Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2010 Issue

Travel and More from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreurtje142

Travels from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

The 142nd catalogue from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books comes with the brief title, Travel. There is actually more than just travel here. There are many books of Americana to be found, which perhaps qualifies as travel as one would have to travel from Bestebreurtje's home base in the Netherlands to reach America. We are actually sort of surprised to find some of these 19th century American titles being offered from the Netherlands. How they got there is unknown, but - Americana collectors take heed - they are just begging to come home. We will focus primarily on Americana in this review, but there are many books in Dutch and pertaining to Dutch issues, such as the activities of the VOC (East India Company).

Item 174 is the 1861 London edition of Elisha Kent Kane's Arctic Explorations: The Second Grinnell Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, 1853, '54, '55. Sir John set out to find the Northwest Passage in 1845 but never returned. His entire crew was lost, setting about a flurry of rescue missions, later followed by exploratory ones after all hope of anyone's survival was lost. The Grinnell expeditions, financed by wealthy American merchant Henry Grinnell (but not led by him) were among the many that attempted to find the explorer without success. The second proved to be a brutal though ultimately heroic, but unsuccessful mission. Headed by Elisha Kane, it searched for Franklin in far northern Canadian territory around Baffin Bay. The expedition ran into many problems, scurvy, their dogs dying, their ship becoming frozen in, and assorted other unpleasantries associated with long winters in places where temperatures are constantly far below zero. After two long winters survived in their ice-jammed boat, Kane realized it would never become free, and there followed a harrowing journey over and through ice-filled waters to eventual rescue. They never came close to finding Franklin's expedition, but at least their alliances with the native Inuit enabled them to achieve something Franklin did not - survival. Priced at €275 (euros, or approximately US $387).

Kane's travels were all too real. Not necessarily so were those of "Eduward Melton." Item 236 is a 1681 first edition of Zeldzaame en gedenkwaardige zee - en land - reizen… It is not clear whether Melton even existed, let alone visited the many places he describes - Egypt, America, the Caribbean, Persia, Turkey, and the Orient. One source has attributed Melton's work to G. van Broekhuizen, a Dutch translator and publisher who had access to many travel accounts from which he could have devised one of his own (some parts are clearly stolen from the works of others). The book includes illustrations from the noted illustrator and poet Jan Luyken. €3,500 (US $4,923).

Here are a couple of speeches from two of the most notable U.S. senators of the 19th century, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, given during the critical year of 1850. The capture of new territories during the Mexican War, and the question whether they would be slave or free, had greatly opened the divide between North and South. Webster and Clay tried to bridge the divide through compromise, though in reality there isn't much of a middle position between slavery and freedom. Item 388 is Webster's Speech upon the subject of slavery, delivered…March 7, 1850. In 1832, Webster had given his greatest speech, calling liberty and union, inseparable. This came in reaction to South Carolina's attempt to nullify federal laws to which it objected. In 1850, Webster was again fighting for the Union, but this time, rather than standing up to the South, he opted for compromise. In his March 7 speech, Webster, labeling himself not a "Massachusetts man," or "Northern man," but an "American," called for support of the Compromise of 1850, including acceptance of the Fugitive Slave Law, hated in the North. It earned Webster some friendships in the South, but turned his northern base against him. It assured his dream, being elected President of the United States, would never come to pass. €75 (US $105).

Item 59 is the bookend to Webster's speech: Speech of Henry Clay…on taking up his compromise resolutions on the subject of slavery. Delivered…Febr. 5th & 6th, 1850. Clay, the Great Compromiser, was one of the authors and proponents of the aforementioned Compromise of 1850. Clay, being from the border state of Kentucky, did not receive the backlash Webster did for his support. However, the Compromise of 1850, though it might have brought about a slight delay, did little to avoid the growing confrontation between North and South over slavery. Rather, it angered the North while making the South more intransigent in its fight to expand slavery to the new territories. In the end, it may have made civil war more certain, rather than less likely. €65 (US $91.)

Item 363 is a massive work by a Dutch Reformed minister who lived in the Dutch Asian colonies: Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien... Francois Valentijn lived for many years on Java and Amboya, about which he offers great detail, but his five-volume (in eight) folio first edition goes well beyond this location. He provides information on history, geography, ethnology and natural history on areas throughout the world in which the Dutch East India Company was involved, including Indonesia, Japan, China, India, Persia, and the Cape of Good Hope. There are maps of Australia, long before Cook, likely taken from manuscripts now lost. Indeed what makes Valentijn's work particularly valuable is that much of what he was working from were documents that are now lost. His descriptions of the natural history of Amboyna come from unpublished, lost manuscripts produced by the great naturalist Rumphius. Along with the text, the volumes contain 338 maps, plans, portraits and views. €60,000 (US $84,432).

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books may be reached at +31 (0)347 322 548 or info@gertjanbestebreurtje.com. Their website is www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.

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