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Exceptional and Oldest Manuscripts, Rare Native American Portraits, Botanical Beauties and
Scientific Treasures

Preview of the Auctions 219 and 220 of Books and Prints
of Reiss & Sohn in Königstein/Taunus, Germany
from April 23 to 26   2024

Königstein (Taunus), March 2024. – At the end of April 2024, international collectors, dealers and institutions will be able to bid on over 2,000 lots from two catalogues, both live in Königstein and online.
Hieronymus. Commentariorum in Amos. Single leaf from a Carolingian manuscript, c. 800 (detail)
Two exceptionally early manuscripts, written by a talented scribe around the year 800 in an exceptionally beautiful Carolingian minuscule, form a special highlight of this year’s spring auctions at Reiss & Sohn. The reuse of the parchment sheets as binding material enabled the manuscripts to be preserved as complete leaves. The Latin text comes from Jerome’s biblical commentaries on Amos and Jonah, with the Amos commentary even being the oldest known testimony of the present version (estimate 10,000 and 8,000 € respectively).
J. W. Weinmann. Phytanthoza-Iconographia. 5 vols. 1737-1745. – with 1025 colour engravings
J. O. Lewis. The Aboriginal Port Folio; or … the most celebrated chiefs of the North American Indians. Philadelphia 1835-38. Complete set with 80 plates
In addition to these two oldest lots, the two most expensive lots in the auctions (estimated 70,000 € each) stand out for their beauty and rarity: “Phytanthoza-Iconographia” is the title given to the botanical masterpiece by the apothecary and botanist Johann Wilhelm Weinmann (1683-1741), which contains 1025 lavishly in colour engraved plates retouched by hand, depicting beautiful garden flowers, fruit varieties, vegetables and plants of all kinds. Published nearly 100 years later in 1835-38, “The Aboriginal Port Folio“ by James Otto Lewis (1799-1858) is of particular historical significance as the first important pictorial depiction of Native American life. This extremely rare and complete collection contains 80 large-format portraits of the Native American chiefs of North America in coloured lithographs, of which the original drawings have not survived.
Horae B. M. V. Book of Hours on vellum. France, 2nd half of the 15th century - With 58 miniatures
Horae B. M. V. Book of Hours on vellum. Northern France, 2nd half of the 15th century - With 14 miniatures. Estimate € 20,000
Two splendidly illuminated books of hours, both created in the second half of the 15th century, form the brilliant debut of the auctions. As evidenced by the selection of saints on the respective calendar pages they were made for use in Paris. 30,000 euros are expected for the manuscript decorated with 16 large and 42 small miniatures and 20,000 euros for the one adorned with 12 large and 2 small miniatures. A third book of hours from about 1500 is also lavishly illuminated with 19 full-page minatures with wide, splendid borders and 33 small miniatures within the calendar and the text (estimate 30,000 €).
M. Harris. L'Aurelien. London 1794. – with 44 coloured engr. plates. in transfer printing
Maria S. Merian. Histoire générale des Insectes de Surinam et de toute l'Europe. Paris 1771
A magnificent collected edition of important botanical and zoological works from the 17th and 18th centuries was published by the Parisian publisher Desnos in 1771-74 in 4 volumes with a total of 273 old coloured copper plates, which Reiss & Sohn estimate at 60,000 euros. Desnos complemented the famous works on enchanting insects from Surinam and Europe engraved by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) with the work of Daniel Rabel (1578? -1637) on the most beautiful bulbous plants (“des plantes bulbeuses, liliacées, caryphyllées”) and added Jan Jonston’s (1603-1675) bird book “Histoire naturelle et raisonnée des différens oiseaux qui habitent le globe” with rare and fascinating  birds. One of the most popular botanical books is undoubtedly “Les Roses” by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840).  A copy of the most comprehensive third edition from 1828-29 is expected to fetch 15,000 euros. Enthusiasts should have 5,000 euros ready for “L’Aurelien”, one of the most charming butterfly books, in which Moses Harris (1731-1785) depicted the butterflies of England on 44  copper plates in a particularly brilliant transfer printing and coloured by hand, both true to nature and artistically arranged.
A. Ortelius. Theatrum orbis terrarum. Antwerp 1584. – with 110 engraved maps with contemp. colouring
From the wide range of important works on the geographical nature of the world beeing offered, the following are just a few examples: the famous town book “Beschreibung und Contrafactur der vornembster Stät der Welt” by Braun & Hogenberg with more than 300 views and plans of the most important European cities of the 16th century (estimate 48,000 €), the “Theatrum orbis terrarum” by Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) from 1584 with 110 engraved maps of the old and new world coloured by hand (estimate 40,000 €), and a copy of the famous “Atlas sive Cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi” by Mercator-Hondius in the 1630 edition with 164 engraved maps coloured by hand, almost all of them double-page, including a world map (estimate 30,000 €). “America noviter delineata” is the title of the beautiful engraved map by Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612), which was published by Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664) in Amsterdam before 1630. The hand-coloured map is decorated with picturesque staffage and borders and is offered here in the second almost untraceable state at an estimate of 5,000 euros.
America noviter delineata. Engr. map by J. Hondius at J. Janssonius, Amsterdam, before 1630
The Nuremberg mathematician Paul Pfinzing (1554-1599) dedicated his work on geometry and perspective with 14 etched depictions of elaborate geometric solids and perspective interiors to all enthusiasts of art. The first edition from 1599 was published in a small number for friends only and is inscribed by hand as a presentation copy from the author (estimate 10,000 €). The numerous woodcuts with apparatus, retorts and flasks in the work “Celum philosopho seu de secretis naturae liber” by the physician and alchemist Philipp Ulstad, published in 1527, can be regarded as a construction manual for an alchemical laboratory. It is considered a major work on distillation techniques in the early modern period (estimate 3,000 €). Otto Lilienthal’s “Der Vogelflug als Grundlage der Fliegekunst” from 1889 is a fundamental work for modern aviation technology. A copy of the first edition of his pioneering work is available from Reiss & Sohn at an estimate of 2,000 euros.
Collection of 141 etchings with caricatures of Napoleon I, c. 1814-1815
For a unique anthology with over 140 caricatures of Napoleon Buonaparte, interested bidders should have an amount of 20,000 euros ready. The mostly coloured etchings are by outstanding French artists and depict the period of Napoleon’s decline in power between 1813 and 1815 with allusive details and biting mockery.
P. Pfinzing. Soli deo gloria. Ein schöner kurtzer Extract der Geometriae unnd Perspectivae. Nuremberg 1599
G. Cardano. La metoposcopia. Paris 1658
One of the last great universal scholars and inventors of the Renaissance was Gerolamo Cardano (1501-1576), whose work “Metoposcopia libris tredecim”, which is illustrated with woodcuts of 800 human foreheads, was considered scientifically based at the time. Today, we rather call his facial analysis of reading the personality, character and fate of a person from the pattern of the forehead lines, fortune-telling and we wrinkle our foreheads in disbelief, even though we still value Cardano highly as the inventor of the cardan shaft (estimate 2,000 €).
Two richly illustrated catalogues will be published for the auction sales from April 23 to 25, 2024. The complete auction offer with thousands of additional images and a full text search can be browsed on the website where detailed information is also given on submitting written bids, live online participation in the auctions and bidding by telephone.
For further information and images please contact:

