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Bauman Rare Books

Autograph letter signed

Autograph letter signed

YOUNG Brigham YOUNG, Brigham. Autograph letter signed. Great Salt Lake City, Utah, June 1, 1853. Single sheet of blue stationery, measuring 7-1/2 by 4-1/4 inches; p. 1. $3250.Exceptional autograph letter written entirely in Brigham Young's hand agreeing to provide an admirer with an example of his signature, signed by him.The letter, addressed to "Mr. Wm H. Sweetler , Charlestown Mass," reads: "G.S.L. City, Utah, June 1st, 1853. Sir, Being fond of obliging all persons, as far as consistant [sic], in compliance with your regard I furnish you these my autographs. Brigham Young." The year that this letter was written, 1853, was a pivotal year for Brigham Young and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Crucially, in April, the Church broke ground on what would become the magnificent Salt Lake Temple, still Salt Lake City's most recognizable landmark. In 1853, Young also made the Church's first statement on polygamy since the Church's move to Utah. Polygamy—controversial even then—remains one of the best known tenets of Mormonism, even a decade after its abolition within the Church. Thus, this letter was written at a time when the Mormon Church was truly beginning to shape its identity with Young at the very center of its transformation. True Brigham Young signatures—as opposed to those by his scribes—are rather rare and do not appear on the market as often as might be expected given their desirability. Original foldlines and tiny circle stain, signature clear and legible. Fine condition.
Archive: World War II-era Pacific Maps

Archive: World War II-era Pacific Maps

WORLD WAR II YORKTOWN U.S.S. (WORLD WAR II) (U.S.S. YORKTOWN). Archive: World War II-era Pacific Theatre Maps. Pacific Ocean: 1943-45. Sixteen maps, many folding, various sizes. $6000.Important archive of contemporary maps, including a hand-drawn map of Okinawa during World War II, some of which were used in planning the daring U.S. raid on the main Japanese naval base in the Pacific at Truk Atoll. This superb collection of 16 maps, together with related documents, mostly date between 1943 and 1945 and were used by members of a torpedo squadron based aboard the carrier U.S.S. Yorktown.Of particular interest are a pair of large 17 by 16-inch target maps of the Truk Islands, marked "RESTRICTED" and prepared by the Joint Intelligence Center on February 4, 1944 and used in the planning of the daring U.S. raid on the island—code named "Operation Hailstone." Nicknamed "The Gibraltar of the Pacific" by the Allies, the Truk Islands served as the main Pacific base for the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Japanese received advance warning of the raid and managed to evacuate their heavy battleships and carriers, but the two-day American raid destroyed 12 smaller warships, as well as 32 merchant vessels, which significantly weakened the installation's ability to support Japanese naval efforts in the South Pacific. As the U.S. advanced toward Japan, the base at Truk Atoll became increasingly isolated, but did not surrender until August 1945, although the garrison was near starvation by that point. The highly detailed map, printed in black, bears updated intelligence comments in purple ink noting the locations of the main anchorage, known radar and anti-aircraft installations, airfields, seaplane bases, as well as the passes used by Japanese ships in and out of the coral reef which surrounds the island group. The second map offers a detailed analysis of the various anti-aircraft guns and fortifications guarding the island as well as comments on searchlights and electric generators that merited targeting. The collection also includes several other smaller maps covering the same general region.Another map, titled "TARGET LOCATION MAP KWAJALEIN ATOLL," together with 15 pages of mimeographed areal photos and commentary (many of which are stamped "CONFIDENTIAL" on the verso), was used in the planning of the American attack on that island installation known as Operation Flintlock (January 29 – February 4, 1944). The accompanying aerial images offer precise locations of a variety of targets including anti-aircraft guns, radar installations, barracks, shops, warehouses, anchorages, piers, ammunition storage, fuel tanks, hangers and more. The collection also features an unusual clear plastic overlay map (14-1/2 by 14 inches) of a portion of the Marshall Islands, including the Kwajalein Atoll.The collection also features a beautifully hand inked and colored oilcloth map of the Island of Okinawa, in which the U.S.S. Yorktown played a supporting role in 1945. Signed at the lower right, "Drawn by D-Haydon 9/10/45 China," the map shows the various Marine divisions that took the island during the epic Spring 1945 battle for the island. Beside a large National Geographic folding map of the Pacific (1936) which makes for excellent reference, are a set of eight 8 by 10-inch photographs depicting various theatres of the Pacific Theater of Operations. Complied by the Associated Press, each photo has a small printed explanation tipped to the verso explaining the details of each map. Light soiling, folds, and other minor wear consistent with use—overall very good condition. Scarce and desirable.
New Machiavelli

