Antique books bring ancient knowledge to life, Nov. 29

 

1696 first edition of Johann Zahn’s mathematics and natural history compendium, estimated at $4,000-$5,000

1696 first edition of Johann Zahn’s mathematics and natural history compendium, estimated at $4,000-$5,000

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, November 29, starting at 7 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will offer a sale titled 15th-19th Century Antique Books Collection, featuring more than 850 lots. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Unsurprisingly, the sale lineup is loaded with books that have religious themes, such as Bibles, books of sermons and books of common prayer, and even a 13-volume work on canon law. Also of note in this category is a 1577 Biblical commentary on Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians by John Calvin, founder of the Calvinist sect of Christianity, translated into English by Thomas Tymme; a 1661 German-language compendium of the writings of Martin Luther, whose famous protests gave rise to the Protestant religion; and a 1687 history of the first three hundred years of the Christian church.

1564 first edition set of 124 Biblical-subject woodcuts, $2,500-$3,000

1564 first edition set of 124 Biblical-subject woodcuts, $2,500-$3,000

The November 29 auction is also rich in travel and history books, such as a stunningly illustrated 1682 history of Ethiopia, printed in English; an early 18th-century publication, also in English, recounting the martial achievements of the Scots; and a two-volume late 18th-century work in French recounting the North American travels of the Marquis de Chastellux, who served as an officer in the French Expeditionary Force led by Rochambeau during the American Revolution.

Standouts include a 1564 first edition of a set of 124 Biblical-theme woodcuts by the Swiss-German artist Jost Amman, based on drawings by Hans Bocksberger. It features Latin text and is estimated at $2,500-$3,000.

1593 first edition of Christopher Clavius’s book on astrolabes, $3,500-$4,000

1593 first edition of Christopher Clavius’s book on astrolabes, $3,500-$4,000

Two additional highlights are firmly focused within the realm of science. These include a 1593 first edition of the Jesuit mathematician and astronomer Christopher Clavius’s landmark book on astrolabes, which features a woodcut of said scientific instrument on its title page. The lot notes state “According to Houzeau & Lancaster it is the first work which evokes prosthaphaeresis, i.e. an algorithm used in the late 16th-early 17th c. for approximate multiplication and division using formulas from trigonometry.” The book has an estimate of $3,500-$4,000.

Completing the highlights is a 1696 first edition of Johann Zahn’s beautifully engraved compendium of mathematics and natural history, with a title that translates from the Latin to Historical Physical-Mathematical Mirrors of Remarkable and Wonderful Knowledge. Its estimate is $4,000-$5,000.

 

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