November 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Rare Book of Fables at Auction

Cyrillus.jpgIn our current issue's "On the Block" column, we aim our spotlight on the collection of Hollywood dialect coach Robert Easton, who died in 2011. Easton was a voracious collector, particularly of books related to language and dialect. Part of his massive collection was sold in July of this year, and the second sale commences this Saturday in Macon, Georgia. One of the major highlights is an incunable--a book printed with moveable type before 1501. This one was actually printed in 1475, in Basel. It is Speculum sapiencie beati Cirilli episcopi..., a medieval book of Latin prose fables by Cyrillus. What makes this edition special, other than the lovely, hand-painted historiated initial seen here, is the fact that no other copy has been recorded at auction since 1933. This one was formerly owned by book collector and American military attaché to the UN, Victor De Guinzbourg, before his widow sold it to Easton. The estimate is $5,000-7,000.  

Image: Speculum sapiencie (1475) bound in twentieth-century vellum. Courtesy of Addison & Sarova.