New Machiavelli

WELLS H.G. "WELLS, H.G. The New Machiavelli. London: John Lane, the Bodley Head, 1911. Octavo, original red cloth. $2000.First English edition of this roman a clef, inscribed by Wells on the front free endpaper in the year of publication, "R.A.G.s from H.G. 1911" Presented to and from the collection of Wells’ close friend and frequent scientific adviser, Sir Richard Arman Gregory."The narrator, Remington, is a version of Wells, as is Wilkins the novelist, who had previously made a cameo appearance in Ann Veronica and who would appear in several later novels. Among other recognizable figures, Isabel Rivers is based on Amber [with whom Wells was having an affair], Oscar and Altiora Baileys on the Webbs, Willesley on Wallas, Evesham on Balfour, Cossington on Harmsworth and the Cramptons on C.P. and G.M. Trevelyan. For contemporary readers, this was history hot from the press, enlivened by scathing pen portraits. Wells offered the book to Macmillan in October 1909, assuring him that it was a political novel that contained nothing morally controversial Macmillan told Wells that there was twice as much reason to reject The New Machiavelli as there had been to reject Ann Veronica" (Sherborne, 210). "The opening chapters of The New Machiavelli are notable for their description of Bromley at the time of the author's childhood" (Hammond). First published in New York in 1910. Hammond A7. Wells 40. Inscribed to noted British scientist and Wells' lifelong friend Sir Richard Arman Gregory. In Wells' first work of fiction, he dedicated the work to Gregory as his "dearest friend." The two met while students at the Normal School of Science in South Kensington. They jointly authored a textbook, Honours Physiography, in 1891. Reportedly, Gregory was the one person with whom Wells never quarreled. A professor of astronomy, Gregory also possessed expertise in physics, chemistry and other disciplines; he wrote several textbooks and eventually assumed the editorship of the journal Nature, to which Wells frequently contributed. The author often turned to Gregory, and to the experts Gregory contacted on Wells' behalf, for insight and encouragement when writing his famous "scientific romances." After Wells' death, Gregory worked to establish the H.G. Wells Memorial to preserve public attention to his friend's body of work. Throughout his life Gregory was a passionate advocate for science—"It is necessary to believe in the holiness of scientific work," he once declared—and "an optimist about man's future" (Horrabin, in New Scientist, April 11, 1957).A bit of foxing to first few and last few leaves; spine sunned. An exceptionally good presentation-association copy."
Marriage

