Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2011 Issue

A Whale of a Book, A Whale of A Sale

Renjilian

John Renjilian and the first person whaling account 1833-6

Thirty-nine months at sea is a long time, and Percival expresses his homesickness more than once.  By December, 1835, he was counting the months: “we shall get home in the course of 12 months.”  There is a three-year break in the journal, and then Percival began an account of another voyage, again under Captain Pitman, this time on the ship Congress.
  

The Congress had its own connections to Melville’s great novel.  The book Herman Melville’s Whaling Years states that on April 1, 1841, a whale towed a boat from the Congress far out of sight.  After cruising in search of the boat for two days, Captain Pitman decided the boat had been sunk, and continued his voyage.  However, the boat managed to make a 1,500 mile voyage to the Marquesas Islands, where the crew were rescued some months later, shortly before Melville was at the Islands and undoubtedly heard the story.  The same book also locates Melville’s Acushnet and the Congress together with other ships at the Galapagos Islands in 1842, where they would certainly have spoken and perhaps visited with each other.

Percival inexplicably stopped writing in his journal, with his last daily entry made on January 28, 1840. We do know the fate of the second ship, however: as reported in the New York Times for October 4th, 1867, the Congress was frozen in the ice and crushed in the Anadir Sea on May 19th; her cargo of oil and whalebone was transferred to the bark Nautilus, and was apparently saved.

You can find this whaling journal as well as other books of interest in the Rare and Collectibles Room at the Booth Book Sale, such all six volumes of the signed collector’s limited edition of Astronaut Library by astronauts Lovell, Aldrin, Carpenter, Glenn, Borman,  Shepard, Schirra.  All Easton Press, each signed by the authors and with Certificates of Authenticity; and  Marlborough .His Life and Times. By Winston Churchill, NY: Scribner, 1933. Six volumes. Red half leather.  Additionally there attractively priced collectibles such as For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway, First edition; Primitive Physic: or, an Easy and Natural Method of Curing Most Diseases by John Wesley (1772) and an extensive collection of pristine Easton Press publications, some still in original cellophane wraps, many limited editions and autographed works donated by the estate of a private collector. There is also an extensive selection of very good condition adult and children’s books signed by author and/or illustrator:  Drawn from New England. Tasha Tudor by Bethany Tudor (New York: Collins, 1979), likely 1st edition, signed by Tasha Tudor and inscribed by Bethany Tudor, her daughter and David the Dreamer. His Book of Dreams by Ralph Bergengren, illustrated by Tom Freud (1922), first edition with illustrations by Sigmund Freud’s niece, Tom Freud, who used a male pseudonym, and was known for her eccentricities, and a wide selection of fine and very good condition comic books in protective sleeves.

The sale will be held July 9 through July 13, at the Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane, in Newtown, CT.  A $5.00 admission is charged on Saturday only, with other days being free; numbered admission tickets will be on sale beginning at 7.00 AM on Saturday.  Hours for the sale are 9.00-5.00 Saturday and Sunday, 9.00-7.00 Monday (half price day) and Tuesday ($5.00 per bag day), and 9.00-noon on Wednesday (free day).  Further information can be found at www.boothbooksale.org, by emailing boothbooksale@yahoo.com, or by calling 203-426-4533.

Proceeds go to the general library fund.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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