• Christie's: The first four Folios of William Shakespeare’s collected works will be auctioned on 25 May.
    Christie's: The first four Folios of William Shakespeare’s collected works will be auctioned on 25 May.
  • <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 1. Silver coin (1455), celebrating expulsion of English people in 1451.<br>Est: € 12,000-20,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 7. Heures à l’usage de Coutances. Paris, last quarter of 15th century. Est: € 30,000-40,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 9.<br>TERENCE. Lyon, Jean Trechsel, 1493. Est: € 20,000-30,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 8. Biblia latina. Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 1478. Est: € 20,000-30,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 11. [Francesco Colonna]. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Venise, Alde Manuce, December 1499. Est: € 150,000-200,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 14. Marco<br>Vigerio della Rovere. Decachordum christianum. Fano, Girolamo Socino, 1507. Est: € 15,000-20,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 18. CONSTANTIN VII. De notevoli et utilissimi ammæstramenti dell’agricoltura. Venise, Gabriele Giolito de Ferrari, 1542. Est: € 40,000-50,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 19. TITE-LIVE. Latinæ historiæ principis. Lyon, Sébastien Gryphe, 1548.<br>Est: € 15,000-20,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 38. OTTOMAN CORAN. 17th century by Muhammad Hafiz (Imam Mehmed Effendi).<br>Est: € 20,000-30,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 45. Blaise PASCAL. Pensées. Paris, Guillaume Desprez, 1670. Est: € 100,000-120,000.
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 52. George EDWARDS. A Natural History of uncommon birds. London, the author, 1743-1751. Est: € 20,000-30,000
    <b>ALDE May 24:</b> Lot 59. Jean de LA FONTAINE. Fables choisies. Paris, Desaint & Saillant, Durand, 1755-1759. Est: € 40,000-50,000.
  • Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 18. Blaeu, <i>Nova et Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula</i>, 1660.<br>Est. $14000-$17000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 20. Pitt, <i>Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula</i>, 1680. Est. $9500-$11000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 65. Ortelius, <i>Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio</i>, 1571. <br>Est. $6000-$7000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 84. Bailleul, <i>L'Amerique Divisee en Ses Principales Parties</i>, 1752.<br>Est. $19000-$22000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 99. Sayer & Bennett, <i>The American Military Pocket Atlas</i>, 1776. <br>Est. $10000-$12000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 269. Reid, <i>Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia</i>, 1796. <br>Est. $2750-$3500
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 291. Carleton, <i>Map of Massachusetts Proper</i>, 1801. Est. $12000-$14000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 378. Keulen, <i>Pas Kaart vande Noord Oost Kust van Cuba en d'Oost Kust van Florida</i>, 1695. Est. $3250-$4000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 651. Ptolemy/Fries, <i>Tabula Superioris Indiae & Tartariae Maioris</i>, 1541.<br>Est. $3000-$4000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 688. Wit, <i>Nova Africa Descriptio</i>, 1660.<br>Est. $2750-$3500
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 706. Ortelius, <i>Maris Pacifici</i>, 1589.<br>Est. $8000-$9000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 727. Audubon, <i>Least Stormy-Petrel</i>, 1836. Est. $1400-$1700
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 741. Bordone, <i>Isolario</i>, 1547.<br>Est. $16000-$19000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 747. Teesdale, <i>A New General Atlas of the World</i>, 1835. Est. $2000-$2750
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 752. Colton, <i>Colton's Atlas of the World Volume I and II</i>, 1856.<br>Est. $2500-$3250
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 760. Prevost, <i>Histoire Generale des Voyages ... Tome Quatorzieme</i>, 1757. <br>Est. $2400-$3000
  • <b>Ketterer Kunst Hamburg, Rare Books Auction on May 23/24.</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> Mary Stuart. Ms. Parliament document (contemp. copy). 1567. <br>Est: € 2.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> Latin and French Book of Hours. About 1480. Est: € 65.000.
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> Book of Hours by Germain Hardouyn. 1533. Est: € 18.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> G. P. Gallucci, Theatrum mundi. 1588. Est: € 5.000
    <b>Ketterer Kunst Hamburg, Rare Books Auction on May 23/24.</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> J. Hill, The vegetable system. 1761-75. Est: € 60.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>J. Honter, Rudimentorum cosmographicorum libri III. 1549.<br>Est: € 3.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> Two terrestrial and celestial globes by J. G. Doppelmayr. 1789 or later. Est: € 40.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>G. de Maupassant, Contes choisies. 1891-92. Est: € 6.000
    <b>Ketterer Kunst Hamburg, Rare Books Auction on May 23/24.</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>K. Schwitters, HahnePeter. 1924.<br>Est: € 6.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>I. G. Chernikhov, Arkhitekturnye fantazii. 1933. Est: € 3.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>E. Baj, La Cravate. 1972. Est: € 3.000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May Auction:</b> <br>H. Bellmer & G. Bataille, Histoire de l'oeil. 1944. Est: € 3.000