Marriage

WELLS H.G. "WELLS, H.G. Marriage. London: Macmillan, 1912. Octavo, original green blind-stamped cloth, top edge gilt. $2250.First edition of this novel, inscribed by Wells on the front free endpaper, "R.A.G. from H.G." Presented to and from the collection of Wells’ close friend and frequent scientific adviser, Sir Richard Arman Gregory."The marriage in question is that of Marjorie Pope to Richard Trafford, a scientific researcher who dramatically enters her life when his plane crashes on a vicarage lawn. Marjorie's expensive tastes force Trafford to give up pure research and work in industry. Wealthy but unfulfilled, the couple eventually retreat to a hut in Labrador where Trafford is injured by a lynx, but Marjorie nurses him back to health and the two resolve to embark on a new way of life serving human progress. For this big, serious novel Wells had taken [Henry] James' advice and switched to the third person to increase perspective James told Wells that the story was interesting, but it was the story of Wells' ongoing life and thought that interested him rather than those of the characters" (Sherborne, 215-16). With eight pages of publisher's advertisements at rear. Hammond A8. Wells 46. Inscribed to noted British scientist and Wells' lifelong friend Sir Richard Arman Gregory. In Wells' first work of fiction, he dedicated the work to Gregory as his "dearest friend." The two met while students at the Normal School of Science in South Kensington. They jointly authored a textbook, Honours Physiography, in 1891. Reportedly, Gregory was the one person with whom Wells never quarreled. A professor of astronomy, Gregory also possessed expertise in physics, chemistry and other disciplines; he wrote several textbooks and eventually assumed the editorship of the journal Nature, to which Wells frequently contributed. The author often turned to Gregory, and to the experts Gregory contacted on Wells' behalf, for insight and encouragement when writing his famous "scientific romances." After Wells' death, Gregory worked to establish the H.G. Wells Memorial to preserve public attention to his friend's body of work. Throughout his life Gregory was a passionate advocate for science—"It is necessary to believe in the holiness of scientific work," he once declared—and "an optimist about man's future" (Horrabin, in New Scientist, April 11, 1957).A clean, fresh, about-fine inscribed association copy."
Experiment in Autobiography

Experiment in Autobiography

WELLS H.G. WELLS, H.G. Experiment in Autobiography. Discoveries and Conclusions of a Very Ordinary Brain (Since 1866). London: Victor Gollancz and The Cresset Press, 1934. Two volumes. Octavo, original orange cloth. $1500.First edition, illustrated with many portraits, photographs and drawings, inscribed by Wells on the half title of Volume I to his close friend and scientific advisor, "RAGS FRS from HG as ever."Descriptions of the late-Victorian social scene from the standpoint of the servants' hall are followed by impressions of Arnold Bennett, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, George Gissing and other contemporaries" (H.G. Wells Society 120). Without scarce dust jackets. Hammond E32. Inscribed to noted British scientist and Wells' lifelong friend Sir Richard Arman Gregory. Gregory is mentioned in two places in this autobiography, most notably on page 237 where Wells references Gregory as one of his "faithful associates" who "kept me from becoming a failure absolutely." In Wells' first work of fiction, he dedicated the work to Gregory as his "dearest friend." The two met while students at the Normal School of Science in South Kensington. They jointly authored a textbook, Honours Physiography, in 1891. Reportedly, Gregory was the one person with whom Wells never quarreled. A professor of astronomy, Gregory also possessed expertise in physics, chemistry and other disciplines; he wrote several textbooks and eventually assumed the editorship of the journal Nature, to which Wells frequently contributed. The author often turned to Gregory, and to the experts Gregory contacted on Wells' behalf, for insight and encouragement when writing his famous "scientific romances." After Wells' death, Gregory worked to establish the H.G. Wells Memorial to preserve public attention to his friend's body of work. Throughout his life Gregory was a passionate advocate for science—"It is necessary to believe in the holiness of scientific work," he once declared—and "an optimist about man's future" (Horrabin, in New Scientist, April 11, 1957).Scattered light foxing to text; cloth with light expert restoration. A very good copy with notable provenance.
Babes in the Darkling Wood

