if one man had single-handedly financed and built an Egyptian pyramid" (Rhodes II, p.8). The towering format of this work was dictated by Audubon's long-standing determination that each species be shown life-size, from the flamingo down to the hummingbird – even if the former had to curve its neck in an elegant arabesque. Along the way, Audubon was sometimes encouraged to scale down his drawings for print, but he never deviated. His commitment to verisimilitude was no mere gimmickry but grounded in a profound connection with the natural world inseparable from his work. "It was Audubon's unprecedented understanding of Nature that gave eternal colour to his wilderness palette and placed in his hands a brush with eternity" (Lank, p.19). This vision came with technical complications, not least because Audubon required a quality of engraving that few had the skill to deliver. In Edinburgh, the printer and zoologist, Patrick Neill, a fellow member of the Wernerian Society, directed Audubon to William Home Lizars (1788-1859), "the best engraver in the city," who was then working for two of Britain's foremost ornithologists: Prideaux John Selby (1788-1867) and William Jardine (1800-1874). Upon seeing Audubon's drawings, Lizars exclaimed "My God, I never saw anything like this before!" (quoted in Rhodes I, p. 271); he put aside Selby's commission and accepted Audubon's herculean challenge. The relationship with Lizars lasted for the first two parts (i.e. ten plates), after which a strike by Lizars' colorists caused Audubon to look for another engraver. The setback proved to be a blessing. In London Audubon met Robert Havell Jr, a "brilliant printmaker" with "an instinctive understanding of Audubon's aesthetic. Havell, a master of translation, would prove to be his ideal collaborator... The genius of Havell's burin and his sophisticated use of aquatint were unmatched" (Olson, p.30). Havell was a gifted artist in his own right, whose understanding of the artistry as well as the technology was of immense benefit to Audubon. Havell often improved Audubon's compositions; "fully a third of the plates contained some Havell elements not found in the original watercolours" (Lank, p.18). The quality of Havell's engravings mark "an unprecedented achievement in printmaking" (Olson, p.30). After Havell's first prints had come off the press, Audubon took a set to Lizars who "admired them much; called his workmen, and observed to them that the London artists beat them completely" (Audubon, quoted in Rhodes I, p.299). The Birds of America is considered "the most spectacular color folio print series ever produced [and] one of the world's preeminent natural history documents. Superbly conceived and executed, it eclipsed all others then and now, and is acknowledged to be the finest work of colored engraving with aquatint in existence" (Olson, p.30). The vivid originality and realism of Audubon's print masterpiece made an immediate impact on his contemporaries: with the first part just printed, Audubon visited Edinburgh's Royal Society – he laid the sheets down on the table and records: "the astonishment of everyone was great, and I saw with pleasure many eyes look from them to me" (quoted in Rhodes I, p.285). Thomas Bewick, whose own books were enormously popular with the public and influential among natural historians, "expressed himself as perfectly astounded at the boldness of my undertaking" (quoted in Rhodes I, p.287). Turning the pages of this book is as exhilarating today as it was then, but these contemporary reactions underscore the extent to which Audubon's work broke with tradition and introduced new insights. "In fact, animal art can be divided into two eras, before Audubon and after Audubon. Once he showed the way, there were many very competent artists [John Gould, Edward Lear, Joseph Wolf, etc.] who adopted his method of depicting more or less life-sized birds in lifelike poses, placed in some kind of setting. This artistic revolution ushered in the golden age of natural history illustration" (Lank, p.14). On a broader level, Audubon's work encouraged a shift away from the perception that the natural world is merely there to be quarried at man's whim – this is the reason that, since the 19th century, his name has been associated with one of the world's foremost conservation groups. "Along with his contemporary, Charles Darwin, Audubon changed forever the way in which we see the natural world" (Lank, p.10). References Fine Bird Books, p. 57; Fries, The Double Elephant Folio (Chicago 1973; rev. 2006, ed. Susanne Low); Lank, Audubon's Wilderness Palette (Toronto: 1998); Low, A Guide to Audubon's Birds of America (New Haven: 2002); McGill/Wood, p. 209; Nissen IVB 49; Olson, Audubon's Aviary (NY: 2012); Rhodes I: John James Audubon: The Making of An American (NY: 2004); Rhodes II: "John James Audubon: America's Rare Bird", www.smithsonianmag.com, 1 December 2004; Shelley, "Drawing Birds. Audubon's Artistic Practices", in Olson [see above]. For the Ornithological Biography see also: Ayer/Zimmer, pp. 18-20, 20-21; Copenhagen/Anker 17, 18; Ellis/Mengel 96; McGill/Wood, p. 207.

  • GBRGrande Bretagne
  • 2018-06-14
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La Méditerranée par vent de mistral

Monets dazzling view of the south coast of France, La Méditerranée par vent de mistral is one of his most accomplished and brilliantly hued compositions of the 1880s. Monets chosen palette conjures a dramatic vision of a cobalt sea rising from a rocky coastline built up in a rich array of yellows, greens and pinks. The deep blue of the water fills the canvas and the vivid interplay between the land and sea, with the water breaking on the rocks, is triumphantly achieved and displays Monets pre-eminent abilities as a painter of light and landscape. Monet left Paris for the Mediterranean coastline of France on the 12th January 1888, arriving several days later. On the recommendation of Guy de Maupassant he planned to stay at the Chateau de la Pinède, a hotel popular with artists. As was often the case, Monet did not find the company of his fellow guests very congenial and in this instance he found the group of artists who gathered around the Barbizon painter Henri Harpignies particularly irksome. Monet contented himself by first exploring the area around Antibes-Agay and Trayas to the west, then moving east towards Monte Carlo, before finally settling on five or six motifs (figs. 1 & 2), writing enthusiastically to his wife Alice Hoschedé: The weather is so admirable that it would be a crime not to set to work right away (quoted in Monet and the Mediterranean (exhibition catalogue), Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 1997, p. 42).   In his catalogue raisonné on the artist Daniel Wildenstein notes the location of this work as the Cap dAntibes, however it belongs to the group of paintings whose precise location is unknown (figs. 3 & 4). It closely relates to Le Grand Bleu à Antibes (fig. 4) with the addition of a couple of small sailing yachts at sea which have the effect of both anchoring and enlivening the composition. In concentrating only on the relationship between land and sea and offering no identifying topographical motif, these works are particularly experimental in a similar way to his Belle-Île paintings of 1884-86. What particularly marks La Méditerranée par vent de mistral out is Monets focus on the rich intensity of the blue sea which was the result of the especially clear conditions usually brought by the mistral wind. It is possible this work was painted towards the end of his time in the south of France. As Joachim Pissarro wrote: As Monet began to plan his departure, he continued to be frustrated by fickle weather: A curse follows me to the end: there is a splendid sun, but the mistral wind is so strong that it is impossible to stand up in it. He could scarcely stand to observe such a deep, intense blue, and then was obliged to keep his arms close to his chest due to the weather (J. Pissarro, ibid., p. 45). At one point he resorted to tying his easel to the ground in an attempt to paint in the wind, only to discover that his palette and paints were soon full of sand. Nonetheless, he evidently persisted, lured out by the particularly striking climatic conditions and perhaps waiting for the wind to drop slightly and the result is the present work. Monet was transfixed by the brilliance of the light found in Antibes, and although he was occasionally overwhelmed by the challenge of representing it on canvas he had a particularly productive campaign returning to Paris in May with close to forty oils. Discussing the works Monet produced in Antibes, Virginia Spate quotes Baudelaires Linvitation au voyage There, there is nothing else but grace and measure, Richness, quietness, and pleasure, stating: This is indeed the mood of these paintings, for, in the more constant Mediterranean weather, Monet could afford to concentrate for longer than he could on northern coasts on identifying the pigments with which to create the impression of intensely still coloured light (V. Spate, The Colour of Time Claude Monet, London, 1992, p. 191). Paul Hayes Tucker has speculated that by travelling throughout France in the 1880s Monet was attempting to decentralise Impressionism which for the most part had been based in Paris. When queried in 1880 about his defection [from the Impressionists], he asserted, 'I am still an Impressionist and will always remain one.' Unlike some of his former colleagues such as Pissarro, who experimented with the pointillist techniques of the Post-Impressionists, Monet staunchly maintained that belief. Indeed, he put it into practice in an unprecedented way, travelling extensively during the decade to paint some of the most spectacular and varied sites in all of France, from the black, ocean-pounded coast of Belle-Île in the Atlantic south of Brittany, to the verdant shores of Antibes on the Mediterranean. The places he chose had dramatically different geological formations, weather conditions, lighting effects, and temperature ranges. They also possessed strikingly different moods, mythologies, associations, and appeals. These challenging conditions led Monet to write to his friends and family about his difficulties frequently throughout the decade. 'It is so difficult, so delicate, so tender [in Antibes],' he told Berthe Morisot in 1888, 'particularly for someone like me who is inclined toward tougher subjects. However, the canvases resulting from his trip to Antibes are testament to Monets masterful technique and his ability to reconcile his earlier Impressionist manner with the atmospheric conditions of the South. As Joachim Pissarro observed: The status of Monet's painting in Antibes changed as fast as the weather. One day he would work admirably, "thanks to the eternal and resplendent sun", and the next a terrible wind would make work impossible. Nevertheless, Monet worked relentlessly. On the 1st February, Monet reported that he had "worked all day without a break: it is definitely so beautiful, but so difficult as well! (J. Pissarro, Monet and the Mediterranean (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., p. 42). After several weeks of painting in this region, Monet expressed confidence in his work in a letter to his wife Alice, writing in early February: What I will bring back from here will be pure, gentle sweetness: some white, some pink, and some blue, and all this surrounded by the fairylike air (quoted in ibid., p. 44). For the artist whose entire career was dedicated to exploring the quality of light and its effect on water, the rich, saturated colours of the Mediterranean provided an ideal environment in which to challenge his abilities and resulted in a remarkable series of works unique within Monets uvre. Signed Claude Monet and dated 88 (lower right)

  • GBRGrande Bretagne
  • 2018-06-19
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The complete babylonian talmud, printed by daniel bomberg in venice

3,472 leaves in 9 volumes (15 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.; 393 x 266 mm). Printed on heavy Royal Folio paper. A crisp clean copy, near-perfect in its preservation, one of, if not the, finest copy extant. Only isolated instances of marginal tears, light stains or the occasional worm track. With thirty-two original blank leaves, including many not recorded by Haberman (for complete collation, inquire of department). Uniformly bound in contemporary calf over heavy oak boards with interior bevelling, paneled in blind, center panel  stamped with the initials of the original owner R[ichard] B[ruarne], panel with multiple fillets and four floral cornerpieces, within a double roll-tooled border, the spines in six compartments with raised bands, later morocco lettering pieces, medieval Latin manuscript leaves used as pastedowns, five volumes with Richard Bruarne's holograph manuscript contents notation on small parchment sheets pasted inside lower boards. Rebacked, original spines laid down, clasps perished, on all volumes. Scattered wormholes on three volumes, a few pastedowns lacking, old scrapes and scratches overall, outer borders of two volumes expertly restored, spine bands. Folding cases with similar spine treatment in calf, ochre cloth sides, lined with rust-colored velvet.  His press may be credited with the most tremendous and important accomplishment in the whole history of Hebrew publishing ... His great contemporaries did him honor; his fellow printers acknowledged without question his supremacy as a master artist-printer. No one can again contribute so much to the external and internal advancement of the Hebrew book. As a pioneer in Hebrew printing in Venice he established so high a standard that no one has surpassed his work, even with the aid of modern mechanical improvements, and it is a question whether any Hebrew printing has yet equaled the quality and taste shown in the productions of the Bomberg press. —Joshua Bloch   With the advent of printing in the mid-fifteenth century, the Talmud began to find its way into the hands of more people than ever before. Jewish printers in Italy, Spain, and Portugal began to make the Talmud more accessible by publishing individual tractates. Suddenly, almost anyone could purchase a tractate of the Talmud and delve into its content. Beginning with the Soncino press in 1483, Hebrew printers interwove the ancient rabbinic texts with the insights of later commentators, and the Talmud page began to take on the complex, layered format that would become familiar to modern scholars.  It would however take an additional four decades before the first complete edition of the Talmud would be published. This monumental accomplishment, completed in Venice in 1523 by Daniel Bomberg is arguably the single most important event in the annals of Hebrew printing and represents the beginning of a new era in the history of the "people of the book. Daniel Bomberg, the son of the Antwerp merchant Cornelius Van Bombergen and Agnes Vranex, was born ca. 1483. Sometime in the first two decades of the sixteenth century, Bomberg, a devout Christian, left his native Antwerp and settled in Venice. Despite his non-Jewish origins, Daniel Bomberg was the first printer of Hebrew books in Venice and the first non-Jewish printer of Hebrew titles; he would eventually become the most prominent Hebrew printer of the sixteenth century. In 1515, Daniel Bomberg first applied to the Venetian Senate for the right to publish Hebrew books. Over the course of the next four decades, Daniel Bomberg produced an amazing corpus of some 240 beautifully printed books. Much of his success must be attributed to his disregard of expense when it came to using only the highest quality papers and inks. Arguably, Bomberg's greatest achievement was the printing of the editio princeps of the Babylonian Talmud (1519/20–1523). He followed this with two other editions as well as individual tractates. Bomberg also printed the first Jerusalem Talmud (1522–1523), and the first Mikraot Gedolot, a four-volume Rabbinic Bible with commentaries (1515–1517). When Bomberg was forced to reapply to the Venetian Senate to renew his privilege to print in Venice in 1518, he took the opportunity to petition for the exclusive right to print the Talmud. The Senate approved, possibly because of the need to raise funds for the wars against the Ottoman Empire. Pope Leo X also endorsed the project and granted Bomberg a papal license. With permission secured, Bomberg engaged the services of skilled craftsmen and editors such as Cornelius Adelkind and Jacob ben Hayyim ibn Adonijah whose expertise would vastly enhance the quality of the work being done at Bomberg's press. A page in the Bomberg Talmud consists of the text of both the Mishna and Gemara, surrounded by the commentaries of Rashi along the inner margin and Tosafot along the outer margin. At the end of the tractate, following the text is Piskei Tosafot (a summary of the Halakhic rulings and conclusions found in the Tosafot), Maimonides' commentary on the Mishnah, and the commentary of Asher ben Jehiel, in that order. The first Bomberg edition of the Talmud became the standard for subsequent editions. Its foliation and layout are still adhered to today. Its uncensored text, in contrast to the expurgated editions that followed, remained a standard for centuries. The Bomberg Talmud editions were printed on fine paper with clear type and good ink. The title pages are simple, devoid of ornamentation, family crests, or printers' marks. In contrast to the simplicity of the title page, the first page of each tractate begins with the first word of the text enlarged within a floral woodcut. The word is centered above the text, but not the adjoining commentaries. Besides the standard edition, printed on fine paper, several treatises, and possibly entire sets of the Bomberg Talmud, were printed on colored paper. There were also deluxe sets printed on vellum. This was consistent with the practice of the period, in which special editions of Hebrew and non-Hebrew titles were printed on distinctive materials to distinguish them from the remainder of the run. This was generally done with a major work, or an expensive title, and restricted to a small number of copies. These deluxe editions might be printed on larger or finer paper, colored paper or vellum. These copies were then sold or possibly used for presentation purposes. Furthermore, and probably most important of all, the correctness of the text has been praised by many bibliographers and historians. Within three years the editors had reviewed and corrected manuscripts for the Talmud, Rashi, Tosafot, the Rosh, and Maimonides' commentary on the Mishnah. It was an awesome task to prepare all of this material for printing within three years, particularly when so much of the work had not been previously printed. The first Bomberg edition of the Talmud was well received and sold out quickly, necessitating a second edition, which was printed from approximately 1525 to 1539. These editions are very much alike, with only minor variations between most tractates but it is possible to distinguish between the two editions. In the second edition (and the third edition as well) the name of the tractate is to the right and the folio number is next to it on the left at the top of the page, as in later and more recent editions. This is in contrast to the first edition, where the treatise's name either does not appear, or is to the left while the page number is to the right. Other typographical differences include the manner of representing the Tetragrammaton. The contemporary recognition of the enormity of Bomberg's achievement in bringing the entire Babylonian Talmud to press is perhaps best summed up in the lengthy and moving colophon provided by Cornelius Adelkind to Soferim, the final tractate of the Talmud: Praise and thanksgiving to He who is the Creator...He roused the spirit of our lord Daniel Bomberg to print the Babylonian Talmud with Rashi's commentary, Tosafot, Piskei Tosafot, and Maimonides' commentary on the Mishnah, and the novellae of the strong hammer, the Asheri (Asher ben Jehiel). And he gathered and assembled the entire Talmud and these commentaries, which had been scattered in every land both distant and near and joined to them many other books. And [so] he accomplished more than his predecessors. He expended his fortune and his wealth and sent couriers, riding swift steeds, to call the finest craftsman that could be found in all these regions to do this awesome work. He designated me, one of the brothers, the sons of Barukh Adelkind, and said to me, "Arise, gird now your loins as a man, and allot, apportion, and divide all these commentaries throughout the Talmud according to the light of your intelligence and they will be consolidated in your hands."  I responded, "My lord behold I am ready and prepared to do your command and to carry out your will as you desire and as I perceive it." And as I saw that one should not refuse and turn away empty handed a person of excellence and nobility, I bestirred myself as God had graced me. ...I separated and established the two great spheres, the prince Rashi and the Tosafot to illuminate the eyes of the readers ... to shield and protect them from the arrows, swords, and spears of [negative] argumentation and dialectics....I divided them in equal parts on every page from the Talmud which begins on the top of the page until the end of the page where it is completed; nothing was added or removed. It reveals that which is hidden round the altar enclosing it from both sides. At the end of each and every Talmud is the piskei tosafot so the reader will have in his hand after studying and waging battle, the halakhic decision which should serve as a balm for his wounds to heal him after [the battle] and also is added the commentary of Maimonides so he will sit in wisdom... All this was achieved through great efforts.  The Lord knows how much pain and great trouble we had as there was much work and numerous commentaries. If I erred or made a mistake in any matter, let the reader judge me meritoriously. He should know that it was not done intentionally. It was an offense done in error, not an offense done in bad faith for the material occasionally made it difficult for the mind to see. I place my supplication before He who gives the weary strength, who bestowed upon me the merit to complete, divide, establish and arrange all the orders of the Babylonian Talmud. So may he grant me the merit with the Jerusalem Talmud, which our lord Daniel Bomberg [may his Rock and Redeemer protect him] prepared to print with the remaining holy books which he has sent to bring from all lands where they are scattered. May the Lord assist our master Daniel, the son of Cornelius Bomberg, make him strong and courageous so that he may go from achievement to achievement and grant him increase and prosperity. —AMEN— In 1956, Mr. Jack Lunzer, the custodian of the Valmadonna Trust attended an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum celebrating 300 years of Jewish resettlement in England. There, he first became aware of Westminster Abbey's magnificent complete copy of the Talmud. For nearly a quarter century, Mr. Lunzer courted the abbey in an attempt to acquire it. Eventually, he purchased a 900-year old copy of Westminster Abbey's original charter and presented it to the abbey, along with supporting endowments. In grateful recognition of this singular act of largesse, the abbey awarded the custodian its magnificent copy of the Bomberg Talmud. The amazingly fresh condition of the nine-volume Valmadonna Talmud is complemented by its distinguished provenance and magnificent contemporary binding. The Valmadonna copy is bound in blind-panelled calf incorporating the central cipher of Richard Bruarne, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford from 1546 to 1556. After Bruarne's death, the Talmud eventually passed to Westminster Abbey, in whose library it resided practically undisturbed for four centuries. In terms of importance, rarity, and condition, the Valmadonna copy of Daniel Bomberg's Babylonian Talmud is one of the finest extant. If the first half of the sixteenth century is the "golden age" of Hebrew printing, then the Bomberg Talmud is undoubtedly the pinnacle achievement of the period. CONTENTS: VOLUME 1 (418 leaves) comprising eight tractates: Yoma, Sukkah, Beitzah, Rosh ha-Shanah, Ta'anit, Megillah, Mo'ed Katan and Hagigah; VOLUME 2 (337 leaves) comprising four tractates: Nazir, Sotah, Gittin, and Kiddushin; VOLUME 3 (248 leaves) comprising three tractates: Zevahim, Mishnayyot Kodoshim, and Hullin; VOLUME 4 (419 leaves) comprising three tractates: Yevamot, Ketubbot, and Nedarim; VOLUME 5 (478 leaves) comprising four tractates: Shabbat, Eruvin, Shekalim, and Pesahim; VOLUME 6 (524 leaves) comprising three tractates: Bava Kamma, Bava Metzi'a, and Bava Batra; VOLUME 7 (366 leaves) comprising five tractates: Berakhot, Mishnayyot Zera'im, Halakhot Ketannot, Mishnayyot Tohorot, and Niddah; VOLUME 8 (332 leaves) comprising twelve tractates (in six parts): Menahot, Bekhorot, Arakhin, Temurah, Keritot, [Me'ilah, Kinnim, Middot, Tamid, Semahot, Kallah, Soferim] VOLUME 9 (350 leaves) comprising eight tractates (in seven parts): Sanhedrin, Shevu'ot, Eduyyot with Maimonides' commentary, Eduyyot with commentary of Ra'avad, Avodah Zarah, Avot, Horayyot, Makkot Complete collation available upon request A CENSUS OF ALL KNOWN COMPLETE ORIGINAL SIXTEENTH CENTURY SETS OF THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD, PRINTED BY DANIEL BOMBERG Only a dozen complete sets of the printed Bomberg Talmud which were assembled during the sixteenth century remain extant: most of these were acquired by Christian collections, mainly noble libraries and humanist scholars, who also saw to their binding. The sale of the Valmadonna Talmud affords us the opportunity to review and present the available details concerning each of the other eleven known complete sixteenth century sets. These details, to the extent known, include: provenance, current whereabouts, editions included in each set, and binding information, and are presented here as a prelude to the description of the magnificent Valmadonna Trust Library copy. 1. Of the several sets which were originally in Germany, two were in the Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek at the University of Jena. The first, in six volumes, bears the ex-libris of Elector Johann Friedrich I der Groẞmütige and was in his Bibliotheca Electoralis in Wittenberg in 1545.  The set is uniformly bound in blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards with beveled edges, showing evidence of chains and clasps.  When the Elector was stripped of his title he moved the library, first to Weimar and then to Jena in 1549.  This set contains mostly first and second edition tractates with only two, Ketubbot and Hullin from the third edition.  The Bibliotheca Electoralis was used by Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) great-nephew of the Hebraist Johann Reuchlin, and Melancthon, while professor of Greek from 1518 onward, at two points in his career was concomitantly interim professor of Hebrew at Wittenberg.  It is entirely possible that Melancthon consulted this Bomberg Talmud. This set was later housed in the Burke Library of Union Theological Seminary in New York which had acquired it sometime in the mid- to late nineteenth-century from Jena. This set was then purchased for a Private Collection in 2002. Aside from the copy of the Valmadonna Trust Library, this is the only original sixteenth century set in private hands. It was the centerpiece of the 2005 Yeshiva University Museum exhibition: "Printing the Talmud: From Bomberg to Schottenstein." 2. The second of these sets remains at the Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek at the University of Jena.  In eight volumes, it bears the ex-libris of Johann Andreas Danz (1654-1727), theologian and professor of Semitic languages in the faculty of Jena.  Bound in brown leather, all of the volumes have metal clasps and decorative corner studs in each corner of both the upper and lower boards.  The university purchased his library after his death. 3. There is a nine volume set in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich that had been in the possession of the sixteenth-century Catholic humanist Johann Albrecht Widmanstetter (1506-1557).  He was an Austrian statesman, humanist, and Orientalist who became chancellor of Lower Austria and rector of the University of Vienna.  He may have purchased his set as early as 1527, as the latest tractate in his set was printed in 1526. That tractate (Shevu'ot) is the only one from the second edition, all other tractates being from the first edition. Widmanstetter's library was acquired by Duke Albrecht V (1528-1579), the founder of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in 1558.  The leather bindings bear the coat of arms of Bavarian Elector Maximilian III Joseph (1745-1777) as supralibros. 4. Another six volume set at the Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig, bound in sixteenth-century monastic leather-covered wooden boards stamped with rolls and bearing evidence of chain fastenings, is a mixture of Bomberg's first and second editions.  Though we lack any provenance details, it is possible that Elias Hutter (1553-1609), who studied Oriental languages at the University of Jena and was appointed professor Hebrew at Leipzig and published polyglot editions of the Bible as well as editions of the Hebrew Bible alone, may have been instrumental in the Universität acquiring the set and he surely had occasion to consult it. 5. An additional set that originated in Germany was acquired for the library of the Count Palatine (later Elector) Ottheinrich (1502-1559), who invested heavily in Hebrew, Greek and Arabic manuscripts, for the benefit of scholars in his domains, even though he himself could not read them.  The Bibliotheca Palatina, served as the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, and the presence in Heidelberg of scholars of the caliber of Sebastian Münster (1488-1552), who taught Hebrew there until 1536, fostered a scholarly climate that would have begged for the acquisition of such a set.  It contains tractates from all Bomberg editions, and was bound by Jörg Bernhardt at Heidelberg between 1553 and 1556, in brown calfskin in seventeen volumes, and bears Ottheinrich's gilt supralibros.  This copy is currently in the collection of the Vatican Library, to where the Bibliotheca Palatina was relocated in 1622/23. 6. Another six volume set which likely originated in Germany, went to Great Britain and finally to the United States, where it is held in the collection of the Klau Library of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. The exact provenance of this set is not known, but by the end of the nineteenth-century it was in the Bibliotheca Lindesiana of the earls of Crawford. The set was purchased for Hebrew Union College by that institution's renowned librarian, Adolph S. Oko in 1923/4. It contains tractates from all the Bomberg editions. The bindings, blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, with foliate and floral tooling, are German and likely contemporary with the printing, with sixteenth-century annotations in German and Latin. 7. Known colloquially as the "Oppenheimer Bomberg," this set was in the collection of Rabbi David Oppenheimer (1664-1736) who served as rabbi in Moravia and later Prague, but is perhaps best remembered for his unparalleled library of rare books and manuscripts.  Comprising  nearly all first edition tractates, save two (Bava Kama and a second copy of Makkot are from the second edition), it is bound in twenty-two volumes.  After Oppenheimer's death, the library languished until it was eventually acquired by the Bodleian Library of Oxford University in 1829 where it was cataloged by Moritz Steinschneider.  It is, to the best of our knowledge, the only complete sixteenth-century Bomberg Talmud set with a Jewish provenance.  Nevertheless, its binding, blind-stamped white pigskin over wooden boards with remnants of clasps, does not suggest original Jewish ownership and it is probable that it passed through the hands of an unknown sixteenth century German Christian Hebraist. 8. The Bodleian Library is the only institution which has more than one set. The second Bodleian copy is bound in ten volumes. It is already described in the 1605 Bodleian catalogue, though we have no pre-Bodleian provenance details for the set.  All of the tractates in this set come from the second and third Bomberg editions.  The bindings appear to be eighteenth-century Bodleian leather, but based on the 1605 description the set clearly was assembled in the sixteenth-century. 9. There is an entirely first edition twelve volume set of Italian provenance in the Biblioteca Casanatense in Rome.  The library was established, under the will of Cardinal Girolamo Casante (1620-1700), in 1701 by the Dominicans of the Convent of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.  Originally held in the monastery of San Salvatore in Bologna, the set was already in Rome when the librarian Giovanni Battista Audiffredi (1714-1794) described it in his catalogue. The volumes are covered in mottled green vellum, typical for this library in the late eighteenth century. 10. Another set with Italian provenance arrived in England sometime before 1628 when it was described by Henry Featherstone (1582-1648), London bookseller of St. Ann's Parish, Blackfriars, in the earliest printed catalog of an English bookseller.  It was acquired on behalf of the Sion College Library in 1629, with the £26 required to purchase the set, raised by George Walker, the incumbent of the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Watling Street. On the closure of Sion College Library in 1996, the Talmud was transferred to Lambeth Palace Library, the Palace being the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The tractates, many from the last Bomberg printings, are annotated in a late-sixteenth or seventeenth-century Italian hand, and were originally bound in eighteen volumes as described by Featherstone. They were later rebound at Sion into twelve volumes, and stamped with the donor parish emblem, SIEW, and had chains affixed. 11. The twelve-volume, entirely first edition, set now in the British Library was in the library of Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614), the Geneva-born classicist who migrated to Great Britian around the year 1610.  The set was acquired by the Royal Library after Causabon's death, and presented, as was the rest of the Royal Library, to the British Museum by George II in 1755.  The volumes were rebound in the nineteenth-century (erroneously), as books from the library of Henry VIII. This nineteenth century binding is certainly one of the contributing factors which helped to disseminate the popular, though mistaken notion that Henry had been responsible for importing the Talmud to England (see the next entry, #12, the Valmadonna Talmud). THE PRESENT LOT 12. The amazingly fresh condition of the nine-volume Valmadonna Talmud, comprised of first and second edition tractates, is complemented by its distinguished provenance and magnificent contemporary binding. For some time it was believed, on the basis of the letters RB on its binding that this set derived from the royal library (Regia Bibliotheca) of Henry VIII, who, it was formerly posited, consulted it during divorce proceedings against his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.  In truth, the Valmadonna copy is bound in blind-panelled calf incorporating the central cipher of Richard Bruarne, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University from 1546 to 1556. Five of the volumes still have Bruarne's original contents notes, written in both Latin and in his very distinctive Hebrew script, affixed to their inside rear boards.  Bruarne died in 1565, probably leaving his books to Christ Church, Oxford.  His Bomberg Talmud was at Westminster Abbey by 1629, in whose library it resided practically undisturbed for nearly four centuries.  On March 4, 1629, John Selden (1584-1654), reportedly the most learned man in England, was imprisoned in the Tower of London on charges of conspiracy and sedition against King Charles I.  In a letter to Sir Robert Cotton, first baronet (1570-1631), and Member of Parliament, dated July 4, 1629, Selden requests that Cotton arrange for him to borrow the "Talmud of Babylon" from Westminster Abbey, a request which was apparently granted. Indeed, Selden's may have been the last hands to turn the Talmud's pages until 1956. Early in that year, the Talmud was displayed at London's Victoria and Albert Museum as part of an exhibition commemorating the "Tercentenary of the Resettlement of the Jews in the British Isles, 1656-1956." Among those who visited the exhibition was Mr. Jack Lunzer, Custodian of the Valmadonna Trust Library. Having now been made aware of Westminster Abbey's magnificent complete copy of the Talmud, Mr. Lunzer spent the next twenty-four years courting the abbey in an attempt to acquire it. In June of 1980, Lunzer finally acquired the Westminster Talmud from the abbey, in exchange for a 900-year old copy of Westminster Abbey's original charter, along with supporting endowments. Since its return to Jewish ownership, it has become universally known as the Valmadonna Talmud. There are two more complete sets of the Bomberg Talmud of which we are aware and which we may eventually be able to authenticate as having  been original sixteenth-century sets rather than later, collected editions, but for the time being in both cases we lack the details necessary to be able to formally include them in this census. For further information on the provenance of original sixteenth century sets of the Bomberg Talmud, see:  Milton McC. Gatch and Bruce E. Nielsen, "The Wittenberg Copy of the Bomberg Talmud," Gutenberg Jahrbuch 78 (2003) 296-326. A NOTE ABOUT BOOK PRICES IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY Even by sixteenth-century standards these Talmud volumes were expensive, so it seems we should expect more than a bibliophile's interest to explain why these particular publications were so desirable.  A brief survey may be useful to establish that these volumes would have been considered a luxury, where the scudo, ducat, aurea and florin/gulden were all roughly of the same value. (For reference purposes, it may also be noted that 20 solidi = 1 lira; 1 ducat = 124 solidi (or 6 ¼ lira ).  Already at the end of the fifteenth-century, legal and academic texts, in folio, regularly sold for between 1 and 2 ducats.  Similar prices for folios printed at other Venetian printing houses continued to be seen throughout the sixteenth-century.  Specifically concerning Bomberg imprints, in 1518 Philip Melanchthon purchased a Bomberg first edition Rabbinic Bible for 14 aurei, and two years later Johannes Reuchlin purchased one for 8 aurei.  Elijah Levita wrote in the second of his two poems following the colophon at the end of the fourth volume of Bomberg's second edition Mikra'ot Gedolot, that the price for the set was six golden ducats, or 1½ ducats per volume.  In fact, Damian Irmi (a wealthy Basel merchant trader with Italy) purchased a copy of Bomberg's second edition Mikra'ot Gedolot for Konrad Pellikan for eleven gulden.  The price for this Rabbinic Bible in Gesner's 1545 list was 10 ducats; Alfasi, three volumes, 18 ducats; Rambam, two volumes,10 ducats.  In a list written sometime after 1532 of books available from Koberger's bookshop in Nürnberg: Bomberg's first edition Mikra'ot Gedolot sold for 14 fl., or approximately 10 ducats.  Finally, it is interesting to note that Johannes Buxtorf the Elder (1564-1629, Basel) and Sebastian Beck (1583-1654, Basel), state that circa 1617 one of the old Bomberg Rabbinic Bibles cost between 30 and 50 Reichsthalers, which was the equivalent of 75-125 fl. In general, books printed in Italy were considered expensive already by mid-sixteenth century, as we note that "in 1554 the jurist [Georg] Tanner wrote to Bonifacius Amerbach in Basel that the high price of Italian books prevented many buyers from making purchases."  And specifically about the Bomberg Talmud, we know from an entry dated 25 April 1541, in a daybook concerning purchases in Venice, that a Talmud set was not purchased for the University of Wittenberg because it was felt that the price was exorbitant. Based on the examples cited above, it is safe to say that in the sixteenth century, each of the forty-four tractates in the Bomberg Talmud (allowing for two editions of Mishna Tohorot, one with the commentary of Maimonides and one with the commentary of Shimshon of Sens), if and when they were available, would have cost at least 1½ -2½ ducats.  Given Bomberg's standard for the highest quality both with regard to materials and workmanship, his folios likely were priced at the upper end of this range.  This results in the contemporary price for a full set to be somewhere around 110 ducats, plus the cost of binding.  For copies printed on heavy watermarked 'royal' paper such as the Valmadonna (#12) and Wittenberg (#1) sets, it is reasonable that they would have garnered two or three times that amount.  In order to put these figures in perspective, there is rather specific wage and income data available for sixteenth-century Italy and this data demonstrates the luxury of owning a complete Bomberg Talmud set. The prices we have calculated were realized at a time when a master craftsman earned 30-50 solidi/day, and a semi skilled laborer in construction earned 20-37 solidi/day.  In the mid- to late-fifteenth-century Italian typesetters earned 3 ducats/month, a press operator earned 2½, and a foreman earned 5-9 ducats/month.  Contemporary Jewish sources also give a glimpse of wages for rabbis and teachers.  Elijah Capsali tutored Rabbi Isserlein for a sum of 37 ducats per year plus board.  Isaac Corcos, rabbi to the community in Otranto (southern Italy) received 70 ducats per year, Rabbi Azreil in Sulmona (central Italy) received 80 scudi (approximately 73 ducats), and Don David Ibn Yahya was to have received 100 scudi (approximately 92 ducats) as rabbi in Naples (though the promised sum never materialized).  For laborers, rabbis or teachers these wages range between 3 and 7⅔ ducats per month, and an income of anything more than 10 ducats per month would have been considered relative affluence.  And only with some level of affluence would an individual have had sufficient disposable income to purchase Bomberg folios.  Put in more descriptive terms, "a folio volume retailing for 6 or 8 lire, i.e., the equivalent of 3 to 6 days pay for a master, would be difficult but not impossible to buy."  However, while individual folios may have been within the price reach of a skilled laborer, he could not purchase such items on a regular basis and clearly that laborer would not be purchasing multi-volume sets all at once.  Finally, we bring these wage figures only to demonstrate the relative worth of the volumes, since the likelihood that laborers would have actually purchased such texts is negligible, not only due to the issue of disposable income, but we have said nothing of sixteenth-century literacy rates. Dr. Bruce E. Nielsen,  Judaic Public Services Librarian and Archivist, University of Pennsylvania references for “A Note about Book Prices in the Sixteenth Century” Currency:  20 solidi = 1 lira; 1 ducat = 124 solidi; General folio prices: M. Lowry, "The Printer, the Reader and the Market," pp. 173-206 in, Nicholas Jenson and the rise of Venetian publishing in Renaissance Europe (Oxford, U.K.; Cambridge Mass.:  Blackwell, 1991) 179-180; P. F. Grendler, The Roman Inquisition and the Venetian Press (Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 1977) 12-14; S.Z. Baruchson-Arbib, "The Prices of Printed Hebrew Books in Cinquecento Italy," Bibliofilia 97.2 (1995) 149-61; Melancthon: R. Wetzel, ed., Melanchthons Briefwechsel, 15 volumes (Stuttgart: Frommann-Holzboog, 1991), Bd. 1, 75 letter #24; Reuchlin: H. Scheible, ed., Willibald Pirckheimers Briefwechsel, 4 (Munich: C.H.Beck, 1997) 251, letter #693; Irmi: B. Riggenbach, ed., Das Chronikon des Konrad Pellikan (Basel: Bahnmaier's Verlag (C. Detloff), 1877) 116; Gesner: C. Gesner, Bibliotheca Universalis, vol. II (Tiguri: Christophorum Froschouerum, 1548) 41b-43b; Koberger: O. Hase, Die Koberger (Leipzig: Breitkopf u. Härtel, 1885) 386, where one florin = one rheinische Gulden, and 40 ducats = 55 gulden; Buxtorf: S. G. Burnett, From Christian Hebraism to Jewish Studies (Leiden:  Brill, 1996) 172 n. 12; Tanner: F. Kapp, Geschichte des deutschen Buchhandels (Leipzig : Börsenvereins, 1886) 1:312; Wittenberg: W. Friedensburg, Urkundenbuch der Universität Wittenberg (Magdeburg : Selbstverlag der Historischen Kommission, 1926-7) 1:225; Wages: M. Lowry, "The Printer, the Reader and the Market," in Nicholas Jenson and the rise of Venetian publishing in Renaissance Europe (Oxford, UK ; Cambridge, Mass., USA : Blackwell, 1991) 187; Baruchson-Arbib, op.cit. 157-58 with comparison to consumables; R. Hirsch, Printing, Selling and Reading, 1450-1550 (Wiesbaden : Otto Harrassowitz, 1967) 36; Capsali et al.: A. Marx, Studies in Jewish History and Booklore (New York:  JTSA, 1941) 137, 164-65; Descriptive terms: P. Grendler, The Roman Inquisition and the Venetian Press, 1540-1605 (Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1977) 14.