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2014 Issue

Polar Voyages from Yesterday's Muse Books

Ee290fc6-5e5b-4582-9aba-3bbd1c1f5934

Polar Voyages.

Yesterday's Muse Books is taking us very far north (or south) with their latest catalogue: Polar Voyages, works treating the exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic, detailing the efforts of numerous expeditions in their quest for the North Pole, South Pole, and Northwest Passage. Arctic exploration has fascinated us for centuries. It's not just a question of what is to be found. We already know the answer for the most part – ice. What is so riveting about these accounts is the incredible challenges in reaching their goals. Extreme cold and terrible storms, plus dangerous, ice-laden seas made these the most difficult of explorations. It is almost unimaginable how many people took on such extreme hardships, all in the cause of knowledge. Here are a few of these chilly books.

 

There were two major goals in the history of polar exploration. One was to find a northwest passage, a shorter route from Europe to Asia by sailing north of Canada. After centuries of unsuccessful attempts and much loss of life, the route was finally discovered. Unfortunately, it is too shallow and frozen over too much of the year to be of much practical use. The other goal was to reach the poles, more of a quest to be achieved because they “are there” than of serious practical benefit. Each was achieved around the turn of the 20th century. Item 18 is the first claimed reaching of a pole, in this case the northern one. The claim was long ago discredited. Item 18 is Frederick Cook's My Attainment of the Pole: Being the Record of the Expedition that First Reached the Boreal Center, 1907-1909. With the Final Summary of the Polar Controversy. Cook was on a hunting expedition when he, two Eskimos, and 26 dogs, supposedly made a successful run to the North Pole. However, most, if kind, think Cook misread his instruments. Many others think he just made it up, and there were other incidents in Cook's history that made him somewhat questionable. However, it should be noted that Cook had his brave side, and he never lost the admiration of Roald Amundsen, the first both to reach the South Pole and find the Northwest Passage, the result of an earlier voyage together. Offered is a third printing from 1913, signed and inscribed by Cook. Priced at $85.

 

The man most often given credit as the first to reach the North Pole is Robert Peary. For a long time, his claim was almost universally accepted, but in more recent years, doubt has been raised as to the accuracy of Peary's beliefs, if not his honesty. Peary's success, if it was, was achieved during his third attempt in 1909. Item 69 is his account of his second attempt, which may have been the farthest north ever reached at the time (or, maybe not): Nearest the Pole: A Narrative of the Polar Expedition of the Peary Arctic Club in the S. S. Roosevelt, 1905-1906, published in 1907. He did manage to reach beyond a latitude of 87 degrees. As with his famed third and final journey, Peary and the Roosevelt made their way to northern Ellesmere Island, in the far north of Canada near Greenland, before setting out on sledges for the pole. $75.

 

If neither Cook nor Peary reached the North Pole, then this would be the first success, as it is well documented. Nonetheless, this is sort of cheating too. It was a fly over. Planes weren't flying as far as the poles in 1909, but by 1926, that was possible, though a bit harrowing. If this was the first, then it completed an amazing trifecta for one of the participants. That would be Roald Amundsen, who was the first to reach the South Pole, and the first to find the Northwest Passage. Item 3 is First Crossing of the Polar Sea, by Amundsen and his partner, Lincoln Ellsworth, published in 1927. Item 3. $65.