Babes in the Darkling Wood

WELLS H.G. WELLS, H.G. Babes in the Darkling Wood. London: Secker & Warburg, 1940. Octavo, original green cloth, original dust jacket. $3000.First edition of Wells’ wartime novel, inscribed by him on the title page to his close friend and scientific advisor Richard Gregory, "To RAGs oldest friend of all. From H.G. 22-1-14."In his introductory essay to Babes in the Darkling Wood, H.G. Wells describes this story of young people in wartime as a novel of ideas dedicated to "the tradition of discussing fundamental human problems in dialogue form." Currey, 416. Hammond A28. Wells, 41. Inscribed to noted British scientist and Wells' lifelong friend Sir Richard Arman Gregory. In Wells' first work of fiction, he dedicated the work to Gregory as his "dearest friend." The two met while students at the Normal School of Science in South Kensington. They jointly authored a textbook, Honours Physiography, in 1891. Reportedly, Gregory was the one person with whom Wells never quarreled. A professor of astronomy, Gregory also possessed expertise in physics, chemistry and other disciplines; he wrote several textbooks and eventually assumed the editorship of the journal Nature, to which Wells frequently contributed. The author often turned to Gregory, and to the experts Gregory contacted on Wells' behalf, for insight and encouragement when writing his famous "scientific romances." After Wells' death, Gregory worked to establish the H.G. Wells Memorial to preserve public attention to his friend's body of work. Throughout his life Gregory was a passionate advocate for science—"It is necessary to believe in the holiness of scientific work," he once declared—and "an optimist about man's future" (Horrabin, in New Scientist, April 11, 1957).Scattered light foxing; original cloth with fading to spine, faint stain to top board. Price-clipped dust jacket with chips to spine ends. An extremely good copy with notable provenance.
Fort Hood Photo Archive

Fort Hood Photo Archive

WORLD WAR II UNITED STATES ARMY "(WORLD WAR II). Photographic archive of Fort Hood Opening Day. Killeen, Texas: U.S. Army Signal Corps, 1942. Oblong folio (11 by 14 inches), 90 leaves of cardstock, each with gelatin silver black-and-white or sepia-toned photographic print on glossy paper stock affixed (88 measuring 8 by 10 inches, 2 measuring 4 by 6 inches), ring-bound; 12 additional photographic prints (9 on glossy paper stock, 3 on matte; each measuring 8 by 10 inches) laid in loose. Housed in custom half morocco clamshell box. $4500.Vintage archive of 102 black-and-white and sepia-tinted photographic prints (90 mounted on thick card stock, another dozen loose) documenting the September 1942 opening ceremonies of the United States Army’s groundbreaking tank destroyer training center at Camp Hood, with numerous intriguing views of anti-tank artillery, troop exercises and Army officials and important visitors from Washington, D.C. and Hollywood. A unique, visual primary source of American military history.In 1942, while World War II raged, the United States Army developed 108,000 acres of central Texas farm land into Camp Hood, later Fort Hood. The new base became home to a tank destroyer tactical and firing center and some 38,000 troops (a figure that would swell to almost 95,000 in less than a year). The Army designed Camp Hood to house its newly created Tank Destroyer battalions: mobile anti-tank guns on armored half-tracks to combat Nazi Germany's Panzers, which had overrun so much of Europe. Generals Andrew D. Bruce and Lesley J. McNair (both pictured in several of the photographs in this album) organized the units, quickly training "scores of officers and men," as the New York Times reported, "in the tough business of 'tank busting' The mission of the tank destroyer is best epitomized by the motto the new battalions have adopted, 'Seek, attack, destroy!'" This remarkable archive of vintage photographs documents the ceremonies marking the base's opening day, September 18, 1942. Highlights include the presentation of colors and the review of troops; inspections of such equipment as .30 caliber machine guns, the 37 mm tank gun towed by a Jeep, 75 mm guns mounted on the M3 GMC and M10 GMC half-tracks, and M2A4 Light Tanks; practical demonstrations of the quarter-ton reconnaissance car, Molotov cocktails and "Sticky Bomb" grenades (the latter improvised from dynamite, nitroglycerin and GI socks), trench warfare and unarmed combat; mock Nazi villages and simulated Japanese formations that served to simulate tank hunting under actual combat conditions; the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps detachment; Fort Hood's military personnel as well as visiting officers and government dignitaries; and several photographs of Hollywood starlets and popular pin-up subjects Anne Gwynne, Martha O'Driscoll and Joan Blondell, as well as Miss America 1942, Jo-Carroll Dennison (shown playing with the 899th Tank Destroyer battalion's puppy mascots, visiting with Will Rogers, Jr., and firing a Tommy Gun). Neat manuscript ink annotations and ruling to leaf margins. Some photographs with previous, unobtrusive hole-punches at edges.Occasional closed tears to leaves, not affecting mounted photographs. Light curling to loose photographs. A unique and engrossing archive of vintage photographs, depicting a significant development in America's military might."
Archive related to the sinking of Japanese Submarine I-52