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:



The Discovery of the World
and the Birth of Economic Thought

Preview of the Auctions 217 and 218 of Books and Prints
of Reiss & Sohn in Königstein/Taunus, Germany
from October 31 to November 2   2023

Königstein (Taunus), September 2023. – Bidders in the autumn auction at Reiss & Sohn in Königstein im Taunus, Germany are eagerly looking forward to a large, exceptionally high-quality selection of rare atlases, cosmographies and town books. The most famous atlas of the Middle Ages, Claudius Ptolemaeus’ “Cosmographia”, published in Ulm around 1486, shines in splendid contemporary coloring at the top of the offer. The 12 volumes of the “Grand Atlas” by Joan Blaeu in the first French edition with more than 580 double-page engraved maps appear just as brilliantly in contemporary colouring by hand. Once the most expensive book production of the 17th century, the atlas is now expected to fetch 250,000 €. Interested collectors can choose from almost 100 other atlases, including 19 precious pieces with five-digit estimated prices alone.
J. Blaeu. Le grand atlas, ou cosmographie Blaviane. 12 vols. Amsterdam 1663
A separate chapter with early economic literature from an important private collection is another focus of the upcoming auction. Among the books that changed the world is “An Essay on the Principle of Population” by Thomas Robert Malthus. The rare first edition is valued at 80,000 €.
T. R. Malthus. An essay on the principle of population. London 1798. - Erste Theorie über Bevölkerungswachstum und Ressourcen
R. Owen. A New View of Society. London 1813-1814
Numerous other influential works are represented in rare first editions, such as the “Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général” by Richard Cantillon from 1755 (estimate 18,000 €), Robert Owen’s “A New View of Society” from 1813/14 (estimate 25,000 €), David Ricardo’s “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation” published in 1817 (estimate 20,000 €) and Hermann Heinrich Gossen’s ” Entwickelung der Gesetze des menschlichen Verkehrs” from 1854 (estimate 35,000 €). François Quesnay’s Tableau Économique is still considered a source of inspiration for understanding economic processes. This first circular model of the political economy was described by himself for the first time in “Philosophie rurale” which he edited together with the Marquis de Mirabeau in 1763 (estimate 20,000 €).
Latin Book of Hours. Manuscript on vellum. Northern France or Flanders, second half of the 15th century. With 17 large and 16 smaller miniatures, lavishly painted in colours and gold
Enthusiasts of medieval illumination can look forward to a latin Book of Hours from northern France/Flanders illuminated with no fewer than 33 miniatures (estimated price 30.000 €). On the other hand a book of hours printed in 1522 by the important French printer Yolande Bonhomme with 59 large metal engravings is offered for as little as 18,000 €.
A unique pioneering work on the zoology of Polynesia remained completely unknown as an unprinted manuscript until 2017. The precious manuscript with over 450 watercolours and drawings from scientific research of frigate captain Charles-Gaëtan Noury (1809-1869) containes also an autograph by him (estimate 90,000 €).
C. Noury. Histoire naturelle. French manuscript. 6 vols. France, after 1850. With 458 watercolours and 17 pencil drawings - First zoological inventory of Polynesia
Great interest is always aroused by the beautiful illustrated works on butterflies, represented here by Pieter Cramer’s and Caspar Stoll’s “De uitlandsche Kapellen” on the exotic butterflies of Asia, Africa and America with life-size depictions on 442 coloured copper plates (estimate 15, 000 €) and Jacob Hübner’s “Sammlung europäischer Schmetterlinge” with the rarely complete plate section of 789 engraved plates colored by hand and only in this copy additionally supplied with 56 plates in proofs (estimate 10,000 €). Johann Christoph Weigel devoted himself to flowers and, following Maria Sibylla Merian, assembled 36 magnificent engraved plates under the title “Der Flora schönster Garten-Schmuck” (estimate 18,000 €).
J. Hübner. Sammlung europäischer Schmetterlinge. 7 vols. Augsburg 1796-1841
P. Cramer & C. Stoll. De uitlandsche kapellen in Asia, Africa en America. 5 vols. Amsterdam 1775-1791. With 442 engr. Plates magnificently coloured by hand
The geodetic measurements of the French astronomers Jean Delambre and Pierre Méchain to derive the metre as a new unit of length were first published in 1806-1810 in “Base du Système métrique décimal”. Their unit of measurement is still used today by 95% of people worldwide (estimated price 8,000 €).

Collectors and archives can choose from a total offer of over 170 lots to expand their treasures with rare and sought-after travel accounts, including over 30 lots in a separate chapter on the Americas. The famous “Reise in das innere Nord-America” by Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied with its vivid depictions of the prairies and the Indians of the West is offered by Reiss & Sohn in an exceptional copy with all illustrations in a very large atlas format (estimate 90,000 €).

