From a Collector’s Chamber of Treasures, Part II

At first glance, antiquarian books may appear dusty and not much to look at, but if you dive into the history of a book, this preconceived notion can quickly be put to shame. This is certainly the case with many of the literary rarities at the upcoming Live Auction in Copenhagen.

A Lifelong Romance

They all come from the now-deceased Flemming Erik Pedersen's (1931-2020) extensive book collection, which we sold the first part of in 2020. Flemming Pedersen, who for several years worked as a book specialist at this auction house, began spending time in Copenhagen’s many antiquarian bookshops already as a boy. His passion only grew over the years and followed him throughout his life, which resulted in an enormous knowledge of bookbinding, book printing, book art and history in general – as well as a large, personal book collection.

The 38 auction lots from the collection are all of an older date and stretch as far back as the 16th century. Each book has been in the care of up to several knowledgeable book collectors throughout their lifetime, which can also be seen in the details of the different lots. Several of the books come with charming ex-libris, personal inscriptions or have been bound by bookbinders of different historic ages. In this way, they tell their own "personal" story, which can add value to the book.

Unique Source from the Danish Reformation

One of the auction's rare items is a copy of the reformed Church of Denmark’s first "constitution" of the Danish Church Ordinance of 1537. It was approved by Martin Luther and printed with the approval of the Danish authorities. The law deals with religious services, church acts, the selection, work and wages of the clergy as well as the care of the poor and the education system. It was the book printer Hans Vingaard who printed most of the Danish literature of the Reformation period, including this rare set of rules.

Ordinatio Ecclesiastica Regnorum Daniae et Norwegiae et Ducatuum [...]. Copenhagen: Hans Vingaard 1537. Estimate: DKK 15,000-20,000.

Satire, Scathing Caricatures and Witty Irony

If we jump 200 years ahead in time, we find "the father of Danish literature" Ludvig Holberg represented with the extremely rare publication Democritus and Heraclitus. Satyra (1) from 1721. It is beautifully bound by the Danish bookbinder Jacob Baden and a good example of how the bookbinding often has an aesthetic function next to the obvious, practical one – to preserve the book.

Ludvig Holberg: Democritus og Heraclitus. Satyra (1). [Cph] 1721. Elegantly bound by Jacob Baden. Estimate: DKK 15,000-20,000.
Henrik Smid: Fjerde Urtegaard flitteligen tilsammen lest aff lerde Lægers Bøger. Cph 1557. + 4 vols. Estimate: DKK 10,000-15,000.

In addition, a couple of works by the Danish, world-famous astronomer Tycho Brahe are also up for auction, as well as a copy of the Law of Sealand from 1576, medical books by the Danish humanitarian Henrik Smid, among others En liden Bog om Menniskens Vand, oc anden naturlig Affgang (A little book on the water of man, and other natural releases), which deals with the medical diagnostic uroscopy, i.e. the idea that from the use of a urine sample one is able to conduct diagnoses and thus find the right treatment.

Tycho Brahe: Astronomiae instauratae progymnasmata [...]. 1610. Enclosed 4 half leaves, supposedly from a proof copy. Estimate: DKK 8,000-10,000.

Live Auction


8 March at 4 pm

For further information, please contact:

Lærke Bøgh: +45 8818 1217 ·