Archive related to the sinking of Japanese Submarine I-52

WORLD WAR II "(WORLD WAR II). Archive related to the sinking of Japanese Submarine I-52. No place: 1944. Various sizes and formats, mostly quarto, many items staple-bound or in original wrappers. $5500.Historically important archive of documents concerning the June 24, 1944 sinking by a U.S. bomber of the Japanese Submarine I-52, which had left Japan for Nazi-occupied France on March 10, 1944, with a cargo which included over two tons of gold bullion and three tons of opium. Includes signed statements of military and civilian personnel involved in the attack, including the statement of Lt. William Gordon, one of the two pilots credited with the sinking of Japan's "Golden Submarine."Lost Japanese Sub With 2 Tons of Axis Gold Found on Floor of Atlantic" headlined the March 18, 1995, New York Times article by William J. Broad. The Japanese submarine I-52 was part of a secretive exchange of raw materials and technologies between Hitler and Emperor Hirohito. With Allied attacks making surface transport impossible, the Axis powers resorted to submarines sneaking half way around the globe. Longer than a football field, I-52 was a cargo submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy used during World War II for a secret mission to Lorient, France, then occupied by Germany. The I-52 had left Japan in March 1944, with 2.2 metric tons of gold on board, then stopped in Singapore to pick up the other raw materials including 228 tons of tin, molybdenum, and tungsten, 54 tons of raw rubber, and 3 tons of quinine. She also carried 109 men, including 14 experts from such concerns as the Mitsubishi Instrument Company, who were along to study and procure German technology. In late April, she set out again, traveling through the Indian Ocean and around Africa, bound for the seaport of Lorient in Nazi-held France. She traveled the usual way, submerged during the day and surfaced at night, charging batteries. Unbeknownst to Tokyo and Berlin, the I-52's route and cargo were known to the Allies, who had broken a host of Axis ciphers for secret communications, including German military orders and Japanese naval codes. On the moonless night off June 23, 1944, under a clear sky, the Japanese sub rendezvoused with a German sub in the mid-Atlantic. Food fuel, and two German technicians were taken aboard, as well as a radar detector meant to help the Japanese submarine evade enemy planes as she neared Europe. Near midnight, just after the rendezvous, Lt. Cmdr. Jesse D. Taylor, flying as part of a naval task force, took off from the aircraft carrier "Bogue" in an Avenger bomber. He picked up the I-52 on his radar. Zeroing in, he dropped flares and two 500-pound bombs and watched as the submarine desperately sought to dive. Taylor, listening to undersea sounds radioed by acoustic buoys, heard an explosion and a metallic groan as the submarine lost air and sank with more than 100 men. AS Taylor's patrol ended, he was relieved by Lt. William Gordon who, hearing faint propeller noises, dropped a second acoustic torpedo.Far away, both the "Bogue" and the escaping Nazi submarine saw the flares of the distant battle, and both of them noted the position of the blaze above the I-52's grave. The U.S. Navy credited both Taylor and Gordon with the sinking of Japan's "Golden Submarine." The I-52's sunken gold consisted of 146 bars packed in 49 metal box, according to a manifest that was radioed from Tokyo to Berlin and decrypted by its American interceptors.The archive includes:(1) Lieutenant (jg) William D. Gordon. Typed manuscript, not signed but with 30 words, as edits, in his hand including initials "W.D.", four separate pages, 8 by 10-1/2 inches, stapled in upper left corner [June 30, 1944]. Marked "Top Secret" on each page. In part, it reads, "On the morning of 24 June 1944 at 0028½, I was launched from the USS BOGUE [aircraft carrier] I was vectored 226º 54½ miles to the scene of Lt. Commander Taylor's attack against an enemy submarine, with orders to drop a Mark 24 Mine if sonobuoy [a buoy that emits a radio signal on receiving an underwater signal from a vessel] indications revealed the presence of a submarine in the area. At about 0055, Mr. Price Fish, a Civilian Technician and underwater sound expert, who had been requested to accompany me, informed me that he was hearing faint propeller noises on the orange and yellow sonobuoys I informed Mr. Taylor that I had been sent out to the area to relieve him and that he was to return to the ship "(2) Three groups of identical statements, each personally signed; 44 signatures in all. One is marked in ink at top corner of the cover page "Copy 13" and the other, "Copy 14." The third cover page indicates that it is an incomplete set; but it is not. The Scale Map and stamping on verso of the map, "U.S.S. Bogue, dated June 30, 1944" is present but not attached. However, this set has a duplicate signed statement of Quentin R. Kelso."Attack of Lt. (jg) William D. Gordon 24 June 1944," 19 separate mimeographed pages, 8 by 10-1/2 inches, stapled together at top. Each page is marked "TOP SECRET." Each statement is individually signed at its conclusion. Includes:(a) Statement of Lt. (jg) W.D. Gordon, signed "W D Gordon" and by interrogator "William H. Earl," Ensign, A-V(S), USNR.(b) Statement of Mr. Price Fish, "Civilian Technician from Columbia University, Division of War Research, United States Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London, Connecticut," signed "Price Fish" and by interrogator "William H. Earl," Ensign, A-V(S), USNR.(c) Statement of Lieutenant (jg) A. Hirtsbrunner signed "Arthur L. Hirtsbrunner" and by interrogator "William H. Earl," Ensign, A-V(S), USNR.(d) Statement of Lieutenant (jg) Francis L. Brady signed "Lt. (jg) Francis L. Brady A-V(N)" and by interrogator "William H. Earl," Ensign, A-V(S), USNR.(e) Statement of I.E. Martin, ARM2c, USNR, signed "I.E. Martin" and by interrogator "William H. Earl," Ensign, A-V(S), USNR.(f) Statement of D.P. Knox, ARM1/c, USN, signed "Donald Phillip
Essay Concerning Humane Understanding