 

Of all the journeys in attempt to find a northwest passage, that of Sir John Franklin is best known. It is remembered for the same reason that Custer's last Indian battle is so well known. It ended in disaster. When no trace was found of Franklin within a reasonable time, missions were sent out to find him. Many were sent, and many were unsuccessful. American philanthropist Henry Grinnell financed two of them. Item 42 is The U. S. Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin, by the mission's surgeon, Elisha Kent Kane. The first Grinnell Expedition ran from 1850-1851, with the account published in 1854. It did not find Franklin, though many artifacts were located, and they, along with other searchers, found three graves of Franklin's men on Beechy Island, not quite so far north as Ellesmere. However, this encampment was from before Franklin ran into trouble, while they wintered over, and the three graves were of men who died from lead poisoning, not climate or starvation. $150.

 

Kent not only wrote the account of the Second Grinnell Expedition, he also led it. Item 43 is Arctic Explorations: The Second Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin, 1853, '54, '55. Like the first, it brought back scientific information, but not Franklin. It would not be until the end of the decade that the mystery would be unraveled. They searched around Baffin Bay, eventually becoming trapped in the ice. After two winters, they concluded the ship would never be free, and proceeded on a dangerous journey over the frozen sea. Fortunately, Kane and his men had the sense to establish good relationships with the native Inuit, which Franklin failed to do, providing the help they needed to survive. $150.

 

Here is another voyage that did not end well. In 1879, George Washington DeLong, a U. S. naval officer, led an expedition that hoped to reach the North Pole. They started in California, hoping to pass through the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia, and on north until they reached the pole. Evidently, they must have hoped for seas to be more open than they are. North of Siberia, their ship became entrapped in ice. For 19 months they remained in the ice until the pressure became so great it crushed the boat. They retreated to open water with three small boats and headed for Siberia. The three became separated. One boat was lost, never to be found. Another made it to the coast and was later rescued. The third, with DeLong, made it to the coast but could not find rescue. Only two men sent to find help survived. The others, DeLong included, perished from cold and starvation. Item 21 is The Voyage of the Jeannette. The Ship and Ice Journals of George W. DeLong...Commander of the Polar Expedition of 1879-1881. It includes notes DeLong made as well as accounts by survivors. Published in 1884, the book was edited by DeLong's widow, Emma. $375.

 

Yesterday's Muse Books may be reached at 585-265-9295 or yesterdays.muse@gmail.com. Their website is found at www.websterbookstore.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Anne & Margot Frank's copy of <i>Grimm's Fairy Tales</i>, in which Anne wrote her own and Margot's name, circa 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Albert Einstein, group of 4 letters Signed to Helmut L. Bradt regarding Bradt's emigration to the U.S., one bearing Nazi censor ink stamps, 1939-40. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Archive of items from Ludwig Bemelmans to producer Mary K. Frank, concerning <i>The Street <br>Where the Heart Lies</i>, 1959-62. <br>$10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Archive of correspondence to<br>Edwin A. Van Valkenburg from President Theodore Roosevelt and members of his family, 1913-21. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Oscar Wilde, manuscript notes panning a book on book collecting, circa 1886. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b><br>John Hancock, partly-printed document Signed as Governor of Massachusetts, Boston, 1781.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Franz Liszt, Autograph Letter<br>Signed to Carl Gille, Rome, 1869. $4,00 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Joseph Conrad, photograph Signed and dated, 1918. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b><br>Two Guns White Calf, photograph postcard Signed with his pictogram, 1929. $800 to $1,200.
  • Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts, 8 June 2016, New York
    Bonhams June 8: ARISTOTLE.<br>384-322 B.C.E. De animalibus <br>US$ 300,000-500,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> DARWIN, CHARLES. Iconic signed Darwin photograph "I like this photograph much better than any other which ..."
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> DARWIN, CHARLES. <i>Autograph Letter Signed</i>. Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> WRIGHT, WILBUR. Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight. Journal of the Western Society of Engineers 8, no. 4 (August, 1903).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. Signed and dated Oxford 1931.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> GARDNER, ALEXANDER. Antietam Bridge, Maryland. "One of the memorable spots in the history of the war."

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions