Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

Travel, Atlases and Maps from Peter Harrington

Harrington71

Travels from Peter Harrington.


By Michael Stillman

Peter Harrington has issued their 71st catalogue, Travel, Atlases and Maps. Offered are almost 200 items of mostly antiquarian looks at the world as seen through the eyes of Europeans when so much was still new or unknown. From Asia to America, the Near and Far East, Africa to Australia, North to South Pole, and all ports in between, you will likely find them described in the works in this catalogue. Not all of these travels had happy endings, and not all of these maps were terribly accurate, but you won't lack for excitement from any of the items here offered.

Item 10 is a thorough look at America 50 years after the Pilgrims landed: America; being the latest and most Accurate Description of the New World...by John Ogilby, published in 1671. Ogilby may have credited himself with writing this text, but it actually was stolen from Dutch author Arnoldus Montanus' De Nieuwe en Onbekended Weereld. Sabin listed Montanus as the author, describing the work as "an impudent plagarism," while Howes, noting "Ogilby unblushingly claims authorship and never mentions Montanus," states, "Piracy at this period was not confined to the high seas." Nevertheless, this is in effect a translation of a very good description of America at the time, from Canada to Brazil, and includes numerous portraits of great explorers and natives, along with maps and other illustrations of American lands. Priced at £50,000 (British pounds, or roughly $75,326 in U.S. Currency).

Item 57 is a Wild West story, Last of the Great Scouts. The Life Story of Col. William F. Cody "Buffalo Bill". Perhaps this is not an objective account since its title continues As Told by His Sister. This book may have been ghostwritten by Bert Leston Taylor, but Helen Cody Wetmore certainly provided the material, and her brother was a cooperative subject. It is an exciting tale about the life of the great showman, and his upbringing on the frontier, and notably, bloody Kansas where his abolitionist father died from injuries inflicted by pro-slavery border ruffians. This 1899 first edition is inscribed by "the sister of W.F. Cody "Buffalo Bill." £4,250 (US $6,401).

Item 116 consists of six publications relating to the Suez Canal, bound together. Most notably is Question du Suez Canal, by Ferdinand de Lesseps, published in 1860. De Lesseps had befriended the future ruler of Egypt years earlier as a diplomat, so he managed to get the concession to build the canal. Despite bickering between the French and British, he was able to raise the necessary funds and construct a canal many thought could not be built. It was opened in 1869, and de Lesseps later tried to build a canal in Panama, but this attempt was not successful. A couple of the items were signed by de Lesseps. £3,500 (US $5,272).

Item 15 is a first edition set of travels by a man whose name is familiar to us as a couple of cities and an island as well as an explorer, George Vancouver. Vancouver had already participated in Cook's second and third voyages when he was chosen to lead his own expedition to the northwest coast of America. Like so many before and after, part of his mission was to attempt to find a northwest passage, along with other explorations. However, his presence was also intended to assert British claims to this territory, one of the last areas on Earth still mostly unexplored at this late date (1790s). Despite his great achievements, and his very well-run operation, Vancouver did not receive the recognition of many other explorers due to some disruptive but well-connected crewmen. His three-volume plus an atlas account, published in 1798 (after his death), is entitled A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World... €47,500 (US $58,748).

George Anson's 'round the world voyage was nowhere near as professionally run or as successful as that of Vancouver, and yet Anson received far more recognition and personal rewards than did the latter. Item 18 is Anson's A Voyage Round the World in the Years MDCCXL...IV... published in 1748. Anson was sent to harass Spanish shipping around South America in the infamous War of Jenkins' Ear. He lost all but one of his ships, most of his crew died from disease and accidents, and many of those who did survive went through harrowing tales of finding their way to civilization in South America, which, of course, was controlled by their Spanish enemy. Despite repeated failures in his mission, Anson's one ship managed to make it around the Horn and headed back home going east to west. Miraculously, he managed to find and capture a Spanish ship laden with treasure off the coast of the Philippines, which enabled Anson to return home a hero and wealthy man despite losing most of his ships and men. €3,850 (US $4,761).

Peter Harrington Antiquarian Bookseller may be reached at +44 (0)20 7591 0220 or mail@peterharringtonbooks.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharringtonbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions