Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2011 Issue

18th Century Voyages and Travels from Hordern House


18th century voyages and travels.

Hordern House has released an extensive catalogue of Eighteenth-Century Voyages & Travels. By the 18th century, European sea exploration was already over two centuries old, and most areas of the world were at least roughly understood. However, this was the period of great learning about the world, as explorers now brought back detailed scientific and social data, describing the natural history and peoples of far off lands. It was also the period in which final misunderstood details of the globe were filled in, including a complete look at Australia, the charting of the west coast of North America, and the debunking of the myth of a giant southern continent. It was the period when the Age of Discovery evolved to an age of understanding.


Hordern House's catalogue is divided into six sections:  Collections of Voyages, Early 18th Century Voyages, Voyages of Captain James Cook, Late 18th Century Voyages, The Pacific, and Imaginary Voyages. It is filled with important material, first and other early, mostly contemporary editions of accounts of important travels. Hordern House is located in Australia, so these voyages primarily reach the Pacific, but interest in these discoveries reaches far beyond that most isolated of continents. Most of the trips emanated from Europe, and the Pacific covers a wide swathe of territory, including the west coast of North and South America, Hawaii and numerous islands, and eastern Asia. Here are a few of the works of 18th century travel being offered by Hordern House.


Perhaps the greatest of all English explorers was James Cook, whose three journeys to the Pacific brought back a wealth of knowledge, particularly about Australia, the American Northwest, and the discovery of Hawaii. It was Cook who disproved the predominant theory that there was a massive southern continent. He disproved if by sailing deep into the territory it was thought to encompass. There are 116 items in this catalogue pertaining specifically to Cook and his discoveries. However, the British Captain made a totally different type of discovery that was of enormous importance to those who embarked on long sea journeys. At the time, the scourge of all sailors was scurvy, a disease caused by lack of vitamin C. It results in various debilitating symptoms, and eventually, death. Fresh fruits, particularly citrus, are the best preventatives, but fresh fruits could not be kept for long periods of time, and voyages those days took months if not years. Cook discovered that sauerkraut and malt did much to prevent scurvy among his men. These may not be as good as lemons and limes, but unlike the latter, it was one of the few pickled foods that lasted long periods of time while retaining some of their vitamin C content. Cook prepared a paper on his findings that was read to the Royal Society by Sir John Pringle, as Cook was off on his third journey by the time the presentation was made. Item 29 is the very rare first printing of Cook's findings, A Discourse upon some Late Improvements in the Health of Mariners, published in 1776. Item 29. Priced at AU $64,000 (Australian dollars, or roughly $68,442 in U.S. dollars).


Alexander Dalrymple was the first hydrographer (chart maker) for the Royal Navy, an expert in geography and navigation. However, he made one major mistake, and suffered one major disappointment, and these came together to produce this rare, vitriolic piece:  A Letter from Mr. Dalrymple to Dr. Hawkesworth, occasioned by Some groundless and illiberal Imputations in his Account of the late Voyages to the South, published in 1773. Dalrymple's major mistake was his belief in the existence of a large southern continent. He was the theory's primary proponent. His major disappointment was not being placed in command of the expeditions that were given to Cook. Dalrymple wanted to be elevated to Captain, the Navy declined, Dalrymple turned down the command, which then went to Cook. Hawkesworth compiled the official account of Cook's first journey, Cook being too busy with preparations for his second trip to prepare it himself. This account implied that there was no southern continent, a claim which enraged Dalrymple. Hawkesworth would later respond that the account was based on Cook's observations, not his own. While Dalrymple's diatribe was directed at Hawkesworth, his resentment was likely really intended more for Cook, who won the job he had wanted. A few years later, Cook would return from his second voyage with the final proof needed to debunk Dalrymple's massive southern continent theory. Item 95. AU $132,500 (US $141,747).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to General James Clinton, preparing for the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, 1778. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising to send reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Edison, Autograph Letter Signed, to Western Union President William Orton, 1878. $10,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> William, Bishop of Coventry, vellum charter granting the church of Rochdale to the Cistercian Abbey of Stanlaw, in Latin, 1222. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> FDR, Photograph Signed & Inscribed, framed with wood removed from the White House roof, 1927. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Dubuffet, archive including many letters written while painting in NYC, 1951-72. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autograph Letter Signed, describing the source of his patience, 1939. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Lithograph portrait of Albert Einstein by Hermann Struck, signed by both, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Charles The Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Letter Signed to Johann IV of Nassau, in French, 1470. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Cocteau, Autograph Letter Signed, in French, 1919. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Louis Armstrong, two Autograph Letters Signed to Erich Kauffmann, his lip salve purveyor, 1965-70. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Wernher von Braun, Autograph Letter Signed to Jonathan Cross, 1975. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $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
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $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>

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