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Medieval Beauties, Revolutions, Mutinies, and Modern Art

The first event of the bibliophile's year, and one of the most traditional – From January 29 to 31, exhibitors from Germany, Australia, France, Italy, Great Britain, USA, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands offer masterpieces of book art and milestones in the history of ideas at the 49th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair.
Published on 12 Jan. 2010

49th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, January 29-31, 2010

The first event of the bibliophile’s year, and one of the most traditional – From January 29 to 31, exhibitors from Germany, Australia, France, Italy, Great Britain, USA, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands offer masterpieces of book art and milestones in the history of ideas at the 49th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair.

Medieval beauties

Heribert Tenschert presents two extraordinary medieval manuscripts: A livre d’heure in Latin and French, illuminated 1480/85 with 19 miniatures by Georges Trubert (480.000 €), and another book of hours from the Netherlands, signed by Hanskin de Bomalia, decorated with 67 illuminations by the „Talbot Master“ (300.000 €).

Religious revolutions

One day before Martin Luther went to Augsburg to defend himself against the Roman Catholic Church, he had sent a letter to Wittenberg – his handwritten will. Luther was well aware about what would happen. He was accused of heresy, and prosecuted by Thomas Cajetan. If he withdrew during the interrogation, he might be a free man. If not – he would be sentenced to death. Immediately after Luther had written the letter he left for Augsburg, where he arrived on October 7, 1518. The interrogation lasted two days, Luther refused to withdraw, and fled. Inlibris (Vienna) and Kotte (Rosshaupten) offer Luther’s letter – which is the earliest one ever offered in the rare book market (Inlibris/ Kotte 280.000 €). Other famous autographs are presented by Stargardt (Berlin) and Forum (Utrecht): a letter by Friedrich II. to his father King Friedrich Wilhelm I. from the year 1736 (Stargardt 8.000 €), and – probably – the only German letter Frederic Chopin ever wrote, dated Paris, April 1, 1835 (7.700 €).

“The greatest intellectual stride“

Albert Einstein considered it to be the “the greatest intellectual stride that has ever been granted to any man to make“ - Isaac Newton’s „Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica“. The first edition, London 1687, is offered by the Swiss dealer Hellmut Schumann (250.000 €). Büchel-Baur (Winnenden) shows a collection of early juridical books, among them a „Formularium advocatorum et procuratorum“, printed 1489 (10.500 €), and Johannes Reuchlins „Principium libri ... de rudimentis hebraicis“ 1506, which is the first book printed with movable Hebraic types (7.500 €). The first movable Arabic types were used for Miguel Casiris „Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana Escurialensis” which can be admired in the showcases of Erasmushaus (10.500 €). The Swiss dealer also offers the first illustrated version of Aurelius Augustinus’ „De civitate dei“,1489 (32.000 €). The first – printed – reaction to the theories of Nicolaus Copernicus is Johann Schöner’s astronomical work „De ivdiciis nativitatvm“ from the year 1545 (Schumann, 30.000 €). And the first Aldine edition of Boccaccio’s „Decamerone“ was printed in Venice in 1522, prepared and corrected by Aldus Manutius himself. Wolfgang Braecklein shows a marvellous copy at the Stuttgart Fair (14.000 €) together with treasures from his last Catalogue „The Library of Georg F. Miller, Part 3“.


Did he survive? Did he return to England after torture and adventure? No. William Bligh’s Bounty was captured, the cruel captain was set afloat in a small boat. The mutineers sailed to Pitcairn where the ship was burnt down – and Fletcher Christian killed in a fight over women. The fate of the tragic hero is told in „Fletcher Christian’s Steuermannsgehülfen auf dem ... Schiffe Bounty Reisen und Schicksalen“ 1802. One of two known copies is offered by Ralf Eigl (4.900 €). All about James Cook at Hordern House (Potts Point): James Magras’ „Journal of a Voyage round the World in His Majesty’s Ship Endeavour” (49.000 €), an extremely rare bronze medal in commemoration of Cook’s death in Hawaii (15.950 €), and Sir John Pringles’ „Discourse upon some Late Improvements in the Health of Mariners” (40.000 €). August Sachtler belongs to the 19th century pioneers of travel photography. A collection of 186 vintages is offered by KaraJahn (120.000 €) alongside with more than 370 photographs from Queen Victoria of Sweden taken on her journeys to Italy and Egypt (32.000 €). Neidhardt recommends two famous works on insects in one volume: Merian’s „ Europische Insecten“ 1730 and „Surinaemsche Insecten“ 1719 (58.000 €). Brockhaus/Antiquarium shows highlights from the recently published catalogue on „Birds“, such as Cane Godman’s „Monograph of the Petrels”, printed in 225 copies, or René Primevère Lesson’s „Histoire naturelle des oiseaux-mouches” (16.000 €). Georges Louis Leclerc Buffon’s „Allgemeine Historie der Natur“ is extremely rare (Forum 13.250 €), and the most beautiful kangaroo comes – of course – from Australia: George Shaw’s „Museum Leverianum” (Hordern House 34.500 €).

Climbing high

Bernard J. Shapero climbs high with Guido Rey’s „Matterhorn“, in a de Luxe edition of 15 copies (10.800 €), whereas Reiss & Sohn covers the whole world with the „Atlas urbium“ and 81 coloured maps from the years 1720 to 1755 (65.000 €). Sensations seen through a keyhole. The peepshow was the television and movie theatre of the 18th and 19th century. Landscapes, cities, great personages, heroic deeds – a glance into the interior of the mysterious box showed all of these, often brightly coloured and seemingly as large as life. The first peepshows probably date from the 17th century. Weinek shows one that was built around 1800 and includes 41 coloured and perforated views. It is perhaps the object on the fair with the greatest public appeal (88.000 €).

Shopping notes

In 2010 the specialists in literature show a wide and fascinating range of 20th century illustrated books. Linke offers „Dada“ edited by Tristan Tzara and published in Zurich with 35 original woodcuts by Hans Arp and Marcel Janco (38.000 €). Fernand Leger dedicated Blaise Cendras’ „La Fin du Monde“ to Walter Mehring ( Linke 10.000 €), while Anna Akhmatova dedicated her „snow flakes“ or „Belaya Staya“ to her friend Salome Andronikova (Shapero 2.500 €). Another highlight at Linke’s stand is Paul Klee’s coloured lithography that he created as an invitation card for the Bauhaus celebrations in 1922 (28.000 €). Conrad and Londa Felixmüller’s „Geschütteltes und geknütteltes Alphabet in Bildern“ is an ABC for children – and with its 15 hand coloured woodcuts a highly attractive “toy” for bibliophiles (Abeceda 13.500 €). A collection of the most unusual books is offered Sabine Keune. The “Shopping Notes” are miniature books. They were given as a gift to customers of shoemakers, jewellers or perfumeries – some of them have the form of shoes (580 €).

And finally, Walter Benjamin’s academic career had a tragic ending. His thesis „Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels“ was refused by the University of Frankfurt (Ahnert 5.500 €).

49th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair

January 29-30, 2010
Württembergischer Kunstverein (Schloßplatz 2)

Friday 11 am to 9.30 pm
Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 6 pm


A Very British Breed - London Booksellers. Photographs by Mike Tsang

Levy & Müller - Children's Books. The history of a Jewish publisher in Germany 1871 . 1895 . 1933 . 1936 . 1949 . 1951. Exhibition and bibliography by Friedrich Pfäfflin

More information

Book Fair Catalogue - download the pdf file (at the bottom of the page)

Highlights 2010 - Picture Gallery

Book Fair Impressions 2009 - Picture Gallery

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