The extensive expedition report on the circumnavigation of the world with the corvette La Bonite under the command of Auguste-Nicolas Vaillant in the years 1836-37 comprises 15 text and 3 atlas volumes. As the publication period spanned a total of 26 years, complete copies such as the present one are extremely rare (estimate 60,000 €). The important French circumnavigation of the world by Louis Freycinet in the years 1817-20 was also documented scientifically in 13 richly illustrated volumes, especially with reports on Australia, Hawaii, Tonga and Tierra del Fuego (estimate 60,000 €). Johann Theodor de Bry explored the New World in his ‘Great Voyages’. The sought-after only German edition “America”, compiled in 1617 by Philipp Ziegler, contains reports and views as well as four maps, some of which are considered cartographic milestones in the history of colonial North America (estimate 30,000 €).
North America. "Americae pars borealis, Florida, Baccalaos, Canada, Corterealis". Engraved map by C. de Jode. Antwerp 1593
A rich offer of maps welcomes the worldwide collectors, who can find outstanding pieces at Reiss & Sohn such as Antonio Lafreri’s world map of 1565 in double-heart projection (estimate 50,000 €) and Cornelis De Jode’s very rare North America map of 1593 (estimate 20,000 €). Probably the most famous plan of Baroque Paris was commissioned by Michel-Étienne Turgot and was published in 1739 as an atlas with 20 engraved plates, which when put together would produce the spectacular size of 250.5 x 322.5 cm. The hammer is expected to drop at 10,000 euros for a copy bound in red morocco with the coat of arms of the city of Paris.
Among the rarely preserved curious testimonies of old street fairs is a poster advertising the performances of the famous Dutch travelling menagerie of Katharina Sidonia van Aken in Munich in December 1836 (estimate 600 €) and a well-preserved rare canvas wall chart hand-painted in colours that provided the audience around 1870 with gruesome images to the broadside ballad “Nikolaus, der Mordbube oder die vergiftete Nudelsuppe” (Nicholas, the Murderous Guy or the Poisoned Noodle Soup; estimate 2,000 €).
Large hand-painted canvas wall chart to German broadside ballad, c. 1870
Placard of the Menagerie of Catharina S. van Aken. Munich 1836
Two richly illustrated catalogues will be published for the auction sales from October 31 to November 2, 2023. The complete auction offer with thousands of additional images and a full text search can be browsed on the website where detailed information is also given on submitting written bids, live online participation in the auctions and bidding by telephone.

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:


Josephine Baker is jazzing, Death is dancing, Hermann Hesse is writing poetry and Anton Koberger is printing

Preview of the Bookauctions 214, 215 and 216
of Reiss & Sohn in Königstein/Taunus
from 3-6 May 2023

Königstein (Taunus), April 2023. – The spring auctions at Reiss & Sohn will offer a high-quality selection of manuscripts, books and prints in 3 catalogues with a total of more than 2000 lots. The auctions will open with a special catalogue containing 26 selected manuscripts and books from the 15th to the 20th century starting at an estimated price of 10,000 euros. In addition, the special catalogue offers an important collection on the theme of Death and the Dance of Death in books, manuscripts and drawings.

B. Besler. Hortus Eystettensis. 4 parts in 2 vols. Eichstätt c. 1750. With 367 engr. plates - One of the greatest flower books ever produced

At the top of the range, with an estimate of 100,000 euros, is the most magnificent of all printed floral works: Basilius Besler’s “Hortus Eystettensis” depicting the plants of the botanical garden of Eichstätt on 367 beautiful engraved plates.

The famous Nuremberg publisher Anton Koberger is represented with two of his most important printed works. His Ninth German Bible of the incunabulum period, captivates the viewer with the splendour and liveliness of its more than 100 woodcut illustrations, its beautiful typography and print layout. The copy offered by Reiss & Sohn, splendidly hand-coloured at the time it was printed in 1483, is expected to fetch 70,000 Euros.

Ninth German Bible. 2 vols. Nuemberg 1483. – With splendid contemp. colouring by hand
H. Schedel. Das Buch der Croniken und Geschichten. Nuremberg, 23. Dec. 1493. – Almost entirely with contemp. colouring by hand

Ten years later, Koberger printed Hartmann Schedel’s “Buch der Chroniken und Geschichten”, which is one of the most important illustrated incunabula with over 1800 woodcuts, including numerous surprisingly accurate topographic views. Bidders should be prepared to pay 35,000 euros for the likewise splendidly old-coloured copy of the rare German first edition.

Book of Hours for the use of Paris, c. 1480. – Fine manuscript on vellum with 8 large miniatures and 17 p. with elaborate borders
Richly decorated prayer book for an English nobleman. Latin manuscript on vellum. Flanders and England, c. 1490

The highlights include precious illuminated manuscripts. Adorned with large miniatures, borders and drolleries in gold and colours is a Latin Book of Hours written on parchment around 1480 for the use of Paris (estimate 40.000 Euro). The English patron of a valuable prayer book created around 1490 is devotely portrayed in one of its beautiful miniatures (estimate 30.000 euros).

H. Holbein. Les simulachres & historiees faces de la mort. Lyon 1538. – Sarce first edition
M. Merian. Dance of Death. Basel 1789. With splendidly gouached additional series of the engravings

Among the almost 80 lots of the remarkable Dance of Death collection is the first print of the famous woodcut series of the Baseler Totentanz by Hans Holbein, published in Lyon in 1538 (estimate 12.000 Euro). The collection’s ‘memento mori’ theme extends from early depictions, such as the skeleton man in a miniature of a Book of Hours manuscript from 1475 (estimate 8. 000 Euro), to the early beautiful depictions of Johann Weichard Valvasor in his “Schau-Bühne deß menschlichen Todts” from 1682 (estimate 4.000 Euro), to Alfred Döblin’s “Das Stiftsfräulein und der Tod” with the congenial woodcuts by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, published in 1913 (estimate 2.500 Euro).

