Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2010 Issue

Books at the Fair from Asher and Antiquariaat Forum

Forumny2010

From the Netherlands to the New York Fair.


By Michael Stillman

Asher Rare Books and the Antiquariaat Forum published a catalogue for the recent New York Antiquarian Book Fair. The two Netherlands booksellers crossed the Atlantic with a selection of books that would be suitable for an American or international audience. This included many that pertained specifically to those lands in the western hemisphere, along with many others relating to the Old World. These are a few of the books that took the long journey west.

A shorter route between the Atlantic and Pacific had been sought from the early times of ocean travel. The only navigable route at the time required passing around Cape Horn, a long and difficult trip around the southern tip of South America. Many attempted to find a Northwest Passage, through the icy waters of northern Canada. Success was wanting. Others dreamed of building a canal across the relatively narrow Isthmus of Panama. One of the earliest to suggest such a route was the French official Martin de La Bastide. He published his idea in Memoire sur un nouveau passage de la mer du nord a la mer du sud in 1791. Bastide's route would have gone through Nicaragua, employing several rivers and Lake Nicaragua as part of the route. Ultimately, such a route was never employed, and it took another 120 years until an alternative, the Panama Canal, was finally built. Item 10. Priced at $20,000.

Item 60 is a one-of-a-kind book from the nature printing era (circa 1850). Rather than being run through a press, an American sailor out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, likely in whaling or the China trade, created each image by hand. The book is titled on the spine Na Lau Hawaii, which translates to "Leaves of Hawaii." The sailor evidently gathered specimens of leaves from various plants in Hawaii and other Pacific islands, placed them in ink, and pressed them to the paper. He has succeeded in creating vivid images of these leaves, 277 of them in all. The sailor most likely kept the sheets loose while at sea, but after returning, had them bound by Parson Co. of New Bedford. Based on the address, it must have been bound between 1855 and 1860. $48,000.

Item 29 is a marriage contract of high nobility from the last decade of France's Ancien Regime. The couple was Augustine Olympe Sophie de Besiade d'Avaray and Antoine-Rene d'Escoubleau, Marquis de Sourdis. Those were suitably long names for important people, though if their achievements went much beyond being rich and noble that is not clear. Antoine-Rene was the last male of this prestigious family, which died out with his daughter. However, the couple at least was spared the fate of the most famous signers of their marriage vows. The wedding went on for three days in October of 1784, and among those who signed the contract were King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. Both King and Queen were beheaded during the French Revolution less than a decade later. $31,500.

Item 35 is an important view of a battlefield, Un Souvenir de Solferino, by Jean Henri Dunant. The Battle of Solferino pitted French and allied troops against those of Austria. The Austrians were defeated and Italy began taking steps toward independence. However, what is notable here is that Dunant, a Swiss businessman, surveyed the battlefield, witnessed the carnage, and determined to try to lessen the horrors of war. This book led to the foundation of the Red Cross. Forty years later, Dunant was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. $22,500.

Item 87 is an important Cook item, Reise um die Welt, mit Captain Cook. The author was Heinrich Zimmerman, a non-officer who served below deck, and thus provides an ordinary sailor's look at Cook's last voyage. The British Admiralty forbid the publication of any books by the men who served with Cook until after the release of the official account, but Zimmerman, who returned to Germany, jumped the gun by several years. This is the first edition, published in 1781, three years prior to the official account. Zimmerman provides an eyewitness account of the death of Cook in Hawaii in his book. $61,950.

The Antiquariaat Forum may be reached at +31 30 6011955 or info@forumrarebooks.com. Their website is www.forumrarebooks.com.

Asher Rare Books may be reached at +31 255 510352 or info@asherbooks.com.

You will find many of the Antiquariaat Forum's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site. Click here.

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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