Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Friday, November 24, 2017

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8 matching items

Bruckmann, Urban Friedrich. Abhandlung von Edelsteinen. Zweyte Verbesserte und Vermehrte Auflage. Braunschweig Verlag dur Furst. Waysenhaus-Buchhandlung: 1773. Bruckmann [1723-1812] was the court physician to the Duke of Brunswick, a professor of anatomy, a mineralogist, gemologist, and prolific writer. Of the first edition of this important book, first published in 1757, Sinkankas says "it is not a formal gemological treatise but rather the record of his personal observations on gemstones in which are incorporated numerous quotations and citations of the opinions of such, it provides an invaluable 'status report' on gemological knowledge at the time". This, the second edition, was greatly enlarged, and reflected the information gathered in the 16 intervening years during which Bruckmann had been corresponding with other European gemologists and visiting important collections. It also features a "most valuable appendix concerning the 'largely unknown so-called gemstones' of older writers, becoming, in effect, a glossary of same as employed by Pliny and Boetius De Boodt, among others. This glossary is unique and deserves to be translated...there are hundreds of terms and I know of no other place in the literature where a similar glossary of ancient gemological/mineralogical terms exists" (Sinkankas). A major and important work, now uncommon. Hardcover. 5"x8", 415 pages, decorated title page, woodcut headpiece and tailpiece. Bound in early 19th century speckled boards. Spine rubbed, a very small amount of very light internal spotting on a few pages, otherwise a fine, wide-margined copy. At one time part of the noted collection of gem dealer and gemstone-reference collector Henry Polissack, with his label on the front pastedown.

Inventory #: 32733
Price: $ 3750.00       

Clark, Catherine Scott & Adrian Levy. The Amber Room. The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure. Walker & Company: 2004. "The team that reported on the horrors of the Burmese jade trade in The Stone of Heaven here investigates what may be the greatest single art theft in modern history: the looting of the Amber Room from St. Petersburg by the Nazis in 1941. The glittering amber panels, enough to cover a palace room, were a gift of Frederick I of Prussia to Peter the Great in 1701. The stolen panels were displayed in Knigsberg Castle in 1944, but disappeared after the city fell to the Red Army. Describing the history, theft, and headline-grabbing search for the Amber Room, the authors suggest it may long since have been destroyed." Hardcover. 6"x9", 278 pages, b/w illustrations, dj. New.

Inventory #: 95089
Price: $ 12.00       

Gemmary. The Gemmary -Old & Rare Books. Fallbrook The Gemmary: 1996-7. Three bookseller catalogs from this dealer who specializes in books about gems, jewels and mining. Catalog XXXIV (Fall, 1996) XXXV (Winter, 1996) and XXXVII (Summer, 1997). Softcovers. 3 catalogs. 5.5"x8.5", 48 pages each a little light wear.

Inventory #: 3490
Price: $ 15.00       

Kunz, George Frederick. Ivory and the Elephant in Art, in Archeology, and in Science. Garden City Doubleday, Page and Company: 1916. One of Kunz's grandest books, and still an important reference, touching on all aspects of ivory collection, commerce and art. Sinkankas notes this as "a complex, large work, by far the best yet written on the subject... The scarcest of Kunz's major works, with information that does not appear elsewhere in the gemological literature." George Frederick Kunz [1856-1932] was a gemologist, mineralogist, and author a Vice President of Tiffany & Co. at age 23, he wrote many of the standard works still in use today in the gem-related trades. Hardcover. 7"x10.5", 525 pages, numerous b/w plates and illustrations, and folding plates and charts. Publisher's tan cloth with pasted-on cover illustrations the pasted-on spine illustrated label is largely perished, and the covers have some minor soil, but otherwise a clean, tight, partially unopened copy very nice.

