• <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Magnificent Botanical Library of D. F. Allen. October 26, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Redouté, Pierre Joseph, and Claude Antoine Thory. <i>Les Roses</I>. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1817–1824. Est. $225,000 to $325,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Trew, Jakob Christoph. <i>Hortus Nitidissimis Omnen Per Annum Superbiens Floribus</i>… Nuremberg: Johann Joseph Fleischmann, 1750 [–1786]. Est. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Trew, Christoph Jakob, and Benedict Christian Vogel. <i>Plantæ Selectæ</i>…[Nuremberg:] 1750–1773; Supplement, [Augsburg:] 1790 [–1792]. Est. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Magnificent Botanical Library of D. F. Allen. October 26, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Jacquin, Nikolaus Joseph von. <i>Plantarum Rariorum Horti Caesarei Schönbrunnensis Descriptiones Et Icones.</i>Vienna; London; Leiden, 1797–1804. Est. $180,000 to $250,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Weinmann, Johann Wilhelm. <i>Phytanthoza Iconographia; Sive Conspectus Aliquot Millium, Tam Indigenarum Quam Exoticarum</i>… Regensburg, 1735–1737–1745. Est. $120,000 to $180,000
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio!</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio!</b>
  • <b>Sotheby’s London: Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection. Part I: Music. 26 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Beethoven, Ludwig van. Autograph Manuscript of the Canon "Ewig Dein" Woo 161, signed at the end ("...[Ewig] Dein...Freund Ludwig Van Beethowen"). Est. £120,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Brahms, Johannes. Autograph Manuscript of the "Geistliches Wiegenlied", Op.91 No.2, for Contralto, Viola And Piano, the original version of 1864, signed and inscribed at the end by the composer. Est. £200,000 to £250,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Chopin, Frédéric. Autograph Manuscript of the Opening of the Étude Op.25 No.2, in A-Flat Major, signed and dated ("Paris Ce 28 Avril F. Chopin"). Est. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London: Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection. Part I: Music. 26 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Haydn, Joseph. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jos Haydn[Paraph]"), to the Baden Choirmaster Anton Stoll, 30 July 1802. Est. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Verdi, Giuseppe. Autograph Working Manuscript of a scene from Ernani. Est. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Verdi, Giuseppe. Highly Important Series of Thirty-Six Autograph Letters Signed to The Librettist Salvadore Cammarano, written between 1844 And 1851, the greater part unpublished and unrecorded. Est. £250,000 to £300,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2017 Issue

Chastellux’s Voyages: An Aristocrat in America.

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The "bizarre" edition.

Like many “generous aristocrats1”, the well-born Marquis de Chastellux went to America in 1780 to fight on the side of the insurgents during the War of Independence (1775-1783). There he became acquainted with George Washington and other important figures of the conflict—including Jefferson. The letters he wrote to his friends on this occasion were printed without his consent in Europe, not only because they gave pertinent pieces of information on a newly born country, but also because the sarcastic wit of Monsieur le Marquis was irresistible—and sometimes dramatic.

 

 

Chastellux’s voyages in America is a classic; not only of travel books, but also in American history. According to latest French edition (Tallandier, 1980), “the Americans (...) see it as the most fundamental book about their origins.” I knew the common Prault edition of 1786 in 2 volumes, but was unaware of the peculiar story of this book until I came across an intriguing edition: a 136-page in-8° volume with no engravings—whereas the Prault edition comes with 2 maps and 3 plates. Yet, the last page reading the crucial word Fin, it was consequently complete. This bizarre edition entitled Voyage de M. le Chevalier de Chastellux, en Amérique was printed in 1786, in Paris, and sold at Le Francq’s, in Brussels, Belgium. I started to investigate, and with the help of my best man, Detective Google, I soon found another copy, sold at an auction in 2015. The expert had described it as “extracts” from the Voyages du marquis de Chastellux, adding: “The authorized version was published the same year in two volumes by Prault.” Was my bizarre edition a pirate best of, then? Another bookseller also mentioned the “ultra-rare Newport edition of 1781” as well as “a 1785 issue.” So, this would be the third—and unauthorized—edition of the Voyages of Chastellux?

