Miniature Book News #104: 2000 March Page: 4
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The very first lot contained 2 Austrian
Finger Kalenders dated 1785 and 1809,
in a slightly rubbed (i.e. worn) state,
plus a Taschen-Kalender of 1817. This
lot brought I299 ($478).
A collection of 155 Viennese almanacs
dating from 1866 to 1907, published
mostly by Carl Fromme, was sold
for I978 against an estimate of
b400-600 (estimates do not include
the 15% premium). These almanacs
come in a variety of bindings, some
in gilt metal but most in leather with
A number of English almanacs were
offered, with the earliest being the
London Almanac for 1737. This was
included in a lot with 8 others, including
a Royal Miniature one for 1846, Parkers
for 1831, Victoria for 1877, and Wood's
Illustrated for 1844. The group went
The value of any book, or any object
for that matter, depends upon a balance
between its rarity, condition,
importance, provenance, its appeal,
and the competition for it, among
other factors. A rare early double
size London Almanac for 1779, bound
in multicolor onlaid morocco leathers,
with its matching slipcase, and pictured
prominently on the back cover of the
catalogue was bought-in. Why? No
doubt because it was in a too rubbed
or worn condition and the estimate
A large number of lovely French
almanacs followed, many of the tiny
variety, and quite rare (several not
identified in the key reference books).
A stand-out here was the Almanach
des cris de Paris...1765, with 18 full
or half page woodcuts depicting various
Parisian street hawkers (criers),
measuring only 19 x 12mm and contained
in a contemporary gold hinged engraved
metal binding. Not mentioned in the
important Grand-Carteret catalogue.
This gem went for b1265.
German almanacs followed the French,
with an interesting variety of titles:
Schreib Calender, Hand Calender,
Frankfurter Taschenkalender, Mignon
Kompendioser Almanach, Kompendioser
Sackkalender, among others.
And finally, a few Italian Calendarios
came next, the earliest being an oblong
Calendario of 1781 from Naples,
measuring 31 x 60mm. This one sold
for b322, below its estimate.
All of these almanacs took up about
one-third of the lots in the sale. General
miniature books followed on, in
A nice copy of Atlas of the British
Empire reproduced from the Original
made for Her Majesty Queen Mary's
Doll House, c. 1928, went for L748,
above its estimate. (It's interesting
to note that another copy, also in
similar fine condition, sold for about
twice that figure at the Bloomsbury
sale in November, last year.)
A very rare German Bible, Dess Neuen
Testaments Mittler, (Augsburg, c.1700)
fetched L2990. Rare by itself, it is
doubly rare because of its completeness
in having all 131 numbered engraved
plates. And to top that off, the book,
measuring 52 x 40mm. is in a
contemporary South German silver
binding in a leafy filigree pattern.
All three lots of rare and highly desirable
works in Thomas Boreman's 18th century
Gigentick History series of miniature
children's books, were either passed
over or sold for under the estimates,
no doubt because of incompleteness,
title page being tipped in, and/or
generally worn, cropped, and/or pages
browned or in spotted condition.
On the other hand, perhaps only 1 of
2 copies known of the Child's Latin
Library, printed by John Marshall
around 1800 sold for L13,800, ten times
its estimate. This despite the fact
that the set, which was in its lovely
wooden box with its pictorially colored
front sliding lid, lacked one of its
A scarce sporting item, Collection
of Hunting Songs, London: T.Hughes
(c.1800) with an engraved frontispiece
after Cruikshank, went for L978.
A Description of the Cries of London,
London: John Marshall, (c. 1800) in
a modern calf binding sold for L575.
A nice copy of the popular Galileo
A. Madama Cristina di Lorena, Padua:
Here’s what’s next.
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Edison, Julian I. Miniature Book News #104: 2000 March, periodical, 2000; St. Louis, Missouri. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9394/m1/4/: accessed March 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Rare Book and Texana Collections.