July 2019 Newsletter – Rare books

Browsers' Bookstore newsletter for July 2019

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Store News

The Albany store was struck by a car the other day, but don’t worry, no books were damaged! Corvallis is making a mess in the Art room which will theoretically allow us to have room to shelve the 17 boxes of art books we just bought..

We’re gearing up for some skeleton-crew shifts as people go on various vacations, so we’re trying to process as many boxes of books as possible right now. This will mean fewer boxes but more books stacked up for a while. What else is new.

New Arrivals

Summer is a good time for light reading and kids books, so I’m not sure why I’ve got all these expensive books in the new arrivals section! Don’t worry, we also have lots & lots & lots of inexpensive ones sitting on the shelves waiting for you.

African Game Trails

Theodore Roosevelt
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910

Limited edition of just 500 copies printed by the De Vinne Press and signed by Theodore Roosevelt. This deluxe two-volume edition makes reading it a luxury; and Roosevelt’s signature ensures its value. Very good condition, leather still supple, bindings solid, signature impressive. $5,000

The History of Lace

Mrs. Bury Palliser
London: Sampson Low, Son, & Marston, 1865

A comprehensive history with 169 illustrations, most of which are samples of lacework. This copy with the bookplate of Salisbury Baxendale, who in addition to having one of the coolest names of all time, served as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in his later years.

Bound in full green leather with intricate lace-like decoration and borders to both panels, raised bands on spine with gilt decorations & lettering, gilt dentelles, all edges gilt. Very good condition, green color slightly dulled on spine panel, but an impressive example of bookbinding (not signed). $350

Geneva Bible [The “Breeches” Bible]

ca 1579

The Geneva Bible was the most widely-used English translation before the King James Version, and the first printed English one with Bible helps, references, maps, illustrations, etc, and it also introduced the chapter & verse format we’re used to today.

This particular edition is nicknamed the “Breeches” Bibles because it says that Adam and Eve made breeches out of their fig leaves!

This copy has an ownership inscription of Dulcibella Mathew from 1686. It is less common for a Bible such as this to have a woman’s inscription. Dulcibella was an important single woman in Southampton, who loaned money to the local government and then basically got ripped off because she was female [see: Froide, Amy M. Never Married: Singlewomen in Early Modern England. London: Oxford University Press, 2005.]

For now, we’re selling this in its unsophisticated state. I may eventually sink money into restoration, but I kind of like the fact that previous owners have done some repair & alteration. The title page is missing, the first extant page is the dedication to the Queen, which has “1576” written below the text, followed by two ownership inscriptions, including Dulcibella. Next are some charts to help determine the cycle of the Sun. These have been trimmed and rebound in imperfect order, but all present. The first leaf of the biblical text is missing but was replaced by a smaller leaf from another Bible (see photo.) Large folding plate before Daniel has been repaired with scrap paper. All Apocrypha and Psalms present, the book ends with some prayers and it appears to be missing the last leaf which would have contained the end of The Lord’s Prayer. Pages have some marginalia scattered, rear endpaper has further notes, leather binding contemporary with front joint split at top.

Geneva Bibles are often found rebound by modern conservators. The more I think about it, the more I’m tempted to keep this in its current state which has the physical manifestations of over four centuries of active use. $1,500

The Medals of Creation, or First Lessons in Geology, and the Study of Organic Remains.

Gideon Algernon Mantell
London: Henry G. Bohn, [1854], second edition, entirely rewritten

Mantell assembled the very first dinosaur skeleton–the Iguanodon in 1820! This two-volume work on geology, was written later in his life and is an impressive compendium of fossil & geological knowledge of the time, presented in a way accessible to the common reader.

This was presented to a woman, which–like the Bible above–was unusual for the time, since 19th-century women weren’t necessarily encouraged to study science. Bound with leather spines & corners, marbled paper-covered boards, marbled endpapers. Many engraved illustrations throughout text, color frontispieces. Text & images generally clean with a few markings, bindings good condition with wear to edges and joints, though still solidly bound. $150

Mr. Citizen

Harry S. Truman
New York: Bernard Geis, 1960

Inscribed by Truman on half title page, dated 1961. There were three editions of this book: trade edition in dust jacket, signed edition of 1000 numbered copies in cloth, and the “Author’s Edition” of 100 (not numbered) copies in quarter leather to be given by Truman to friends & supporters. This is the latter and scarce as such.

Near fine in very good slipcase. Top corners bumped, some discoloration to slipcase. $1,350


Stephen King
New York: Viking, 1986

First edition. I bet clowns hate this book. Very good in like jacket with some wear. $75

Venice. Two books.

Venice believes in climate change more than the White House does. One thing they have in common, however, is The Wall. Venice has already spent over 6 billion euros building a wall to protect itself from rising ocean levels due to climate change.

Venice. Beryl de Selincourt & May Sturge-Henderson; illustrated by Reginald Barratt. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1907.
Full blue cloth with blindstamped decorations, bright gilt. Travel & history accompanied by bright watercolor plates (see photo below for example.) Near fine copy. $30

Venice: Its History, Art, Industries, and Modern Life. Charles Yriarte; illustrated with photogravures. Philadelphia: Henry T. Coates & Co., ca 1890.
White cloth with extensive gilt decoration. Red cloth dust jacket; color folding map at rear. Very good condition, both hinges barely visible after endpapers, DJ creased at spine panel. $50

Rose in Bloom

Louisa May Alcott
Illustrated by Harriet Roosevelt Richards
New York: Little, Brown, 1914

A nice bright copy in a binding designed by Amy Maria Sacker. Owner’s name in ink, four pages creased. $25

History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea

Fred Lockley

A standard Pacific Northwest reference. Laid in is a New Year’s Greeting from Fred Lockley, undated. Very good condition with small fray to bottom of spine of volume two. $200

An Essay on the Principle of Population; or, A View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness; with an Inquiry into our Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which It Occasions. Bound with Frederick Morton Eden’s “An Estimate of the Number of Inhabitants in Great Britain and Ireland” (London, 1800)

T.R. Malthus
London: J. Johnson, 1807. Fourth edition.

Malthus’ monumental work created a controversy during the decades after it was first published, and continues to be cited today. The first edition was published anonymously but turned out to be so popular that Malthus expanded it for the second edition and put his name on it. The fourth edition has a few corrections from that second edition.

At the end of the second volume, the original (?) owner has bound in An Estimate of the Number of Inhabitants in Great Britain and Ireland by Sir Frederick Morton Eden, published in London by J. Wright, 1800. Eden’s earlier book (The State of the Poor, 1797) influenced Malthus, and this one, published after the first edition of Malthus’ essay, provides additional evidence for their concern about population growth–this fear would be heightened when the English census was published in 1801. Malthus described Eden’s work as “a mine of information.” Eden’s book is quite scarce, more so than Malthus’.

Handsomely bound in contemporary polished calf with gilt borders. Pages trimmed but margins still wide. Very good condition with previous owner’s name to title pages, some wear to joints, inked price, light wear to edges. $1,500

This summer we are fortunate to have my daughter Amanda working the paperback overstock sections. We’ve been able to keep the sections better stocked lately, but always ask us if there’s a title you can’t find because we also have over-overstock… Enjoy the browsing,
Scott Givens
Browsers’ Bookstore