Kupfer-Bibel by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer

Kupfer-Bibel by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer

The top 10 most expensive sales for June 2013 include a number of fantastic antiquarian tomes.  In top spot, weighing in at nearly $29,000, is a 1731 German translation of the Physica Sacra by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, who was a Swiss scholar, physician, chair of physics and professor in mathematics, as well as  credited for being one of the fathers of paleontology. 

His translation is dubbed the 'Kupfer-Bibel'. It provides scientific commentary on the Bible and showcases the state of lexicography and philological methods in the early 18th century, as well as providing a select bibliography of recent publications on these subjects.  In addition to his text, there are a total of 762 plates drawn by Johann Melchior Füssli within the five-volume work.  The entire production took 11 years to produce, but Scheuchzer passed away two years prior to the publication of the final volume. 

Second on the list is a rare piece of incunabula printed in 1486; Institutiones  is part of Justinian I Accursius’ Corpus Juris Civilis ("Body of Civil Law"), and was created as a student textbook to train jurists.   The copy in question was bound in morocco with a gilt title and raised bands to spine with decorative blind tooling.  It sold for a shade over $15,000.  Rounding out our antiquarian top three is a 1572 'Leda' edition of the Bishops’ Bible which sold for $12,500.



June's Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks

1. Kupfer-Bibel by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer - $28,500
Published in 1731, the German translation of the Physica Sacra, concurrently published in Latin, is Scheuchzer's famous scientific commentary on the Bible, with overall 762 plates on cosmography, paleontology, zoology, botany, anatomy.

2. Institutiones by Emperor of the East, Justinian I Accursius - $15,050
A handsomely bound copy of fundamental text and a monument of early printing, it is an elementary treatise on Roman private law for students. Along with the Digest, Code and Novels, the Institutes is one of the writings known collectively as the Corpus Juris Civilis. Published in Nuremberg by Anton Koberger, 27 December 1486.

3. Holy Bible 1572 - $12,500
Imprinted in Powles Churcheyarde by Richard Lugge, this is the second folio (a.k.a. 'Leda') edition of the Bishops' Bible: the Old Testament is a close reprint of the 1568 text as revised under the supervision of Matthew Parker, but with fresh revisions to the New Testament as directed by Giles Lawrence.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

4. Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France by Martin Bouquet - $10,583
This 16-volume set was published between 1738-1813 and is the opus of Bouquet covering the history of France and Gaul. 

5. Granite and Cypress by Robinson Jeffers - $9,500
This collection of Jeffers’ poetry was printed under the direction of William Everson on handmade Hayle paper and bound at the Schuberth Bookbindery. Limited to 100 copies signed by Everson, this was issued in a slipcase made of Monterey Cypress with a window of granite from Jeffers' own stoneyard. The book was designed by Everson to render Jeffers' long poetical line uninterrupted by linebreaks.

6. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - $8,152
Illustrated edition of Mandela’s autobiography, published 1996, limited to 425 copies which were signed by Mandela.

7. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce - $7,500
First edition copy published in 1916 by B.W. Huebsch.

8. Catalogo Ragionato Di Sculture, Dipinti, Ambientazioni by Lucio Fontana - $5,991
A flawless, never opened copy of this two-volume set which covers over four decades of creative output that comprise Fontana's career, published in 2006. Fontana was an Italian painter and sculptor.

9. Truth of the Stock Tape by William D. Gann - $5,750
First edition, first printing copy of Gann's first book which he self-published in 1923. It is a pioneering work on chart reading and has been signed by Gann.

10. Les Contes du Temps Jadis by Charles Perrault- $5,411
A collection of Perrault's fairy tales published in 1946, with 72 colored lithographic illustrations by Madeleine Luka.

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