H. Doncker. De Zee-Atlas of Water-Waerelt. Amsterdam 1666

No less than 75 atlases and cosmographies, many by the most important early cartographers form a high quality selection that is likely to be among the best of the season, both nationally and internationally. Among the most valuable pieces are a Dutch edition of the Blaeu Atlas, whose 6 volumes in fine bindings with large gilt vignettes to all covers are largely extended with extra maps forming a collection of more than 500 maps with splendid contemporary colouring by hand (estimate 70. 000 Euros) and a rare first Latin edition of the handbook of the circumnavigator Jan Huygen van Linschoten, which became the authoritative logbook for later East Indies sailors (estimate 70.000 Euros), as well as a rare “Zee-Atlas” by the Dutchman Hendrik Doncker from 1666 with beautiful contemporary colouring by hand (estimate 50.000 Euros).

W. & J. Blaeu. Toonneel des Aerdriicx, ofte Nieuwe Atlas. 6 vols. Amsterdam 1635 – c. 1685. - Altogether 509 mainly double-page engraved maps with fine contemp. colouring by hand

A chapter of special bibliophilic charm comprises 41 artistic bindings captivating with their outstanding craftsmanship. In addition to typical Baroque peasant bindings made of hand-painted parchment, there are book covers decorated with enamel miniatures, painted tortoiseshell or dyed straw inlays, or bindings made entirely of delicately painted porcelain, embroidered silk, ornamentally cut parchment or fire-gilded silver at estimated prices of 300 to 3,000 euros.

Straw inlay binding. Italy, c. 1700
Zurich vermeil binding. Chased fire-gilt silver binding, c. 1740
The manuscript “Zwölf Gedichte” by Hermann Hesse’s own hand as well as his typescript of “Piktor’s Verwandlungen” created an additional source of income for him as commissioned works. These rare writings, illustrated with original watercolours by Hesse, are expected to fetch 15,000 and 12,000 euros respectively.

It is extremely hard to find early 19th century toy catalogues such as those used by the famous companies Lindner from Sonneberg (estimate 20.000 euro) and Bestelmeier from Nuremberg (estimate 5.000 euro). The charmingly illustrated merchandise catalogues mark the dawn of the age of mail order.
J. C. Lindner. Sales catalogue for toys. Sonneberg, c. 1860. - Containing more than 2500 illustrations with fine colouring by hand

As always, numerous beautiful and rare maps are available at Reiss & Sohn. An extremely rare and one of the first printed maps depicting soley North America, engraved by Paolo Forlani in 1566, is expected to fetch 50,000 euros. Also extremely rare is the famous double-cordifom world map, the first of its kind, cut in wood by Oronce Finé in 1531 (estimate 30.000 Euro).

North America. Engr. map by P. Forlani. Venice 1566. - One of the earliest maps devoted soley to North America

Exceptionally large and impressive is a Japanese manuscript scroll from 1832 depicting a whale hunt from its pursuit with numerous boats to the dismemberment of the fish at the end of the 5.40m-long scroll (estimate 12,000 euros).

P. Colin. Le tumulte noir. Paris 1927. – Josephine Baker "The High Priestess of Jazz Culture"

The wonderful Josephine Baker and her ensemble are shown in original hand-coloured lithographs by the French artist Paul Colin in his “Le tumulte noir” from 1927, a unique tribute to the African-American entertainers who brought the Jazz Age to Paris (estimate 15.000 Euro).

3 richly illustrated print catalogues are published for the spring auctions. The complete auction offer, with thousands of additional illustrations and made accessible by full text search, can also be found on our website Registered customers can place absentee bids or may bid live online. Please contact us for further information.

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:



Gauss writes to his Daughter

Pacioli launches first Book on Balancing

Ruysch designs World Map with the New World

Preview of the Autumn Auctions 211, 212 and 213
of the Book Auction House REISS & SOHN in Königstein/Taunus, Germany
from October 25 to 27, 2022

Königstein (Taunus), September 2022. – A broad panorama of cultural history unfolds with the rare, valuable and beautiful manuscripts, books and prints offered in the three catalogues of the autumn auctions at Reiss & Sohn presenting almost 1900 lots.

The special catalogue 211 highlights 44 lots that surpass each other in rarity and preciousness. Among the most magnificent lots are undoubtedly four illuminated books of hours, including a copy written entirely on parchment for the use of Ghent with 12 full-page miniatures and rich book decoration in gold and colours at an estimated price of 50,000 euros. Also written on very fine parchment is an exceptional 13th century Latin Bible manuscript opulently decorated with 99 coloured decorative initials. It is one of the earliest Italian successors of the Parisian pocket Bible and is estimated at 50,000 euros.

Horae B. M. V. Book of hours for the use of Ghent. Flanders c. 1480-1490
Biblia latina. Illuminated latin manuscript on vellum, late 13th century

The invention of double-entry bookkeeping first appears in print in the work “Summa de arithmetica geometria” by Luca Pacioli, which is also the first printed general work on mathematics. The second edition of 1523, nearly as rare as the first edition, is expected to fetch 70,000 euros. Albrecht Dürer developed a completely different application of mathematics, namely for artists and craftsmen, in his doctrine of proportion “Vier bücher von menschlicher Proportion” (Four Books of Human Proportion), published posthumously in 1528, for the construction of different types of bodies through certain proportions (estimate 12,000 euros).

The first theoretical ‘manifesto’ of the Sturm und Drang period of German literature was entitled “Kreuzzüge des Philologen” (Crusades of the Philologist) by Johann Georg Hamann. The special copy at Reiss & Sohn is of extraordinary historical source value, as it is annotated in the author’s own hand (estimated price € 20,000). Outstanding from a scientific point of view is the famous “Kreütterbuch” by Hieronymus Bock, which not only provides detailed descriptions of the plants, but also precise information on their occurrence and location. The extended edition from 1577 is offered in a beautifully coloured copy at an estimated price of € 45,000.