 

In their literary correspondence, Grimm and Diderot mention the “ultra-rare edition” of 1781. Entitled Voyage de Newport à Philadelphie, Albany, etc., it was printed “Á Newport, de l’imprimerie royale de l’escadre.” It is an in-4° volume of 188 pages. Chastellux did three voyages on the margins of his official assignment. The first ones, between 1780 and 1781, took him to Newport, Philadelphia or Rhode Island; during the last one, the following year, he visited Virginia and Pennsylvania. The “ultra-rare edition” contains the relation of the first two voyages. “Twenty-four copies only (or 27 according to Barbier, Charles Evans and The Warden Catalogue) were printed, and the National Library of France owns one of the six or seven copies which, according to Chastellux himself, ever reached Europe. Nine only are today listed worldwide—seven belong to public libraries, and two to private collections,” writes Jacques Jourquin in his authoritative foreword to the Tallandier edition (1980). About the fantastical mention printed on board of the royal squadron, he says: “This was a small squadron of six or seven ships, (...) which also printed a short-lived Gazette française (...). It was conveniently located ashore, in Newport.”

 

In 1785, a new edition of Chastellux’s voyages was anonymously printed in Cassel (228 pages). “It is not, as some bibliographers—who had never seen it—claimed, a reprint of the original Newport edition,” underlines Jacques Jourquin, “but the collection of extracts from both the original edition and the manuscript of the second voyage.” An unscrupulous bookseller collected them from Grimm’s Cahiers de lecture, printed in Gotha, Germany. The foreword to the Prault edition explains: “One of (Chastellux’s) friends (...) convinced him to publish some detached parts of his (second voyage) in a periodical printed in Gotha (...). He agreed, and some letters were regularly given to the public for a full year’s time (1784—editor’s note). These extracts were indifferently taken from the first and the second voyages, in no chronological order so that no one could compile them and sell them as a complete book. Experience proved these precautions insufficient.”

 

Jourquin adds that there are two versions of the Cassel edition, which only differ from their respective sizes and numbers of pages—the text being similar. “This incomplete and ill put together book was yet so successful that it was twice reprinted, first in Paris and then in Brussels, at B. Le Francq’s.” Bingo! Our bizarre edition was thus the second one, illegally reprinted from the Cassel one! It was also translated into German and twice printed, in Hamburg and Leipzig, in 1786. “Convinced by those successive editions of the interest sparked by his writings,” Jourquin resumes, “and fearing to see those incorrect editions spread, the author resolved to put out an integral version in 1786, at Prault’s (...). It features the first two voyages as well as the third one, the latter being by then totally original.” In 1788, Prault reprinted the first volume under supervision of Chastellux, “who died the same year.” (Jourquin). The second volume of this revised version didn’t come out before 1791. The book was also translated into English in 1787 (London), but wasn’t published in the US until 1827—augmented with 15 letters of George Washington. “And then, there was silence,” Jourquin deplores.

 

What’s so exciting about this reading is the way these letters were written—in complete liberty. Liaising Rochambeau and Washington’s armies, Chastellux met some key figures of the war of independence, and his portrait of Washington—intimate and genuine—, is fascinating. But even more fascinating are his remarks on various aspects of the ill known American every day life. Food, accommodation, natural history, characters of his hosts, nothing escapes the hawk eye of our aristocrat. There’s, furthermore, something captivating in his ability to describe people with a handful of acute words—and a touch of aristocratic scorn. Born in 1734 in a noble family, Chastellux grew up among famous people, including Buffon. He enrolled at 15 and turned to literature after the Seven Years’ war. “He was close to the Encyclopaedists like Helvetius, d’Alembert or Turgot, who warmly welcomed such a recruit,” writes the Duke of Castries in his foreword to the Tallandier edition (1980). He became close friend with David Hume, then secretary of the Ambassador of England in Paris, and when he published his essay De La Félicité Publique... (Amsterdam, 1772), Voltaire, “who didn’t mind flattering a powerful man,” (Castries), praised it beyond reason. In 1775, Chastellux even became a member of the prestigious Académie Française, and went to America with the army of Rochambeau 5 years later. He was what French people call a “bon vivant”—he enjoyed the good things in life, including women to whom he dedicates an extraordinary passage of his book, comparing American and French women. Aged 53, he married a young Irish beauty and died after a few months “of a warm relationship, which probably exhausted him.” (Castrie)