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AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838.

AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838. 4 volumes, "double-elephant" broadsheets (985/987 x 660/664 mm). Engraved title-page in each volume and 435 hand-colored, etched and aquatinted plates, by William H. Lizars (Edinburgh), Robert Havell, Sr and Robert Havell, Jr (London), after Audubon's original life-size watercolor drawings, on J. Whatman and J. Whatman Turkey Mill paper with watermarks dated 1827-1838 (see Appendix B). First state of the title in volume I, containing 13 lines (before the addition of two extra lines listing Audubon's memberships to learned societies and without volume number). The plates in this set are arranged in order of publication (not by families) and numbered I-X, 11-14, XV, 16-71, LXXII, 73-74, LXXV-LXXVI, 77, LXXVIII-LXXX, 81, LXXXII, 83, LXXXIV-LXXXV, 86-100, CI-CCCCXXXV. Thus, most of the first 100 plates (Vol. I) are early states with Arabic numbering. All but three of the first ten plates are engraved by William Home Lizars alone, before retouching by R. Havell, Jr. For a comparison of the states of the legends on the first ten plates in this copy with Waldemar Fries' listing of the variants, in his landmark monograph on the double elephant folio, see Appendix A. Two paper stocks were used throughout the production, both bearing the name of the English paper-maker James Whatman. William Balston, the apprentice and successor of the younger James Whatman, shared the rights to the old Whatman company and used the watermark "J Whatman"; the Hollingsworth family had the rights to the watermark "J Whatman Turkey Mill." The sheet size of the paper is known as "double elephant," measuring 39½ x 29½ inches, approximately the same size of the drawing paper that bears the same name. For watermarks in the individual sheets of this set, see Appendix B. GEORGE LANE FOX'S EARLY SUBSCRIPTION SET OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION OF AUDUBON'S MASTERPIECE, THE FINEST COLOR-PLATE BOOK OF ORNITHOLOGY EVER PRODUCED. Sight of this superb copy was lost after 1909, the only time it changed hands since publication, while ITS CONDITION AND COLORS HAVE REMAINED REMARKABLY FRESH. CONDITION The Fox-Bute set is in very fine condition, retaining its freshness of color and displaying a vibrant yet at times subtle palette. The volumes show a minimal evidence of handling and (as one might expect) this is mostly limited to the first volume. The plates show occasional minor ink residue or toning along platemarks (sometimes accompanied by minor ink spotting or speckling) from the time of printing. Other evidence of the human element in this endeavor is occasionally apparent from a watercolorist's smear or error, or a pressman's inky fingerprint. Condition description by volume follows below; for individual plate condition, see Appendix B. Vol. 1: Flyleaves mounted on free endpapers, title-page creased and soiled, several shallow nicks affecting approximately 20 fore-margins; Vol. 2: Flyleaves mounted on free endpapers, title-page slightly soiled and with several vertical creases, a few tears patched on verso of title-page; Vol. 3: Both flyleaves unmounted (watermark J Whatman 1837), title-page slightly frayed along fore-margin, rear free endpaper detached with some chipping along gutter margin; Vol. 4: Both flyleaves unmounted (watermark J Whatman 1837), front flyleaf with 4-inch tear (early repair), title-page with vertical crease. All volumes contain occasional handling creases (predominantly marginal, most evident in Vol. I), occasional pale offsetting on versos, Volumes III and IV with occasional faint mildew-spotting on some upper margins. BINDING According to Audubon's Ledger "B", the George Lane Fox set was purchased "loose" (in sheets), and the simple binding was no doubt commissioned by Fox shortly after the subscription was completed in 1838. It was probably executed in the capital, but a provincial shop cannot be entirely excluded. Contemporary three-quarter maroon morocco, blind- and gilt-rolled foliate borders along leather edges on sides, marbled boards, spine in ten compartments with nine raised bands, gilt-lettered in three, a repeated gilt floral panel in the others, top edges gilt, deckle edges frequently preserved (spine and jointes of Vol. I skilfully restored, Vols. 2 & 4 with repairs to spine ends, some scrapes retouched, some wear, marbled boards rubbed); brown buckram over wooden fall-down-back boxes, gilt morocco lettering pieces on covers and spines. John James Audubon was born on April 26, 1785 in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti). He was the illegitimate son of Jean Audubon, a French sea captain and agent for a Nantes mercantile firm in Santo Domingo, and Mlle. Jeanne Rabin(e?), his Creole mistress. The mother died within a year of her son's birth, and young Audubon and his half sister (Jean's illegitimate daughter by another mistress) were sent to Nantes in 1791, where they joined their father and his wife Anne Moynet. The two were legally adopted in 1794, and Jean-Jacques Fougère Audubon (his full legal adopted name) spent his early youth at Nantes and Couëron, where he received a minimal elementary education. Here, Audubon's lifelong preoccupation with birds found its earliest expression, as he spent endless hours collecting specimens from his countryside rambles, later to be stuffed and drawn. In 1803, following the loss of the family's fortune, when French political control of Santo Domingo had ended, John James was sent to eastern Pennsylvania, initially under the care of an associate of his father's, Miers Fisher. Difficulties in this arrangement led to Audubon's move to Mill Grove, his father's farm near Philadelphia, where his boyhood interest in drawing bird specimens grew. Here he met his future wife Lucy Bakewell, the daughter of a prosperous neighbor. They married in 1808 and moved first to the new settlement of Louisville, and later to Henderson, Kentucky, where John James failed as merchant and miller. In 1812, Audubon became a naturalized American citizen. The largely unspoiled wilderness of Kentucky allowed Audubon an increasing range of birds to hunt and draw, and lacking formal artistic training, he worked hard at developing a new method of mounting dead birds on wires as an aid to delineation. In 1810, Audubon briefly met the distinguished ornithologist Alexander Wilson at Louisville, where he saw the first two volumes of the artist-author's pioneering American Ornithology. He later implied, perhaps correctly, that his own drawings were, even at that time, better than Wilson's. Although the idea of publication first entered his mind on this occasion, it was not until 1820, following bankruptcy, that Audubon set out by flatboat for Louisiana, with the single goal of adding to his portfolio of bird pictures. He worked precariously as an itinerant artist and tutor, leaving much of the burden to Lucy of supporting herself and their two sons. They settled on a plantation near New Orleans called Bayou Sara. Finally, Audubon came into his full powers as a brilliant painter of birds and master of design, chiefly working in Louisiana and Mississippi. In the spring of 1824, he sought publication of his work in Philadelphia and New York. Failing this, he travelled to England in 1826. Originally, The Birds of America was planned to be issued serially in eighty parts of five plates each, for a total of 400 plates. The final count, however, would increase to 435 in 87 parts, owing to discoveries of new species made by Thomas Nuttall and John Kirk Townsend on the Wyeth expedition to the Columbia River in 1834. The monumental format of this work was dictated by Audubon's insistence that each species be shown life-size and his determination to depict all the known species found in North America. It soon became evident to Audubon that to publish the work he had envisioned, he must travel to Britain, where through exhibitions of his drawings he came in contact with the scientific community. One of his early acquaintances here was the historian and botanist, William Roscoe, who helped arrange these exhibitions. At one such exhibition in Manchester, he met the American consul, F.S. Brookes from Boston, who advised him to publish his "Great Work" by subscription, a traditional method of raising funds in advance of the great expenses involved in such a publication--which Audubon anticipated would take 14 years to complete. "The dramatic impact of his ambitious, complex pictures and a romantic image as 'the American woodsman' secured Audubon entry into a scientific community much preoccupied with little-known lands. He met the leaders of society and science and was elected to the leading organizations, including the Royal Society of London. Among his friends were the gifted ornithologist William Swainson, from whom he learned some niceties of technical ornithology, and the orderly, brilliant Scottish naturalist-anatomist William MacGillivray. The text for Audubon's pictures, separately produced at Edinburgh, emerged as the five-volume Ornithological Biography [a set of the text volumes is included with the lot]. MacGillivray edited this for grammatical form, and he also contributed extensive anatomical descriptions to the later volumes" (DSB). In Edinburgh, the printer and zoologist, Patrick Neill, a fellow member of the Wernerian Society, directed Audubon to William Home Lizars (1788-1859), "the best engraver in the city" who was currently engraving for Prideaux John Selby (1788-1867) and Sir William Jardine (1800-1874), Britain's foremost ornithologists. Lizars was so impressed with Audubon's drawings, that he put aside the work he was currently doing for Selby and agreed to take on the Herculean task of printing the plates. For the time being, Audubon had found his engraver, and could now concentrate on seeking patronage for the work, which took him to the noblest homes of Britain and Europe, and to the new markets of the young American Republic--as may be seen from the original list of subscribers. The relationship with the engraver Lizars was not long-lasting. During the engraving of the first two parts (each containing five plates), Lizar's colorists went on strike, causing Audubon to search for another engraver for his "Great Work." Audubon went to London, where he met Robert Havell, senior member of the well-known family of artists and aquatinters. At fifty-eight Havell, Sr felt he was too old for such an undertaking leading him to find a younger engraver for the project, which ultimately led to his own estranged son Robert Jr, an accomplished engraver working at the time for Colnaghi. The two were reconciled and entered upon a successful business partnership, known as Robert Havell and Son. A life-long friendship was established between Audubon and Robert junior, and together they created the greatest of all bird books, arguably the highest achievement of ornithological art. As a subscription publication, The Birds of America was issued over a decade according to demand, and the plates bear a range of imprints, which varies from set to set. We know that Robert senior died in 1832 and that Robert junior then styled himself R. Havell. Fries cites the variants in the names on the first ten plates, which are likely to cause the most confusion as they were the ones engraved by Lizars. They were handed over to the Havells as soon as they had been engaged for the project, and the imprint was amended to reflect this. The earliest states of plate I have "Engraved by W.H. Lizars Edinr.", while later states have "Retouched by R. Havell Junr." Although Havell junior engraved all the plates after number 10, there is no evidence to support a conclusion from the final variants of plates III, IV, V and X, that Havell completely re-engraved the plates, despite the removal of Lizars name from the imprint. Some plates bear no distinction between the senior and junior Havells. Others mention Lizars engraving, but Havell senior printing and coloring (e.g. plate VII), or Robert junior retouching and Robert senior printing and coloring (see Appendix B for imprints on the plates in the present set). EDITION SIZE AND RARITY Although the final list of subscribers to The Birds of America totaled 161, a somewhat greater number of sets certainly was produced. Bibliographers of the double-elephant folio have calculated the edition size at approximately 200 completed copies. In her updating of Fries' 1973 census, Susanne Low writes, "119 complete copies are known to exist in the world today. 108 are in institutions such as universities, libraries, museums, athenaeums, societies, and the like. 11 are in private hands." Since 1973, 19 copies of the book have been sold. Of these, twelve have been sold on a sheet-by-sheet basis and are dispersed, and another set was incomplete, lacking volume IV. The present set is not counted among Low's figure of 119 copies known to exist, but is included among the copies of original owners-subscribers that have vanished in the 19th or 20th century. She referred to it as "the Fox family copy, Original Owner-Subscriber: Geo. Lamb [sic] Fox." In Audubon's final list of subscribers, published in the final volume of the Ornithological Biography (pp. 647-51), he lists both a "George Lamb Fox, Esq., Yorkshire," as well as a "George Lane Fox, Esq. Yorkshire." Fries concludes that "Audubon must have duplicated names in making up the list, for there is no George Lamb Fox, Yorkshire listed in Ledger 'B'." (Fries, p. 169). The "lost" George Lane Fox set is among the finest complete copies offered in the last several decades. PROVENANCE George Lane Fox, M.P. (c.1791-1848), of Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, original subscriber ("fox" inscribed on lower margin of plate 201, on upper margin of plate 301, and on verso of final plate in pencil in a different hand). Audubon wrote to Havell from Edinburgh, 31 October 1831: "I am glad that Mr Calvert procured the subscription of George Lane Fox (Yorkshire) - do you know where that Gentn resides in Yorkshire?" (Letters, v.I, pp. 119-20). Apart from ornithology, Fox also had an interest in botany, but his greatest passion was for racing and gambling. He was a friend of the Prince Regent. His and his wife's portraits by Sir George Haytor remain at Bramham Park today. The house was seriously damaged by fire in 1828, and was only restored by Detmar Blow in 1909. -- By descent to the subscriber's great-grandson George Richard Lane-Fox (Sotheby's sale, 27 July 1909, lot 269, #380 to London booksellers Bernard Quaritch) -- John, 4th marquess of Bute (1881-1947); an archive memo at Mount Stuart, dated 25 October 1911, records the purchase from Quaritch at #585. TEXT AUDUBON, John James. Ornithological Biography, or an Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America; accompanied by descriptions of the objects represented in the work entitled The Birds of America. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1831-1849 [i.e. 1839]. 5 volumes, 8o (253 x 160 mm). Later half marroon morocco gilt, marbled boards, t.e.g., by Arthur S. Colley. Provenance: Mount Stuart, Bute Collection. FIRST EDITION. "As early as November of 1826, shortly after Lizars had begun the engraving of the Birds of America, Audubon had written in his journal: 'I shall publish the letterpress in a separate book, at the same time with the illustrations, and shall accompany the descriptions of the birds with many anecdotes and accounts of localities connected with the birds themselves, and with my travels in search of them.' Had Audubon included the letterpress with the engravings, he would have been required, under the British Copyright Act of 1709, to deposit a copy of the work in nine libraries in the United Kingdom. Hence his letterpress appeared separately in the five volumes of the Ornithological Biography" (Fries, p. 47). REFERENCES Ayer/Zimmer, pp. 18-20, 20-21 (Ornithological Biography); Copenhagen/Anker 17, 18 (Ornithological Biography); Ellis/Mengel 96 (Ornithological Biography); Fine Bird Books, p. 57; Waldemar H. Fries, The Double Elephant Folio (Chicago 1973); Susanne M. Low, An Index and Guide to Audubon's Birds of America (New York 1988); Low, Catalogue of the New Birds of America Section of the Audubon Archives (New York 1993); McGill/Wood, p. 207 (Ornithological Biography), 209; Nissen IVB 49. (9)

  • USAUSA
  • 2000-03-10
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AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838.

AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838. 4 volumes, "double-elephant" broadsheets (979/975 x 650/632 mm). Engraved title-page in each volume and 435 hand-colored, etched and aquatint plates, by William H. Lizars (Edinburgh), Robert Havell, Sr. and Robert Havell, Jr. (London), after Audubon's original life-size watercolor drawings, on J. Whatman and J. Whatman Turkey Mill paper with watermarks dated 1827-1838 (see Appendix B for watermarks on the individual sheets in this set). First state of the title in volume I, containing 13 lines (before the addition of two extra lines listing Audubon's memberships to learned societies and without volume number). The plates in this set are arranged in order of publication (not by families) and numbered I-X, 11-14, XV, 16-100, CI-CCCCXXXV. Thus, most of the first 100 plates (Vol. I) are early states with Arabic numbering. All of the first ten plates are engraved by William Home Lizars alone, before retouching by R. Havell, Jr. For a comparison of the states of the legends on the first ten plates in this copy with Waldemar Fries' listing of the variants, in his landmark monograph on the double elephant folio, see Appendix A. Two paper stocks were used throughout the production, both bearing the name of the English paper-maker James Whatman. William Balston, the apprentice and successor of the younger James Whatman, shared the rights to the old Whatman company and used the watermark "J Whatman"; the Hollingsworth family had the rights to the watermark "J Whatman Turkey Mill." The sheet size of the paper is known as "double elephant," measuring 39 x 29 inches, approximately the same size of the drawing paper that bears the same name. THE EXCEPTIONALLY FINE DUKE OF PORTLAND SET OF AUDUBON'S MASTERPIECE THE BIRDS OF AMERICA -- THE FINEST COLOR-PLATE BOOK OF ORNITHOLOGY EVER PRODUCED. CONDITION A fine copy in excellent condition, with fresh, vibrant colors. Minor defects include: some occasional finger-soiling; some occasional pale show-through from offset of succeeding plates; a few plates with moderate surface bloom or bloom-spots; occasional light discoloration, foxing or spotting; the larger plates with a few instances of plate numbers, part numbers and parts of captions being obscured by the binding, shaved or cropped; a few creases, some extending beyond the platemark; some minor tears, most repaired, chiefly marginal, a few extending within the platemark. BINDING Size: 993 x 655 mm (39 1/8 x 25 inches). Full contemporary English crimson morocco, richly gilt, covers paneled a wide decorative roll-tooled outer border surrounding a central panel with a roll-tooled border, a stylized scallop corner-piece built up of smaller tools at each outer corner of central panel, spines in nine compartments with eight double-raised bands, two with onlaid green morocco lettering pieces, the others with a repeated richly gilt panel, board edges and turn-ins elaborately gilt, marbled paper pastedowns and free endpapers, blank flyleaves watermarked "J. Whatman 1838," stamp-signed "J. Mackenzie" on free endpapers of plate volumes (Vol. 3 with a tiny stain on fore-edge, some slight areas of darker discoloration partially due to orientation of the leather hides, some minor surface wear and abrasions skillfully restored and refurbished by James & Stuart Brockman Ltd.); plate volumes in four velvet-lined quarter leather buckram over wooden board folding boxes. John Mackenzie (1788-ca 1850) is believed to have apprenticed in Frederich Leberecht Staggemeier's shop in the second decade of the nineteenth century. Mackenzie's independent business flourished in the second quarter of the century, during which time he held the office of bookbinder to both King George IV and King William IV. He is noted for his use of hard-grain morocco, most prominently on the natural history and color-plate books found in the Broxbourne and Grenville libraries. John James Audubon was born on April 26, 1785 in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti). He was the illegitimate son of Jean Audubon, a French sea captain and agent for a Nantes mercantile firm in Santo Domingo, and Mlle. Jeanne Rabin(e?), his Creole mistress. The mother died within a year of her son's birth, and young Audubon and his half sister (Jean's illegitimate daughter by another mistress) were sent to Nantes in 1791, where they joined their father and his wife Anne Moynet. The two were legally adopted in 1794, and Jean-Jacques Fougre Audubon (his full legal adopted name) spent his early youth at Nantes and Couron, where he received a minimal elementary education. Here, Audubon's lifelong preoccupation with birds found its earliest expression, as he spent endless hours collecting specimens from his countryside rambles, later to be stuffed and drawn. In 1803, following the loss of the family's fortune, when French political control of Santo Domingo had ended, John James was sent to eastern Pennsylvania, initially under the care of an associate of his father's, Miers Fisher. Difficulties in this arrangement led to Audubon's move to Mill Grove, his father's farm near Philadelphia, where his boyhood interest in drawing bird specimens grew. Here he met his future wife Lucy Bakewell, the daughter of a prosperous neighbor. They married in 1808 and moved first to the new settlement of Louisville, and later to Henderson, Kentucky, where John James failed as merchant and miller. In 1812, Audubon became a naturalized American citizen. The largely unspoiled wilderness of Kentucky allowed Audubon an increasing range of birds to hunt and draw, and lacking formal artistic training, he worked hard at developing a new method of mounting dead birds on wires as an aid to delineation. In 1810, Audubon briefly met the distinguished ornithologist Alexander Wilson at Louisville, where he saw the first two volumes of the artist-author's pioneering American Ornithology. He later implied, perhaps correctly, that his own drawings were, even at that time, better than Wilson's. Although the idea of publication first entered his mind on this occasion, it was not until 1820, following bankruptcy, that Audubon set out by flatboat for Louisiana, with the single goal of adding to his portfolio of bird pictures. He worked precariously as an itinerant artist and tutor, leaving much of the burden to Lucy of supporting herself and their two sons. They settled on a plantation near New Orleans called Bayou Sara. Finally, Audubon came into his full powers as a brilliant painter of birds and master of design, chiefly working in Louisiana and Mississippi. In the spring of 1824, he sought publication of his work in Philadelphia and New York. Failing this, he travelled to England in 1826. Originally, The Birds of America was planned to be issued serially in eighty parts of five plates each, for a total of 400 plates. The final count, however, would increase to 435 in 87 parts, owing to discoveries of new species made by Thomas Nuttall and John Kirk Townsend on the Wyeth expedition to the Columbia River in 1834. The monumental format of this work was dictated by Audubon's insistence that each species be shown life-size and his determination to depict all the known species found in North America. It soon became evident to Audubon that to publish the work he had envisioned, he must travel to Britain, where through exhibitions of his drawings he came in contact with the scientific community. One of his early acquaintances here was the historian and botanist, William Roscoe, who helped arrange these exhibitions. At one such exhibition in Manchester, he met the American consul, F.S. Brookes from Boston, who advised him to publish his "Great Work" by subscription, a traditional method of raising funds in advance of the great expenses involved in such a publication--which Audubon anticipated would take 14 years to complete. "The dramatic impact of his ambitious, complex pictures and a romantic image as 'the American woodsman' secured Audubon entry into a scientific community much preoccupied with little-known lands. He met the leaders of society and science and was elected to the leading organizations, including the Royal Society of London. Among his friends were the gifted ornithologist William Swainson, from whom he learned some niceties of technical ornithology, and the orderly, brilliant Scottish naturalist-anatomist William MacGillivray. The text for Audubon's pictures, separately produced at Edinburgh, emerged as the five-volume Ornithological Biography [a set of the text volumes is included with the lot]. MacGillivray edited this for grammatical form, and he also contributed extensive anatomical descriptions to the later volumes" (DSB). In Edinburgh, the printer and zoologist, Patrick Neill, a fellow member of the Wernerian Society, directed Audubon to William Home Lizars (1788-1859), "the best engraver in the city" who was currently engraving for Prideaux John Selby (1788-1867) and Sir William Jardine (1800-1874), Britain's foremost ornithologists. Lizars was so impressed with Audubon's drawings, that he put aside the work he was currently doing for Selby and agreed to take on the Herculean task of printing the plates. For the time being, Audubon had found his engraver, and could now concentrate on seeking patronage for the work, which took him to the noblest homes of Britain and Europe, and to the new markets of the young American Republic--as may be seen from the original list of subscribers. The relationship with the engraver Lizars was not long-lasting. During the engraving of the first two parts (each containing five plates), Lizar's colorists went on strike, causing Audubon to search for another engraver for his "Great Work." Audubon went to London, where he met Robert Havell, senior member of the well-known family of artists and aquatinters. At fifty-eight Havell, Sr felt he was too old for such an undertaking leading him to find a younger engraver for the project, which ultimately led to his own estranged son Robert Jr, an accomplished engraver working at the time for Colnaghi. The two were reconciled and entered upon a successful business partnership, known as Robert Havell and Son. A life-long friendship was established between Audubon and Robert junior, and together they created the greatest of all bird books, arguably the highest achievement of ornithological art. As a subscription publication, The Birds of America was issued over a decade according to demand, and the plates bear a range of imprints, which varies from set to set. We know that Robert senior died in 1832 and that Robert junior then styled himself R. Havell. Fries cites the variants in the names on the first ten plates, which are likely to cause the most confusion as they were the ones engraved by Lizars. They were handed over to the Havells as soon as they had been engaged for the project, and the imprint was amended to reflect this. The earliest states of plate I have "Engraved by W.H. Lizars Edinr.", while later states have "Retouched by R. Havell Junr." Although Havell junior engraved all the plates after number 10, there is no evidence to support a conclusion from the final variants of plates III, IV, V and X, that Havell completely re-engraved the plates, despite the removal of Lizars name from the imprint. Some plates bear no distinction between the senior and junior Havells. Others mention Lizars engraving, but Havell senior printing and coloring (e.g. plate VII), or Robert junior retouching and Robert senior printing and coloring (see Appendix B for imprints on the plates in the present set). EDITION SIZE AND RARITY Although the final list of subscribers to The Birds of America totaled 161, a somewhat greater number of sets certainly was produced. Bibliographers of the double-elephant folio have calculated the edition size at approximately 200 completed copies. In her updating of Fries' 1973 census, Susanne Low writes, "119 complete copies are known to exist in the world today. 108 are in institutions such as universities, libraries, museums, athenaeums, societies, and the like. 11 are in private hands." Since 1973, 24 copies of the book have been sold at auction. Of these, 14 have been sold on a sheet-by-sheet basis, many of these lacking plates, and are dispersed (including the Earl of Carnarvon copy comprising 159 plates only), and another incomplete set which lacked volume IV was sold together but presumably is now dispersed (the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences copy). At the present time, 107 copies remain in institutions and 13 are in private hands (which includes the Fox-Bute copy, previously unaccounted for by Fries and Low). PROVENANCE Presumably purchased sometime after 1838 as a bound complete set, by William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland PC, FRS, FSA (24 June 1768 - 27 March 1854), styled Marquess of Titchfield until 1809. He was a British politician who served in various positions in the governments of George Canning and Lord Goderich. Portland was the eldest son of Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland and Lady Dorothy, daughter of William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire and Charlotte Boyle, Baroness Clifford. He was the elder brother of Lord William Bentinck and Lord Charles Bentinck. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. Each volume in this set contains the armorial bookplate of the 6th Duke of Portland. However, according to the keepers at Welbeck, there seems to be little consistency of the "bookplating" in the library. There are many volumes presently in the library without any bookplate at all, as well as many books acquired by the 4th Duke with no earlier bookplate than the 6th Duke's on their pastedowns. Other books in the library that are known to have been purchased by the 4th Duke show his serious interest in natural history, and therefore may indicate he was the original purchaser of this Audubon set soon after publication in 1838 and prior to his death in 1854. It is possibly, however, that this set may also have been purchased later by the 5th or 6th Dukes of Portland, the son of the 4th Duke and his cousin, respectively. William John Cavendish Cavendish-Scott-Bentick, 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879), styled Lord William Cavendish-Scott-Bentick before 1824 and Marquess of Titchfield between 1824 and 1854, was a British aristocratic eccentric who preferred to live in seclusion. On 27 March 1854 he succeeded his father as 5th Duke of Portland. He had an underground maze excavated under his estate at Welbeck Abbey, near Clumber Park in North Nottinghamshire, where he kept his library. William John Arthur Charles James Cavendish-Bentick, 6th Duke of Portland (1857-1943), known as William Cavendish-Bentick until 1879, was a British landowner, courtier and Conservative politician. He notably served as Master of the Horse between 1886 and 1892 and again between 1895 and 1905. He inherited the Cavendish-Bentick estates, based around Welbeck Abbey, from his cousin William Cavendish-Scott-Bentick, 5th Duke of Portland, in 1879. TEXT AUDUBON, John James. Ornithological Biography, or an Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America; accompanied by descriptions of the objects represented in the work entitled The Birds of America. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1831-1849 [i.e. 1839]. 5 volumes, 8o (255 x 157 mm). Bound to match the plate volumes in full contemporary English crimson gilt-panelled morocco, spines in six compartments with five raised bands, edges gilt; single velvet-lined quarter morocco box matching the plate volume boxes. FIRST EDITION. "As early as November of 1826, shortly after Lizars had begun the engraving of the Birds of America, Audubon had written in his journal: 'I shall publish the letterpress in a separate book, at the same time with the illustrations, and shall accompany the descriptions of the birds with many anecdotes and accounts of localities connected with the birds themselves, and with my travels in search of them.' Had Audubon included the letterpress with the engravings, he would have been required, under the British Copyright Act of 1709, to deposit a copy of the work in nine libraries in the United Kingdom. Hence his letterpress appeared separately in the five volumes of the Ornithological Biography" (Fries, p. 47). REFERENCES Ayer/Zimmer, pp. 18-20, 20-21 (Ornithological Biography); Copenhagen/Anker 17, 18 (Ornithological Biography); Ellis/Mengel 96 (Ornithological Biography); Fine Bird Books, p. 57; Waldemar H. Fries, The Double Elephant Folio (Chicago 1973; rev. 2006, ed. Susanne Low); Susanne M. Low, An Index and Guide to Audubon's Birds of America (New York 1988); Low, Catalogue of the New Birds of America Section of the Audubon Archives (New York 1993); McGill/Wood, p. 207 (Ornithological Biography), 209; Nissen IVB 49. (9)

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-01-20
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SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. Edited by John Heminge (d. 1630)

SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. Edited by John Heminge (d. 1630) and Henry Condell (d. 1627). London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount at the Charges of W. Jaggard, Ed. Blount, I. Smithweeke, and W. Aspley, 1623. THE FINE AND COMPLETE DRYDEN-PULESTON-BEMIS COPY OF SHAKESPEARE'S FIRST FOLIO, THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK IN ENGLISH LITERATURE, AND ONE OF THE TWO FINEST COPIES REMAINING IN PRIVATE HANDS Median 2o (324 x 208mm). 454 leaves: COMPLETE (see collation below). Various paper-stocks from French mills and one unwatermarked. Roman and italic types 82 mm, larger cursive for running titles, set by at least nine compositors. Double column, 66 lines, headlines and catchwords, pages box-ruled, woocut head- and tail-pieces, Shakespeare's engraved portrait by MARTIN DROESHOUT in third state, as usual, and measures 197 x 165 mm. BINDING: late-17th- or early-18th-century English blind-tooled brown calf over pasteboard, sides panelled with double fillets, gouges and dots, floral tool at the angles, outer and center panels of the sides sprinkled in black, intermediate panels plain, sprinkled spine with raised double bands (lettering piece removed from spine, but its impression "SHAKESPEARS PLAYS" visible underneath; spine-ends, joints and corners restored, some wear and minor stains to covers, endpapers renewed with early sheets [foolscap watermark, initials LM countermark]); red morocco pull-off case by H. Zucker of Philadelphia. THE FIRST FOLIO OF SHAKESPEARE CONSTITUTES BY ANY STANDARDS THE MOST IMPORTANT BODY OF WORK IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS IN ALL OF LITERATURE. FIRST COLLECTED EDITION of Shakespeare's plays, known as THE FIRST FOLIO (STC 22273). It contains the FIRST APPEARANCE IN PRINT OF 18 PLAYS: Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Measure for Measure, Comedy of Errors, As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Winter's Tale, King John, Henry VI part 1, Henry VIII, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and Cymbeline; none of the reprinted plays show corrupted or mutilated text from 'bad quartos', a couple were set from good-quarto editions, half a dozen are the result of quarto texts collated against play-manuscripts, while the majority were newly edited from complete manuscripts that either varied or in most cases greatly improved the text of earlier editions. Three plays now accepted as genuine were not included: Pericles, Two Noble Kinsmen, and Sir Thomas More. If the plays of William Shakespeare are truly, as they are often termed, immortal--possessing a timeless power to move and to transform the lives of readers and play-goers; portraying a rich panoply of human types and universal situations with insight, sympathy, intellectual depth and coruscating wit; expressed in poetry whose originality has immeasurably enriched the English language itself--then surely it is not surprising that the First Folio itself, the book in which his plays were first collected, has attained immortal stature. In the nearly four centuries since his death, Shakespeare has become "the first universal author, replacing the Bible in the secularized consciousness" (Harold Bloom). The bibliographer William Jackson, in his 1940 commentary to the catalogue of the Carl Pforzheimer Library, succinctly denominated the First Folio edition of Shakespeare as "incomparably the most important work in the English language," a book which "will always be valued and revered accordingly." An earlier scholar, Henrietta C. Bartlett, the introduction to her 1923 catalogue of Shakespeareana, termed the 1623 folio "the most valuable single book in the English language," and so it unquestionably remains today: the undisputed keystone of any serious collection of English literature. In their prefatory address ("To the Great Variety of Readers") in the First Folio, Shakespeare's friends and fellow actors John Heminge and Henry Condell, simply exhort us to "Reade him, therefore; and againe, and againe." PRINTING HISTORY: William Jaggard and Thomas Pavier had made an abortive attempt in 1619 to produce a collected reprint of various plays (see lots 98 and 99), including Pericles. Although the King's Men were able to prevent this plan, a number of quartos were illicitly reprinted with false dates. The production of the folio began in early 1622 and continued with at least two interruptions until November 1623. Hinman in his classic monograph on the First Folio distinguished five compositors, working from two different typecases, but since then compositor A has been further subdivided. Compositor B set almost half the pages of the First Folio and he also supervised the work of others, specifically that of compositor E, who has been identified as the teenage apprentice John Leason of Hurley, Hampshire. While the printing progressed, Jaggard and Blount negotiated for rights to quarto texts held by other publishers, but for unknown reasons omitted Pericles, which was owned by Pavier and not reprinted until the Third Folio of 1664. The negotiations for the rights to Troilus and Cressida were prolonged, which caused the printers to stop its composition and later to take it up again, resulting in the complications of cancellation and the distinction of three issues as described above. The First Folio edition turned out a commercial success and was no doubt out of print by the time the Second went into production (1632). The First Folio served as printer's copy for the Second, the Third was set from the Second with the addition of seven plays (only Pericles being authentic), and the Fourth Folio was a simple reprint of the Third (see lots 101-103). The First Folio is textually superior to its successors, which was not generally realized by Shakespeare editors until Dr Johnson and Edward Capell in the 1760s. The interest of 18th-century English collectors in acquiring fine copies of the First Folio rather coincided with the new taste for monuments of early printing; they, and the booksellers who catered to them, applied some of the same techniques in completing copies, repairing and washing leaves, rebinding, etc., although Georgian bibliophiles (unlike their Victorian and Edwardian counterparts) for some reason seemed less keen to have their Shakespeare folios in gold-tooled morocco than their incunabula. The sophistication of First Folios has continued unabated since then and has been the subject of study by Lee and De Ricci in the early 20th century and by Blayney and West in our own time. The title with Martin Droeshout's important engraved portrait of the playwright was inserted as a singleton to begin with, as it was the only half-sheet in the book that needed to go through an intaglio as well as a letterpress; it was later particularly subject to replacement, repair and even forgery. While the insertion of a genuine title-leaf in the Dryden copy after the 1913 sale is well-documented, its three minor and earlier sophistications have not been noted before. The copy is number LXXV in Lee's census and number 145 in West's forthcoming census. In a letter to Frank B. Bemis dated 20th February 1932, Seymour de Ricci, the most experienced of census makers (Gutenberg, Caxton, as well as Shakespeare), wrote: "I fully agree with you in considering that its generally fine condition and the charming associations with Dryden and Locker make it one if the most desirable copies in existence." ISSUE AND VARIANTS: The Berland First Folio belongs to the third issue, as usual, complete with Troilus and Cressida and its prologue; only three copies of the first and four of the second issue survive in institutional collections. Hinman recorded hundreds of press variants on many dozens of pages, particularly in the Tragedies. They represent stop-press corrections of errors spotted after proofs of the two-page formes had been read; the apprentice compositor designated E was especially prone to making new mistakes while correcting and his work was more frequently checked during the press-run than that of the others. In practice, no attention was paid to the state of the sheets as they were gathered, and it is probable that no two copies of the finished book would have contained exactly the same corrections. The Dryden copy appears to show the majority of the formes that were subject to correction in their final state, but not all have been verified. EDITION SIZE AND RARITY: The First Folio was the result of a collaborative effort by the players in Shakespeare's company, The King's Men, and the publishers. As an ambitious business venture it had to be carefully planned by Jaggard and Blount, as they not only had to calculate the market for such a large book and the usual costs of paper and production, but also to negotiate the use of play-manuscripts and buy the rights from other publishers to plays already in print. Peter Blayney has scaled back the various estimates by Charlton Hinman and others of the Folio's edition size to "probably no more than 750 copies, and perhaps fewer" and its retail price from the traditional estimate of one pound for a copy in sheets to fifteen shillings. His estimate of the number of copies that survive in complete or fragmentary state totals some 300, of which most are imperfect, many seriously defective. (Of the 82 exemplars held by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., only 13 are complete.) No census, including the latest by A.J. West, can possibly attempt to identify how many different copies are represented by the surviving fragments that lead independent lives or hidden existences within sophisticated copies. Despite the high survival rate of copies of the First Folio, it is important to note that the large majority are in institutions and only a very small number of complete copies remain in private hands--recent counts numbering five or six only worldwide. And although imperfect or fragmentary copies occasionally appear on the market--and even these with a much decreased regularity--A FINE AND COMPLETE COPY IN AN EARLY BINDING IS AN EXTREMELY RARE OCCURRENCE AT AUCTION. COLLATION: A6(1+1), χ2 (A1r blank, A1v Ben Jonson's verses To the Reader, A1+1r letterpress title and the engraved portrait of the playwright by MARTIN DROESHOUT in third state, verso blank, A2 editors' dedication to the Earls of Pembroke and Montgomery, A3r editors' note To the great Variety of Readers, verso blank, A4 Ben Jonson's verses To the memory of my beloved, The Author, A5r Hugh Holland's verses Upon the Lines and Life of the Famous Scenicke Poet, verso blank, A6r A Catalogue of the severall Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies contained in this Volume, verso blank, χ1r verses To the Memorie of the deceased Authour by L. Digges and I.M., verso blank, χ2r The Names of the Principall Actors, verso blank); 2A-Z, Aa-Bb6 Cc2 (Comedies: 2A1r The Tempest, B4v The Two Gentlemen of Verona, D2r The Merry Wives of Windsor, F1r Measure, For Measure, H1r The Comedie of Errors, I3r Much adoe about Nothing, L1v Loves Labour's lost, N1r A Midsommer Nights Dreame, O4r The Merchant of Venice, Q3r As you Like it, S2v The Taming of the Shrew, V1v All's Well, that Ends Well, Y2r Twelfe Night, Or what you will, Z6v blank, Aa1r The Winters Tale, Cc2v blank); a-g6 gg8, h-v6 x4 (Histories: a1r The life and death of King Iohn, b6r The life and death of King Richard the Second, d5v The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry Sirnamed Hot-spurre, f6v The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift, gg8r Epilogue, gg8v The Actors Names, h1r The Life of Henry the Fift, k2v The first Part of Henry the Sixt, m2v The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Good Duke Humfrey, o4r The third Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Duke of Yorke, q5r The Tragedy of Richard the Third: with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field, t3r The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight); 2χ1= . 2gg3 3χ1=2gg4 \\h-\\h\\h6 \\h\\h\\h1 (singleton), aa-ff62gg6 ( . 1.2, . 3=2χ1, 4=3χ1, -5, -6) 3gg-hh, kk-zz aaa-bbb6 (Tragedies: 2χ1r The Prologue, verso The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida, aa1r The Tragedy of Coriolanus, cc4r The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus, ee3r The Tragedie of Romeo and Iuliet, 3gg1v The Life of Tymon of Athens, hh6r The Actors Names, verso blank, kk1r The Tragedie of Iulius Caesar, ll6r The Tragedie of Macbeth, nn4v The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke, qq2r The Tragedie of King Lear, ss3v The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice, vv6v The Tragedie of Anthonie, and Cleopatra, zz3r The Tragedie of Cymbeline, bbb6r colophon, verso blank). 454 leaves: COMPLETE. Various paper-stocks from French mills and one unwatermarked. Roman and italic types 82mm, larger cursive for running titles, set by at least nine compositors. Double column, 66 lines, headlines and catchwords, pages box-ruled, woodcut head- and tail-pieces, Shakespeare's engraved portrait 197 x 165mm. CONDITION: title-leaf (with a few small repairs and light dust-soiling) inserted from another copy by Quaritch's in or shortly after 1913; folios d3 and p5 (another leaf f1, possibly) supplied from another copy of the First Folio (judging by their disjunction, watermark distribution, and isolated wormholes), before 1913; 2χ1 inserted verso/recto; A1 "To the Reader" with marginal areas of repair (slightly affecting a few letters) and creases pressed, other preliminaries also pressed; tiny rust holes affecting one or 2 letters on E6, G1, M4, p1, h3, i3, l2, m2, m6, aa4, vv1; short tears or natural paper flaws (in a few cases crossing text or rule border) to M1, N4, R5, m4, kk4, oo5, ss1; a small number of additional leaves with light stains, small ink blots, minor marginal flaws or repairs; wormhole to inner blank margins of yy2-bbb5 (mended in final leaf bbb6). This copy has been subjected to a more rigorous collation and condition examination than previous examples at auction, and the above is a very conscientious list of defects of the most minor kind, as this is probably ONE OF THE TWO FINEST COPIES REMAINING IN PRIVATE HANDS, large in size and the paper mostly fresh. PROVENANCE: 1. 18th-century inscription "William" on blank verso of A5 2. Allen Puleston (his signature scored through on blank verso of the final leaf), who married Mary Dryden, the great-niece of John Dryden, the poet, and died in 1762; by descent to 3. Sir John Dryden (signature above Puleston's), seventh baronet of the first creation (d. 1770) or first baronet of a new creation, who died in 1797; by descent to 4. Sir Henry Dryden (d. 1900), from whom the poet Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821-95) unsuccessfully tried to purchase it for the Rowfant Library (see his Confidences, 1896, 204ff), bequeathed to his brother 5. Sir Alfred Erasmus Dryden, Bart. of Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire (Lee's Census LXXV; sold at Sotheby's, 8th July 1913, lot 596, to) 6. [Frank T. Sabin, London booksellers, sold to] 7. [Bernard Quaritch, London booksellers, who supplied the title and, in the tercentenary year of Shakespeare's death, sent it on approval to] 8. [Dr A.S.W. Rosenbach, Philadelphia bookseller, who first offered it first to Henry Clay Folger as "in the original binding," and then sold it to] 9. Commodore Morton V. Plant of New York, in 1922 sold back to 10. [Dr A.S.W. Rosenbach, who resold it almost immediately to] 11. Frank Brewer Bemis of Boston (bookplate), after his death in 1935 his collection was placed on consignment by his executors with 12. [Dr Rosenbach, who in 1944 sold the Bemis four Shakespeare Folios (see the next three lots) together as a set to] 13. Morris Wolf of Philadelphia, the Rosenbach Company lawyer and father of Dr Rosenbach's assistant and biographer Edwin Wolf 2nd (the set sold at Sotheby's on 6th June 1961, lot 43, to) 14. [John F. Fleming, New York bookseller and successor to Rosenbach, sold to] 15. Caroline Newton (daughter of A. Edward Newton, exuberant chronicler of American book-collecting in the first four decades of the 20th century), the set resold to 16. [John Fleming, who sold it in 1970 to] 17. Abel E. Berland (bookplate). LITERATURE: The literature on the First Folio is more extensive than that concerning any other single edition, the Gutenberg Bible probably not excepted. Below are a few of the most significant monographs on the First Folio. Sidney Lee. Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies: A Census of Extant Copies. Oxford, 1902. A.W. Pollard. Shakespeare Folios and Quartos: A Study in the Bibliography of Shakespeare's Plays. London, 1909. W.W. Greg. The Shakespeare First Folio: Its Bibliographical and Textual History. Oxford, 1955. Charlton Hinman. The Printing and Proof-Reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare. 2 volumes. Oxford, 1963. Peter W.M. Blayney. The First Folio of Shakespeare. Washington, D.C., 1991. Anthony James West. The Shakespeare First Folio. The History of the Book. Volume I. Oxford, 2001.