J. G. Hamann. Kreuzzüge des Philologen. Königsberg 1762. - Annotated by the author.
L. Pacioli. Summa de Arithmetica geometria. Toscolano 1523. - The first work on double-entry book-keeping.

Autographs by outstanding natural scientists form the remarkable opening to the second book catalogue with over 950 valuable books and manuscripts, including a very personal handwritten letter from Carl Friedrich Gauss to his daughter Minna (estimated price 4,000 euros). Personal insights are also provided by a collection of 20 mostly handwritten letters from Katia Mann to Emil August Fester, a childhood friend of the Pringsheim children (estimate 6,000 euros).

Two authoritative historical writings of the so-called Jewish Book Controversy of 1511 can be found among the old prints. In his “Augenspiegel” (Eyemirror), Johannes Reuchlin defended Hebrew literature against Johannes Pfefferkorn, who had demanded the confiscation and burning of Jewish books. Pfefferkorn responded to this with his work “Handt Spiegel wider und gegen die Jüden” (Hand mirror against the Jews). Both works are presented by Reiss & Sohn in first editions (estimated price 3,000 euros each). A good two dozen other rare Judaica can be found in the History chapter, including Theodor Herzl’s “Judenstaat” with an estimate of 5,000 euros.

C. F. Gauss. Letter in his own hand to his daughter Wilhelmine. 1838
J. Reuchlin. Augenspiegel. Tübingen 1511. First edition.

Collectors of emblem books can choose from an unusually extensive selection. For the beautifully drawn and engraved series of pictures “Emblemata miscella nova” (published posthumously in 1622) by Christoph Murer, 4,000 euros should be kept ready. The literature section shines with outstanding first editions, such as Hölderlin’s “Gedichte” (estimate 5.000 Euro), Eichendorff’s “Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts” (estimate 6.000 Euro), Madam de Staël’s “Corinna oder Italien” with numerous manuscript annotations by Johann Gottfried Seume (estimate 5.000 Euro), or Schiller’s “Braut von Messina”, which, with luck, can be bought at auction for 3.000 Euro. Ludwig zu Anhalt-Köthen’s “Der Fruchtbringenden Gesellschaft Nahmen, Vorhaben, Gemählde und Wörter” from 1646 is an important document on the first German literary society. Comprising 400 fine copperplate engravings by Matthäus Merian it is also a botanical and emblematic work of high importance (estimate 8,000 euros). Martin Opitz’ “Buch von der Deutschen Poeterey” is represented in the special catalogue in its rare first edition from 1624 with an estimated price of 10,000 euros.

Ludwig zu Anhalt-Köthen. Der Fruchtbringenden Gesellschaft Nahmen und Wörter. 4 parts. Frankfurt 1646
M. Opitz. Buch von der Deutschen Poeterey. 1624
Scarce World Map by Johannes Ruysch. Rome, 1507/1508

A milestone in the history of cartography is the fan-shaped world map by Johannes Ruysch published for the Ptolemy edition of 1507-08, beeing one of the first modern world maps with the discoveries of the Americas. (estimate 20,000 euros). A beautiful heart-shaped world map was made by Gerard de Jode in 1578. The rare copper engraving with contemporary colouring by hand is expected to fetch 10,000 euros. Like Ruysch’s world map, two other rare maps are offered from the Ptolemy editions of 1507-08: Italy at an estimate of 2.500 Euro and Spain at an estimate of 2.000 Euro. The first topographically accurate depictions of numerous European cities are found among the woodcut views in Hartmann Schedel’s “Liber chronicarum”. The famous world history illustrated with more than 1800 woodcuts in an exquisitely coloured copy of the first edition from 1493 is expected to fetch 120,000 euros.

World Map from G. de Jode, Speculum orbis terrarum, 1578, with contemp. colouring by hand

Five different editions of fool’s books from three centuries seem to form an unbroken chronological sequence of these richly illustrated satires. The earliest of these books was published in 1505 by Josse Bade (estimated price 7,000 euros), followed by Johann Flittner’s “Jocoseria modernae” from 1620 (estimate 400 euros) up to the two works by Albert Joseph Conlin published in 1706-11, which depict both the male and the female fools in the “neu entdeckten Narrn-Welt” (newly discovered world of fools; estimate 4,000 euros). The works prove and give reason to hope that the special species of book fools does not seem to be threatened with extinction!

J. C. Schäffer. Versuche und Muster ohne alle Lumpen Papier zu machen. Regensburg 1765-1771

Three richly illustrated print catalogues are published for the autumn auctions. The complete auction offer, with approx. 7000 illustrations and equipped with a full-text search, can also be found on the website

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:



Eternal Peace in Europe?
Visionary Ideas of an Early Enlightener

Preview of the Spring Auctions of the Book Auction House Reiss & Sohn in Königstein/Taunus, Germany on April 26-29, 2022

Königstein (Taunus), March 2022. – The spring offering presents more than 2300 lots of rare and valuable books and prints in three catalogues. Collectors can choose from more than 60 manuscripts, including 5 precious illuminated books of hours, more than 280 early prints with 46 incunabula, as well as numerous works from science and history of ideas.

A special catalogue with 54 selected lots from a wide variety of fields with estimated prices starting at 10,000 euros will mark the especially high-class opening. One of the most outstanding political documents of all times ranks among the top lots, the “Manifest der kommunistischen Partei” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The very rare first printing, of which only 26 other copies are known worldwide, is expected to fetch 70,000 euros.

The Communist Manifesto. London 1848. First edition, first printing
Biblia Latina. France, late 13th cent. - previously owned by John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury and teacher of Francis Bacon

As a landmark in modern book art, Georg Heym’s “Umbra vitae” with original woodcuts by the expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, is expected to attract the highest interest.   Heym’s “Nachgelassene Gedichte” will be presented in the well-preserved original leather binding of the special edition with original etching, limited to only 10 copies. In a set together with another numbered edition and a first text edition from 1912, it will be the most expensive lot of the auction with an estimate of 120,000 Euros.

