Swann Galleries

Swann Galleries was founded in 1941 as an auction house specializing in Rare Books. Today they are the largest specialist rare book auctioneers in the world, and our business has expanded to encompass the Visual Arts.

Renaissance Dante in Print (1472-1629)

THIS EXHIBITION presents Renaissance editions of Dante's Divine Comedy from the John A. Zahm, C.S.C., Dante Collection at the University of Notre Dame, together with selected treasures from The Newberry Library. The Zahm collection ranks among the top Dante collections in North America. Purchased for the most part by Zahm in 1902 from the Italian Dantophile Giulio Acquaticci, the 15th- and 16th- century imprints presented here form the heart of Zahm's collection, which totals nearly 3,000 volumes, including rare editions and critical studies from the Renaissance to the present. The nine incunable editions and nearly complete series of 16th-century imprints featured in this exhibit constitute essential primary sources for both the history of Dante's reception during the Renaissance and the early history of the printed book.

Zamora 80

In 1945 the Zamorano Club published The Zamorano 80: A Selection of Distinguished California Books Made by Members of the Zamorano Club. The criterion for inclusion was that a selection above all should be distinguished, and that rarity and importance would be secondary. Yet, over time, it appears that the eighty books selected are both distinguished and important, and a number of them are definitely rare. The Club's goal was to choose those books considered cornerstones of a serious collection of Californiana. The books listed in The Zamorano 80 for the most part have withstood the test of time.

19th Century Schoolbooks

19th Century Schoolbooks"The Nietz Old Textbook Collection is one of several well-known collections of 19th Century schoolbooks in the United States. Among the 16,000 volumes are many titles that are rarely held and have not yet been reproduced in microform collections or reprint editions. The collection is used by Pitt faculty and students as well as visiting scholars from other colleges and universities. The ULS received two U.S. Higher Education Act Title IIC grants (1985-1987) to catalog the original collection."

Library of Congress Rare Books and Special Collections: An Illustrated Guide

Library of Congress Rare Books and Special Collections: Table of Contents; Introduction (Larry Sullivan Chief, Rare Book and Special Collections Division); American History; American Literature; Europe; Book Arts; The Illustrated Book; List of Selected Special Collections; Concordance of Images (Includes information on how to order copies of the images).

An excellent report by Maureen Mulvihill of the auction of rare books and manuscripts from the estate of Paula Peyraud

The Paula Peyraud Collection: Samuel Johnson & Women Writers in Georgian Society. An Auction Report by Maureen E. Mulvihill as published in Eighteenth-Century Studies, Fall 2009, with 8 images and a list of selected buyers, prices & new locations of the Peyraud properties.
A pdf of the published report may be downloaded here: http://www.ilab.org/download.php?object=documentation&id=81
Bloomsbury Auctions: The Paul Peyraud Collection, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 Bookplate from Peyraud copy of Frances Burney’s <i>Cecilia</i>
‘DARK LADY’ OF RARE BOOK COLLECTORS, PAULA FENTRESS PEYRAUD (CHAPPAQUA, NY, 1947 ~ 2008). Peyraud Collection Auction, May 2009, Bloomsbury Auctions N.Y. 483 Lots (books, manuscripts, images). Sales total: $1.6 million, including premium. Photograph, Margie Van Dyke. Bookplate from Peyraud copy of Frances Burney’s Cecilia, (lot 218, buyer McGill University). Bookplate bears inscribed initials (“FCP - EKP”), being the collector’s grandparents Frank C. Peyraud & Elizabeth Krysler Peyraud, both visual artists (see “Peyraud,” Benezit, vol. 10, 2006 edition).

Written in Spring

This gentle breath which eddies round my cheek,—
This respiration of the waking spring,—
How eloquently sweet it seems to speak
Of hope and joy to every living thing!
To every?—No, it speaks not thus to all
Alike of hope; where misery gnaws the heart,
Her gentle breathings on the senses fall
Like hateful thoughts that make the memory start.
The soul grows selfish where enjoyment flies,
And, loathing, curses what it cannot taste;
This glorious sun, and yon blue, blessed skies,
And this green earth, but tell him of the past;
The frightful past, that other name for death,
That, when recalled, like mocking spectres come,—
In forms of life, without the living breath,
Like things that speak, yet organless and dumb!
For all that seems in this fair world to live,
To live to man, must catch the quickening ray
From man’s free soul; and they but freely give
Back unto him the life he gave; for they
Are dead to him who lives not unto them.
But unto him, whose happy soul reposes
In love’s sweet dream, how exquisite a gem
Seems every dewdrop on these budding roses!
The humblest plant that sprouts beneath his feet,
The ragged brier, nay, e’en the common grass,
Within that soul a kindred image meet,
As if reflected from an answering glass.
And how they seem by sympathy to lend
Their youthful freshness to each rising thought,
As if the mind had just begun to send
Her faculties abroad, uncurbed, untaught,
From all in nature beautiful and fair
To build her splendid fabrics, while the heart,
Itself deluding, seems by magic rare
To give a substance to each airy part.
Sweet age of first impressions! free and light!
When all the senses, like triumphal ports,
Did let into the soul, by day, by night,
The gorgeous pageants pouring from the courts
Of Nature’s vast dominions!—substance then
To the heart’s faith; but, now that youth’s bright dawn
No longer shines, they flit like shadowy men
That walk on ceilings; for the light is gone!
Yet no,—not gone; for unto him that loves,
The heart is youthful and the faith is strong;
And be it love, or be it youth, that moves
The soul to joy, that light will live as long.
And, O, how blest this kind reacting law,
That the young heart, with Nature’s beauties glowing,
Should need, in all it felt, in all it saw,
Another heart to share its overflowing;
While he that feels the pure expansive power
Of joyous love, must pour his feelings forth
On every tree, and herb, and fragrant flower,
And all that grows upon the beauteous earth.
Washington Allston [1779–1843]