Rare Occult Books on Auction in NYC

November 2nd, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

If you’re in the market for rare occult books (and have a few thousand extra dollars to spend on your library), there’s an auction at  Swann Galleries in New York City November 9th you might like.

On the block will be first editions of books like Francis Potters’ 1642 classic, An Interpretation of the Number 666 and the earliest treatise on cryptography from 1561, Polygraphie et Uniuerselle escriture Cabalistique by Johanne Trithemius.

The definitive book on the theory and practice of witch hunting, Jean Bodin’s La Demonomanie des Sorciers, from 1598 will be there. As will the more devotional, and significantly more expensive, illuminated 15th century manuscript of the Book of Hours in Latin and French, on vellum in colours and gold. This one comes with a bonus 2 large and 13 small miniatures. I bet they’re gorgeous!

There’s also a set of the second Estienne Hebrew “pocket” Bible from the French Renaissance. You’d need quite a pocket though. This Bible has 17 parts in 8 volumes. And among several early medical and scientific books is a first edition of the first complete textbook of astronomy in Hebrew.

Not many of us can afford books like these, but if you’re in NYC November 5th, 6th, 8th or the morning of the 9th, you can go to the gallery and take a look at them. If I were there, I might.

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