Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2012 Issue

Travel from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreurtjelist50

Travel from Bestebreurtje Rare Books.

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has issued List 50: Travel. This is a collection of mainly 18th and 19th century travels, or material related to journeys. We will describe some of it as “related,” as there are many items pertaining to slavery, or the Dutch East India Company, not specifically about the journeys themselves, but it took long journeys in slave ships for slavery to exist, and even longer trips for residents of the Netherlands to make it to the East India Company's colonies in far off Indian and Pacific Ocean lands. Here are some of the travel items now being offered.

Item 31 is the first really thorough look at the United States after the Revolution. Voyage dans l'Amerique Septentrionale, dans les Annees 1780, 1781 et 1782 was the work of the Marquis de Chastellux. Chastellux served as a major-general under Rochambeau, assisting the Americans during their Revolution. After the war, he toured around America, from Virginia to Pennsylvania and New England. According to the commentators, nothing escaped his eye. Chastellux wrote about practically every detail he saw, “even the most trifling incidents that bad roads, inconvenient inns and distracted times usually afford” (from an early Maggs catalogue). The book also provides information about more important issues, such as the economy, social conditions, and the character of the people. He also provides commentary on events during the Revolution, and later, on a visit to Monticello to meet with Jefferson. Offered is the first complete edition (there had been a shorter, privately printed edition prior) published in 1786. Priced at €795 (euros, or around $1,068).

Item 174 is the French language account of an Englishman's visit to a part of Russia that became part of America during his travels. Sounds appropriate for a Dutch bookseller's catalogue! Frederick Whymper was an odd combination of artist and explorer. In 1865, he traveled with the Western Union Telegraph Expedition to Russian Alaska. As to why Western Union was exploring Alaska, that's a strange story. An attempt had earlier been made to lay a cable from America to Europe under the Atlantic Ocean, but that cable quickly failed. So, Western Union got the bright idea of running a cable from San Francisco, up through Oregon and Washington, British Columbia, Russian Alaska, under the Bering Sea, across Siberia, and on to Moscow, where it could hook up with existing cables running east to Europe. It was hoped that this long route, because it had much less of a distance under water, would hold up better than the Atlantic route. However, after much surveying and some initial construction, it was abandoned after a successfully working cable was run under the Atlantic. While the Overland Telegraph was a dismal economic failure, it did provide much information about Alaska, and may have played a role in America's decision to purchase the land from Alaska in 1867. Whymper writes about his travels in Alaska, where he was still present to witness the raising of the American flag over the land. The French edition of his “Travels and Adventures in Alaska,” titled Voyages et Aventures dans l'Alaska, was published in 1871. €225 (US $302).

Item 49 is a book about a most interesting American character - Walter Murray Gibson. He was likely born in the South, though he at times claimed he was born in England. Described in a 2006 article in the Honolulu Advertiser (a newspaper he once owned) as both “a silver tongued 19th-century adventurer,” and a “scoundrel of historic note,” he makes his first appearance on the public stage as a captain of a ship running guns in the Caribbean. He next set off for the Dutch East Indies, landing on Sumatra. He made his way inland, and being the “silver tongued” scoundrel he was, became friendly with various princes and nobility of the island. The Dutch were not amused. They saw him as a disruptive force and promptly threw him in prison. He was there for 15 months before managing his escape. Back in the U.S., he published this book in 1855, The Prison of Weltevreden; and a Glance at the East Indian Archipelego. It recounts the various unpleasantries he experienced at the hands of the Dutch. Gibson would go on to have an even more interesting career in the years after this book. He went to Utah, converted to Mormonism, and headed off to Hawaii as a missionary. However, within a few years, he was excommunicated by the Mormons. Seems he was using church funds to amass personal power, among other things. It did not slow down Gibson, who used his remarkable personal skills to get in the good graces of various important people, securing funding to buy the Advertiser, and then inserting himself as a voice for natives of Hawaii versus recent arrivals. In particular, he garnered the support of the King, who named him Prime Minister, and to other important offices. However, he schemed to grow Hawaii into an empire of Pacific Islands, and when this plan fell apart, he fled Hawaii for his life. A year later, in 1888, he died in San Francisco. €275 (US $370).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <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. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

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