1Voyages dans l’Amérique septentrionale... (Tallandier, 1980).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Results from Bonhams’ sale of <i>Fine Books & Manuscripts Featuring Exploration and Travel</i></b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Columbus. De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis. Basel, 1494. SOLD for $751,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Cook in Tahiti. [Playbill]. [Germany, c.1840.] SOLD for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Aa, Pieter van der. Naaukeurige versameling der gedenk-waardigste zee en land-reysen. Leyden, 1706-8. SOLD for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Dürer. Underweysung der messung [and two more]. Nuremberg, 1525-8. SOLD for $175,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Cortes, Hernan. A Pleito signed by Antonio de Mendoza in the case of Hernan Cortes. 1542. SOLD for $8750
    <b>Results from Bonhams’ <i>The Air and Space Sale</i></b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Russian Kholod 5D67 HFL Rocket Engine. SOLD for $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Neil Armstrong Apollo Era Training Glove. SOLD for $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Full Scale Sputnik-1 EMC/EMI Lab Model. SOLD for $847,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> SOLRAD GREB Spy Satellite Engineering Dummy. SOLD for $10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Soviet LK-3 Lunar Lander Model. SOLD for $25,000
  • <b>Sotheby’s Paris: Books & Manuscripts. 30 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> MARCEL PROUST. Du côté de chez Swann. Grasset, 1913. First edition. One of 5 copies on Japan paper, inscribed by the author to Louis Brun. Est. €400,000 - 600,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> Saint-Exupéry. <i>25 Autograph Illustrated Letters to his Friend Charles Sallès</i>. Est. €30,000-50,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> French Revolution, 1793. Déclaration des droits de l’Homme. 2,55 x 1,30m. A monumental wallpaper poster of the 1793 version, with hand-colored highlights. Unique copy. Est. €100,000 - 150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> GIAMBATTISTA PIRANESI. <i>Vedute di Roma</i>, 1748-1775. 107 etchings. An exceptional copy, printed and bound before 1780. Est. €50,000 - 80,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> Picasso, Pablo -- Fernando de Rojas. LA CÉLESTINE. [PARIS, EDITIONS DE L'ATELIER CROMMELYNCK, 1971.] One of the 30 copies hors commerce (n° X). 66 original etchings by Picasso. Signed. Est. €30,000 - €35,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b><br><i>The Centenary Edition of the Works of Ian Fleming</i>, one of 26 lettered sets, 18 volumes, London, 2008. $25,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> William Faulkner, <i>The Marble Faun</i>, first edition, signed & inscribed to Dorothy Wilcox by Faulkner & Phil Stone, Boston, 1924. $18,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Maurice Sendak, <i>Where the Wild Things Are</i>, first edition, signed & inscribed to William Archibald, New York, 1963. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Anne Frank, <i>Het Achterhuis</i>, first edition, in first state jacket, Amsterdam, 1947. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Roald Dahl, <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</i>, first edition, signed, New York, 1964. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b><br>Ray Bradbury, <i>Fahrenheit 451</i>, first limited edition bound in Johns-Manville Quinterra, New York, 1953. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Benjamin Graham, <i>The Intelligent Investor</i>, first edition, in original dust jacket, New York, 1949. $4,500 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Anna Sewell, <i>Black Beauty</i>, first edition, inscribed, London, 1877. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Arthur Conan Doyle, <i>A Study in Scarlet</i>, first American edition, Philadelphia, 1890. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> James Fenimore Cooper, <i>The Last of the Mohicans</i>, first edition, two volumes, Philadelphia, 1826. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Amelia Earhart, <i>20 hrs. 40 mins. Our Flight in Friendship</i>, limited first edition, signed, New York, 1928. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Philip K. Dick, <i>World of Chance</i>, first edition, signed, London, 1956. $3,000 to $4,000.

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