Essay Concerning Humane Understanding

LOCKE John "LOCKE, John. An Essay concerning Humane Understanding. In Four Books. London: Printed by Eliz. Holt, for Thomas Basset, 1690. Folio (8 by 13 inches), period-style full dark brown calf, morocco spine label, raised bands. $65,000.Rare first edition, first issue, of Locke's remarkable study of the nature of knowledge, a fundamental work in the history of Western thought. Locke's investigation was continued by David Hume and Immanuel Kant; John Stuart Mill considered Locke to be the founder of the analytic philosophy of mind. An excellent, wide-margined copy of Locke's most famous work, a touchstone of the Age of Enlightenment, with extensive marginalia in a neat early hand indicating that this copy was well-read."Locke was the first to take up the challenge of Bacon and to attempt to estimate critically the certainty and the adequacy of human knowledge when confronted with God and the universe" (PMM 164). Locke's conclusion—that while man can never attain a perfect and universal understanding of the world, he can gain sufficient knowledge to secure his own well being—became a touchstone for the Age of Enlightenment. With the Essay Locke initiated the criticism of human knowledge and further opened the discourse on free inquiry. "The Essay Concerning Humane Understanding was the first attempt on a great scale, and in the Baconian spirit, to estimate critically the certainty and the adequacy of human knowledge" (Fraser). "Locke's philosophy has not only had a profound effect upon philosophical and political thought, but also laid the foundations of modern psychology, dominating the field until well into the 19th century" (Norman). "The importance of few philosophical books have been so quickly recognized as was the case with the present [Essay Concerning Humane Understanding]. It passed through many editions in English and has several times been translated" (Pforzheimer). First issue, with "printed by Eliz. Holt" in the imprint on the title page (rather than "sold by Edw. Mory"). "Peter Nidditch has estimated about 900 copies were published, chiefly of the Holt issue. But it is possible there were as few as 500" (Yolton, 69-70). PMM 164. Yolton 61A. Norman 1380. Wing L2738. Pforzheimer 599. Wither to Prior 527. Early owner signatures of R. Styleman on title page and Robert Dixon on front and rear free endpapers. Marginal ink notes in an early, neat, and legible hand on virtually every page of the first three (of four) books, indicating that this copy was very carefully read and studied.Text generally quite clean, period-style calf near-fine. An excellent wide-margined copy of this rarity."
Decoration of Houses

