Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2010 Issue

Arctic and Canadiana from Bjarne Tokerud Bookseller


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

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    <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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
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    <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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
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