Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2012 Issue

Maps and Prints from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Beste10-12

Maps and prints.

The latest catalogue from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books offers Maps & Prints & Reference Books on the Subject. Most of these items are visual pieces, printed images and maps. While many pertain to Dutch history and events, as befitting a Netherlands bookseller, there are a healthy share relating to America and other European lands. This is an interesting selection of material, most of which is suitable for framing. Here are some samples.

Item 2 is a mezzotint of a brave Dutch sailor from the late 19th century. He was the steersman of De Bloeyende Blom, a ship transporting grain from Libau, Latvia, to Amsterdam, when it was overtaken by French privateers operating out of Dunkirk. France and the Netherlands were at war at the time (1794). The privateers took control for two days, but Wiert Adels, the brave sailor, somehow managed to tie four of them up down below. Then, going on top, he found the leader of the pirates and threw him overboard. That enabled Adels to bring the ship back to Holland, where he soon was welcomed as a national hero. The portrait is the work of Charles Howard Hodges, an Englishman who painted in the Netherlands for many years. Priced at €375 (euros, or roughly $469 in U.S. currency).

Item 4 contains a series of illustrations from America's first world's fair. They celebrate The American Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. The 1876 fair marked the 100th anniversary of the country's Declaration of Independence. The illustrations came from The Graphic and were published in London (why a celebration of America's independence would be printed in London, of all places, is not clear). Around 10 million visitors are said to have attended the fair. Among the sights illustrated are the elevated railway, band platform, a log cabin, a soda fountain, and a steamboat crossing the Delaware. €225 (US $281).

Not everything about Philadelphia coming out of London was quite so positive. Item 42 is a hand-colored aquatint by Edward W. Clay, published in London circa 1828. Its title is Life in Philadelphia. The purpose was to make fun of the social pretensions of black Philadelphia residents through exaggerated illustrations. In this case, an awkward looking young man greets a young lady with an enormous, flowery hat, who says the hot weather makes her perspire too much. The joke, of course, is the idea that black people would attempt to look like upper class people, that is, whites. €125 (US $156).

Item 111 is a color comic strip-like account of the actions of Jan Carel Josephus van Speijk (or van Speyk). Van Speijk is a hero in the Netherlands for his brave, or perhaps crazy, actions, depending on your point of view. He was a lieutenant in the Dutch Navy in 1831 when his ship was boarded by revolutionary minded Belgians. They ordered the Dutch flag be lowered, something the patriotic Van Speijk could not abide. What exactly Van Speijk did is subject to some doubt, as neither he nor most others survived his action. Supposedly, he said something to the effect of I'd rather the ship be blown up, whereupon he fired his pistol into a barrel of gunpowder which exploded, taking down the ship and killing Van Speijk and most of his comrades. There is some question as to whether he really meant to strike the gunpowder and kill so many people, but this explanation sounded very heroic and patriotic to Dutch ears. The late Van Speijk quickly became a hero to the Dutch, and his, in hindsight, seemingly extreme and unnecessary action has resulted in there being an active ship named after him in the Dutch Navy ever since. Meanwhile, his actions proved for naught as the Belgians succeeded in obtaining their independence anyway. €95 US $119).

Item 20 is a print from 1855 depicting Batavia. De Nederlanders Voor Jacatra. It portrays the Dutch taking of Jacatra, called by the Dutch Batavia, now known as Jakarta, in 1602. That was the year that the Dutch East India Company secured control over much of what is today Indonesia, and ran it as a colony. When that company went bankrupt two centuries later, the Dutch government took control as a colonial power. It continued to rule the land, except for a brief interruption, until the Second World War, when forced out by the Germans. After an unsuccessful attempt to reestablish power after the war, the Netherlands conceded Indonesian independence in 1949. €65 (US $81).

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>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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions