Happy Halloween from the Fine Books & Manuscripts Department! Halloween is department director Stuart Whitehurst’s favorite holiday, so we thought we’d share a few spooky selections from our November 13th auction.
Witchcraft from the 17th Century
The rare book auction includes a collection of twenty unusual titles concerning witchcraft, most published in London in the 17th century. A few have really fascinating frontis engravings, including lot 772, a work entitled Cabala, Speculum Artis Et Naturae, in Alchymia; Exinde. This wild image is shown here. Another, lot 781, a 1681-82 volume entitled Saducismus Triumphatus: or, Full and Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions, depicts a curious and creepy interior scene. It’s amazing, and a bit hair-raising, to consider these volumes in a local context: namely, the fact that the witch trials in Salem occurred in 1692-93.
These Halloween-themed offerings are just the tip of the iceberg in the November 14th Fine Books & Manuscripts auction. Over 950 lots of historic manuscripts and autographs of all types, presidential material from Washington to Reagan, antique and first edition books, maps, atlases, and Audubon prints will be on offer. In truth, there’s one way to sum up the variety and selection in the sale—it’s scary-good!