  • USAUSA
  • 2001-10-08
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"In other words we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life..."

"In other words we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life..." "Twice, especially, since 1900, scientists and their ideas have generated a transformation so broad and so deep that it touches everyone's most intimate sense of the nature of things. The first of these transformations was in physics, the second in biology. Between the two, we are most of us spontaneously more interested in the science of life..." (Horace Freeland Judson, The Eighth Day of Creation). CRICK, Francis Harry Compton (1916-2004). Autograph Letter Signed ("Daddy") to his son Michael, outlining the revolutionary discovery of the structure and function of DNA. Cambridge, 19 March 1953. 7 pages, 4to, on Basildon bond blue writing paper, watermarked ...written on rectos and versos (each sheet with two small hole-punches, otherwise very fine). MORE THAN ONE MONTH BEFORE THE FIRST PUBLISHED ANNOUNCEMENT, FRANCIS CRICK, THE CO-DISCOVERER OF THE STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF DNA, DETAILS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES OF THE 20TH CENTURY--THE 'SECRET OF LIFE'--TO HIS SON "We have discovered the secret of life," Francis Crick announced to the patrons of the Eagle Pub in Cambridge on that historic afternoon of February 1953. According to his co-discoverer James D. Watson: "As was normal for a Saturday morning, I got to work at Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory earlier than Francis Crick on February 28, 1953. I had good reason for being up early. I knew that we were close--though I had no idea just how close--to figuring out the structure of a then little-known molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid: DNA. This was not any old molecule: DNA, as Crick and I appreciated, holds the very key to the nature of living things. It stores the hereditary information that is passed on from one generation to the next, and it orchestrates the incredibly complex world of the cell. Figuring out its three-dimensional structure--the architecture by which the molecule is put together--would, we hoped, provide a glimpse of what Crick referred to only half-jokingly as 'the secret of life'" (James Watson, DNA: The Secret of Life, NY, 2003, preface). Francis Crick was born in Northampton, England in 1916, to a family which ran a successful shoemaking firm. Crick's grandfather was a shoemaker and an amateur scientist; his father's brother Walter was also science-minded, and he and Francis conducted chemical experiments together when he was young. Crick studied physics at University College in London, but his studies were interrupted by service in World War II. During the war he worked as a scientist for the British Admiralty, where he contributed important work in connection with magnetic and acoustic mines. After the War, Crick left the Admiralty in 1947 to study biological research at the Strangeways Laboratory in Cambridge. Although the research did not excite him, from there he was able to keep up on developments in the fields of genetics and bacteriology, and in 1949, he transferred to the Cavendish Laboratory, headed by Nobel Laureate Sir Lawrence Bragg. There he would join the new unit established by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to study protein structure using X-rays working alongside future Nobel laureates Max Perutz and John Kendrew. Crick was 33 years old and still a graduate student when the young American, James D. Watson arrived at the Cavendish. Twelve years Crick's junior, Watson had already completed his Ph.D in 1950, and was determined to pursue the nature of the gene and its chemical basis. He and Crick were assigned an office together and quickly began to share their ideas on the physical nature of the gene and how to determine the structure of DNA. Unlike the experimentalists Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin, they believed the structure could be determined through a combination of data and theory, and model-building to see which structures made the most sense. Watson's carefully constructed models showing the base pairs were critical, while the data they worked with included crucial information from Franklin's X-ray research, which determined that DNA was helical among other characteristics. The Race for the Discovery of the Structure of DNA The knowledge of the existence of DNA was reported as early as 1868, when the Swiss physician Fritz Miescher first discovered its presence in the nuclei of cells. During the decades following Miescher's discovery, other scientists--notably, Phoebus Levene and Erwin Chargaff--carried out a series of research efforts that revealed additional details about the DNA molecule, including its primary chemical components and the ways in which they joined with one another. In 1943, the American medical researcher Oswald Avery had proven that DNA was the molecule responsible for carrying genetic information. But prior to Watson and Crick's study of the structure of DNA (which led to the discovery of its function), proteins were primarily thought to be the carriers of genetic material. Although the chemical composition of DNA was known and understood, scientists were unable to make conclusions about its function. By the 1950s, three groups made it their goal to determine the structure of DNA. Led by Maurice Wilkins, the first group to start was at King's College London, and was later joined by Rosalind Franklin. At King's they were focused on the examination of X-ray diffraction patterns of DNA fibers. Crick and Watson were at Cambridge building physical models using metal rods and balls, in which they incorporated the known chemical structures of the nucleotides, as well as the known position of the linkages joining one nucleotide to the next along the polymer. A third group, at Caltech, was led by Linus Pauling. Of the three groups, only the London team was able to produce good quality diffraction patterns and thus produce adequate quantitative data about the molecule's structure. Crick and Watson's collaboration to discover the structure of DNA became a race with the obvious progress the chemist Linus Pauling was making in California. Pauling had previously published the structure of an important structural component of proteins known as the alpha helix in 1951, and while Watson and Crick were working on their model he published an incorrect triple model of DNA. On that fateful last day in February 1953, Watson recounted: "When I got to our still empty office the following morning, I quickly cleared away the papers from my desk top so that I would have a large, flat surface on which to form pairs of bases held together by hydrogen bonds. Though I initially went back to my like-with-like prejudices, I saw all too well that they led nowhere. When Jerry [Donahue] came in I looked up, saw that it was not Francis, and began shifting the bases in and out of various other pairing possibilities. Suddenly I became aware that an adenine-thymine pair held together by two hydrogen bonds was identical in shape to a guanine-cytosine pair held together by at least two hydrogen bonds. All the hydrogen bonds seemed to form naturally; no fudging was required to make the two types of base pairs identical in shape Upon his arrival Francis did not get more than halfway through the door before I let loose that the answer to everything was in our hands. However, we both knew that we should not be home until a complete model was built in which all the stereo-chemical contacts were satisfactory. There was the obvious fact that the implications of its existence were far too important to risk crying wolf. Thus I felt slightly queasy when at lunch Francis winged into the Eagle to tell everyone within hearing distance that we had found the secret of life" (Watson, The Double Helix, pp. 194-197). "Those early days of March raced by as they attached and detached skeletal metal representations of the atoms using cylindrical collars, such as those familiar to construction kit enthusiasts. It took them several days to measure the positions of all the atoms with a plumb line and ruler. Crick would beat Watson to the lab in the morning, where he could be seen tightening the clamps holding the skeletal model and checking and recording the positions of each atom. Every now and then, a visitor would arrive from the Cavendish to see what all the fuss was about. As physicists upstairs commented, 'steam' was rising from the floor below-excited voices, laughter, and Crick's voice as he delivered yet another 'buoyant and booming' lecture to the next visitor. This went on all week, ending Saturday morning 'by which time,' said Crick, 'I was so tired, I just went straight home and to bed.'" (Olby, p. 169). As soon as they made their discovery, they immediately set about preparing it for publication, and on April 2nd it was submitted to the journal Nature. To avoid any embarrassment such as they had had on one of their earlier failed attempts at a structure, the two scientists checked and re-checked their model and began showing it to their colleagues at the Cavendish, before announcing it to their rivals at King's College and Caltech. "Confirmation that Watson and Crick were over the first hurdle came after they had given Wilkins a copy of the paper intended for Nature that they had been drafting and redrafting. Wilkins responded in a letter dated 18 March that begins 'I think you're a couple of old rogues but you may well have something. I like the idea'" (Olby, p. 171). "The final version was ready to be typed on the last weekend of March. Our Cavendish typist was not on hand, and the brief job was given to my sister. There was no problem persuading her to spend a Saturday afternoon this way, for we told her that she was participating in perhaps the most famous event in biology since Darwin's book. Francis and I stood over her as she typed the nine-hundred-word article that began, 'We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest.' On Tuesday the manuscript was sent up to Bragg's office and on Wednesday, April 2, went off to the editors of Nature" (James Watson, The Double Helix, p. 222). The 'Secret of Life' Letter It was during this period, while successive drafts of their first paper were going back and forth between Cambridge and London, that Francis Crick wrote a remarkable letter outlining their discovery to his twelve-year old son, Michael, who was at the time convalescing while away at boarding school. Michael F.C. Crick was Francis Crick's son from his first marriage (1940-47) to Ruth Doreen Dodd. In the same understated voice that would become familiar in their published announcement, Crick writes on March 19th: "Dear Michael, Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery. We have built a model for the structure of des-oxy-ribose-nucleic-acid (read it carefully) called D.N.A. You may remember that the genes of the chromosomes - which carry the hereditary factors - are made up of protein and D.N.A. Our structure is very beautiful" He goes on to describe the structure in detail including its helical shape with his hand drawn diagram: "Now we have two of these chains winding round each other - each one is a helix - and the chain, made up of sugar and phosphorus, is on the outside, and the bases are all on the inside. I can't draw it very well, but it looks like this" Crick lays out the fixed base pairings which he describes as being like a code: "If you are given one set of letters you can write down the others. "Now we believe that the D.N.A. is a code. That is, the order of the bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another). You can now see how Nature makes copies of the genes. Because if the two chains unwind into two separate chains, and if each chain then makes another chain come together on it, then because A always goes with T, and G with C, we shall get two copies where we had one before." After a series of diagrams of the base pairings, he modestly continues: "In other words we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life." Referring to publication of the discovery, Crick informs he son: "You can understand that we are very excited. We have to have a letter off to Nature in a day or so" and instructs him "Read this carefully so that you understand it. When you come home we will show you the model. Lots of love, Daddy." This letter was referred to by Crick as the "Secret of Life Letter," and has been cited often in the accounts of the discovery, including those of Horace Freeland Judson, and Robert Olby. This is due to its remarkable content, apart from the touching personal aspect of the transmission of his most recent discovery to his young son. In essence, it provides a concise illustrated summary of the first two important papers written by Watson and Crick that appeared in Nature in April and May of 1953, respectively. Beyond describing the double-helix structure and base pair combinations of the first paper, the letter summarizes their ideas about genetic replication that would appear in their important second article for Nature, published on May 30, 1953. Aftermath Although recognized today as one of the seminal scientific papers of the twentieth century, Watson and Crick's original article in Nature was not frequently cited at first. Its true significance became apparent, and its circulation widened, only towards the end of the 1950s, when the structure of DNA they had proposed was shown to provide a mechanism for controlling protein synthesis, and when their conclusions were confirmed in the laboratory by Matthew Meselson, Arthur Kornberg, and others. Watson and Crick collaborated on three papers on DNA in 1953, and one the following year. Their second Nature article, which appeared in May 1953, entitled "Genetical Implications of the Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid," is considered by some scientists to be more important in some ways than the first, because it describes a mechanism for duplication, and for the first time a diagram of the two base pairs, and describes their replication--these critical aspects are all included in Crick's remarkable letter to his son, well in advance of formal publication. "Watson and Crick's second paper begins with a sweeping declamatory statement typical of both authors: 'The importance of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) within living cells is undisputed.' Then follow three very carefully worded sentences, probably written by Crick, that neatly express the main reason for the widespread reluctance at the time to accept DNA as the genetic material. 'Many lines of evidence indicate that it is the carrier of a part of (if not all) the genetic specificity of the chromosomes and thus of the gene itself. Until now, however, no evidence has been presented to show how it might carry out the essential operation required of a genetic material, that of exact duplication.'Then follows the important inference that 'it therefore seems likely that the precise sequence of the bases is the code which carries the genetical information.' That word 'code,' speaking of a secret to be discovered, expressed their hopes for the future" (Olby, p. 186). In 1962, Crick, Watson and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in medicine for their work at the Cavendish Laboratory and at the University of Cambridge. Rosalind Franklin, who also worked on the research, died in 1958 before the Nobel was awarded. It is not awarded posthumously. Watson and Crick continued their investigations into the secrets of life, and eventually would go their separate ways in their search, but it was their discovery in early 1953 of the double helical structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which led to their worldwide recognition--as well as the development of the field of molecular biology. It marked a milestone in the history of science and gave rise to modern molecular biology, which is largely concerned with understanding how genes control the chemical processes within cells. Their discovery yielded ground-breaking insights into the genetic code and protein synthesis. During the 1970s and 1980s, it helped to produce new and powerful scientific techniques, specifically recombinant DNA research, genetic engineering, rapid gene sequencing, and monoclonal antibodies, techniques on which today's multi-billion dollar biotechnology industry is founded. Major current advances in science, such as genetic fingerprinting and modern forensics, the mapping of the human genome, and the future promise of gene therapy, all have their origins in Watson and Crick's inspired work. In 1968, Watson became director of the molecular-biology lab at Cold Spring Harbor, New York and in 1988 became head of the United States Human Genome Project. In 1977, Crick became professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, where he did brain research. Francis Crick died in 2004 at the age of 88. Most of his scientific papers are at The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine in London, and therefore ANY MANUSCRIPT MATERIAL FROM THE TIME OF THEIR DISCOVERY IS UNLIKELY TO APPEAR ON THE MARKET. Watson reflected fifty years after the discovery: "Crick's brag in the Eagle...that we had indeed discovered that 'secret of life,' struck me as somewhat immodest, especially in a country like England, where understatement is a way of life. Crick, however, was right. Our discovery put an end to a debate as old as the human species: Does life have some magical, mystical essence, or is it, like any chemical reaction carried out in a science class, the product of normal physical and chemical processes? Is there something divine at the heart of [a] cell that brings it to life? The double helix answered that question with a definitive No" (DNA: The Secret of Life, preface). Crick's work with Watson on the double helix structure, and his subsequent work laying down the foundations of molecular biology, made him a seminal figure in the field of science. Their findings, as expressed by Crick in this remarkable early letter, constitute one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th century, the recognition of the double helix structure of DNA as the blueprint of life-the "Secret of Life."

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  • 2013-04-10
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The autograph manuscript of the Second Symphony ("the Resurrection")

A monumental and dramatic manuscript written throughout in the composer's characteristic bold musical script, mainly in intense black ink, with some parts in brown or violet ink (the final seven pages in violet ink), on up to twenty-eight staves per page, a working manuscript in places, with inserted leaves, corrections and deletions, including an important pencil sketch for the opening of the third movement, together with many revisions and additions to the orchestration written in blue crayon in the first three movements and in violet ink in the final movement, inscribed and dated by the composer at the end of first and last movements respectively: "Sonntag 29. April [18]94 renovatum" & "Beendigt am Dienstag, den 18. Dezember 1894 zu Hamburg". 232 pages, large folio (c.35 x 27cm), 24- & 28-stave papers, without a title page, unbound bifolios, each movement foliated separately by the composer (the fourth paginated in another hand), retaining the original composing structure, including inserted leaves and bifolios, traces of earlier stitching to the first three movements, the final two movements unstitched, annotations in pencil to the lower margins by Mahlers copyists, modern cloth-covered folding box, gilt lettering labels, mainly Hamburg (some parts possibly also at Steinbach am Attersee), April to December 1894, a few creases to margins I. "Maestoso. Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck", comprising 15 bifolios, with the remains of stitching, a total of 58 pages. II. "Andante con moto", comprising 8 bifolios, the remains of stitching, a total of 30 pages. III. [Scherzo], comprising 14 bifolios, one unnumbered, the remains of stitching, a total of 53 pages. IV. "Nro 4. 'Urlicht'. Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht", comprising two unstitched bifolios, a total of 8 pages. V. "Im Tempo des Scherzos. Wild herausfahrend!", comprising 21 unstitched bifolios, a total of 83 pages. THIS IS THE GREATEST AUTOGRAPH MUSIC MANUSCRIPT TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION FOR NEARLY THIRTY YEARS.   The only comparable autographs are those of the nine Mozart symphonies (Sothebys London, 22 May 1987, lot 457) and Schumanns Second Symphony (Sothebys London, 1 December 1994, lot 317). NO AUTOGRAPH OF A COMPLETE SYMPHONY BY MAHLER HAS APPEARED AT AUCTION FOR NEARLY SIXTY YEARS.  Indeed, since Sothebys sold Mahlers First Symphony in 1959, no autograph of a complete symphony by any of the great late Romantic composers--Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Bruckner or Mahler--has been sold at auction; this is a unique opportunity to acquire such a manuscript. MAHLERS MONUMENTAL SECOND SYMPHONY WAS THE GRANDEST OF ALL NINETEENTH-CENTURY SYMPHONIES. With the vast forces and great length (around an hour and a half), it easily surpassed its choral predecessors by Beethoven, Berlioz and Liszt in its enormous range and conception.  It is a standard work in the concert repertory, performed and recorded by all the great conductors.  Mahler demands an orchestra of over one hundred players, comprising four or five each of the woodwind instruments (including piccolos, E-flat clarinets and contrabassoon), ten trumpets, ten French horns, four trombones and tuba, two harps, organ, an extensive battery of percussion and the largest possible contingent of strings. THIS IS THE ONLY AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF THE COMPLETE  SYMPHONY:  There are early drafts of individual movements now dispersed in Basel, Yale, New York and London, together with a fair number of sketch-leaves in Vienna and elsewhere.   There is no other autograph score of the great Finale to Mahlers symphony, its crowning glory.  Mahler began this as a fair copy of his complete symphony, but subsequently revised the manuscript making important changes to the orchestration in blue crayon and in violet ink, introducing new instruments such as the E-flat clarinet, extra timpani and harp parts.  These alterations are particularly extensive in the third and fifth movements.  Mahler also revises the opening of the third movement; there is a pencil sketch in his hand, where the manuscript differs markedly from his final version. This manuscript is particularly important for being unaltered, untrimmed and unbound.  It retains its original physical form, reflecting and revealing how Mahler created the final musical structure of his work.  Mahler wrote the manuscript on a series of numbered bifolios (sheets folded to form four pages each), and the insertion and extraction of leaves into this sequence provides crucial evidence of how Mahler brought his masterpiece to its final form.  Other manuscripts of his symphonies now in libraries are mostly bound, sometimes with the leaves separated and mounted on guards, so that such evidence has been irretrievably lost.   Although the facsimile that Gilbert Kaplan published reproduces the colours of the manuscript faithfully, it does not show anything of this physical structure.                                                                 *** MAHLERS RESURRECTION SYMPHONY DEALS WITH MATTERS OF LIFE AND DEATH; IN DOING SO, IT REPRESENTS THE CULMINATION OF THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY SYMPHONY.  It is his most accessible and arguably his greatest early treatment of such existential issues and this is why it has always been among his most popular works.  Mahler was following a great tradition, building on the expansion of the form achieved by Beethoven in his Ninth; that work also concluded with a great choral finale, expressing Schillers humanist Ode to Joy, and linking all the movements. These innovations were developed by Berlioz and Liszt to express mortal, supernatural, diabolic and mystical concepts.  Mahler was fully aware that this continual development and expansion of the symphony went hand in hand with the desire to express grander and more profound concepts and "newer elements of feeling".  He wrote in Hamburg in 1893 that "composers began to include ever deeper and more complex sides of their emotional lives in the realm of their creative work...from [Beethoven] on not just the fundamental shades of the mood--thus e.g. sheer joyfulness or sadness etc.--but also the transition from one mood to another--conflicts--Nature and her impact upon us--humour, and poetic ideas--were the objects of musical emulation.  All aspects of metaphysics, religious problems and existentialism fascinated Mahler, and he continually engrossed himself in philosophical problems and reflected them through music. At this time Mahler was better known as a conductor than as a composer, and specifically an opera conductor.  Inevitably, his daily diet was not Berlioz and Liszt, but Webers Der Freischütz, Beethovens Fidelio,  Mozarts Don Giovanni & Die Zauberflöte, Rossinis Il barbiere di Siviglia, Meyerbeers Les Huguenots, Bizets Carmen, Verdis Un ballo in maschera and, increasingly from 1885 on, the operas of Wagner.  His repertoire as a conductor included well over one hundred operas, many staged in several different productions. Not surprisingly, Mahlers Resurrection Symphony is a vividly dramatic work.  It portrays the triumph of the human spirit in overcoming death, whose depiction in the first movement is as dramatic and terrifying as in Verdis Requiem.  In the long first movement, Mahler presents us with the relentless struggle with death, firmly bound in the fateful key of C minor.  The even-more-ambitious Finale, lasting over half an hour, contains the voice crying in the wilderness, the Last Trump, the Resurrection and all the struggle that leads up to it.  Mahlers fourteen-year experience of conducting operas informed his dramatic presentation, not least in his striking use of off-stage brass and percussion. Mahler originally composed the first movement in August and September 1888, but could not continue the symphony; he later retitled his fair copy 'Todtenfeier' (Funeral rites). He took the work up again in July 1893, writing the second, third and fourth movements. Only in April 1894 did Mahler return to assembling these disparate movements into a coherent whole, by revising the first movement and composing his great Finale. The inspiration came to him on 29 March 1894, when he attended the memorial service of the great pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow (1830-1894) in Hamburg. Mahler explained to Arthur Seidl that it was only then that he fixed on the conclusion that would bind his great work together: I had long contemplated bringing in the choir in the last movement, and only the fear that it would be taken as a superficial imitation of Beethoven made me hesitate again and again. Then Bülow died and I went to the memorial service [Todtenfeier] ...the choir, up in the organ loft, intoned Klopstocks Resurrection chorale. It flashed on me like lightening, and everything became plain and clear in my mind! It was the flash that all creative artists wait for, conception by the Holy Ghost! What I experienced had now to be expressed in sound. Mahler did on three occasions write a descriptive programme about the symphony: In a letter of 1896, Mahler wrote that ...The first movement depicts the titanic struggles of a mighty being still caught in the toils of this world; grappling with life and with the fate to which he must succumb--and his death.  The second and third movements, Andante and Scherzo, are episodes from the life of the fallen hero...While the first three movements are narrative in character, in the last movement everything is immediate action. It begins with the death-shriek [reprised from near the end] of the Scherzo. And now the resolution of the terrible problem of life--redemption. At first, we see it in the form created by faith and the ChurchIt is the day of the Last Judgement...the earth trembles. Just listen to the drum-roll, and your hair will stand on end! The Last Trump sounds; the graves spring open, and all creation comes writhing out of the bowels of the earth, with wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Now they all come marching along in a mighty procession: beggars and rich men, common folk and kings...There now follows nothing of what had been expected: no Last Judgement, no souls saved and none damned; no just man, no evil-doer, no judge! Everything has ceased to be. And softly and simply there begins: Auferstehn, ja auferstehn [the Resurrection chorale: Rise up again, yes rise up].... Please see the comprehensive description of this manuscript in the separate catalogue.   Sotheby's is happy to acknowledge the advice and assistance of Professors Stephen Hefling and Paul Banks.

  • GBRGrande Bretagne
  • 2016-11-29
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Lavater.

Lavater. Verzeichnis der bisher bekannten gedrukten u: ungedrukten Schriften von Weiland Hrn. Joh. Caspar Lavater gewesener Pfarrer beym St. Peter in Zürich". Deutsche Handschrift auf Papier. Zürich 1801. 250 S., 1 Bl. Pp. d. Zt. mit Rsch. (Kapitale leicht schadhaft, fleckig und bestoßen). Ein in sauberer Handschrift verfaßtes Verzeichnis der Werke Lavaters. Einen Monat nach dessen Tode 1801 von einem anonymen Verfasser zu Papier gebracht. Durchaus vorstellbar, daß er aus dem engeren Mitarbeitern oder Bekanntenkreis Lavaters stammte; wie sonst hätte er unveröffentlichtes Material in seine Bibliographie aufnehmen können? Die Titelaufnahmen der veröffentlichten Werke verzeichnen professionell Verfasser, Erscheinungsort undnjahr, teilweise mit Kollationen. Sie beeindrucken durch die Angabe der Quellen, darunter neben Rezensionsorganen wie der "Allgemeinen deutschen Bibliothek" auch die Zürcher Zeitung und der Londoner Chronicle. Chronologisch werden in zehn Kapiteln die Schriften von und über Lavater aufgeführt. Die Kapitel enthalten theologische, katechetische und philosophische Schriften, Poesien, Vermischtes und Kleinigkeiten. Der Anhang führt "merkwürdige Schriften von und über Lavater", "Biographien, Bildnisse und Schattenrisse", "Maleficanten", "Rezensionen und Charakterstudien von Freunden und Feinden". Auch einzelnen Themen wie "Cagliostro und Lavater", "Messmer und Lavater" und "Lavaters Reise nach Bremen" sind Kapitel gewidmet. Den fälschlich unter Lavaters Namen veröffentlichten Schriften trägt der Verfasser ebenso Rechnung wie den postum erschienenen Werken und denen zu seinem Andenken.

