Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2005 Issue

Acquisitions From Australia And Beyond By Hordern House

R1218

The latest acquisitions from Hordern House.


By Michael Stillman

Hordern House
is a major Australian bookseller, so it is no surprise that their catalogues are filled with Australian items. If you collect Australiana, you should not miss them. However, Australia is not a limiting factor. Many of their books may have an Australian connection, but fit more closely with other collections, such as travel and voyages, or even Americana. And then, there are a few with no obvious connection to Australia beyond the fact that they were owned by an Australian. So we will take a look at their latest catalogue, "Acquisitions December 2004," but don't make any assumptions about what you will find.

Item 33 is an example of a piece of Americana with an Australian connection. It is an agricultural almanac printed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1887. Along with the usual stuff about calendars and phases of the moon, there's a story called, "A Desperate Encounter with a Kangaroo." This is not about an escapee from the Lancaster Zoo, but about a man who visits Australia's "Outback," and finds himself in a life and death struggle with a crazed marsupial. Fortunately, his canine companion saves his life, establishing why it is not kangaroos who are man's best friend. Priced at Australian $750 (US equivalent $573).

Here is another piece of Australio-Americana (that's probably not a word), George Barrington's A Voyage to New South Wales... This is the 1801 second edition of the book which was only the second work on Australia published in America when it first appeared in 1796. This is also the book through which most Americans first learned about Australia. That was unfortunate, since the book was a fraud. So was Barrington. He was a notorious pickpocket, who was transported to the penal colony in Australia for his errant ways, but managed to earn his way into the good graces of his jailers. He was freed and became a celebrity. However, none of this has to do with the fraudulent nature of this book. The fraud is that it was not even written by Barrington. It was written by someone who stole his recognizable name, figuring it would help sales. Item 4. $550 (US $420).

Here is one more piece with an Australian-American connection. It is Poems by Robert Southey by...you guessed it. Southey was an English poet, but his "Botany Bay Eclogues," contained in this book, dealt with the misery of British criminals transported to Botany Bay, Australia. Item 9 is the Boston 1799 printing of these poems, and it too is one of a very small number of Australian-related items printed in America in the 18th century. $2,800 (US $2,136).

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.

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