Auctions | March 31, 2021

Early Printed Books at Swann Galleries April 8

Courtesy of Swann Galleries

Everard Digby, trans. William Percy, The Compleat Swimmer or the Art of Swimming, first edition, London, 1658. Estimate $6,000-9,000.

New York — Early Printed Books are at Swann Galleries Thursday, April 8 with noteworthy publications relating to early printed medical, scientific and travel works, including a selection of incunabula.

Scientific books lead the sale with the second edition of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, Basel, 1566, by Nicolaus Copernicus, which contains Narratio Prima by Georg Joachim Rheticus’s—Copernicus’s only pupil—not included with the first edition of De Revolution ($60,000-80,000); the first complete edition in English of Euclid’s The Elements of Geometrie, London, 1570 ($30,000-40,000); a first edition of Stanislaw Lubieniecki’s history of comets, Theatrum Cometicum, Duabus Partibus Constans, Amsterdam, 1668 ($8,000-12,000); and a first edition of Johann Zahn’s important work on the telescope, Oculus Artificialis Teledioptricus sive Telescopium, Wurzburg, 1685–86 ($8,000-10,000).

Publications on medicine are on offer with Der Spiegel der Artzney bound with Gart der Gesuntheit; zu Latin Ortus Sanitatis, Strasboug, 1529, by Lorenz Fries ($15,000-20,000);  a first edition of Compendiosa Totius Anatomie Delineatio, London, 1545, by Thomas Germinus ($7,000-9,000); Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, Oppenheim, 1617, bound with Clavis Philosophiae et Alchymiae Fluddanae, Frankfurt, 1633, first editions of both works, by Robert Fludd ($6,000-8,000); and a first edition of Die Traumdeutung, Leipzig & Vienna, 1900, by Sigmund Freud ($6,000-8,000).

Incunabula includes the first illustrated Venetian version of Dante Alighieri’s La Commedia, 1491 ($5,000-7,000); and Sebastian Brant’s Expositiones Omnium Titulorum Legalium, Basel, 1490 ($4,000-6,000). Also from fifteenth century is a circa 1435–45 Book of Hours, Use of Utrecht, illuminated with five full-page miniatures and 25 large illuminated initials with extensive foliate ink tendrils ($15,000-25,000).

Set to cross the block are works discussing travel including Matthew Calbraith Perry’s Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas & Japan, Washington D.C., 1856, a special presentation copy with a secretarial note signed by Ulysses S. Grant ($3,000-5,000); a first edition of The Holy Land, London, 1855, by David Roberts with 250 full-page lithographic plates ($3,000-5,000); The Beautiful Scenery and Chief Places of Interest throughout the Crimea, London, 1856, by Carlo Bassoli; and the first Dutch edition of Toonneel van China, Amsterdam, 1668, by Athanasius Kircher ($1,000-1,500).

Courtesy of Swann Galleries

Additional early printed books on note feature a first edition set of nine volumes of Laurence Sterne’s comic novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, York, 1760 ($8,000-12,000); the first and only edition of The Compleat Swimmer or the Art of Swimming, London, 1658, by Everard Digby ($6,000-9,000); Perspective 5e Partie, The Hague, 1615, by Hans Vredeman de Vries ($5,000-7,000); Alberti Dureri Clarissimi Pictoris et Geometrae de Symmetria Partium in Rectis Formios Humanorum Corporum Libro, Nuremberg, 1532, by Albrecht Dürer ($5,000-7,000); and The Fables of Aesop Paraphras'd in Verse: Adorn'd with Sculpture, London, 1668, by Aesop, translated by John Ogilby with 88 engraved illustrations by Wenceslaus Hollar ($4,000-6,000).

Limited previewing (by appointment only) will be available through April 7, to be scheduled directly with a specialist in advance and conforming to strict safety guidelines. Swann Galleries staff will prepare condition reports and provide additional photographs of material on request. Advance order bids can be placed with a specialist for the sale or on Swann’s website, and phone bidding will be available. Live online bidding platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable, and Live Auctioneers. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at and on the Swann Galleries App.

Additional highlights can be found here.

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