Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2013 Issue

The Polar Regions from Aquila Books


A winter catalogue of wintery places.

Aquila Books has issued their Catalogue 113 Winter 2013. An Aquila catalogue is perfect for winter as they focus on lands where winter never ends. “Specializing in books and ephemera related to all aspects of the polar regions” is their motto. Sometimes the books may shift to somewhat milder regions, like northern Canada, but they are never far from ice and snow. Despite the brutal conditions, these far northern and southern reaches of the globe have long fascinated us, and drawn explorers for centuries. How they undertook these explorations in an era when you could get stuck in the ice for years, and the ability to protect oneself from the cold was limited, remains a mystery, but a testimony to the sheer willpower of explorers. Here are a few of their stories.

Item 6 is one of the most important of works regarding Antarctica: Sydpolen Den Norske Sydpolsfaerd Med Fram 1910-1912. Even those not fluent in Norwegian will notice the word “South Pole” in there. This is a first edition of Roald Amundsen's account of the first journey to reach the South Pole. Amundsen had hoped to be the first to reach the North Pole, but after Peary claimed to have reached that goal, he quickly turned his eyes south. He found himself in competition with the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, but Amundsen beat him to the punch, and to the pole. He arrived at the earth's southernmost point on December 14, 1911. This copy has been inscribed by Amundsen to Christian Doxrud, the last captain of his ship, the Fram. Priced at $8,500.

You can learn even more about Amundsen in his autobiography, My Life As an Explorer. This is a first edition, published in 1927. While most known for being the first to reach the South Pole, Amundsen was involved in many other expeditions to the far north and south, including an attempt to locate a northwest passage, and the first flight over the North Pole. Item 3. $125.

Here is what Amundsen didn't find when he reached the South Pole. Item 22 is Revi-Lona a Romance of Love in a Marvelous Land, an 1879 novel by Frank Cowan. It is the story of a man from Pennsylvania who travels to the South Pole, where he discovers the place is ruled by a race of large and beautiful women. Men do as they are told. In 1879, for all we knew, this might be true, but when Amundsen finally reached the pole and found nothing but ice, this theory was put to rest. Hopefully, he was not too disappointed. $500.

Fridtjof Nansen attempted to be the first to reach the North Pole, but didn't quite make it. Nonetheless, his attempt qualified at the time for his book's title: Farthest North. Nansen's plan was to take his ship, the Fram (the same one that delivered Amundsen to Antarctica almost two decades later), all the way to the North Pole. He thought he could get stuck in the flowing ice, which he believed would take him right over the pole. It didn't quite work out that way, and after many months of floating, he realized it wouldn't work. Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen set off on foot for the pole, and while they could not make it all the way to their destination, they did travel farther north than anyone had before. Offered is a first U.S. edition (1897) of Nansen's account. Item 57. $1,250.

Item 43 is a chilling tale: A Thousand Days in the Arctic, by Frederick Jackson. It is an account of the Jackson-Harmsworth expedition to Franz Josef Land (1894-1897). They believed that Franz Josef Land extended all the way to the North Pole, which they discovered was not even close to being accurate. Nonetheless, they used the journey to make all sorts of observations about the land, weather, plant and animal life, etc. However, what is most notable about their journey is that one day, two men with long hair and beards showed up at their camp, far removed from the outer reaches of civilization. It was Nansen and Johansen. It must have been utter astonishment to both Nansen and Jackson when they first spotted each other in the middle of nowhere. It had been 15 months since Nansen and Andersen had left the Fram on foot for the North Pole, the last time they had seen anyone else. They had no idea anyone was on Franz Josef Land as they made their way back. In the midst of grave risk and struggle, suddenly and miraculously, they had stumbled across the only other humans anywhere close to them, an amazingly fortunate sighting they could easily have missed. They were saved. $1,400.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
    <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>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 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.

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