G. Heym. Umbra vitae. Munich 1924. Woodcuts by E. L. Kirchner. One of 10 copies on Japan, added are the standard edition and the first ed. of the text

Among the manuscripts, a remarkably illuminated Latin Bible on parchment from the late 13th century stands out. The volume was previously owned by John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury and teacher of Francis Bacon, and is valued at 60,000 euros. Illuminated books of hours are undoubtedly among the most magnificent examples of late medieval book illumination. Bidders for the five offered treasures of “Luminous Middle Ages” at Reiss & Sohn must hold 30 to 50 thousand euros in readiness.

Latin and French Book of Hours on vellum. Metz, c. 1320-1340
Book of Hours for the use of Lisieux. Manuscript on vellum, around 1490

Early scientific works enrich the offer, among them the collected works on medicine, chemistry and occult sciences by Robert Fludd in four volumes, published in 1617-1638 and partly illustrated by Matthaeus Merian. As a counterpart of Aristotle and Galen, Fludd also relied on observations and experiments, but only accepted the Bible and the secrets of the ancient occultists as the ultimate (alternative) truths (estimate 50,000 euros).

One of the prototypes of botanical-medical literature of the Middle Ages is the “Hortus sanitatis”. With its more than 1000 woodcuts of plants, animals and minerals, it is also one of the most beautiful woodcut books of the 15th century. For such a folio, printed not after 1497, in a contemporary pigskin binding with extraordinary blind embossing, 40,000 euros are expected.

R. Fludd. 4 volumes with 16 works. 1617-1638
Hortus sanitatis. Strasbourg, not after 21.10.1497

The starting point for the first spread of arithmetic with decimal numbers throughout Europe was the treatise “De Thiende” by the Flemish Simon Stevin. Only the second edition, published in 1626 as an appendix to “De nieuwe Telkonst” by Ezechiël de Decker, effected the breakthrough. The estimated price of this rarity, of which only a single copy is listed in German libraries, is 30,000 euros.

In his works “Paix perpetuelle” (Paris 1712) and “Projet pour rendre la paix perpetuelle en Europe” (Utrecht 1713-17), the social philosopher and pioneer of the Enlightenment, Abbé Castel de Saint-Pierre, developed ideas for the foundation of a lasting peace among the European peoples and designed the model of a European confederation of states, which was to be sustained by an international court of arbitration, realised in today’s EU and UN. Jean-Jacques Rousseau summarised these ideas in 1761 in “Extrait du projet de Paix perpétuelle” and added further considerations of his own. Reiss & Sohn are offering these works in rare first editions as a complete collection of 7 volumes with an estimate of 35,000 euros.

S. Stevin. De Thiende. Gouda 1626. - Important treatise on decimal arithmetic
C. I. Castel de Saint-Pierre. Paix perpetuelle. Paris 1712 - Milestone of the Idea of International Peace

A work published some 200 years later had a completely different influence on our thinking today. Sigmund Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams” created the fundamental components of psychoanalytic theory and practice. The first printing from 1900 with the original dust jacket bound in should be worth 15,000 euros to an enthusiast.

Remarkable is the rich offer of almost 280 lots of rare modern and fine private press books including a collection of French literature and and illustrated books by important artists such as Max Beckmann, Gustav Klimt, Édouard Manet, Henry Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Wols.

S. Freud. Die Traumdeutung. Lepzig & Vienna 1900
I. Gilkin. Ténèbres. Brüssel 1892. With original lithograph by Odilon Redon
North America by C. de Jode, Antwerp, 1593

Map collectors can look forward to two highlights in particular: the very rare coloured copper engraved maps of North America (estimate 12,000 Euros) and Australia (estimate 4,000 Euros), both of which appeared only in 1593 in the second and last edition of de Jode’s famous atlas “Speculum Orbis Terrae”.

D. Meisner. Sciagraphia cosmica. Abbildung der vornehmsten Städte. 8 vols. Nuremberg 1678
The First Printed Map of Australia by C. de Jode, 1593

3 richly illustrated print catalogues will be published for the spring auctions. The complete auction offer, with approx. 12,000 additional illustrations and made accessible by a full text search, can also be found on our website

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:

Top-class Finals of the Jubilee Season at Reiss & Sohn

Preview of the Autumn Auctions of the Book Auction House in Königstein/Taunus from 26-29 October 2021