  • DEUAllemagne
  • 2013-06-21
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Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Off-white

Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Off-white pages. An original-owner copy of Batman's first appearance would be a hotly sought-after item in any grade, but this one's eye appeal should make any serious collector take notice, and puts it among the most desirable single comics ever offered by Heritage. What a treat it is to see this key book with the yellow and red surfaces so clean and unsmudged! If you'd like to compare this to the average surviving copy of the comic, just go to our auction archives at HA.com. The advanced collector knows all too well what an average "Tec 27" looks like, and will ask the obvious question: how does this compare to the other elite copies recently sold by Heritage, the VF- 7.5 "Aloha Copy" and the VF 8.0 Pinnacle Hill Collection copy? Well, in comparison with the Aloha Copy, the present example has better centering, with none of the back cover ad wrapping around to the front. The staples of this copy are much nicer, and the red block of this copy is solid, with no color breaks apart from tiny dots. While the back cover does has some finger smudging, there's less of it than on the Aloha Copy. In comparison to the Pinnacle Hill copy, it's worth noting that the present copy has no penciled distributor code or markings of any sort. Also, the book offered here lacks the "soft" lower left corner of the other two copies, though this one does have the tiniest of spine splits (approximately 3 mm) at the top and bottom. Obviously the crease at lower left put a ceiling on this one's technical grade, but having seen both this copy and the Aloha Copy before they were sealed up in the CGC holders, we think many collectors would give this one the nod over the other book in terms of overall eye appeal. We encourage you to use the large scans on our website to decide for yourself. The Overstreet "top of Guide" value for this book shot up by an almost unheard-of 83% in the newly released Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #40. It remains second only to Action Comics #1 in the overall ranking, and the only comic with a realistic chance to surpass Action #1 (Detective #27 did hold the top spot briefly in the past). Batman is certainly more of a force at the movie box office lately than Superman, so it will be interesting to see if the present generation or future generations elevate his first comic to the top. Not only is this the debut of a character that has become a pop culture icon, the book is graced by one of the more distinctive and memorable covers of the entire Golden Age, drawn by Bob Kane. The striking cover is the reason this copy's seller, Robert Irwin, kept the comic all of these years, in fact it's the only comic book he kept! Mr. Irwin and his brother were friends with the son of the man who owned a news agency. The son would let the brothers know when the new magazines were in, and they'd go to the local magazine dealer and check them out. A few years ago, Mr. Irwin was going through some boxes when he found late-1930s issues of National Geographic and Popular Mechanics... and his Detective #27. This marks the first time Heritage has sold a "Tec 27" consigned by the same person who paid 10 cents for it at the newsstand. Overstreet 2010 FN 6.0 value = $210,000; VF 8.0 value = $525,000. CGC census 10/10: 2 in 7.0, 4 higher.

  • USAUSA
  • 2010-11-19
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Annonce

AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author 1827-1828.

AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author 1827-1828. 4 vols., double elephant folio, 996 x 667 mm. (39 1/4 x 26 1/8 in.) etc. Bound upon completion of the work (the flyleaves of vol. 1 watermarked "J Whatman 1838"), in the sequence of bird families, in accordance with Audubon's Synopsis of the Birds of North America (Edinburgh 1839), with light pencil foliation, in half russia gilt over purple cloth sides, marbled endpapers. Rebacked and corners now renewed with gilt-tooled calf in replication of the original, and with the original stitching preserved, each volume in a protective cloth-over-wood portfolio, all by Aquarius of London. FIRST EDITION, engraved titles and 435 hand-colored etchings with aquatint engraving, by William Home Lizars of Edinburgh, Robert Havell, Sr. and Robert Havell, Jr. of London, after Audubon's original life-size watercolors, on J. Whatman and J. Whatman Turkey Mill paper with watermarks dated 1826-1838. AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE COPY, THE PLATES IN SUPERB, VIVIDLY COLORED IMPRESSIONS AND SHOWING REMARKABLY LITTLE EVIDENCE OF HANDLING. The unusual method of binding the plates by families, and not by the numerical and chronological sequence in which they were published, has allowed the traditional first plates from each volume (Turkey cock, Raven, Canada Goose and Canvas-backed Duck) to remain in especially fine condition. [with] AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. Ornithological Biography; or, an Account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, accompanied by descriptions of the objects represented in the work entitled The Birds of America, and interspersed with delineations of American scenery and manners. Edinburgh: Adam Black 1831-39. 5 vols., 8vo [binding description]. FIRST EDITION. Volume I is the Copyright deposit copy. Bound in at end of volume I: AUDUBON. [Prospectus for The Birds of America]. Under the Special Patronage of Her Most Excellent Majesty, Queen Adelaide. The Birds of America, engraved from drawings...by John James Audubon. London: Published by the Author; and to be seen at Mr. R. Havell's Jun. the engraver. 1831. 8 leaves. Sixth Edition [i.e. Fries's Edition E], published upon completion of the first 100 plates and with the names of 180 subscribers. Fries, Appendix F, pp. 385-389 (not recording this copy). Rare. Fries records a total of 16 copies of all of the six editions of the prospectus to The Birds of America. We can add two more to this number: the present copy from the University of Edinburgh and a copy of edition D sold at Christie's New York, 17 November 1978, lot 77. (Additionally, Fries's no. 15 is incorrectly noted as edition D; it is edition E [sold, Christie's New York, 22 May 1981, lot 186]). Of the 18 copies, one copy each of editions A, B and F are recorded; four copies each of editions C and D; six copies of edition E; and one copy of an unidentified edition. [with] AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. A Synopsis of the Birds of North America. Edinburgh: H. & C. Black 1839. 8vo, [binding description]. PROVENANCE The University of Edinburgh, the original subscriber, is shown as number 9 on Audubon's final list of European subscribers published in 1839. The subscription was taken up on 7 December 1826. On that day Audubon wrote in his journal, "Received a short note from Professor Jameson desiring that I should put the University of Edinburgh [down] as a subscriber for my work. I was highly pleased with this, [it] being a powerful leader." (The 1826 Journal of John James Audubon, ed. Alice Ford, New York 1987, p. 376). The change in the numeration of the plates from Arabic to Roman after plate 50 (see below) in conjunction with the dates of the watermarks, shows that the subscription must have lapsed in ca. 1829 and was resumed in ca. 1832 (see Fries, Appendices H and M). PUBLICATION OF The Birds of America The original plan for publication of The Birds of America was for 80 parts of five plates each: a total of 400 plates. Discoveries of new species, particularly those made by Thomas Nuttall and John Kirk Townsend on the Wyeth expedition to the Columbia River in 1834, compelled Audubon to expand the work which was completed in 87 parts with a total of 435 plates. In order that subscribers should have full value for their money (two guineas per part), each part was generally published showing plates of one large, one medium and three small species. Towards the end of the project, in order to accommodate the new discoveries and to alleviate costs, Audubon and Havell placed several species together on single plates. Altogether 489 supposed species are represented by 1,065 figures. The most up-to-date assessment by the American Ornithologists' Union notes that The Birds of America contains "457 species plus one hybrid and five so-called birds of mystery that may be hybrids or mutations." (Susanne M. Low. An Index and Guide to Audubon's Birds of America, New York 1988, p. 13). The plates of this University of Edinburgh copy of The Birds of America are numbered I-X, 11-14, XV, 16-50, LI-LIV, 55, LVI-CCCCXXXV (Plate CCLIV is misnumbered CCLVI). The first fifty plates are generally the earliest states and the first ten are engraved by W.H. Lizars alone, before any of the later retouching by Havell. During the engraving of the second part (plates V-X), in 1827, Lizars' colorists went on strike and Audubon moved the production to London where the work was completed by Robert Havell, Jr. over the next 11 years. The change from Arabic to Roman numeration after Plate 50 in the University of Edinburgh copy provides the key to dating the temporary severance and resumption of their subscription. Early issues of Plates 11 to 100 (except for Plate XV) are numbered in Arabic numerals. Later issues are numbered in Roman numerals, in addition to various revisions and corrections made to the legends of some plates. Waldemar Fries published a detailed list of these variants but his work is far from exhaustive. His variants are noted here for the first ten plates by Lizars: Plate 1. Great American Cock Male--Vulgo (Wild Turkey-) Meleagris Gallopavo. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill" (date obscured by guard). Plate 2. Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Coccyzus Carolinensis. Plant Popaw Porceliatriloba. Variant 2, with erasure evident. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill 1826". Plate 3. Prothonotary Warbler. Dacnis Prothonotarius. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman 1826". Plate 4. Purple Finch. Fringilla Purpurea. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill" (date obscured). Plate 5. Bonaparte Fly Catcher. Muscicapa Bonapartii. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill 1826". Plate 6. Great American Hen & Young. Vulgo, Female Wild Turkey.--Meleagris Gallopavo. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill" (date obscured). Plate 7. Purple Grackle. Quiscalus Versicolor. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill 1827". Plate 8. White Throated Sparrow. Fringilla Pensylvanica. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill 1827". Plate 9. Selby's Fly Catcher. Muscicapa Selbii. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill 1827". Plate 10. Brown Lark. Anthus Aquaticus. Variant 1. Watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill 1827". Two paper stocks were used throughout production, both bearing the name of the famous eighteenth-century English papermaker, James Whatman. A man called Balston had part of the rights to the old Whatman company and used the watermark "J Whatman"; the Hollingsworth family had rights to the watermark "J Whatman/Turkey Mill." The size of the sheets of paper is known as "double elephant", being almost the size, at 39 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches, of the 40 x 26 1/2-inch drawing paper bearing this unusual name. The Ornithological Biography, the accompanying text to The Birds of America, was published separately in collaboration with William MacGillivray in Edinburgh between 1831 and 1839. The reason for separating its publication from that of the plates was that the British Copyright Act of 1709 would have required Audubon to deposit nine sets of the plates in each of the United Kingdom deposit libraries. CONDITION [to be finally revised] Plates 426 and 431 have single vertical hard creases, minor restoration and are on new guards; fewer than six other plates have soft creases. Occasional foxing or offsetting or show-through affects 20 plates. Plate 121 has a minute inkstain. Plate 44 has a 3-inch repaired tear to blank margin; very occasional nicks to edges of other sheets are repaired. Plate 47 has a thin spot in blank margin. Plate 1 is on an old guard. Very minor and occasional dust-soiling. Small circular ink library stamp on each title-page and on verso of Plate 17. EDITION SIZE AND SCARCITY The final list of subscribers to The Birds of America totals 161. Allowing that an unknown number of extra sets was produced, it is unlikely that the edition size was greater than 200 copies. An updating of Waldemar Fries's 1973 census shows us that there are 122 copies extant, although many of these lack numbers of plates and/or are damaged. Since 1973, 16 copies of the book have been sold. Of these 16, 12 have been sold on a sheet-by-sheet basis and are dispersed. It is a certainty that the University of Edinburgh's subscription set is in finer overall condition than 15 of the previous copies to have been offered for sale and is comparable to the H. Bradley Martin copy (sold, Sotheby's New York, 6 June 1989, $3,960,000). REFERENCES W.H. Fries, The Double Elephant Folio (Chicago 1973), pp. 341 et passim; Nissen IVB 49; Fine Bird Books p. 57; Anker 17; Wood p. 207; Zimmer pp. 18-19. (9)

  • USAUSA
  • 1992-04-24
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Lincoln, abraham, as sixteenth president

"By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation. Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States ... 'That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever, free'; ... I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do ... order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. ... And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God. ... Done at the City of Washington this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh." Printed broadside document (21 3/4 x 17 3/8 in.; 552 x 442 mm), single column, 52 lines and headline, signed by President Lincoln ("Abraham Lincoln"), countersigned by the Secretary of State ("William H. Seward") and by the President's Private Secretary ("Jno. G. Nicolay"), who certifies that this printing of the Emancipation Proclamation is "A true copy, with autograph signatures of the President and the Secretary of State." [Philadelphia: Printed by Frederick Leypoldt for George Henry Boker and Charles Godfrey Leland to benefit the United States Sanitary Commission, June 1864]  Robert F. Kennedy's copy of the "Authorized Edition" of the Emancipation Proclamation, one of forty-eight copies printed to benefit the Great Central Fair for the Sanitary Commission in 1864. Lincoln said of the Emancipation Proclamation, "If my name goes down in history, it will be for this act." This copy of the document inextricably links the Lincoln administration's movement toward the abolition of slavery with the Kennedy administration's efforts a century later to pass and enforce Civil Rights legislation.  Introduction The Emancipation Proclamation is as complex as the man who wrote it—and the subject, if possible, of an even wider range of interpretations. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking at the New York Civil War Centennial Commission's Emancipation Proclamation Observance, yoked the Emancipation Proclamation with the Declaration of Independence, claiming that had the United States "done nothing more in its whole history than to create just [these] two documents, its contribution to civilization would be imperishable. ... The Declaration of Independence proclaimed to a world, organized politically and spiritually around the concept of the inequality of man, that the dignity of human personality was inherent in man as a living being. The Emancipation Proclamation was the offspring of the Declaration of Independence. It was a constructive use of the force of law to uproot a social order which sought to separate liberty from a segment of humanity." But to Richard Hofstadter, the highly influential Marxist historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University, the Emancipation Proclamation was simply a "propaganda" ploy intended to protect "the free white worker" and having "all the moral grandeur of a bill of lading." Hofstadter's cynical study has inspired three generations of academic and popular revisionists, and yet somehow it is King's view of the Emancipation Proclamation that continues to hold sway. As Allen Guelzo states in his recent monograph on the document, "if the Emancipation Proclamation was not ... the most eloquent of Lincoln's writings, it was unquestionably the most epochal." Guelzo's simple pronouncement embodies the intricate ambiguity of Emancipation Proclamation: even those who believe it to be the greatest act of the greatest American president feel the need to apologize for it. The Emancipation Proclamation may not have fully satisfied any of Lincoln's constituencies—but it satisfied Lincoln's (admittedly fluid) commitment to constitutionality. And it was enough. It made into the law of the land the moral truth expressed in the Declaration of Independence: "all men are created equal." It linked emancipation to the war effort, demonstrating, for the first time, President Lincoln's acknowledgement that the Civil War was being waged not only to preserve the Union, but also to abolish slavery. And, although it freed only the slaves in the states and territories "in rebellion against the United States," it led directly to the total abolition of slavery in the country. Frederick Douglass, speaking at New York's Cooper Institute just a month after the document was issued, called the Emancipation Proclamation "the greatest event of our nation's history." Speaking from the same stage where three years earlier Abraham Lincoln had introduced himself to Eastern voters, Douglass thundered, "I hail it as the doom of Slavery in all the States. We are all liberated by this proclamation. Everybody is liberated. The white man is liberated, the black man is liberated, the brave men now fighting the battles of their country against rebels and traitors are now liberated." Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation Although Frederick Douglass—a not infrequent critic of President Lincoln—and many of his contemporaries welcomed the Emancipation Proclamation as a signal achievement in American history, today the act seems just as well known, as Allen Guelzo commented, "for what it did not do" as for what it did accomplish. Two principal failings have been ascribed to the Proclamation. First, that it is not as eloquent as Lincoln's other most famous writings, principally the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address. Second, that it freed slaves only in territories of active rebellion against the United States—the very territories, presumably, where the federal government had the least ability to enforce its provisions. Both of these points have been employed to justify the belief that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation grudgingly and without personal zeal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Lincoln is, of course, susceptible to the charge that he was not an abolitionist. After all, within the first few minutes of his First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1861, he stated, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Lincoln may even be susceptible to the charge that he was not free from the racial prejudices of his time. But Lincoln is not susceptible to the charge that he was not wholly and passionately opposed to slavery. In 1855, Lincoln confided to his good friend Joshua Speed that he was still tormented by the memory of having seen fourteen years earlier a group of shackled slaves aboard a steamship traveling from Louisville to St. Louis. And while Lincoln had undoubtedly subscribed to an anti-slavery view for decades, he only began to have the opportunity to openly express it when he ran for the United States Senate against Stephen Douglas in 1858. As candidate Lincoln said at a Chicago rally in July of that year, "I have always hated slavery, I think, as much as any Abolitionist. I have been an Old Line Whig. I have always hated it, but I have always been quiet about it until this new era of the Nebraska Bill began." A triumvirate of brilliant indictments of slavery from the period of the late 1850s survived among the pre-presidential papers that Lincoln entrusted to Mary Todd Lincoln's cousin and close friend, Elizabeth Todd Grimsley, when he departed Springfield for Washington as president-elect. These all likely date to a two-year period, June 1857 through June 1859, when Lincoln, who had served a single term in the House of Representatives a decade earlier, reentered politics and made himself a viable candidate for national office. These fragments include Lincoln's earliest formulation of his "House Divided" doctrine, which demonstrated his willingness to confront an issue that most politicians chose to avoid ("I believe this government can not endure permanently, half slave, and half free"), as well as his famous syllogism on slavery ("If A. can prove, however conclusively, that he may of right, enslave B. why may not B. snatch the same argument, and prove equally that he may enslave A?"). Both of these pronouncements are principally concerned with what Don Fehrenbacher calls "the divisive influence of slavery." In the third manuscript, Lincoln condemns not simply the threat posed by slavery to the solvency of the American union, but the fundamental and overriding evil of slavery in any circumstance. The injustice of slavery is abundantly plain, Lincoln writes. "So plain, that the most dumb and stupid slave that ever toiled for a master, does constantly know that he is wronged. So plain that no one, high or low, ever does mistake it, except in a plainly selfish way; for although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself." Lincoln recast this conceit at least twice, most strikingly when addressing the 140th Indiana Regiment during the final weeks of the Civil War: "I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. Whenever I hear any one, arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." But despite his personal abhorrence of slavery, Lincoln believed himself constrained by the Constitution from issuing an executive order of full and immediate emancipation. He expressed his policy most clearly in his reply to Horace Greeley's letter-editorial, "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," published in the New York Tribune. Greeley accused the President of being "strangely and disastrously remiss" in delaying emancipation; of being "unduly influenced by the counsels ... of certain fossil politicians hailing from Border Slave States"; and of seeming to pursue a "preposterous and futile" strategy by attempting "to put down the Rebellion and at the same time uphold its inciting cause." Greeley printed Lincoln's response in the 25 August 1862 issue of the Tribune: "As to the policy I 'seem to be pursuing' as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt. I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be 'the Union as it was.' If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views." Lincoln ended his letter to Greeley with a noteworthy coda, "I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free." The President chose not to share with Greeley and the Tribune readers a more momentous statement: that he had, in fact, already drafted a proclamation of emancipation and was simply awaiting an auspicious time to promulgate it. Lincoln read the first draft of what came to be known as the preliminary emancipation proclamation to his cabinet on 22 July 1862. Given the criticism directed at Lincoln for moving too slowly on the issue of emancipation, it is worth noting that this first reading took place just sixteen months after he had pledged not to "interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists." He continued to revise the document throughout the summer and, following the Union victory at Antietam, he issued the preliminary proclamation—which managed to balance daring with prudence—on 22 September. This first proclamation essentially gave the Rebel States one hundred days to return to the Union, after which period any slaves within their borders would be "then, thenceforward, and forever free." Any rebellious states that returned to the Union in the interim would be able to adopt immediate or gradual—and compensated—abolition of slavery within their borders. In their diaries both Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles recorded that Lincoln claimed to have followed Divine direction in issuing the order. Welles wrote that the President "remarked that he had made a vow, a covenant, that if God gave us the victory in the approaching battle, he would consider it an indication of Divine will, and that it was his duty to move forward in the cause of emancipation. ... God had decided this question in favor of the slaves." Although immediate reaction to the preliminary proclamation was favorable, criticism soon followed. Some Federal Army officers resigned their commissions rather than command troops in what was likely to become a war of abolition. At the same time, the anti-slavery faction in the North attacked Lincoln for allowing slavery to remain in effect in Unionist Border States and former Confederate territories now under Union control. The preliminary proclamation did help solidify European support of the Federal cause, but otherwise the one hundred days were discouraging for Lincoln: the Federal Army suffered a humiliating defeat at Fredericksburg on 13 December, and a crisis in his Cabinet nearly resulted in the resignations of secretaries Seward and Chase. Still, Lincoln continued resolute and on Christmas Eve he confided to the Senate's most ardent abolitionist, Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, that the Emancipation Proclamation would be issued. The following week, Lincoln listened to suggestions and amendments from his Cabinet and then retired to draft the final version of the historic document. If Lincoln's prose is legalistic, it is because he wanted to be sure that the Emancipation Proclamation could withstand potential court challenges to its constitutionality. If he still withheld emancipation from the Border States, from Union-controlled parishes in Louisiana, and from the forty-eight Virginia counties that were in the process of reconstituting themselves as West Virginia, it is because of his allegiance to due process. He would make this clear yet again in an April 1864 letter to A. G. Hodges of Frankfort, Kentucky: "I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I took that I would, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not take the office without taking the oath." Even while acknowledging the restraints placed on him by the Constitution, Lincoln did more than anyone before or since to bring freedom to America's slaves, and he rightly earned the title of the Great Emancipator. When on 1 January 1863 he left the annual White House New Year's Day reception to sign into law the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln observed, "I never in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper." With his signature he declared nearly four million slaves to be free—the first time that the federal government had set slaves free; in practical terms, as many as 50,000 men, women, and children were immediately freed. The Emancipation Proclamation provided, also for the first time, that former slaves "will be received into the armed service of the United States," and by the conclusion of the Civil War, more than 180,000 free blacks—most of whom were emancipated slaves—had worn the blue uniform of the Federal Army. The Emancipation Proclamation also eliminated the references in the preliminary proclamation to compensated emancipation and colonization of former slaves, thus indicating, albeit subtly, that the newly freed persons would make their future lives within the United States. Decades of political and moral compromise in the name of "Union" were ended: the war to restore the Union became a war of liberation, and the way was made clear for the Thirteenth Amendment, which Lincoln would proudly see sent to the states but would not live to see ratified. If the language of the Emancipation Proclamation was not eloquent, its intention and result were. And any lack of eloquence was compensated for by the conclusion of Lincoln's annual message to Congress, delivered on 1 December 1862, exactly a month before he signed the Proclamation. In this State of the Union speech, Lincoln could write of his desire—and the country's need—for emancipation without the worry of legal challenges: "Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. ... The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We—even we here—hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth." Due to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, the last best hope of earth was nobly saved. The United States Sanitary Commission and the Authorized Printing of the Emancipation Proclamation The United States Sanitary Commission was established in June 1861 to assist sick and wounded Union soldiers and their dependent families. The Commission was supported almost entirely by private contributions and provided aid in myriad ways, including hospital assistance, field ambulance and hospital service, field and camp rations, blankets and tents, and financial assistance for medical care for veterans and for the families of soldiers killed in action. The work of the Sanitary Commission was absolutely vital for the Federal Army, especially their maintenance of hygienic hospital and camp conditions: a soldier in the Civil War was in fact twice as likely to die of disease as of a wound. The most successful source of funding for the Sanitary Commission was a series of "Fairs" held in major cities: Boston, Cincinnati, Brooklyn, Baltimore, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere. These Fairs displayed a huge range of donated goods, both antique and newly manufactured, that were sold to benefit the Commission. Lincoln was a keen supporter of the Sanitary Commission. Just three months after its founding, he sent a strong endorsement of the Commission to General Winfield Scott: "The Sanitary Commission is doing a work of great humanity, and of direct practical value to the nation, in this time of its trial. It is entitled to the gratitude and confidence of the people, and I trust it will be generously supported. There is no agency through which voluntary offerings of patriotism can be more effectively made." The President also often donated autographs to the Fairs. Indeed, he gave the autograph draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to the Northwestern Fair for the Sanitary Commission, held at Chicago in the autumn of 1863. Lincoln made the donation somewhat reluctantly, writing the Ladies Committee in charge of the Fair that "he had some desire to retain the paper; but if it shall contribute to the relief or comfort of the soldiers that will be better." (The draft was purchased at the Fair by Thomas W. Bryan, who presented it to the Chicago Soldiers' Home. It was subsequently lost in the Great Chicago Fire.) One of the largest and most successful Sanitary Commission Fairs was held at Philadelphia from 7 to 29 June 1864. The Great Central Fair (so-called because the central states of New Jersey and Delaware joined with Pennsylvania in sponsoring it) was housed in temporary buildings that spanned Logan Square and offered an astonishing variety of merchandise, including finely bound books, jewelry, clothing, carpets, china and porcelain, shoes and boots, musical instruments, photographs, perfume, prints and pictures, stoves and ranges, a yacht, battlefield relics, all manner of foodstuffs, and autograph letters and documents of the presidents and other persons of note. All of these goods were gathered together to celebrate what committee member Charles Stillé termed the twin sisters of the Civil War: "patriotism and holy charity." In his Memorial of the Great Central Fair for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, Stillé wrote that "No sooner has the smoke cleared away from the battle-field, than—to borrow the language of Mr. Everett, in his Gettysburg oration—angel visitants, in the shape of those whose hearts are stronger than their hands, have hastened to soothe and relieve those who have suffered in their stead. ... The Great Central Fair is then to be considered not merely as a grand collection of all that was curious and valuable in works of industry and art, freely offered in aid of a benevolent enterprise; but also as one, and a most significant one, of the many indications of the truest and most wide-spread patriotic enthusiasm." After expenses (which were confined almost entirely to the cost of erecting and then striking the elaborate temporary exhibition halls), the Great Central Fair raised over $1,010,000 for the Sanitary Commission. President Lincoln was invited to attend the opening celebration of the Fair, but had to postpone his visit until 16 June. On that day he addressed the organizers and attendees of the Fair, thanking them for proving to the soldier in the field that "he is not forgotten" and praising the donors to the Fair for their "voluntary contributions, given freely, zealously, and earnestly, on top of all the disturbances of business, of all the disorders, the taxation and burdens that the war has imposed upon us, giving proof that the national resources are not at all exhausted, that the national spirit of patriotism is even firmer and stronger than at the commencement of the rebellion." Although Lincoln attended the Great Central Fair for only one day, his presence pervaded the event in the form of a specially printed and signed authorized edition of the Emancipation Proclamation. Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm to the preliminary proclamation (and retrospective criticism of the final proclamation itself), the North quickly embraced and celebrated the Emancipation Proclamation. In less than two years, more than fifty separate editions—including many decorative broadsides—were issued to meet public demand for the text. Two ardent Unionists from Philadelphia, George Henry Boker (1832–1890) and Charles Godfrey Leland (1824–1903), conceived the idea of printing a limited edition of the Proclamation for sale at the Great Central Fair. Earlier in 1864, a fundraising broadside of the Proclamation was printed in San Francisco, and three surviving copies of this printing have Lincoln's signature. However, the San Francisco broadside severely cut the text, retaining only about half of Lincoln's words. The Leland-Boker broadside is the only printing of the full text of the Emancipation Proclamation to be signed by President Lincoln; it is additionally signed by Secretary of State Seward and John G. Nicolay, the President's personal secretary. Boker and Leland were both men of letters and strong supporters of Lincoln's emancipation policy. Boker was a founding member of Philadelphia's Union League, and in his capacity as president of that organization he conferred on Lincoln an honorary membership. Boker was not a strict partisan, however, and among other occasional poems of the Civil War he satirized Mary Todd Lincoln's White House excesses in "The Queen Must Dance." He later served in ministerial posts to Turkey and Russia. Leland edited Continental Monthly during the war years and wrote many pro-Union editorials and pamphlets. He is credited with (or blamed for) helping to moderate Northern policy from abolition to emancipation. Leland's most enduring creation was the dialect-humor character of Hans Breitmann. His Ye Book of Copperheads was owned by Lincoln, and that copy was given to the author after the President's assassination. Leland took up the sword as well as the pen in the Union cause and actually saw action during the Gettysburg campaign as an enlisted man. From shortly after the end of the war until his death, Leland lived in Europe as an expatriate. Frederick Leypoldt printed two distinct issues of the Emancipation Proclamation for Leland and Boker. The first had spaces indicated for the signatures of Lincoln and Seward (but not Nicolay), but for some reason this printing was suppressed and never submitted to the President and Secretary of States for signing. A slightly different typesetting was approved and forty-eight copies pulled. In addition to adding a designation for Nicolay's signature, the published edition also changed the design of the headlines; corrected "City of Orleans" from the trial, or rejected, issue to "City of New Orleans"; and corrected the beginning of the penultimate paragraph from "In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my name" to "In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand." The Leland and Boker broadside edition was publicized in the 17 June 1864 issue of Our Daily Fare, the promotional newspaper of the Great Central Fair. "The original Proclamation of Emancipation, signed by President Lincoln, sold at the Chicago Fair for three thousand dollars. A few duplicates, with the 'veritable and authenticated' signatures of Abraham Lincoln, Secretary Seward, and Mr. Nicolay, are for sale at the Daily Fare table; price only ten dollars. Every branch of the Union League, and indeed every patriot, should be proud to own one of these. They were obtained for the Fair, by Messrs. George H. Boker and Charles Godfrey Leland, who guarantee the authenticity of the signatures." A few copies of the Authorized Edition of the Emancipation Proclamation were unsold during the three weeks of the Fair. (They may have been slightly overshadowed by the presence at the Fair of Lincoln's autograph draft of his 25 July 1862 Proclamation of the Act to Suppress Insurrection, which was donated by Lincoln through the offices of James Welling, editor of the National Intelligencer, and purchased for the Free Library of Philadelphia.) A few of the unsold copies were presented to libraries and five others were sold for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission at the National Sailors Fair, held at Boston in November 1864. Only twenty-five other copies of this precious relic are now recorded, nineteen of which are in institutions. None have a provenance as evocative as the present copy. Census of Surviving Copies of the Leland-Boker Authorized Edition of the Emancipation Proclamation Institutional Collections  ·        Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Illinois ·        Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts ·        British Museum, London ·        Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, New York ·        Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma ·        Gilder Lehrman Collection on deposit at The New-York Historical Society, New York, New York ·        Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2) ·        Huntington Library, Pasadena, California ·        Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana ·        Library of Congress, Washington, DC ·        Lincoln Financial Collection, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana ·        Meisei University, Tokyo, Japan ·        National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ·        Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey ·        Union League Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ·        University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois ·        University of Delaware, Wilmington, Delaware ·        University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Private Collections  In addition to the Kennedy copy, six other copies are currently held in private collections. Robert F. Kennedy and the Centennial Celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation The centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation sparked a series of celebrations of the document across the country in 1962 and 1963 and also inspired a scholarly reassessment of the Proclamation. In the first book devoted to the composition and promulgation of the act, historian John Hope Franklin argued that the Emancipation Proclamation "has maintained its place as one of America's truly important documents" despite having "neither the felicity of the Declaration of Independence nor the simple grandeur of the Gettysburg Address." But, Franklin continued, "in a very real sense, it was a step toward the extension of the ideal of equality about which Jefferson had written," and eventually "the greatness of the document dawned upon the nation and the world. Gradually, it took its place with the great documents of human freedom." Even dissenting scholars seemed willing to recognize the importance of the Proclamation. In his editorial for the Winter 1963 issue of The Journal of Negro Education, Charles H. Thomson charged that most of the participants in the centennial celebrations did "not know that contents of the Proclamation or the conditions under which it was issued. ... Contrary to current popular opinion the Emancipation Proclamation did not free all of the slaves, nor was it intended to do so, as so many people think. ...The Proclamation was deliberately limited in scope and was issued more as a step in the prosecution of the War than as a matter of humanitarian concern." Yet Thomson concluded his commentary with this acknowledgment: "That it did not go as far as some people thought it should have gone, or was motivated more by military necessity than humanitarian concern, does not mean that it had little or no significance. It suggested that the conflict which began as a 'white man's war' to save the Union, with the Negro as an irrelevant bystander, was on its way to being changed to a struggle to free upward of four million slaves, with the indispensable aid of 186,000 black soldiers." Academic journals were not the only ones to recognize the centennial of the Proclamation, however. Ebony devoted its entire September 1963 issue to the document, featuring a portrait of Frederick Douglass on the cover. The publisher's letter sets the tone for the issue, as John H. Johnson declares the centennial not a time for celebration but for "rededication to the unfinished business of eradicating segregation and discrimination" because the "freedom proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln is not yet a reality." Following the publisher's statement are letters striking similar themes from President Kennedy and former presidents Eisenhower and Truman. Herbert Hoover was too ill to compose a letter for the commemorative issue, and a relevant passage from his book The Challenge to Liberty is printed instead. On 28 December 1962 President John F. Kennedy issued a proclamation recognizing the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, but also recognizing that "the goal of equal rights for all our citizens is still unreached, and the securing of these rights is one of the great unfinished tasks of our democracy." Kennedy's proclamation went on to declare "that the Emancipation Proclamation expresses our Nation's policy, rounded on justice and morality, and that it is therefore fitting and proper to commemorate the centennial of the historic Emancipation Proclamation throughout the year 1963. "I call upon the Governors of the States, mayors of cities, and other public officials, as well as private persons, organizations, and groups, to observe the centennial by appropriate ceremonies. "I request the United States Commission on Civil Rights to plan and participate in appropriate commemorative activities recognizing the centennial of the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation; and I also request the Commission on Civil Rights and other Federal agencies to cooperate fully with State and local governments during 1963 in commemorating these events. "I call upon all citizens of the United States and all officials of the United States and of every State and local government to dedicate themselves to the completion of the task of assuring that every American, regardless of his race, religion, color, or national origin, enjoys all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States." On Lincoln's birthday, 12 February 1963, President Kennedy also hosted a White House reception commemorating the centennial of Emancipation Proclamation, to which were invited not only Civil Rights leaders, but also thousands of ordinary citizens from around the United States. In light of all this activity, it seems harshly unfair that Allen Guelzo—particularly given his deep appreciation of Lincoln's "prudence"—later commented that the "centennial itself was a disappointing affair, capped by President John F. Kennedy's refusal to give the principal address at ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial on September 22, 1963, for fear of suffering deeper losses of Southern Democrats in his reelection bid the next year." In fact, responsibility for much of the Kennedy administration's official observation of the centennial fell to the President's brother and Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy. This was highly appropriate since Robert Kennedy, as the head of the Department of Justice, was ultimately in charge of enforcing the nation's law—including recently passed Civil Rights legislation. In these efforts, Kennedy was following very much in the footsteps of Lincoln's Attorney General, Edward Bates, who in November 1862 had ruled that free blacks born in the United States were American citizens. Robert Kennedy delivered two major addresses on the Emancipation Proclamation, one principally historical and the other political. The historical address was given, appropriately, at the National Archives, 4 January 1963, at the opening of an exhibition surveying the Emancipation Proclamation. Speaking in sight of the engrossed, signed, and sealed official copy of the Proclamation, Kennedy observed that "In the long course of the American commitment to freedom and dignity of the individual, no single deed has done more than Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation to redeem the pledge upon which this Republic was founded—the pledge that all men are created equal, are endowed equally with unalienable rights and are entitled equally to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." While celebrating the Proclamation, Kennedy reminded his listeners that the exhibition also provided "a moment to reflect on how far we have come in these hundred years toward the goal of equality and to appraise the problems and difficulties that still stand between us and that goal. ... The ideal of freedom has traveled a long and hard road through human history. Yet the record shows that the ideal persists and has an explosive power greater than that locked up within the atom. It shows that this ideal is the strongest motive of human action—that it fortifies the human will in the face of adversity and force and terror—and that the passion for equal rights for all is the ultimate weapon in the struggle for independence and human dignity." The Emancipation Proclamation, the Attorney General concludes, "gave both shelter and force" to the commitment to human rights. Some ten weeks later, Robert Kennedy delivered another speech at Freedom Hall, Louisville, for Kentucky's centennial observance of the Emancipation Proclamation. This address links the efforts of his Justice Department—and of his brother's entire administration—more directly to Lincoln's legislation. "Lincoln," he said, "described the Emancipation Proclamation as the central act of his administration and 'the great event of the nineteenth century.' Today, we can maintain that America's present accelerating effort toward the fulfillment of Lincoln's central act is the great event of our century. We have come to the time in our history to show the world—and ourselves—what our ideals mean in practice: that Americans are generous, not merely affluent; that we are concerned with character, not with color; that, in Lincoln's words about his Proclamation, we seek progress 'not in anger, but in expectation of a greater good.'" Kennedy speaks next of the necessity of enforcing voting rights: "We must make sure that the Negro citizens of all states can fully and freely exercise their franchise. This may take strenuous litigation and great energy on the part of many people. But it is worthwhile as we have found out in the past two years. Under existing law the Department of Justice has filed 35 suits—25 of them in this administration—to end discrimination against Negroes who seek to vote. ... The difficulty is that each one of these cases requires extremely detailed preparation and many months to litigate. ... But the results are worth the effort. Where the voting suits have been completed, Negroes have been registered in increasing numbers." Despite facing difficulties, Kennedy expresses his belief, which had been shared by Lincoln, in the inherent fairness of Americans. "My own experience in the Department of Justice over the past two years has convinced me beyond question that the vast majority of the people in all the states—in the North, South, East and West—want to obey the law, and that the American people as a whole demand progress in this field and will not accept the status quo." But even as this speech focused more closely on contemporary Civil Rights legislation, the Attorney General returned to the touchstone of the Emancipation Proclamation, which, he states, "had and has great meaning for America. It has brought the American Negro within calling distance at least of all the privileges and protections of our Constitution and Bill of Rights." Just over a year after speaking about the Emancipation in Kentucky, Robert Kennedy purchased a copy of the Authorized Edition of the Proclamation for his own collection of historical American manuscripts. The copy appeared in an auction of "Important Manuscripts" at the Parke-Bernet Galleries, 31 March 1964. Kennedy was at this time serving as Attorney General in the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, who had succeeded to office after President Kennedy's assassination; Robert Kennedy was at the same time beginning to weigh a run for the United States Senate from New York. Kennedy had been collecting American manuscripts for more than decade. During a September 1957 appearance on Edward R. Murrow's television show, Person to Person, Kennedy showed the interviewer letters by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as well as an early legal brief by Lincoln, that the then-chief counsel of the Senate's Select Committee on Labor and Management called "one of my prize possessions." Kennedy may have been influenced in collecting by his mother, who obtained for him (and her other children as well) books inscribed by notable political figures like Winston Churchill, Herbert Hoover, and Charles de Gaulle. The Parke-Bernet catalogue description might have inspired Kennedy's participation: "In the climate of present-day America, it would be hard to exaggerate the importance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the first substantive move by the Federal government in the direction of insuring equality of citizenship. ... The text of this act, initiat[ed] a Federal policy which may have often wavered but is even more forcefully proclaimed today. ..." Kennedy purchased the document, for $9,500, through a bidding agent, Gerald J. Shea, but he took the unusual step of allowing himself to be identified as the buyer a few days after the sale, indicating, perhaps, that the purchase was a political statement as well as a private acquisition. For the rest of Robert Kennedy's brief life—and, indeed, until his widow, Ethel Kennedy, sold the family home, Hickory Hill, earlier this year—the Emancipation Proclamation held pride of place among his manuscripts, hanging between his own appointment as Attorney General and a privately printed broadside edition of his brother's Inaugural Address. As we draw near to the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, it is difficult to comprehend that during its centennial celebration, John Hope Franklin could preface his pioneering study of the document by writing, "As a war measure its significance is, perhaps, fairly well known. As a moral force during and after the war, its importance is, to some students of the period, elusive. As a great American document of freedom it has been greatly neglected." Thanks to Franklin's monograph and the efforts of many others (including Robert F. Kennedy), the Emancipation Proclamation is no longer neglected. Today the Emancipation Proclamation is rightly recognized as a towering moral statement on human freedom.

