AE Monthly

Articles - December - 2006 Issue

Livres Precieux

Hamlet.1637

A very desirable book


Next there is Giovani Paolo Gallucci's "Theatrum Mundi et Temporis..." printed in Venise by Ioannes Baptista Somascus in 1588. Copies of this come up. Sothebys sold one for BP 6,000 in 2005 and Christies another copy this past June for BP 5,400. The Thomas Scheler copy is a bit more: EURO 350,000. It is also quite different. It is a large paper copy and hand colored for a Pope. It of course has an appropriately regal binding. It includes a hand colored map of the new world and so will not be out of place on the mantle or under a tree anywhere in the western hemisphere.

For those afflicted with a love of early Shakespeare there is item 28, "The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark, newly imprinted and inlarged, according to the true and perfect Copy last printed." This is the fifth quarto edition and seventh overall. Its provenance is impeccable reading as a who's who of collectors and dealers over the past 200 years: [Probably] Richard Heber, then Thomas Rodd, Duke of Devonshire, Henry Huntington, G. D. Smith, John L. Clawson, A. S. W. Rosenbach, Martin Bodmer, Bernard & Stephane Clavreuil and soon the next link in this extraordinary chain -- possibly you. The price, oh yes. The going price of guaranteed immortality is EURO 200,000.

And one more to consider: Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, the first French edition printed in Paris by Bagnerre in 1862. It is issued as 10 volumes and bound as 8, this being a large paper copy with 20 illustrations in color by Castelli and Neuville. If you still have any money left this one is EURO 70,000.

To make inquiries contact the Clavreuils at basane@thomas-schuler.fr.

All 56 items are accessible via this link for AEM readers. For AE members this material is also now included in the AED. The saying is "read 'em and weep." For this volume let's change it to "read it and celebrate."

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