Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2012 Issue

Russia from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books


Russia from Beastebreurtje Rare Books.

From Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books this month comes their List 53 Russia. These are mainly travel books, accounts by people who roamed around the land, primarily during the 19th century. Most of the travelers were Europeans, but there is an occasional American, or a Russian traveling the homeland. Some travels were exclusively in Russia, others visited multiple lands, or fringes of that large nation. None of the books was written in Russian, the languages of choice being Dutch, French, and English. Here are a few samples from Mother Russia.

During the 19th century, missionaries spread out to the four corners of the globe to save the souls of those who had not heard the good news. They endured all kinds of deprivations and hardships to do so, but it did not inhibit their calling. Item 6 is Shamans, Lamas and Evangelicals. The English Missionaries in Siberia, by C.R. Bawden, published 1985. This is an account of missionaries who ventured to Eastern Siberia in the year 1818. Priced at €35 (approximately US $46).

Item 36 is Through Siberia, by Henry Lansdell, a fourth edition published in 1883. The first was published a year earlier. This was quite a popular book in its day, as Lansdell was reporting on a land that was still little known to the outside world, even at this late date. Lansdell was also a missionary, though this trip was more about exploring the country. Lansdell traveled from London to St. Petersburg, and then clear across the nation to the Pacific coast. He reports on various things he saw, such as the mines and the prisons. He may have been the first foreigner to do so. €175 (US $229).

Here is one of those non-travel books. It is The Moon Man. A Biography of Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay, by E. M. Webster (published in 1984). Miklouho-Maclay was a Russian ethnologist, scientist, humanist and traveler. He traveled from Russia, not to it, to explore. He conducted ethnic studies of natives in Australia and New Guinea during the 1870s and 1880s. He was a supporter of Darwin's theory of evolution, and was a leading advocate of the proposition that different human races were all of the same species. That was an important distinction at the time, as many leading scientists of the day believed that some human races were more advanced than others. Naturally, the white scientists posited that the white race was superior, using this to justify domination or even enslavement of peoples with darker skin. As for the “Moon Man” sobriquet, it came after he set off a flare one night and astonished and frightened natives concluded he must have come from the moon. Item 63. €35 (US $46).

Next we have a book by an inveterate traveler, Isabella Lucy Bird (or Mrs. Bishop). Miss Bird traveled to America as a young lady, a gift of her father. She returned home for about a decade, but was bitten with wanderlust. After her mother died, Isabella took to road and seas, compiling various journeys all over the world. Not having independent wealth, she financed her trips by writing books about them. The books became very popular with her contemporaries. She took time off to get married in 1880, but when her husband died six years later, it was time to hit the road again. However, this time it would not be as just a tourist. First, Miss Bird studied medicine, and then headed off to help the missions. Item 8 is an account of a trip from this period, which skirted around the Russian frontier: Journeys in Persia and Kurdestan including a summer in the Upper Karun region... a first edition published in 1891. €495 ($648).

Robert Ker Porter was an artist, writer, diplomat, and traveler. He was also a very engaging personality. Seems like everywhere he went, everyone liked him. He went to Russia as a painter for the Czar in 1804, and while he was there, won the heart of a princess. From there he would travel to Sweden and Spain, and accompanied British forces in their wars against Napoleon. However, in 1812, he returned to Russia to marry his princess, and later ended up serving as British consul in Venezuela. Item 46 is a copy of his Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden during the Years 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, a second edition published in 1813. €2,250 (US $2,950).

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

  • <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.
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    <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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