  • USAUSA
  • 2010-12-10
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NEWTON, Sir Isaac (1642-1727

NEWTON, Sir Isaac (1642-1727, knighted 1705). Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica. [Edited by Edmond Halley (1656-1743)]. London: Joseph Streater for the Royal Society [at the expense of Edmond Halley], to be sold by Samuel Smith and other booksellers, 1687. First edition, Continental issue (three-line imprint), bound in full inlaid morocco for presentation by the publisher/bookseller Samuel Smith. One of the most important works in the history of science, "perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make" (Einstein). Two apparently concurrent issues can be distinguished, identified by their title in uncancelled or cancelled state. One was distributed by Halley and Newton themselves through a number of unnamed booksellers, the other was largely turned over to Samuel Smith for distribution on the Continent (as here). This Continental issue is considerably rarer. A superb association copy. Median 4to (237 x 186 mm). 252 leaves and folding plate. Title in second state, cancelled; P4 cancel correcting orientation of the diagram on verso, errata inserted at end +/- Ooo4); engraving of cometary orbit inserted before B1. Numerous woodcut diagrams in text. (Quires Ss and Fff slightly browned, small piece missing from lower fore-corner of front free endpaper.) Fine London Restoration mosaic binding: original gold-tooled red turkey with black turkey inlays by Samuel Smith's Binder, gilt-panelled sides incorporating four tools from Samuel Mearne’s first kit (the floral corner tool, floral roll in central panel, oval tool and drawer-handle tool), inlaid black morocco drawer-handle and floral decorations, the spine in seven compartments with six raised bands, black morocco lettering-piece in one, gilt-decorated with black-inlaid designs in the remaining, board edges gilt, marbled endleaves, all edges gilt (slightest darkening to spine ends and board edges, a few minor scuffs, joints and spine bands lightly rubbed, but in original, unrestored condition); full morocco folding case. The Royal Binder, Samuel Mearne died in 1683 and this presentation binding appears to indicate that Smith's Binder had subsequently acquired some of his atelier's early tools. Provenance: an unidentified recipient, presented by the publisher Samuel Smith (his morocco label on pastedown: “Ex dono Sam. Smith Bibliopol. Lond.” decorated with the same drawer-handle tool used on the binding); Major-General Sir George Burns (sold Sotheby’s London, 19 July 1966, lot 400, to the present owner). Of the greatest rarity in decorated goatskin. According to American Book Prices Current, only one other copy of Newton's Principia bound in contemporary morocco has sold at auction in the past 47 years: the presentation copy to King James II, sold Christie’s New York, 6 December 2013, lot 170, $2,517,000. The present copy, in a superb inlaid morocco binding executed by the publisher Samuel Smith’s binder and bearing his morocco presentation label – and from the scarcer Continental issue – is of the greatest bibliophile importance. References: Babson 10; Dibner 11; Grolier Science 78; PMM 161; Macomber, "Census of Copies of the 1687 first edition and the 1726 presentation issue of Newton's Principia." (Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Volume 47, 1953): noting that it is mentioned in Gray’s bibliography, p.6 and that the current “location not known”; Norman 1586 (3-line imprint title); A.N.L. Munby, "The two title-pages of Newton's Principia" in Notes and Records of the Royal Society 10 (1952); W. Todd's bibliography in Koyré & Cohen's ed. of Newton's Principia II, 851-3; Wallis 6; Wing N-1048. "And I may be bold to say, that if ever Book was worthy the favourable acceptance of a Prince" Edmond Halley, letter to the King, July 1687. "Following the pioneer researches of Galileo in the study of motion and its mathematical analysis and the important contributions of Descartes and Huygens, the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century culminated in the massive achievements of Newton in dynamics and gravitational astronomy. Kepler's law of planetary motion came to be gradually accepted in the latter half of the century and unsuccessful attempts were made to account for them in terms of a central force emanating from the sun" (PMM). Newton showed that his LAW OF GRAVITY would cause a planet to move in an ellipse about the sun as focus. Newton's work provides a great synthesis of the cosmos and proves its physical unity. His scientific views were not seriously challenged until Einstein's theories of relativity and Planck's quantum theory, but his principles and methods remain essential for the solution of many scientific questions. Halley encouraged Newton to write Principia and Newton acknowledges his contribution in the preface: "Mr. Edmund Halley not only assisted me with his pains in correcting the press and taking care of the schemes, but it was his solicitations that its becoming public is owing; for when he had obtained of me my demonstrations of the figure of the celestial orbits, he continually pressed me to communicate the same to the Royal Society..." (translated by Andrew Motte). Halley also bore the cost of printing, the Royal Society's funds having been depleted, and was instrumental in its distribution.

  • USAUSA
  • 2016-12-14
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Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the true

