Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2012 Issue

Travel and Exploration from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreurtje146

Travel and Exploration.

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has issued their latest selection, Catalogue 146. Travel & Exploration. It is filled with works of historical significance as well as more obscure titles. The travels were early, ranging from the 16th through the 19th century. They mostly started in Europe, but reached all corners of the globe, or at least its various rounded edges. What they discovered fills the pages of these books. Here, now, are a few of them.

We will start with one of the earliest, the Cosmographia of Petrus Apianus. First published in 1524, this is a 1545 Antwerp edition, augmented by the work of mathematician Gemma Frisius. The work is filled with information on geography, astronomy, navigation and more. It would be printed throughout the 16th century, eventually being available in 14 languages. What it is best remembered for, however, is its world map. Once believed to be the first map to use the name “America” to describe the New World, it may still be the second after Waldseemuller. Item 3. Priced at €13,500 (euros, or about $17,468).

Moving ahead a couple of centuries, we have a classic African adventure: Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile... by James Bruce. Bruce traveled to Africa in 1768 in attempt to find the headwaters of a river known for millennia in the West, but whose source was always a mystery. He attacked the expected source through Ethiopia, reaching what he thought was his goal in 1770. Alas, what Bruce had discovered was the source of the Blue Nile, considered the major tributary, but not the main branch, that being the White Nile. Item 14 is a first edition, published in 1790. Item 14. €4,250 (US $5,491).

Item 6 is a play, and a moral lesson, from long ago: Oronooko: a Tragedy. This is a second edition (1699) of Thomas Southerne's play, first published in 1696. It is the story of an African prince (Oronooko), captured into slavery and sent to Suriname. Without getting deeply into the details, he falls in love with the daughter of a general, they are separated, she is sold into slavery, they get back together, he leads a slave revolt, Oronooko is forced to kill her to spare the woman from what would be done to her, and then he is killed. This story actually predates Southerne's play. It was originally written by Aphra Behn and published in 1688, the year before she died. She claims to have visited Suriname, and most scholars believe she did, though the point is in dispute. Southerne effusively gives Behn credit in his forward. However, the story became better known in Southerne's version, and the playwright's tale displays the horrors of slavery more boldly than did Behn's. The result was that it became a favorite of abolitionists in the late 18th century. €2,250 (US $2,908).

James Edward Alexander compiled a long career in the British military and as an explorer. He wrote numerous books about his travels, including this one which took him to America: Transatlantic Sketches, Comprising Visits to the Most Interesting Scenes in North and South America, and the West Indies. With Notes on Negro Slavery and Canadian Emigration. He visited the wilds of South America, numerous islands of the Caribbean, and on to North America, where he traveled up the Mississippi, Ohio and St. Lawrence Rivers, and then turned down the Hudson to New York and major east coast cities. The journey consisted of 16,000 miles worth of adventures. Unlike many Englishmen of the day (1830s), Alexander defends the practice of slavery. While stating that it cannot be defended in the abstract, he says that since past governments encouraged it, and West Indian slavery is necessary for British plantations in the West Indies, it would be ruinous to have immediate emancipation. Besides which, he adds, immediate emancipation would be terrible for the slaves themselves, “as must be evident to every one who knows what negroes are.” He believes they would turn to idleness and crime and the like, unlike their more worthy British overseers. Item 2. Published in 1833. €975 (US $1,261).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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.

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