Dominic Winter will end a landmark year with a flourish on 11 December with a curated sale of early English and continental literature, including 16th-century English law books from a gentleman’s library in Shropshire, a second selection from the Italian Renaissance library of Cecil H. Clough (1930-2017), and 17th- and 18th-century English literature and printed ephemera chosen from the stock and private collection of the late John Lawson (1932-2019).
The sale will contain a number of important association copies, with the outstanding example being a copy of a 16th-century compendium of cosmographical texts (Honter et al., Cosmographiae, 1561) from the library of German mathematician Georg Joachim Rheticus (1514-1574), student of Nicolaus Copernicus and one of the principal actors in the scientific revolution of the 16th century in his own right.
Rheticus first sought out Copernicus at Frombork, modern-day Poland, in the summer of 1539, and their momentous encounter is universally considered to have ‘precipitated the beginning of modern astronomy’ (Dictionary of Scientific Biography XI p. 359). Rheticus’s own work, the Narratio prima, published in 1540, was the first printed exposition of Copernican astronomy. He eventually persuaded a reluctant Copernicus to consent to the publication of his own treatise, De Revolutionibus, in 1543, and saw the work through the press as Copernicus himself lay dying. One other example of a book with Rheticus’s signature is known to have appeared on the open market, the legendary Harrison D. Horblit copy of De Revolutionibus, which sold for £44,000 in 1974. This example is offered for sale with an estimate of £5,000-8,000.
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Dominic Winter Auctioneers are delighted to offer for sale the library of the noted Anglo-German economist, author and librarian Eduard Rosenbaum (1887-1979).
Born in Hamburg, Rosenbaum was from 1919 syndic of the Hamburg chamber of commerce (Handelskammer) and director of its famous Commerzbibliothek. In the same year he was part of the German delegation at Versailles, and published an account of the negotiations shortly after (Der Vertrag von Versailles, 1921). He was removed from his position by the Nazi Party in April 1933, and in 1934 emigrated to England through the offices of John Maynard Keynes, whom he had met at Versailles, and whose papers he had helped publish through the Hamburg journal Wirtschaftsdienst: Wirtschafltiche Nachrichten.
In 1935 he became the first holder of the newly-created position of acquisitions librarian at the London School of Economics, remaining in post until his retirement in 1952. His internment on the Isle of Man in 1940 provided an introduction to Italian economist Piero Sraffa, whom he went on to assist in compiling the Royal Economic Society’s edition of the works of David Ricardo (1951); later in life he wrote a history of the Hamburg merchant bank M. M. Warburg & Co. (1976).
The library of Eduard Rosenbaum comes to the market direct from the family, and the sale coincides with an exhibition at the Hamburg Handelskammer to commemorate the centenary of Rosenbaum’s appointment as director, to be held from 26 July until 4 October 2019, which is to be followed by a special lecture on 17 October at the LSE. His collection provides an engrossing snapshot of the cultural milieu which the Nazi Party set out to destroy. Highlights include rare livres d’artiste by Conrad Felixmüller, the expressionist painter pronounced degenerate by the Nazi regime, limited editions of works by symbolist poet Stefan George, and a complete set of Robert Musil’s Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften (1930-43) in the dust jackets.
For further information please contact Dominic Somerville-Brown
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