The first collected edition of shakespeare’s plays (‘the first folio’) in a contemporary or near-contemporary binding a tall and exceptional copy of the most important book in english literature, the sole source for eighteen of shakespeare’s plays, and, with the king james bible published just a few years earlier, one of the two greatest books in the english language. As the current compiler of the most up to date census of Shakespeare First Folios has recorded, this copy has “no loss of text other than a few letters, has suffered little damage, is uncleaned, and has not been repaired (save minor repairs to the title-page and the last leaf)…” (Anthony West, The Shakespeare First Folio. The History of the Book. Volume II. A New Worldwide Census of First Folios, p.104).  No other such textually complete copy of the First Folio in a mid-seventeenth-century binding is known to survive in other than institutional hands (that formerly at Oriel College, Oxford, and now in the library of the late Sir Paul Getty at Wormsley, is in a binding from about 1650 but lacks two leaves from Romeo and Juliet). This copy is further remarkable in that it shows considerable signs of careful reading in the seventeenth century by a contemporary or near contemporary reader, has been seemingly owned since that time by only two persons, Dr William Bates (1625-1699) and Dr Daniel Williams (c. 1643-1716), both Nonconformist divines, and has since 1729 been in the library founded by the second of these—a library which is today of primary importance for the history and study of Nonconformist history and theology. it has therefore the longest uninterrupted ownership of any copy in the world. Containing thirty-six plays (eighteen printed here for the first time) the First Folio is the cardinal point of all Shakespeare’s dramatic output around which all Shakespearean scholarship has revolved, and on which is based the world’s knowledge of his oeuvre. Together with the King James Bible, Shakespeare’s plays have for centuries formed the bedrock of the literary culture of the English speaking world, and the form in which they were first given to the world is as important and moving an artefact as a great painting. From this book Shakespeare’s image is as well known as the facts of his life are obscure, but it is the magnificence of what he wrote that is above all here commemorated, as Ben Jonson realised when he wrote in ‘To the Reader’ O, could he but have drawne his wit As well in brasse, as he hath hit His face; the Print would then surpasse All, that was ever writ in brasse. But, since he cannot, Reader, looke Not on his Picture, but his Booke. Folio (332 x c.220mm.), 3 parts in 1 volume, 453 leaves of 454 (the ‘To the reader’ leaf supplied in engraved facsimile), the normal issue complete with Troilus and Cressida and Prologue (Blayney, The First Folio,  p.24),  press-variants on C4r, vv2v and vv3r all in state 2 (Blayney, introduction to The Norton Facsimile, p.5), title with inset engraved portrait by Martin Droeshout (193 x 160mm.), printed on French hand-made laid paper, text in double columns within rules, 66 lines, headlines and catchwords, Roman and italic letter (20 lines 82mm), woodcut head- and tail-pieces and initials, binding: mid-seventeenth-century (c.1640) panelled calf, fillets in blind on upper and lower covers enclosing small wheatsheaf tools, rebacked c.1889, spine in seven compartments, later calf label in second compartment lettered in gilt “shakespeare”, label in final compartment at foot lettered in gilt “lond. 1623”, all leaves with red edges, upper cover with central pentagonal gilt lozenge (enclosing lettering “D.W.| L.”), single endpapers at the beginning and end (initial endpaper loose),  [PI]A1+1 tipped to a binder’s inserted leaf (seventeenth-century) which is tipped to [PI]A2 (these leaves recently expertly re-inserted) provenance: purchased in the seventeenth-century by Dr William Bates (1625-99); his library acquired in 1699 by Dr Daniel Williams (c.1643-1716); in the library established by his will, Dr Williams’s Library, 1716 to the present day, with the library stamp in red on title-page “Dr. D. Williams’s Library | Red Cross Street | London.” collation:  [PI]A6 ([PI]A1+1, [PI]A5+ 1:2); A-Bb6 Cc2;  a-g6  ÷gg8  h-v6  x4; ‘gg3:4’ (± ‘gg3’) ¶ - ¶¶6  ¶¶¶1 aa-ff6  gg2 Gg6 hh6 kk-bbb6, 454 leaves contents:  [PI]A6 ([PI]A1+1, [PI]A5+ 1:2) ([PI]A1r  blank, [PI]A1v Ben Jonson’s verses “To the Reader” [this leaf supplied in engraved facsimile and tipped to [PI]A1+1], [PI]A1+1r title-page with portrait by Droeshout in third state with slight shading on the ruff under the ear, small wedge of black piercing the white in Shakespeare's eyes, and single hair slightly out of place on right side: see Hinman pp.248-9), verso blank, [PI]A2 editors’ Dedication to the Earls of Pembroke and Montgomery, [PI]A3 r editors’ note “To the great Variety of Readers”, verso blank, [PI]A4 Ben Jonson’s verses “To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author”, [PI]A5r  Hugh Holland’s verses “Upon  the Lines and Life of the Famous scenicke Poet”, verso blank, [PI]A6r “A  Catalogue of all the severall Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies…”, verso blank,  [PI]A5+ 1r verses by L. Digges and I.M. “To the Memorie of the deceased Authour”, verso blank, [PI]A5+2 r “The Workes of William Shakespeare…The Names of the Principall Actors”, verso blank); A-Bb6 Cc2 (Comedies: A1r The Tempest, B4v Two Gentlemen of Verona, D2r The Merry Wives of Windsor, F1r Measure, for Measure, H1r The Comedie of Errors, I3r Much Adoe about Nothing, L1v Loves Labour’s Lost, N1r A Midsommer Nights Dreame, O4r The Merchant of Venice, Q3r As you Like It, S2v The Taming of the Shrew, V1v All’s Well, that Ends Well, Y2r Twelfe Night, Z6v blank, Aa1r The Winters Tale, Cc2v blank);  a-g6  ÷gg8  h-v6  x4  (Histories: a1r The Life and Death of King John, b6r The Life and Death of King Richard the second, d5v The First Part of Henry the Fourth, f6v The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, ÷gg8r Epilogue, ÷gg8v The Actors Names, h1r The Life of Henry Fift, k2v The First Part of Henry the Sixt, m2v The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, o4r The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, q5r The Tragedy of Richard the Third, t3r The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight; ‘gg3:4’ (± ‘gg3’) ¶ - ¶¶6  3¶1 aa-ff6  gg2 Gg6 hh6 kk-3b6 (Tragedies: ‘gg3’r The Prologue, verso The Tragedy of Troylus and Cressida, aa1r The Tragedy of Coriolanus, cc4r The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus, ee3r The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet, Gg1v The Life of Tymon of Athens, hh6r The Actors Names, verso blank, kk1r The Tragedie of Julius Caesar, ll6r The Tragedie of Macbeth, nn4v The Tragedie of Hamlet, qq2r The Tragedie of King Lear, ss3v The Tragedie of Othello, vv6v The Tragedie of Anthonie, and Cleopatra, zz3r Cymbeline, 3b6r colophon, verso blank). condition:  lacking preliminary leaf [PI]A1 (supplied in engraved facsimile, with note in ink on lower margin “This facsimile of missing leaf was presented by Mr Lionel Booth March 30th 1889”: see note below on theft of original leaf in nineteenth century), title-leaf mounted on leaf advertising “Books Printed by Peter Cole at the Exchange in London.” (dating from 1661 or later: see note below), title leaf with repairs to small tears (including above portrait, affecting “Copies”, and margin of lower corner), shorter singleton 3¶1 (recto final page of Troilus and Cressida, verso blank: size 317 x 208 mm) probably supplied from another copy (probably when bound in the mid-seventeenth century), tiny wormhole towards the end of the preliminary leaves and first few leaves of text ( [PI]A5,[PI]A6, [PI]A5+ 1, [PI]A5+ 2, A1-B1), some ink marks or blots on approximately fifteen leaves (sometimes slightly affecting a few letters), small tears  to B5 ( just affecting border), I2 ( loss affecting two words), L4-5 (slight loss to a few words in inner margin), Q4 (touching five lines), S3 (tiny hole affecting one letter), T4, Z6 (slight loss to outer margin), e1(encroaching upon a few lines at lower margin), e4 (missing small piece of lower margin, affecting a few letters), l5 (lower margin, not affecting text), v4 (small piece torn off at lower corner), ¶¶4 (at lower margin affecting two lines), 3¶1 (missing fore-corner, affecting satyr ornament), aa4 (slight loss to outer margin, affecting border), ee2 ( lower outer margin, affecting few lines), nn4, pp5 (inner column with loss of few letters), rr5 (bottom fore-corner missing, with loss of few letters and catchword), ss4 ( affecting border at lower margin), ss5, 3b6 (slightly creased and with repairs to short tears); a few other very minor tears or tiny holes and some insignificant spotting or staining of some leaves (chiefly at beginning and end) The Story of the First Folio The First Folio contains thirty-six of Shakespeare’s plays, printing eighteen of them for the first time. Two collaborative plays, Pericles and The Two Noble Kinsmen, were almost certainly deliberately omitted by the editors either because they knew they were not entirely Shakespeare’s own work or there were problems with the surviving texts or with the rights. A lost play, Love’s Labour Won, may have been omitted for similar reasons, or it may be an extant play under a different title. With the probable exception of three pages in the manuscript of the collaborative play Sir Thomas More, now held in the British Library, no contemporary manuscripts or prompt copies of any of Shakespeare’s plays survive (three manuscripts of a play called Cardenio, possibly by Shakespeare and Fletcher, survived until the eighteenth century, but are now lost). Without the Folio, therefore, these eighteen plays may well have been lost for ever: All’s Well that Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Henry VI part one, Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, King John, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Timon of Athens, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Winter’s Tale. A German abridgement of The Two Gentlemen of Verona was published in 1620 by an English touring company, but aside from this no other printed versions of any of the eighteen had appeared before. The text for the second, third and fourth folios published later in the seventeenth-century is based upon it; furthermore it provides the copy- or ‘control’-text for twenty-seven of the plays in the most recent scholarly edition, The Oxford Edition (see Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, William Shakespeare, A Textual Companion, pp.145-47 and p.70). Shakespeare had died in 1616 and seems to have made no effort in his lifetime to get an edition of his plays published. He may or may not have had a sense of his own greatness as a dramatist, but the lack of a proposed collected edition is not necessarily that surprising. At this time plays were written principally to be performed, and no author before 1623 had had one volume devoted entirely to his complete plays: this is another remarkable fact about the First Folio (Ben Jonson’s Workes appeared in the middle of his career in the year of Shakespeare’s death, but this included verse). It was also probably not thought to be in the interests of an acting company like the King’s Men, of which Shakespeare was a member and shareholder, to have the plays they were performing—and which were legally their property—circulating in print. It is not actually known who came up with the plan for a collected edition of the plays. Shakespeare may have encouraged it in the last few years of his life, and it may well have been discussed by him with his actor colleagues in the King’s Men (formerly, before 1603, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men). As Stanley Wells has remarked, it is surely significant that the only three colleagues remembered in his will are Richard Burbage (1568-1619), John Heminges (c.1566-1630) and Henry Condell (c.1576-1627).  It was the intrepid Heminges and Condell, the two surviving colleagues, who took the prime responsibility for assembling the various texts and editing them, with no previous experience, into a form in which they could be published. The manuscripts would have included ‘playbooks’ (prompt copies) and what were rather uncharitably known as ‘foul papers’, i.e. Shakespeare’s own working drafts. Heminges and Condell remark in their epistle to the reader in the First Folio that “His mind and hand went together, and what he thought he uttered with that easiness that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers”. Whatever the state of these ‘foul papers’ some of them were transcribed into fair copies by a professional scribe such as Ralph Crane, who worked for the King’s Men. Crane probably prepared transcripts of  The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Measure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale and (possibly) Cymbeline. None of these survive, although other examples of Crane’s work are known. Heminges and Condell then had the job of deciding which plays to include and what to exclude (Pericles, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Sir Thomas More, Cardenio and Love’s Labour Won, if available, were excluded: see above), what printed editions and manuscripts to send to the printer, the order of the plays, and the categories under which they should be grouped. “They were exceptionally diligent” (Wells, foreword to Anthony West,  The Shakespeare First Folio: the History of the Book, vol.II). Rights The rights acquired by prospective publishers in the early seventeenth century differed markedly from copyright today. A play (one of the playhouse manuscripts from the King’s Men, for instance) would normally be acquired outright for a single payment of as little as 40s., and once it was in print publishers would have to negotiate with the owner of plays already in print, whose stock of unsold copies would be devalued by a new edition. Condell, Heminges and other members of the King’s Men initially had to contend with an unauthorised edition of Shakespeare’s plays, which was initiated by Thomas Pavier in 1619. Pavier had acquired the rights to several Shakespearean and other plays and in this year hired William Jaggard to print a one-volume edition of reprinted quartos, beginning with the ‘Bad’ texts of Henry VI (parts 2 and 3) and Pericles.  The complete edition was prevented by a ruling by the Lord Chamberlain, who instructed the Stationers’ Company that no plays belonging to the King’s Men should be printed without their consent. Pavier responded by arranging for Jaggard to reprint seven more of the quartos with false dates, passing them off as remainders of earlier editions (see Blayney, The First Folio of Shakespeare). Before printing could commence the publishers of the First Folio needed to reach terms with Pavier on the four plays to which he owned rights, as well as with two other publishers (each owning one play). To finance publication a syndicate of publishers was formed: as the colophon at the end records, this consisted of “W. Jaggard, Ed. Blount, I. Smithweeke and W. Aspley”. As the principal publisher Blount had almost certainly enlisted the others in order to secure the necessary rights to the plays. Jaggard had negotiated with Pavier on his four plays as described above (although Pavier may have held on to Pericles since it was excluded from the Folio); Smethwick held the rights to Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and The Taming of the Shrew; Aspley owned Henry IV Part 2 and Much Ado about Nothing. The Printing of the First Folio The printing of the First Folio began early in 1622 in the printing house of William Jaggard and his son Isaac. By then Jaggard senior had been blind for several years, and he died shortly before printing was finished in October 1623. It had been expected that the Folio would be ready by mid-1622, since it was listed in the Frankfurt bookfair catalogue as a book to appear between April and October 1622. In the event, however, printing took longer and was far more complicated even than had been envisaged.  In his monumental study The Printing and Proof-Reading of the First Folio (1963) Charlton Hinman reconstructed the events in the printing house, consulting and comparing fifty-five of the copies in the Folger Library in Washington D.C. He demonstrated that the Folio took nearly two years to complete, involved as many as nine compositors (although one, compositor ‘B’, set nearly half the pages) and was set by formes (not seriatim as had been previously thought). He also identified the pairs of type-cases used by the compositors, and showed that copy was cast off so that two compositors could work at the same time on the same forme, thereby reducing the time required for composition in relation to press-work. The compositors used Crane’s fair copy transcripts for the six plays mentioned above. Twelve plays were probably set up from previously printed quartos which had been annotated from ‘playbooks’ (prompt copies): Titus Andronicus, Richard the Third, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Richard the Second, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV part one, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida and King Lear. Three plays were set directly from playbooks: Julius Caesar, As you Like it, and Macbeth; nine were set from Shakespeare’s foul papers: The Taming of the Shrew, Henry VI part two, Henry VI part three, Henry VI part one, The Comedy of Errors, Henry V, All’s Well that Ends Well, Timon of Athens and Antony and Cleopatra; and six from transcripts made by unidentified scribes: King John, Henry IV part two, Twelfth Night, Othello, Coriolanus, and Henry VIII. Printing was halted on more than a hundred occasions to make small corrections to the text and consequently copies of the Folio almost always vary in their make up of uncorrected and corrected sheets. Indeed, to date no two copies of the Folio have been found to be exactly identical: see Blayney, The First Folio of Shakespeare, pp.14-15. “The Folio is by no means unusual in this respect. Virtually all English books printed before the eighteenth century vary to some extent from copy to copy, although few other books have been so thoroughly searched for variants”. Charlton Hinman found over 500 press-variants, although—as in other books of the period—most of these turned out to be trivial, consisting of corrections of obvious misprints such as inverted letters and incorrect pagination, and changes in spelling, punctuation and spacing. In his introduction to The Norton Facsimile: the First Folio of Shakespeare Peter Blayney has reduced the potential number of significant variants to five, using the criterion of what “might conceivably affect editorial procedure…For a variant to matter to an editor, the uncorrected reading must contain potentially useful information not found elsewhere (in the corrected state, or in an earlier edition)…”. It is these five variants that are included by Anthony West in his “Model for Describing Shakespeare First Folios” (see The Library, Sixth Series, Vol.XXI, No.1, March 1999). It should be noted, however, that this calculation of significant variants must remain provisional until all surviving copies of the Folio are collated: Hinman was restricted to 55 of the Folger copies, and Anthony West’s work, with fuller descriptions using the model outlined above, is yet to be completed (the first two volumes of The Shakespeare First Folio have been confined to an analysis of the Folio’s sales and prices, and to a worldwide census utilising shorter descriptions). In Dr Williams’s copy these five press-variants are all in the second (corrected) state: [The Two Gentlemen of Verona:] C4r, l.1383 “follow”, l.1395 “villaine”, l.1459 “grievously”; [Othello:] vv2v, l.2823 “hearts”, vv3r, l.3011 “Soule sat singing”. By the summer of 1623 the Folio was nearly finished. However, it appears that Blount and Jaggard had failed to obtain all publication rights before printing began. Charlton Hinman’s analysis has revealed that there was an interruption during the printing of the history plays (during Richard II), probably caused by negotiations with Matthew Law (who owned this play and two others); a more serious problem occurred with the printing of Troilus and Cressida, which originally was to have been followed by Romeo and Juliet. It appears that much of Henry Walley’s 1609 quarto edition of this play remained unsold, and Walley was therefore unwilling to allow the play to be reprinted. Work was consequently abandoned on the play after one and a half sheets of the quire in which Romeo ended and Troilus began had been set. Leaves gg3 and gg4, therefore, with Romeo ending on gg3r and Troilus beginning on gg3v, were laid aside. The last page of Romeo was reset on the recto of the first leaf (signed ‘Gg’) of a new quire,  and Timon of Athens—the substituted play—begun on the verso of the same (Timon is, however, a shorter play than Troilus and it failed to fill the space, which is why there is a gap in the pagination and signatures between it and Julius Caesar). The Catalogue at the beginning was printed excluding Troilus from the list.  But then it seems on 8 November, when only the Preliminaries were left to be printed and Jaggard and Blount went to Stationer’s Hall to register their rights, a last minute search of the Register found that although Troilus had been entered by Henry Walley and Richard Bonian in 1609 there was in fact a previous entry, by James Roberts in February 1603. After Roberts retired William Jaggard acquired most of his publishing rights, and Isaac had just inherited these from his father. Last minute negotiation therefore allowed Troilus to be included. The Three Issues Peter Blayney has now established that the first issue of the First Folio was offered for sale in November 1623 without Troilus (three copies survive without the play). “Anyone who bought it obtained a complete book whose contents matched the Catalogue”. When Troilus at first became available the printers initially used the discarded leaves gg3 and gg4 (crossing through gg3r which contained the last page of Romeo and Juliet) and then completed the play using a series of arbitrary signatures, without pagination (¶ - ¶¶6 ¶¶¶1): the whole was then inserted in the only likely place, namely at the head of the section of Tragedies to which it had originally been assigned. This second issue has also survived in three copies, with the redundant page of Romeo and Juliet  “neatly crossed out from corner to corner, and the leaf-signature ‘gg3’…struck through” (Blayney, The First Folio, p.24). Finally, “after another detectable delay, somebody either noticed or remembered that the playhouse manuscript of Troilus contained a prologue that had not been included in the 1609 quarto. That provided an excuse for eliminating the crossed-out page of Romeo”. Leaf gg3 was cancelled therefore, and a fresh leaf—the last part of the Folio to be printed—substituted, containing the hitherto unprinted Prologue to Troilus on the recto, and the first page of the play reprinted on the verso. Dr Williams’s copy is in this third issue, as are the two presentation copies of the Folio which survive: (1) the deposit copy sent by the printer before 17 February 1624 to the Bodleian Library in Oxford (sold as “superfluous” in the 1660s after being replaced by a copy of the third folio; famously re-purchased after a national appeal in the face of stiff competition from Henry Folger for a record price of £3,000 in 1905) and (2) the copy presented by William Jaggard to his friend Augustine Vincent, whose Discoverie of Errours had accompanied the Comedies through the press. The earliest record of a retail purchase of a copy of the Folio is an entry for 5 December 1623 in the account book of the antiquary Sir Edward Dering, who purchased two copies: probably one for reading and one for use in his private theatricals at Surrenden Hall, Kent. Number of copies It is now thought that no more than 750 copies of the First Folio were printed (available unbound at a price of around 15s.). There seems no doubt that the venture was at least a respectable success, with demand strong enough to require a second edition within a decade (the 1632 second folio, printed by the inheritor of Jaggard’s shop Thomas Cotes, again for a syndicate of publishers: see lot 96) . Out of the c.750 printed, 219 copies are recorded as extant in known locations by Anthony West in his 2003 census (The Shakespeare First Folio. The History of the Book. Volume II. A New Worldwide Census). Of these 46 are in the British Isles (five in the British Library), 147 in North America (82 at the Folger Library in Washington), and 26 in the Rest of the World (including 12 at Meisei University in Tokyo). Nine other copies, originally recorded by Sidney Lee in his 1902 census, are recorded as “extant” but “at present unfound”: these include the copies stolen from John Rylands University Library at Manchester in 1972 and the University of Durham in 1998. Many of the surviving copies are incomplete and lack at least one of their text leaves.  Only nineteen copies are recorded worldwide as remaining in private hands. Only one of these, the copy formerly owned by Oriel College Oxford and now in the late Sir Paul Getty’s Library at Wormsley, is in a mid-seventeenth-century binding. there is no copy such as dr williams’s that survives in private hands with all its text leaves in a comparable contemporary or near-contemporary binding (the Oriel-Getty copy lacks two leaves from Romeo and Juliet). The Portrait The portrait by Martin Droeshout the younger (1601—after 1639) is “the only portrait that definitely provides us with a reasonable idea of Shakespeare’s appearance” (cat.1, Searching for Shakespeare, National Portrait Gallery exhibition catalogue, ed. Tarnya Cooper, 2006). This cannot be said of any surviving oil portrait, not even the Chandos portrait (c.1600-10, attrib. John Taylor, d.1651), despite the fact that it was regarded as authentic within the playwright’s living memory. Droeshout’s engraving was probably commissioned by Heminges and Condell themselves; it is likely that the surviving members of Shakespeare’s family saw it, and Ben Jonson, in his preface, praises the artist’s ability to capture Shakespeare’s “face”.  It may well be that Droeshout based his likeness on an existing lifetime portrait, now lost. The Folio title page was printed on a separate leaf. The engraved portrait may have been printed not by Jaggard but by a rolling press specialist elsewhere: perhaps the engraver himself, Martin Droeshout. Dr Williams’s copy is in the third and usual state. Only a few copies were printed before shading was added to the ruff, and “not long afterwards the plate was modified for a second time, when minor changes were made to the hair and to the highlights in the eyes. It is unlikely that anyone but Droeshout would have considered those alterations necessary.” (Blayney, The First Folio, p.18) The History of this copy  The Folio was part of the library bequeathed by Dr Daniel Williams (c.1643-1716), the leading dissenting minister of his generation, to his trustees on his death in January 1716. it therefore has the longest uninterrupted ownership of any copy in the world, with the exception of Bishop Cosin’s copy formerly at Durham (stolen in 1998, present whereabouts unknown). The Folio is recorded in the Library’s first printed catalogue published in 1727 under “Libri in Folio. English”, as Shakespear’s Works, Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies.  Lond. Per Jaggard. 1623 (see Bibliothecae quam vir doctus, & admodum reverendus Daniel Williams, STP bono publico legavit, Catalogus 1727, p. 28).   In 1699 Williams had purchased the library of his fellow nonconformist minister, Dr William Bates (1625-99), for between £500 and £600.  Although there is no firm evidence, it is generally accepted that the more literary parts of Williams’s library, including the Shakespeare Folio, belonged originally to Bates. Dr Daniel Williams Few personal details about Williams survive. He was probably born at Wrexham in Denbighshire in about 1643, but his parents have not been identified. His education is also unknown, but was almost certainly interrupted by his decision to become a nonconformist minister. In about 1664 he became chaplain to the countess of Meath in Ireland, and three years later he was called as minister by the congregation at Wood Street, Dublin. In 1675 he married Elizabeth Juxon, sister to Alice, countess of Mountrath.  As a fierce opponent of Catholicism, he felt it necessary in 1687 to withdraw to London for his personal safety and quickly gained an influential place amongst dissenters. In 1688 he became minister of the Presbyterian meeting in Hand Alley, Bishopsgate, remaining there until his death. Besides a number of controversial works and sermons he also published two substantial works on religious faith. His first wife died on 10 June 1698, and he remarried on 2 January 1701, to Jane Guill, the daughter of a merchant who had been a Huguenot refugee. Neither marriage produced any children, but through them Williams acquired much of his wealth, which he used sparingly.:  “he exercis’d a Frugality as to his own Person, possibly to an Excess” (John Evans, A funeral sermon …of … Daniel Williams, 1716, p. 44). He is known to have been consulted by William III on Irish affairs, and to have used his influence on behalf of dissenters in Scotland and the American colonies as well as in England and Ireland. Dr Williams’s Library In his will Dr Williams devoted the bulk of his estate to create a trust for 2000 years for religious and educational purposes. In contrast to the detailed and elaborate provisions he made for the encouragement of an educated ministry—he left money to Harvard University and for the propagation of the gospel among native Americans, provisions to support a preacher in the Irish tongue to convert catholic Ireland, and two preachers, one for North and one for South Wales—the provisions for his library were surprisingly modest, indeed inadequate. The opening of the first library building in Red Cross Street in 1729 was largely due to the efforts of the original trustees in raising the money. The Folio bears the Red Cross Street Library stamp on the title page.  Although the original benefaction was dominated by theology (as might be expected), the 1727 catalogue discloses an unexpectedly wide-ranging collection.   It included choice editions of classical, French and English literature, including, surprisingly, a number of printed plays, two with Ben Jonson’s autograph, first editions of Beaumont and Fletcher, and Dryden, and of course the Shakespeare Folio. There were a surprising number of Italian and Spanish books, a number of medical books, as well as books on mathematics and astronomy.  “The collections were greatly enlarged over the years with many important gifts, and Williams’s original benefaction of about 7600 books forms only a small part of the modern library. After several moves, the trustees acquired University Hall in Gordon Square, London, where the library opened in 1890” (Oxford DNB). The backing on the title-page The printed backing on the title page is headed “Books Printed by Peter Cole at the Exchange in London…” and contains four columns of text describing “Physick Books” and “Divinity Books”. Peter Cole (active 1637-65) was a bookseller and printer of theological books. The latest date of any first edition advertised on Cole’s sheet is 1661, for books by Burroughs (Wing B6066) and Marshall (Wing M747).  Thus it can be concluded that the sheet cannot have been pasted to the title before 1661. If pasted in as advertising the date would, therefore, be 1661-5, if as a reinforcement to a title-page already worn it could be a little later. The Missing “To the Reader” leaf The “To the Reader” leaf is supplied in facsimile, presented to Dr. Williams’s Library by Mr Lionel Booth in March 1889 (as recorded by note in ink on supplied leaf; see also West, Vol. II, p.104) The bicentenary account of the Library speculated as to whether the original was “removed by ‘Two gentlemen to examine Shakespeare folio’ entered in the Visitors’ Book on February 27th 1864” (R. Travers Herford and Stephen K. Jones, A Short Account of the Charity & Library Established under the Will of the Late Rev. Daniel Williams, DD, 1917). The Manuscript Annotations A remarkable feature of Dr Williams’s Folio is the extensive series of early markings and annotations found in the volume, throwing light on how seventeenth-century readers understood and studied Shakespeare’s plays, as well as on provenance and date of binding of the volume. The Folio contains copious marks and annotations, written chiefly in dark brown ink, some pages marked in pencil (most notably, all of Troilus and Cressida). They comprise a series of distinct markings in the margins or alongside the gutter, including small circles, horizontal dashes, vertical lines, brackets, trefoils (twice), and in a few instances extended wavy lines, sometimes doubled, marking off long passages. Although it is impossible to determine whether these markings are all in one hand, their number and consistency throughout the volume suggest that the main series may well have been entered by one person, perhaps over a period. Moreover, in some five of the plays, there are verbal annotations in the margin, in the same coloured ink, in an italic hand of the mid-seventeenth century. These, and the fact that the annotations have been slightly cropped by the binder in that period, may serve as a guide to the likely date of the main series of markings throughout. In addition, as is quite common with books of this period, the Folio has fallen into the hands of several other contemporaries or near-contemporaries, for the most part probably juveniles, who have used very occasional borders or blank pages for random scribbling, making pen-trials and the like. Their contributions include the repetition of one or two play titles and, unless it is in the hand of the main annotator, a quotation from Othello (I, ii). This is written, apparently from memory, three pages after the lines appear in the printed text (ss6, recto), as “you shall more command with yeares then with your treatnings”, the last word being a substitute for the printed “Weapons” (ss4, verso). Yet another marginal inscription of a somewhat coarser nature (“…But I desier the readeres mougth to kis the wrighteres arse”) is written in a rounded hand of the mid-seventeenth century. The fact that this too has been cropped by the binder supports the dating of the binding as mid-seventeenth-century or so. Then finally, on the very last blank page of the volume (3b6v), a set of amatory verses in French (beginning “Caliste O lieu de me punir ecoutie mon martire”) has been added in black ink, subscribed in another hand “John Plomer 1605”. Although reminiscent of the kind of verse written about that date by François de Malherbe (1555-1628), the ‘subscription’ is likely to be independent of, and perhaps written earlier than, the verses, which are inscribed in what would appear to be a late-seventeenth-century hand. In brief, the conclusion that can be drawn from this evidence is that the main set of markings and annotations and most of the scribbling were written before the mid-seventeenth century, when the volume was most likely bound, and that the French verses were added later in the century. All of these inscriptions would almost certainly have been present before the volume was acquired by the solidly respectable Nonconformist divine Dr William Bates (1625-99), even though the unlikely suggestion has been entertained that Bates might have been responsible for the main annotations himself (West, vol. ii, p.106). Nature of the Main Annotations The main set of markings and annotations, several hundred in number, extend throughout the volume, the only play left untouched by a reader’s pen being The Merry Wives of Windsor. The number of markings per play ranges from about 12 or 13 (in The Tempest and The Comedy of Errors) to around 360 (in Henry VIII, by far the most annotated play). Plays with quite large numbers of annotations include Hamlet (c.185), Anthony and Cleopatra (c.135), Julius Caesar (c.110), All’s Well that Ends Well (c.100), Richard III (c.94) and Richard II (c.90). By comparison, plays with moderate numbers of markings include Much Ado about Nothing (c.60), Titus Andronicus (c.55), and the two parts of Henry IV (c.46 and c.38). What is certain is that the markings bear witness to remarkably close attention paid to the text of virtually every play in the volume by a contemporary or near-contemporary reader. He is, moreover, likely to have been versed in the conventions of ‘commonplace books’, which were so fashionable in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially among the universities and inns of court. Students were, indeed, encouraged to compile compendia of quotations from their reading matter, preferably arranged systematically under topic headings. Lines and passages were characteristically selected for entry because they were sententiae, which encapsulated succinctly general truths or pearls of wisdom, or because they illustrated well particular subjects, or else because they exemplified clever uses of rhetorical devices or fine and eloquent writing and figures of speech, such as might be used as models. So widespread was this fashion that some Elizabethan and Jacobean literature, including plays, was even published with the ‘purple passages’ or fine phrasing highlighted by the use of double quotation marks or else pointing hands in the margin, so that readers might readily spot them for copying into their commonplace books. The present reader makes a passing nod to the conventions of commonplace-book headings with a number of marginal annotations such as “joy”, love”, “beuty”, “virtue”, “war”, “victor”, “happy”, “comendacon”, “time”, “wit”, and (a word repeated frequently) “simile”. Since these sidenotes, which serve as sign posts, occur in only five plays (Much Ado, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and As You Like It), the reader evidently tired of them and abandoned the practice, probably because he kept finding in Shakespeare’s text so many more instances that exemplified these and other topics and features. Otherwise the profusion of markings throughout, with alternating series of circles, dashes, vertical lines and other devices (the forms of marking apparently chosen at random, with no discernibly consistent system employed), evidently signal the numerous lines and passages that he found of special interest, because so eloquently or strikingly expressed. Such examples range from what are effectively pithy sententiae – such as “Fire that’s closest kept, burnes most of all” (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, I, ii: B5, recto), or “Experience is by industry achieu’d” (ditto, I, iii: B5, verso), or “When sorrowes comes, they come not as single spies, / But in Battaliaes [Battalions]” (Hamlet, pp3, recto), among very many others – to large portions of scenes or whole pages. For instance, he vigorously marks off with a jagged line the scene in which the ghosts appear to Richard III on the eve of the battle of Bosworth, and the scene in Timon of Athens (I, I: Gg6, verso) where the senators banish Alcibiades is one where the reader seems to have begun to mark individual passages and then abandoned it in favour of drawing double jagged lines also down the whole margin. A number of what are today among the most famous passages in Shakespeare are marked – such as Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech (II, ii: oo5, recto) or Macbeth’s dialogue with the doctor about a “minde diseas’d” (V, iii: nn3, recto). Yet many of these are overlooked in favour of a multitude of other lines and passages whose phrasing and imagery attracted the reader more: lines such as “Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath, / That the rude sea grew ciuil at her song” (Midsummer Night’s Dream, II, I: N3, recto), or “Bemocke the modest Moone” (Coriolanus, I, I: aa2, recto), or “Though Venus gouerne your desires, / Saturne is Dominator ouer mine” (Titus Andronicus, II, I:dd1, recto), among many other examples. What is probably the same reader even took the trouble on one page to correct the printed text, changing by hand three times the name ‘Elinor’ to ‘Margaret’ in Henry VI Part 2 (n3, verso). He also very occasionally underlines twice some particular word – for instance, “Corriuals” in Henry IV, Part I (f4, recto) -- probably because he thought it unusual. In brief, the profusion of markings in this volume does much to illuminate a contemporary or near-contemporary reader’s taste for, and in some measure interpretation of, Shakespeare’s works. It is also instructive to see that what was clearly his favourite play was Henry VIII, which was partly written by John Fletcher. His plays seem to have been as popular as Shakespeare’s at least into the 1620s before they were collected in the Beaumont and Fletcher folio of 1647, a fashion which these markings seem to reflect clearly. The present markings and the selection of the text that they signal are effectively a major addition to the few recorded seventeenth-century manuscript and printed anthologies of dramatic extracts that include Shakespeare. They enhance the interest and significance of this exceptionally sound copy of the First Folio with an additional dimension of meaning and context. Dr Williams’s copy is undoubtedly one of the two finest copies to appear at auction in London since the Second World War (bearing comparison only with the Houghton copy, sold in June 1980).

  • GBRGrande Bretagne
  • 2006-07-13
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Audubon, john james. the birds of america. london: 1827-38. 4 volumes.