Decoration of Houses

WHARTON Edith WHARTON, Edith and CODMAN, Ogden, Jr. The Decoration of Houses. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1897. Quarto, original marbled paper boards, original paper spine label, top edge stained olive, uncut. $4200.First edition of Wharton’s influential first published book, illustrated with 56 plates, scarce in original marbled boards.Considered the first American handbook of interior decoration, Wharton's beautifully illustrated Decoration of Houses, her first published book (her Verses appeared privately in 1878), contains chapters on every aspect of interior design (including rooms in general, walls, doors, windows, fireplaces, ceilings and floors, gala rooms, bedrooms, the dining-room and library), as well as a survey of historical traditions and a detailed bibliography. The indirect result of Wharton's collaboration with Ogden Codman on the decoration of "Land's End," her estate in Newport, Decoration of Houses advocates continental rather than English models, and "remains even today a bible for classical and elegant taste in interior decoration" (Metcalf, Ogden Codman). Wharton notes in her conclusion: "Modern civilization has been called a varnished barbarism: a definition that might well be applied to the superficial graces of much modern decoration. Only a return to architectural principles can raise the decoration of houses to the level of the past." With 56 half-tone plates; without extremely rare dust jacket. Garrison A2.1.a., binding B, no priority determined. Melish, 1-2. Bookplate, contemporary owner signature.Interior fine. Light toning to spine, as often. An extremely good copy.
Romemot El

Romemot El

JUDAICA ALSHEKH Moses (JUDAICA) ALSHEKH, Moses. Romemot El. Amsterdam: Printed in the house of David de Castro Tartas published by Eliezer ben Haninah, 1695. Small quarto, period-style full red morocco gilt, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers, raised bands, black morocco spine label; ff. 94. $3500.Second edition, the first Amsterdam edition, of Alshekh’s esteemed commentary on the Psalms, beautifully bound.Alshekh (d. after 1593), rabbi and Bible commentator, was born in Adrianople, studied in Salonika, and then emigrated to Erez Israel, settling in Safed, where he gained prominence as an halakhic authority, a teacher in two talmudic academies, and a preacher. He was active in communal affairs and was a member of the rabbinical court of Joseph Caro, who ordained him. This is the text that Hayyim Alshekh published in Venice in 1605, claiming that it was his father’s authoritative text and not merely a preliminary draft (which had been published a decade earlier in Constantinople under the title Tappuhei Zahav). Alshekh’s Biblical commentaries, which are permeated with religious-ethical and religious-philosophical ideas supported by ample quotations from talmudic and midrashic sources, became quite popular and have often been reprinted.With an introduction by the publisher citing Ephraim Luntschitz on the importance of the work and quoting the author’s intentions in originally presenting this book to the public. Approbation on last leaf by Moses Judah ben Kalonymus Kohen (known as Leib Harif), the Ashkenazic Rabbi of Amsterdam. In addition, the publisher adds after the first approbation: "Also by the authority and with the permission of the great sage, the head of the rabbinical court of the Sephardim, our master and teacher Jacob Sasportas who has not however added his signature to the approbation due to a lack of time." The importance of receiving, even without an actual signed approbation, the blessing or perceived blessing of both the Ashkenazic and Sephardic authorities suggests the sharp divide between the two Amsterdam Jewish communities. With three leaves of text (ff. 10-12) replaced in neat facsimile. Vinograd Amsterdam 637. Steinschneider 6431:13. A few early ink marginalia.Tiny repair to corner of title page, not affecting border, and first two leaves. A splendidly bound volume.