Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2010 Issue

Arctic and Canadiana from Bjarne Tokerud Bookseller

Tokerud59

The Arctic and Canada from Bjarne Tokerud Bookseller.


By Michael Stillman

Bjarne Tokerud Bookseller has issued a Summer 2010 catalogue of Arctic and Canadiana. This is a collection filled with travels and expeditions to the far north and the very far north. Some journeys were undertaken by great explorers, others by ordinary people out to experience adventures in a world where fellow humans are seldom found. So, set your compass on North as we take a look inside this new catalogue.

Item 1 is a look at British North America published in 1769, The American Traveller: Or, Observations on the Present State, Culture and Commerce of the British Colonies in America... This copy is signed by author Alexander Cluny. Cluny spent 30 years in America as a merchant, much of it in northern Canada. He became very familiar with the operations of the Hudson's Bay Company and divulges much sensitive information about it. He also charts a route for what he believed to be the Northwest Passage, from Repulse Bay to open waters to the west. Priced at $22,500 (all prices are in Canadian dollars, which are currently worth around $0.97 in U.S. currency).

Item 27 is a Narrative of the North Polar Expedition. U.S. Ship Polaris, Captain Charles Francis Hall Commanding. The work was edited by C.H. Davis and published in 1876. Hall was a newspaper publisher who became fascinated with Arctic exploration. He quite literally stopped his presses and in 1860, set out on his first journey to the Arctic. He hoped to find some relics from the missing Franklin expedition of over a decade earlier, and thought some of its crew might still be alive. He took off on a second journey in 1864, and this time came to realize there were no survivors to be found. In 1871, Hall secured financing from the U.S. government to make an attempt to reach the North Pole. The journey was a miserable failure. The men came to bickering, and Hall made more than his share of enemies. Only a few months into the trip, Hall became violently ill after drinking a cup of coffee. He suspected someone was attempting to poison him, and that is certainly a strong possibility. He rallied for a few days, but then took a turn for the worse and died. The mission continued, but the Polaris eventually became stuck in ice, and feuding groups of men broke into two groups, each eventually making their way home after long and difficult journeys. Little was accomplished by the mission. $700.

Item 110 is C.F. Newcombe's The First Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, published in 1914. There were many voyages that reached Vancouver Island, including that of Captain Cook, but Newcombe agrees that it was the man for whom the island was named, George Vancouver, who accomplished its first circumnavigation. $95.

Item 6 is a photograph album of what was not an official expedition, but a daring trip by a couple of amateurs (though with the help of some native guides). Florence Tasker and her husband, Stephen, of Philadelphia, set out on an Exploration of Ungava Peninsula Primarily by Canoe in 1906. The Ungava Peninsula is the far northern part of Quebec, a place almost always cold and damp, mostly devoid of trees, but not devoid of mosquitoes, at least during its brief cool summer. Very few people live up here and there are no roads, even today, to get around. The Taskers began in Ontario, canoeing down the Moose River to Moose Factory (most places in Canada are named "Moose" something) and then took a steamer to the east coast of Hudson's Bay, in Quebec. They then proceeded up the coast of the Bay to a point where the local Eskimo refused to go any farther north, and then traveled inland. The trip lasted five grueling months. Mrs. Tasker wrote an article about their trip which appeared in Field and Stream in 1908. Offered is their photo album from this journey. $12,500.

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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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