The Birds of America; from Original Drawings by John James Audubon. London: Published by the Author, 1827–1838 4 volumes, broadsheets (volume 1: 39 1/2 x 25 7/8 in. {100.3 x 65.7 cm}; volume 2: 39 1/2 x 25 3/8 in. {100.3 x 64.6 cm}; volume 3: 39 1/2 x 25 15/16 in. {100.3 x 65.9 cm}; volume 4: 38 3/4 x 25 1/2 in. {98.6 x 64.8 cm}), 435 magnificant handcolored etched plates (numbered I–X, 11–14, XV, 16–97, 100, 99, 98, CI–CCCCXXXV) with line-engraving and aquatint, by William H. Lizars of Edinburgh and by Robert Havell and Robert Havell Jr. of London, after the original life-sized watercolor drawings by Audubon (some botanical and landscape backgrounds by friends and collaborators of Audubon, including Joseph Mason, George Lehman, and Maria Martin), depicting 1,065 birds representing 489 supposed species. An early subscriber's copy of Audubon's "Double Elephant Folio"—incomparably the most important and most beautiful color-plate book ever published. This is an unusually large copy with absolutely no trimming loss to any image or caption. The plates in this set are generally in the earliest state: all of the ten first plates are engraved by Lizars alone, prior to retouching by Havell Jr. and 143 of Low's 150 variable plates present in the first state. Condition A very good set, somewhat heedlessly handled prior to acquisition by the IHS, with unusually large sheets that usually exhibit their original sewing holes; however, the sheets have all been backed with linen: the plates in volumes 2–4 about 1890 and those in volume 1 in 1937. (Due to the linen backing, the watermarks are not legible, but because of the first state of nearly all the plates, as well as the first state of the first title-page, they can safely be assumed to be early, running from 1826 through 1838.) On a very few plates the paper has lifted from the linen in spots, resulting in creases and rippling. The coloring, particularly of the large plates, is generally fine, although a handful of plates exhibit a slight smearing or abrasion of some pigments, and a certain fugitive red pigment seems to have very occasionally oxidized, especially on a few of the woodpecker plates. Finger soiling, light spotting and foxing, browning, other staining and discoloration, and mild bloom are occasionally evident throughout, often confined to the margins. A number of plates have marginal tears or tiny losses to fore-edge corners, and a smaller number have some fraying and chipping at the fore-edge; in the great majority of these plates, the tear, chip, or loss is outside the platemark. A plate-by-plate survey of the copy with notes on all but the most minor defects is available on sothebys.com, as well as from the New York and London Book and Manuscript departments. Binding The set was rebound in 1937 by Monastery Hill Bindery of Chicago in the style of the exisiting binding: half black morocco over black buckram boards, the front covers preserving large black morocco labels from the earlier binding, gilt-lettered audubon's / birds / of america/ vol. i [–iv], spines gilt-lettered, marbled endpapers (also likely preserved from the earlier binding); at the time of rebinding, each plate was hinged to a linen guard. Each volume fitted with a custom black cloth jacket, the spines of which preserve small black labels from the earlier binding, gilt-lettered vol. i [–iv]. Provenance The original subscriber to this set was the York Subscription Library, York, England, an early subscriber whose name appears on Audubon's original subscription list as well in the lists printed in volumes 1 and 5 of the Ornithological Biography. The set is listed on page 215 of An Alphabetical Catalogue of the Subscription Library, York (York: Thomas Wilson and Sons, 1842), among "A List of Books not allowed to circulate." The York Subscription Library was founded in 1794, by a group of city booksellers. The Library grew from little more than book club to an institution with nearly 40,000 books, including much significant local material. From the end of the nineteenth century, however, the Subscription Library faced increasing financial pressures, and in 1917 the city bought it and merged it with the York Public Library, which had been opened in 1893.   During an earlier financial crisis the members of the York Subscription Library voted to sell their copy of The Birds of America. The set was acquired, likely through an intermediary bookdealer, sometime prior to January 1895 by William Borden, a philanthropic Indiana geologist and mining millionaire. Fries repeats the surmise that the Audubon was purchased by Borden “as a wedding gift for his second wife, whom he married in 1884.” But this romantic notion is belied by the fact that the York Subscription Library did not take up the question of selling the books until 1889—as well, perhaps, as by the laconic inscriptions Borden wrote, respectively, on the four title-pages: “Emma Borden / from / Wm. W. Borden”; “These 4 Vol. of / John James Audubon / Presented to Emma Borden / by / Wm. W. Bo­rden”; “Emma Borden / from / Wm. W. Borden”; “Emma Borden / by / Wm. W. Borden.” William W. Borden (1823–1906) was born in New Providence, Indiana, a town later renamed Borden in his honor. Borden attended Washington County Seminary in Salem, Indiana, and matriculated at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he became interested in geology and paleontology. He became the Assistant State Geologist for Indiana, but he made his considerable fortune during a two-year period in the late 1870s as co-owner, with his brother and others, of a silver mine in Leadville, Colorado. Borden retired to New Providence, where he established the Borden Institute, a teacher- preparation college, in 1884. He also founded a library and a museum in the town, and while the latter still exists, its important geological collections have long since been donated to the Field Museum and Smithsonian Institution. The Borden Institute was closed in 1906, following Borden’s death. Fries states that at this time “The folio as well as other books came into the possession of Borden’s heirs,” but it is more likely that The Birds of America was always considered a family possession. In either case, the set was purchased by its present owner, the Indiana Historical Society, from the Estate of William Borden in 1933. Edition Size and Extant Copies Although Audubon’s final published list of his subscribers totaled 161, that number provides only a notional sense of how many complete copies of The Birds of America were published. As Waldemar Fries demonstrated in his indispensable Double Elephant Folio, some listed subscribers did not complete their subscriptions, while other collectors are known to have purchased a set of the 435 plates at the time of publication, yet they are not recorded by Audubon as subscribers. In addition, fifteen complete sets not taken by subscription remained at the end of printing in 1838. Fries concluded that “the evidence suggest that the figure would certainly be less than 200, with the actual number somewhere between 175 and 200 copies.” In the intervening decades since Fries first published his study, consensus has placed the number of copies produced closer to the latter figure than the former. In her update to Fries’s census in the revised 2006 edition of The Double Elephant Folio, Susanne Low found that “One hundred-nineteen complete sets are known to exist in the world today. One hundred-seven are in institutions such as universities, libraries, museums, athenaeums, societies and the like. Twelve are in private hands.” The total number of copies today remains the same, but the tally now stands at thirteen sets in private ownership and 106 held by institutions, since the Providence Athenaeum copy was acquired by a private collector when it was sold at auction in 2005. “[I] opened a large store at Louisville, which went on prosperously when I attended to it; but birds were birds then as now, and my thoughts were ever and anon turning toward them as the objects of my greatest delight. I shot, I drew, I looked on nature only; my days were happy beyond human conception, and beyond this I really cared not”—John James Audubon, “Myself.” John James Audubon, whose name is synonymous with American ornithology, was born in Les Cayes, Haiti (then Saint-Domingue) in 1785, and lived in France from the ages of five to eighteen. But, despite his frequent later residencies in Europe promoting and overseeing the production of The Birds of America, most of his life was spent in the United States, which he travelled from Philadelphia to Florida and from Boston to the Badlands. Audubon became a naturalized citizen in 1812 and developed a fierce nationalism. Though something of a dandy as young man (he admitted in an autographical essay written for his two sons that he had been “ridiculously fond of dress. To have seen me going shooting in black satin smallclothes, or breeches, with silk stockings, and the finest ruffled silk shirt Philadelphia could afford, was, as I now realize, an absurd spectacle …”), Audubon came to favor buckskin and homespun. In the preface to Ornithological Biography, he introduced himself to his readers as “an American Woodsman,” and he particularly liked to project a backwoods persona when in Scotland, England, and France—even if he never did quite lose his French accent. Audubon was speaking of himself as much as his fellow-citizens when, in an 1833 letter, he urged the engraver Robert Havell Jr. to be as accurate as possible in the finishing and coloring of the plates based on his watercolors: “Americans are excellent Judges of Work particularly of Such as are drawn from their Country’s Soil—they are proud of every thing that is connected with America, and feel Mortified when ever any thing is done that does not come up to their Sanguine expectations.” Audubon was born Jean Rabine, the natural son of Jean Audubon, a French sea captain and plantation owner, and Jeanne Rabine, a chambermaid who gave the boy her last name but who died when he was just seven months old. The boy was initially cared for by another of Captain Audubon’s mistresses, but with the threat of a slave revolt making Saint-Domingue increasingly unstable, he sent his son and one of his daughters, Rose Bouffard, to live with his wife, Anne Moynet Audubon, in Nantes (another half-sister remained in Saint-Dominigue and was killed during the slave insurrection in 1791). Audubon’s wife accepted the children as her own, and in 1794 both were formally adopted by the couple; the boy took the name Jean-Jacques Fougère Audubon. Captain Audubon had by then returned to France, where he served in administrative roles with the French Republican Navy and, more important, encouraged his son’s early interests in nature and drawing. To his own sons, Audubon recalled that during his childhood “not an hour of leisure was spent elsewhere than in woods and fields, and to examine either the eggs, nest, young, or parents of any species constituted my delight.” In these hours of leisure, Audubon was frequently accompanied by this father, who, he recounts in Ornithological Biography, obtained specimens for him, taught him about “the departure and return of birds with the seasons, … their haunts, and, more wonderful than all, their change of livery. …” And, while others who saw his juvenile bird sketches “never failed to praise them to the Skies,” Captain Audubon was more circumspect. In the essay “My Style of Drawing Birds,” Audubon wrote that his father “constantly assured me that nothing in the world possessing Life and animation was easy to imitate, and that as I grew older he hoped I would become more & more assured of this. … I listened less to others, more to him and slowly improved.” In the same essay, Audubon admitted that his first attempts at drawing birds were made when “I was very far from possessing any knowledge of their Nature. … The first Collection of Drawings I made of this Sort were from European Specimen, procured by my Father or myself. … they were all represented strictly ornithologically, which means neither more or less than in Stiff unmeaning profiles, such as are found in all works published since the beginning of the present century.” One of those early  nineteenth-century books of ornithological illustration that Audubon politely dismissed was given to him by this father. He eagerly paged through the volume, recognizing that although “what I saw was not what I longed for, it gave me a desire to copy nature” (Ornithological Biography). Audubon began to truly copy nature when he arrived in the United States in 1803, dispatched by his father to manage an estate outside of Philadelphia, Mill Grove, that had been purchased in 1789 for its potential lead deposits. Audubon’s move may have been prompted partially by his failure to qualify for naval officer training, but it was more likely a ploy to avoid conscription into Napoleon’s army. He travelled on a passport that Anglicized his name to John James and identified him as “a native of Louisiana.” Life at Mill Grove allowed Audubon to return to the pursuits of his boyhood: “Its fine woodlands, its extensive fields, its hills crowned with evergreens, offered many subjects to my pencil. It was there that I commenced my simple and agreeable studies, with as little concern about the future as if the world had been made for me. My rambles invariably commenced at break of day; and to return wet with dew, and bearing a feathered prize, was, and ever will be, the highest enjoyment for which I have been fitted” (Ornithological Biography). At Mill Grove, too, Audubon first developed the techniques that would inform his drawings with such vitality and precision that could be seen, not simply as scientific representations of a species, but as revealing psychological portraits of individuals. Initially, Audubon tried suspending his subjects from string, “with the desire to shew their every portion as the wings lay loosely Spread as well as the Taile,” but finding the results fit only as “pretty fair sign Boards for Poulterers,” he soon developed an elaborate scheme of wiring the birds into natural attitudes that he had observed in the wild. He describes in “My Style of Drawing Birds” his first trying out of this method. Waking one morning with the inspiration that he had dreamt of a new discovery, Audubon, eschewing breakfast, took his gun to the Perkioming Creek, shot a kingfisher, and quickly brought it home. There he took a soft board and sharpened pieces of wire and “pierced the body of the Fishing bird and fixed it onto the board—another Wire passed above his upper Mandible was made to hold the head in a pretty fair attitude, Smaller Skewers fixed the feet according to my notions, and even common pins came to my assistance in the placing the legs and feet.—the last Wire proved a delightful elevator to the Bird’s Tail and at Last there Stood before me the Mankin of a Kings Fisher! … I sat to, outlined the bird, aided by compasses and My eyes coloured it and finished it. … this was what I Shall ever call my first attempt at Drawing actually from Nature, for then Even the eye of the Kings fisher was as if full of Life before me whenever I pressed its Lids aside with a finger.” Audubon made modifications and improvements to his wiring scheme—he adopted uniform grids behind his tableaux and on his drawing paper to assist him in depicting proportions—but this became his standard protocol for the original drawings that were the basis for The Birds of America. But always and increasingly the positioning of his “mannequins” was based on field observation: “As I travelled, mostly bent on the Study of birds and with a wish to represent all those found in our Woods to [the] best of my powers, I gradually became acquainted with their forms and Habits, the use of my Wires was improved by an acquirement in the delineation connected with the Naked Eye. … The more I understood my Subjects the better I became able to represent them in what I hoped was a natural Position.” In a letter to a friend of 1828, Audubon emphasized that he never drew from stuffed specimens: “My drawings have all been made after individuals fresh killed, mostly by myself, and put up before me by means of wires, &c. in the precise attitude represented, and copied with a closeness of measurement that I hope will always correspond with nature when brought into contact.” But while the study of the birds of America was the principal avocation of Audubon’s adult life, it was not to truly become his vocation for more than two decades after he disembarked at New York. Shortly after settling into Mill Grove, Audubon fell in love with Lucy Bakewell, the daughter of his neighbor William Bakewell. In 1805, during his protracted courtship of Lucy, Audubon risked conscription and returned to France to seek his father’s permission to marry, but Captain Audubon insisted that he find a means of supporting himself before he would sanction the union. The year-long return to Nantes was not without advantage to Audubon, however; while there he met the young Charles-Marie D’Orbigny, his family’s doctor and a gifted ornithologist, who did much to school Audubon in taxidermy, and in a more scientific way of approaching and cataloguing his subjects. While back in France, Audubon also became acquainted with Ferdinand Rozier, who returned with him to the United States. Audubon worked briefly as a clerk for Lucy Bakewell’s uncle in New York, while Rozier took a position with a French trading house in Philadelphia. But, as Audubon freely admitted in the autobiographical reminiscence he wrote for his sons, the mercantile business did not suit him. “The very first venture which I undertook was in indigo; it cost me several hundred pounds, the whole of which was lost. Rozier was no more fortunate than I, for he shipped a cargo of hams to the West Indies, and not more than one-fifth of the cost was returned.” Undaunted, the pair formed a mercantile partnership and opened a general store in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1807. The following year, Audubon and Lucy Bakewell were at last married, and the coupled settled into apartments at the Indian Queen Hotel. In retrospect, Audubon realized that there was an easy fortune to made in Louisville in land speculation, “But,” he related to his sons with equanimity, “young heads are on young shoulders; it was not meant to be, and who cares?” The store itself could have provided a good living, but Audubon’s affinity for nature, rather than commerce, had not moderated with his move southward: “we had many goods, and opened a large store at Louisville, which went on prosperously when I attended to it; but birds were birds then as now, and my thoughts were ever and anon turning toward them as the objects of my greatest delight. I shot, I drew, I looked on nature only; my days were happy beyond human conception. … I seldom passed a day without drawing a bird, or noting something respecting its habits, Rozier meantime attending the counter.” There is no indication that Audubon had given any thought up to this point of publishing his growing portfolio of ornithological drawings, but a serendipitous encounter with another naturalist-artist at his Louisville shop may have provided the initial inspiration for his Birds of America. Audubon relates the story at deserved length in Ornithological Biography. “One fair morning, I was surprised by the sudden entrance into our counting-room of Mr Alexander Wilson, the celebrated author of the ‘American Ornithology’ of whose existence I had never until that moment been apprised. This happened in March 1810. He had two volumes under his arm, and as he approached the table at which I was working, I thought I discovered something like astonishment in his countenance. He, however, immediately proceeded to disclose the object of his visit, which was to procure subscriptions for his work. He opened his books, explained the nature of his occupations, and requested my patronage. “I felt surprised and gratified at the sight of his volumes, turned over a few of the plates, and had already taken a pen to write my name in his favour, when my partner rather abruptly said to me in French, ‘My dear Audubon, what induces you to subscribe to this work? Your drawings are certainly far better, and again you must know as much of the habits of American birds as this gentleman.’ Whether Mr Wilson understood French or not, or if the suddenness with which I paused, disappointed him, I cannot tell; but I clearly perceived that he was not pleased. Vanity and the encomiums of my friend prevented me from subscribing. Mr Wilson asked me if I had many drawings of birds. I rose, took down a large portfolio, laid it on the table, and shewed him, as I would shew you, kind reader, or any other person fond of such subjects, the whole of the contents, with the same patience with which he had shewn me his own engravings. “His surprise appeared great, as he told me he never had the most distant idea that any other individual than himself had been engaged in forming such a collection. He asked me if it was my intention to publish, and when I answered in the negative, his surprise seemed to increase. And, truly, such was not my intention ; for, until long after, when I met the Prince of Musignano [Charles-Lucien Bonaparte] in Philadelphia, I had not the least idea of presenting the fruits of my labours to the world. Mr Wilson now examined my drawings with care, asked if I should have any objections to lending him a few during his stay, to which I replied that I had none: he then bade me good morning, not, however, until I had made an arrangement to explore the woods in the vicinity along with him, and had promised to procure for him some birds, of which I had drawings in my collection, but which he had never seen. … We hunted together, and obtained birds which he had never before seen; but, reader, I did not subscribe to his work, for, even at that time, my collection was greater than his.” Alexander Wilson, who is still remembered as one of the pioneers of American ornithological study, never wrote of meeting Audubon—not unusual, perhaps, since he died in 1813, long before the younger man’s work had become well known. But he did record his visit to Louisville in American Ornithology: he claimed he found not one subscriber and not one new bird while there, and that “Science or literature has not one friend in this place." (Although Audubon did not subscribe to Wilson’s work, he did own a copy. Lee Vedder reports that the Huntington Library owns a presentation copy of the first edition of American Ornithology, inscribed by Wilson to Audubon and with the latter’s holograph annotations.) Rozier and Audubon tried to expand their enterprise to St. Genevieve, Missouri, and Henderson, Kentucky, and but they eventually went their separate ways. Audubon then partnered with his brother-in-law, Thomas Bakewell, in various commercial ventures, including a merchandising house in New Orleans and a sawmill and gristmill in Henderson. Audubon recalled the second decade of the nineteenth century as “a succession of vicissitudes. I tried various branches of commerce, but they all proved unprofitable, doubtless because my whole mind was ever filled with my passion for rambling and admiring those objects of nature from which alone I received the purest gratification.” Also during this period the Audubons had four children: Victor was born in 1809, John Woodhouse in 1812 (the same year Audubon became a naturalized citizen), Lucy in 1815, and Rose in 1819. The boys both grew to work with their father: Victor would act as his business agent in London during the printing of The Birds of America, as well as in the marketing of the reduced-size “octavo” editions of that work, while John Woodhouse became an artist who closely collaborated with his father on The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. Neither of the girls would live to a second birthday. Audubon’s commercial ventures continued to founder: the New Orleans business and Henderson mills all failed, and he lost a significant stake investing in a Mississippi River steamboat with George Keats, brother of the poet. The financial panic of 1819 undoubtedly contributed to the collapse of all of Audubon’s mercantile enterprises, but the fault finally lay in himself and his increasing ornithological obsession, not in the stars of national economic collapse. As he wrote of the Louisville store, “I could not bear to give the attention required by my business, and which, indeed, every business calls for, and, therefore, my business abandoned me. Indeed, I never thought of it beyond the ever-engaging journeys which I was in the habit of taking to Philadelphia or New York to purchase goods; these journeys I greatly enjoyed, as they afforded me ample means to study birds and their habits as I travelled through the beautiful, the darling forests of Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Were I to tell you that once, when travelling, and driving several horses before me laden with goods and dollars, I lost sight of the pack-saddles, and the cash they bore, to watch the motions of a warbler, I should only repeat occurrences that happened a hundred times and more in those days.” Audubon’s father died in 1818, but his “pecuniary difficulties” prevented his return to France to help untangle an estate that was complicated by Captain Audubon’s numerous extramarital liaisons. In fact, Audubon was briefly incarcerated in debtors’ prison, but secured his release by declaring bankruptcy, after surrendering to his creditors all of his property save the clothes he was wearing, his rifle, and his portfolio of drawings. Returning to Louisville, Audubon discovered a talent for portraiture and for a time found steady work. He was particularly in demand for death-bed portraits and later wrote that “so high did my reputation suddenly rise, as the best delineator of heads in that vicinity, that a clergyman residing at Louisville … had his dead child disinterred, to procure a fac-simile of his face.” In 1819 Audubon found employment with the Western Museum Society in Cincinnati, not as an artist but as a taxidermist, no doubt employing the skills he learned from D’Orbigny in France all those years before. While Audubon benefited from working with the Museum’s valuable collection of specimens, the panic of 1819 made it difficult for its proprietor, Dr. Daniel Drake, to meet his payroll, and in April 1820 he had to let Audubon go. With other paths closed to him, Audubon at this point resolved to pursue his passion and “Compleat a collection of the Birds of our Country, from Nature, all of Natural Size.” With Lucy contributing income as a teacher and governess, Audubon spent the next five years travelling throughout the American Southeast studying and drawing birds—and, when necessary, giving lessons in drawing, fencing, dancing, and French. But his life now had but a single purpose: in 1823 he recorded in his journal that “I have finally determined to break through all the binds and pursue my ornithological pursuits. My best friends regarded me as a madman, and my wife and family alone gave me encouragement. My wife determined that my genius should prevail, and that my final success as an ornithologist should be triumphant.” The first collecting and painting expedition Audubon made with this goal clearly in mind was in the autumn of 1820, when he travelled down the Mississippi on a flatboat from Cincinnati to New Orleans, in company with a young assistant, Joseph Mason, who would draw backgrounds. For the next five years over various excursions and expeditions, Audubon patiently gathered material, and his body of work grew rapidly. With his portfolio of drawings expanding rapidly, Audubon began to give serious attention to the publication of his illustrations. His great desire was that his very American work would be produced in America, but in Philadelphia and New York he was rebuffed by both naturalists and engravers who were irritated by his criticism of Alexander Wilson’s American Ornithology and mistrustful of his frontier mannerisms. George Ord, Wilson’s friend and editor, and Charles-Lucien Bonaparte, the ex-Emperor’s nephew who was at the time writing a supplement to Wilson’s earlier work, ensured that Audubon’s project was given a cool reception by the established scientific and publishing communities in the United States. This may have been just as well, since it is likely that the American publishing industry was not yet technically advanced enough to produce and print the massive engraved plates that Audubon had in mind. So it was that in New Orleans on 27 May 1826 Audubon boarded the ship Delos bound for Liverpool, hoping that in Great Britain he would find an expert engraver, an abundance of copper, and, most important, many wealthy subscribers to finance the undertaking. England gave Audubon the acclaim and attention that the United States withheld. His backwoods persona was seen as exotic and exciting and he was welcomed by polite society and the scientific establishment alike. Soon after his arrival, he exhibited 250 paintings at the Royal Institution at Liverpool, with similar subsequent exhibitions in Manchester and Edinburgh. He was granted an audience with the Earl of Derby at Knowsley Hall, site of a famous private menagerie that was to be recorded in lithography by Edward Lear in 1846, and, among many notables, met Sir Walter Scott and ornithologists John Gould, Prideaux John Selby, and William Jardine—the last of whom he would accuse not only of pirating some of his images but also, in a letter to John Bachman, of “encumber[ing] the Whole of God’s Creation with Stuff as little like the objects of the Creator’s formations as the Moon is unto Cheese.” In November Audubon was introduced to the engraver who could make his grand vision a reality: William Home Lizars of Edinburgh. Within a couple of months a prospectus for the work appeared, the first subscribers were signed up (a hundred would be secured by the end of 1827), and work was well underway on the first five plates: the cock wild turkey, the yellow-billed cuckoo, the prothonotary warbler, the purple finch, and the Canada warbler. Audubon’s plan was to issue 80 parts or fascicles, each containing images of five birds: one large, one medium-sized, and three small species. Payment from subscribers would be due on delivery of each part, the plates of which would be sent rolled in a tin tube. Based on the advice of Lizars, Audubon decided to publish any description text separately from the plates in order to circumvent British copyright-deposit laws. In December 1826, Audubon described the fledgling publication, and his plans for promoting it, to Lucy: “it is to come out in numbers of 5 prints the size of Life and all in the same size paper of my Largest Drawings called Double Elephant paper. They will be brought up and finished in such superb style as to Eclipse all of the Kind in Existence, the price of each number is Two Guineas—and all Individuals have the privileges to subscribe for all or any portion of it … The Little Drawings in the center of these beautifull Large Sheets have a fine effect and an air of Richness & wealth that cannot but help ensure success in this Country—I cannot yet say that I will ultimately succeed, but at present all bears a better aspect than I ever expected to see. … It is not the Naturalists that I wish to please altogether I assure thee; it is the wealthy part of the community. The first can only speak well or Ill of me but the Latters will fill my pockets. … I must wait patiently until the first Number is finished and Exibit that for although my Drawings are much admired if the work itself was inferior nothing could be done and until I have it I cannot expect many Subscribers. As soon as it is finished I will travel with it all over England Ireland and Scotland and then over the European Continent. …” While the second fascicle was being printed, the colorists who worked for Lizars—reproducing the palettes of “pattern plates” assembly-line style—went on strike. But this turned out to be good fortune disguised as calamity. Audubon quickly found a more capable and enthusiastic collaborator in Robert Havell Jr. of London. For the next eleven years, Havell and company engraved, printed, and colored the plates for The Birds of America, many of which incorporated landscape and botanical backgrounds drawn by Havell himself. While supervising the work—or leaving his son Victor to do so—Audubon made trips back to America to look for subscribers and—more significantly—to find and paint more birds. Both efforts were successful. He won subscriptions from many prominent individuals and institutions and must have been particularly pleased that Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences and American Philosophical Society both subscribed. As for his painting, he captured so many new subjects that The Birds of America was eventually extended to 87 parts totaling 435 engraved plates, many of which depicted more than one species. One unanticipated benefit of these later birding expeditions is that in Charleston in 1831 Audubon met the Rev. John Bachman, who would write the text for his next major project, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America—and who, in 1837, would become John Woodhouse Audubon’s father-in-law. The Birds of America was immediately recognized as an extraordinary achievement and perhaps the greatest contribution ever made by art in the service of science. In Fine Bird Books, Sacheverell Sitwell proclaimed that “There is nothing in the world of fine books quite like the first discovery of Audubon. The giant energy of the man, and his power of achievement and accomplishment, give to him something of the epical force of a Walt Whitman or a Herman Melville. … Audubon is the greatest of bird painters; he belongs to American history, and as a writer he described things that human eyes will never see again.” The later lithographed “octavo” editions of The Birds of America and The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America are considerable triumphs in their own rights. But the name Audubon will ever conjure up images of the Double Elephant Folio: it is sole and incomparable, as much a natural wonder as the remarkable birds it depicts.

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-04-01
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