Königstein (Taunus), September 2021 – This year’s auctions celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Reiss & Sohn auction house in Königstein/Ts. will be crowned by an outstanding selection of books, manuscripts, maps, prints and photography. The highlights of the autumn offering are presented in a special catalogue with 40 cimelia from various areas of the 13th to 19th centuries, most of which are estimated at 10,000 euros or more. The absolute highlight is also featured in a separate print. The book in question is the richly illustrated universal chronicle “Rudimentum novitiorum”, whose estimated price of 1.2 million euros reflects its top position among the rarest early prints. Books in this range are quite rare at auctions. The record of 1.1 million euros hammer price held by Reiss & Sohn itself – achieved in May 2017 for Luther’s 95 Theses in the first book edition – could thus be surpassed.
Lot 11: Rudimentum novitiorum. Lübeck 1475
The “Rudimentum novitiorum” appeared anonymously in 1475 as one of the first world chronicles and is the first dated Lübeck print. The work is considered a prototypographic milestone of the very first order, presenting significant cartographic, geographical and iconographic knowledge in book form for the first time. In addition to the first printed topographical map of the world, it also contains the first printed map according to modern geographical knowledge as well as the first printed map of Palestine. All woodcuts are of outstanding quality, the book decoration shines in splendid colouring. Complete copies like the one here at Reiss & Sohn can only be found in 40 libraries worldwide. No complete copy has appeared in the German auction trade since 1951.
Lot 11: Rudimentum novitiorum. Lübeck 1475
An important milestone in scientific terms is Galileo Galilei’s main work, the “Dialogo” on the two astronomical world systems, the Ptolemaic and the Copernican. Although banned and burned by the Inquisition, the work ultimately contributed significantly to the spread of Copernicus’ heliocentric world view. The very rare first edition from 1632 in a beautiful copy is expected to fetch 100,000 euros at Reiss & Sohn. The “Geometria et perspectiva” by the painter and graphic artist Lorenz Stöer in the first edition printed by Rogel in Augsburg in 1567 marks one of the most beautiful and impressive works of its time on perspective representation. Stöer’s three-dimensional geometric bodies and complex architectural fragments have an astonishingly modern effect, seemingly anticipating the ideas of a M. C. Escher (estimate 50.000 Euro).
Lot 31: L. Stöer. Geometria et perspectiva. Augsburg 1567
Lot 17: G. Galilei. Dialogo. Florenz 1632
Collectors can choose from over 3000 other lots of books and prints in two catalogues, including 38 incunabula and 149 old prints and Reformation writings alone. Among the manuscripts, a so-called “Paris Bible” of the 13th century stands out. The richly decorated manuscript is valued at 70,000 euros. One of the most famous incunabula, Sebastian Brant’s late medieval moral satire “Stultifera navis”, which depicts the follies and vices of the 15th century world, is available in the Latin edition of 1497 and contains partly coloured woodcuts, mostly by Albrecht Dürer. (Estimated price 15,000 euros).
Lot 4: S. Brant. Stultifera navis. Basel 1497
Lot 21: M. Luther. First Jena edition with Index and Supplements
In the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reichtstag at Worms, Martin Luther also finds a worthy reflection at Reiss & Sohn, where the complete Jena edition is available in a copy of the first printing published in 1555-1558 from the estate of Cyriakus Spangenberg (son of the reformer Johannes Spangenberg), which contains not only Cyriacus’ handwritten annotations but also a mocking poem in his own hand (estimate 15,000 euros).
Lot 25: T. Morus. De ... insula Utopia. Basel 1518
Lot 2013: A. Preziosi. Stamboul. Souvenir d'Orient. Paris 1861
Several distinguished collections form special focal points in the wide range of books on offer. Worth mentioning is a collection of over 300 works on National Economics, some of them important, including John Maynard Keynes’ major work “The general theory of employment”, published in 1936, his scientific answer to the urgent questions of overcoming economic crises (estimated price 1,000 euros). Furthermore, a collection of works by outstanding philosophers in first and rare editions, including Thomas More’s Dialogue of the ideal state constitution and the new island ‘Utopia’ in the Latin edition of 1518 (estimated price 10,000 euros). Immanuel Kant is prominently represented with 12 works, including a first edition of his Critique of Pure Reason for an estimated 12,000 euros. The history of the Ottoman Empire is depicted in a collection of about 40 works, including the album “Stamboul. Souvenir d’Orient” by Amadeo Preziosi with magnificent, colour lithographed plates (estimated price 5.000 Euro). A collection of 20 extraordinary miniature books gathers a wide variety of works in the smallest format. At just 2 by 1.4 cm, the smallest copy is nevertheless magnificent in terms of its production in the workshop of the inventor of lithography and its storage in a gold medallion (estimated price 750 euros). Collectors of literature in modern and artist-illustrated editions can look forward to this autumn’s particularly rich offer with many beautiful private press books and modern illustrated books from Dali, Delacroix and Delaunay to Max Ernst and Zao Wu-Ki and others.
Lot 39: Cyprus and Levantine coasts. Engraved map by A. Lafreri. Rome 1570
A highlight in the section of maps is the historical map of Cyprus and the Levantine coasts, which the famous Antonio Lafreri published in 1570 as a broadsheet. It shows the course of the Christian Armada from Crete to Cyprus, where it wanted to oppose the Ottoman occupiers in the same year. This rarissimum is expected to change hands at 40,000 euros. Also by Lafreri is a rare map of Malta, depicting the island’s state of siege in 1565, which is estimated at 4.000 Euro.

Three richly illustrated print catalogues will be published for the autumn auctions. The complete auction offer accessible by a full text search, can also be found on our website . Please feel free to contact us for further information.

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:

Review of the Spring Jubilee Sale 2021

Königstein (Germany), June 2021. – This year’s book auctions of the spring season from April 27-30 at the book auction house Reiss & Sohn in Königstein ended with an extremely successful result. With a total turnover of 3.7 million euros, the sum of all estimated prices was exceeded. Numerically, almost 80% of the lots found a new owner. Despite numerous written bids and telephone participants, the number of online bidders increased by 15% compared to the last auction. The live online bidders thus made the auction days extremely exciting and provided many surprises. More than 500 hammer prices were above €1,000  –  50 of which were in the five- and six-figure range.

On the first day of the auction, 80 selected books, manuscripts and incunabula, united in a richly illustrated special catalog, came under the hammer. This concept of a special catalogue with 50 incunabula and books estimated between  € 10,000 and € 150,000 took great success. Total estimates were exceeded by 40%. Only 6 objects remained unsold.

Particularly noteworthy is the highest hammer price of the auction, and thus a record result for the auctioned work, at € 220,000 (hammer price, estimate € 150,000) for Nicolai Copernicus “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI.”, printed in Basel, 1566.

Isidorus Hispalensis “Etymologiae” was able to increase its estimate sixfold. This work from 1472 presents the knowledge of its time in 20 books and contains the first printed map of the world, which is the first printed map ever. This fact is probably largely responsible for the fantastic result of 120,000 € (hammer price, estimate 20,000 €).

The following days could follow up on the brilliant start, so the hammer price of 22,000 € (estimate 8,000 €) for a rare first Aldus edition of Erasmus Roterodamus “Adagiorum chiliades” from 1508 is especially worth mentioning.

The first edition of Spinoza’s first publication “Principiorum philosophiae” quadrupled its estimate of 4,000 € with a hammer price of 16,000 €, which is certainly also due to its interesting provenance: the copy stands out with a handwritten ownership note by Karl Friedrich Gauss.

The separately published geography catalog for the auction days on Thursday and Friday also contained some noteworthy results, so a coloured copy of J. H. van Linschoten’s “Itinerarium” from 1614 achieved 42,000 €, the first five parts of T. de Bry’s large travel collection, published at the end of the 16th century, found a new owner for a hammer price of 40,000 €.

Always highly sought after and extremely rare are the “Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Seereisen des berühmten Captain Cook” from 1780. Nevertheless, the more than good result of 44,000 € (hammer price, estimate 20,000 €) was surprising.

The section of maps also convinced with an excellent offer and was vigorously bid online and in writing. Thus, a rare engraved map of Europe by Paolo Forlani at C. Duchetti from 1571 achieved € 26,000. An Italy engraved map by G. Gastaldi from 1561 fell under the hammer at 16.500 €.

Highly motivated by the success of the spring, Reiss & Sohn is now preparing the anniversary auctions in autumn 2021. Your consignment offers are most welcome !

PRESS RELEASE - April 2021

Los 101 - Album amicorum. Nürnberg 1753-1759

lot 101 - Album amicorum

lot 101 - Album amicorum

50 Years Auctions at Reiss & Sohn - Rarities to Celebrate the Jubilee

Preview of the Spring Auctions at Reiss & Sohn in Königstein/Ts.
from April 27-30, 2021

Königstein (Germany), April 2021.Reiss & Sohn has been auctioning bibliophile treasures from the Middle Ages to the present for 50 years and is today one of the world’s leading houses in its field. Since the foundation in 1971 in the Gutenberg city of Mainz, more than 200 successful auctions of high-quality antiquarian books, manuscripts, maps, prints and photography have been held by Godebert and Clemens Reiss.

For this festive occasion and in addition to the two regular auction catalogues a special catalogue is published with 80 exceptionally beautiful, rare and important books and manuscripts from the 15th to the 19th century, including about 50 incunabula. Over the four days, a total of around 3100 lots is on offer, for which bibliophiles from around the world will also be able to bid live online.

The splendid opening will be made by two precious illuminated books of hours from the end of the 15th century, written on parchment for French use. The estimated prices are 38.000 € and 40.000 € respectively.

lot 1 - Horae B.M.V.

lot 2 - Horae B.M.V. ca. 1485-95

Outstanding from the rich offer of incunabula is the “Chronecken der Sassen” of 1492 written in Low German dialect by Konrad Botho, the chronicler of the Dukes of Brunswick. This first and rarest of the great illustrated chronicles in Germany, richly decorated with approximately 1255 old coloured woodcuts, is expected to fetch 20,000 €. Twenty years earlier, the important “Etymologiae” by Isidorus Hispalensis was published in Augsburg, in the present copy also estimated at 20,000 €. It comprises the entire knowledge of the time and also contains the first ever printed map in the form of a schematic map of the world. At the same time it is one of the first books with woodcut illustrations ever.

lot 19 - Botho, Chronecken der Sassen

lot 62 - Copernicus, De revolutionibus

Undoubtedly “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium” by Nicolaus Copernicus’ is one of the books that changed the world. Copernicus opened up the heliocentric view of the world to mankind and thereby he overthrew both the teachings of the Bible and the astronomy of Ptolemy. The copy at Reiss & Sohn with an estimate of 150,000 € contains Copernicus’ epoch-making work in the second edition of 1566, substantially expanded for the first time by Joachim Rheticus’ famous “Narratio prima”.

Among the numerous scientific works an extraordinary sammelband with no less than 6 rare works by Johannes Kepler from the period 1614-1639 is worthy of attention. It includes the first edition of Keplers’ visionary treatise “Somnium”, which describes a dream journey to the moon. The volume also impresses with its remarkable provenance and is available at 30,000 €. Two of the most beautiful botanical works of the Baroque period can be purchased at Reiss & Sohn: the “Phytanthoza-Iconographia” by Johann Wilhelm Weinmann with 1025 plates of plants from all over the world in brilliant colour engraving (estimate 50,000 €) and Christoph Jacob Trew’s “Plantae selectae” with 110 old coloured copper plates of mostly exotic plants (estimate 30,000 €). The drawings for both works were partly created by the same famous painter Georg Dionysius Ehret.

lot 79 - Weinmann

lot 77 - Trew

The great navigator James Cook, who opened up the Pacific for Western civilisation, died in Hawaii in 1779. The account of his death was edited for the first time in the anonymous German booklet “Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Seereisen des berühmten Captain Cook” (News of the Life and Sea Voyages of the Famous Captain Cook). A copy of this extremely rare work, bound together with another very rare account of the Spanish expeditions by Bodega y Quadra, is expected to obtain 20,000 €. In 1596, the Dutch circumnavigator Jan Huygen van Linschoten wrote the handbook “Itinerarium, Ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien”, comprising the invaluable knowledge of the East and West Indies and the relevant sea routes. The estimated price for a coloured copy of the rare second edition from 1614 is 60,000 €.

The offer of atlases and town books at Reiss & Sohn is again neither lacking in quantity nor in quality. Among the most valuable items are Blaeu’s Belgian town book in the Latin edition from about 1652 with 296 views and plans and Janssonius’ rare town book of the Netherlands from 1657 with 113 views and plans, both in splendid colouring and each with an estimate of 75,000 €.

A rarity of special kind is the first edition of the so-called Peasants’ Articles of 1525, a unique document of German political and European social history, being the first German statement of fundamental and human rights. Since both the first edition of these six leaves and the numerous reprints mostly were destroyed by the opponents, the offered copy is extremely rare and precious (estimate 60,000 €).

lot 1901 - Janssonius

Three richly illustrated print catalogues are published for the spring auctions. The complete auction offer, with about 12.000 additional illustrations and made accessible by a full text search, can also be found on our website Please contact us for further information.

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:

lot 1874 - Blaeu

lot 1874 - Blaeu

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