Inventory #: 30435
Price: $ 750.00       

Moreni, Domenico. Descrizione della gran capella Delle Pietre Dure e della Sagrestia Vecchia eretta da Filippo di ser Brunellesco situate ambedue nell' Imp. Basilica di S. Lorenzo di Firenze. Firenze Presso Carli e Comp.: 1813. A description of the history and pietre dure decoration of the Chapel of the Princes and the interior of the Sagresta Vecchia in Florence. The fabulous 'Chapel', whose interior is decorated with the most beautiful and intricate stone mosaic work, was begun by Grand Duke Ferdinando I, who had also founded the famous Galleria delle Lavori at the Uffizi. The Galleria quickly became the most important workshop in the world for the production of the highest quality pietre dure, mosaic and intarsia work in semi-precious stone. The Chapel itself was a massive undertaking which took several generations to complete. As Giusti writes in "Pietre Dure, Hardstone in Furniture and Decorations" (1992)- "(A) great project left unrealized by Ferdinando's two predecessors, the dynastic mausoleum at S. Lorenzo, was begun. This was to take the grandiose and majestic form of a temple entirely sheathed in pietre dure. The enormous scale of the work planned for this 'Chapel of the Princes', and the intense activity of the manufactory, called for great reserves of the most rare and varied stones. Indeed, Ferdinando amassed such great quantities that they fed the Galleria for centuries -and are not exhausted today". The other subject of this survey, the Sagresta Vecchi, or Old Sacristy, is the oldest part of the present Basilica of San Lorenzo (the "Duomo"), and contains the tombs of several members of the Medici family. A scarce book- OCLC locates no copies. Softcover. 6"x8.5", viii + 152 pages 1 b/w plate bound in old period plain paper covers with general wear, a little soil contents with a little soil and foxing. Housed in a new clamshell case.

Inventory #: 31279
Price: $ 750.00       

Piers, Harry. Economic Minerals of Nova Scotia. Catalogue and Description of a Collection at the Dominion Exhibition, Halifax. Halifax The Commissioner of Public Works and Mines: 1906. The collection was originally formed in 1903, and was permanently housed at the Provincial Museum. A scarce catalog, with only 2 OCLC listings. Softcover. 6.25"x9.5", 60 [1] pages paper browned and extremely brittle covers with light chipping all around and a 1.5" portion of the lower corner gone rear cover detached very fragile. Short presentation inscription by Piers on the cover.

Inventory #: 4742
Price: $ 100.00       

Wallis, Keith. Gemstones. Understanding, Identifying, Buying. Woodbridge Antique Collectors' Club: 2011. "Whether buying gem-set jewelry or loose stones, you will be faced with a colorful array of beauty and value. With such a wide choice - from amethyst to zircon - which should you choose? What is it worth, and how do you even know it is real? All that glitters is not gold, as they say, and all that sparkles is not diamond. Gemstones helps to answer these questions in simple and easy to understand terms. As well as diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires, over 100 gems are featured, with full descriptions, technical details, and tips on how to check for fakes illustrated throughout with fabulous color photographs to make identification easier. Technical terms such as refraction and fluorescence are explained and some basic identification tests are introduced. A helpful tour around the world details where gems are best available. Informative appendices include a glossary of terms, tables of specific gravity and refractive index, and the comparative value of different stones. The clear, uncomplicated presentation makes this book a must for anyone interested in gemstones, whether as an investment or simply as a hobby". Hardcover. 9"x9", 160 pages, color illustrations, dust jacket. Fine.

Inventory #: 90442
Price: $ 25.00       

Zobi, Antonio. Notizie Storiche sull'origine e progressi dei Lavori di Commesso in Pietre Dure che si eseguiscono nell'i e R. Stabilmento di Firenze. Firenze 1853. Second edition. The first edition was published in 1841 and apparently lacked the 2 color plates - Sinkankas lists the first edition but was unable to locate a copy of it. Of this edition Sinkankas notes- "In this scarce work Zobi gives a detailed history of the development of the art of gemstone inlay, or pietre dure work, and of the Florentine school and its master craftsmen who helped to create the preeminent position of the school and its products... The text identifies and comments on early Florentine masters of such work and also those who cut and engraved rock crystal, after which Zobi examines the true origin of such stone work and its continuing improvement. Numerous citations from art historians and others appear throughout the text and in footnotes. ... Both (color) plates are carefully handpainted and outlined in gold paint borders... Following the text is a list of the stones adopted for use in the factory... Next is a roll of masterworkers, designers, and directors of the Florentine factory, listed from 1574 to 1824". The two colored plates are spectacular- one illustrates a round table top with marbleized edges and a bouquet in the middle, the other a garlanded plaque with a silver cup, wheat sheaves, grapes and grape leaves, etc., as well as a smaller floral frieze. A wonderful, scarce book. Hardcover. 7.5"x10", 6"x9.5", 352 pages, 2 colored plates a large-paper copy of this scarce work, whose normal size is 6"x9.5", in which format the two plates are folded to fit within the covers (they are not folded here). Bound in the original tan boards. Covers a bit soiled and worn, some rubbing, paper covering splitting along the hinges, but the hinges are tight. Contents clean and fresh one plate detached but present, and a little worn along the outer edge.

Inventory #: 30890
Price: $ 2000.00       

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