Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2013 Issue

The Dutch East Indies from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreurtjel59

The Dutch overseas.

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has released their List 59: The Dutch Overseas. The Area Covered by the Charter of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The Dutch East India Company essentially ruled the area of today's Indonesia, and a few other places, for two hundred years, from 1600-1800. It was almost a government unto itself in the days when the Netherlands was a major sea power. It exploited the land and its people, made lots of money, and could push back anyone who got in its way. However, all good things come to an end, and by the late 18th century, it all came tumbling down. The Dutch government would come to rule the Dutch colonies while the VOC became a part of history, but no longer a part of the present, at the beginning of the 19th century.

Bestebreurtje's catalogue is divided into two parts. We will focus on Part I. This section contains the older, mainly contemporaneous material, items which are the most collectible. The second part contains more recent items, many more of reading than collecting interest. However, this is the larger part of the catalogue and those interested in more recent material on the subject will want to obtain this catalogue. Here, now, are some of the older items.

We will start with a major early collection of Dutch voyages: Begin ende voortgangh van de Vereenighde Nederlantsche Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie (beginning and development of the Dutch East India Company). While many of the voyages pertain to areas colonized by the VOC, others traveled to unrelated areas, such as Barentz' discoveries in the Arctic. Additionally, there were circumnavigations, voyages that passed through the East Indies, but other areas as well. In all, 21 voyages are covered by editor Isaac Commelin's collection. For many of the voyages, this was either the first report, or provided detail not previously available. Offered is the third, and “best” edition (1646) as Commelin was able to gain access to some unpublished accounts that were first published in this edition. Item 13. Priced at €68,000 (euros, or approximately $90,966 in U.S. currency).

Item 47 is another collection of Dutch voyages, but one published over a century later: Nederlandsche Reizen, tot bevordering van den koophandel... (Dutch travel to promote commerce). These were Dutch voyages to the far corners of the Earth, with accounts of the adventures and obstacles the explorers faced. It contains 13 volumes (bound in five), beginning with an introduction, the first three volumes covering pre-VOC voyages, and the remainder voyages taken on behalf of or contemporaneous with the VOC. It was published by Petrus Conradi and V. van der Plaats from 1784-1787. €3,250 (US $4,346).

Shipwrecks make for bad experiences, but good stories. Andries Stokram provides such a story in Korte beschryvinge van de ongeluckige weer-om-reys van het schip Aernhem (short description of the unfortunate return voyage of the ship Aernhem). Seven ships left Batavia in late December of 1661, loaded with goods for the Netherlands. The weather was not cooperative. A huge storm appeared while they were off the coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, rising to hurricane strength. Four of the ships went down, three never to be heard from again. The fourth, the Aernherm, sunk, but around 100 of the men survived. They holed up on Mauritius for several months, which apparently was a nice place to land if you have to be shipwrecked. It had previously been a Dutch colony, but was abandoned between 1658 and 1664, with Stokram and his fellow sailors arriving right in the middle of this period. It took awhile for them to get used to the deserted island, but once they did, they found food to be plentiful and life quite nice. Most were reluctant to leave, but eventually, they all hooked on with various passing ships, Stokram returning to the Netherlands to publish his book in 1663. Three other survivors also wrote books. Item 57. €950 (US $1,270).

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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