Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2014 Issue

The West Coast of Australia from Hordern House

B7157445-e726-4816-9875-76f50a05c6d0

The West Coast of Australia.

Hordern House has issued a most impressive catalogue entitled The West Coast. A caution to American readers – this catalogue has nothing to do with California, nothing to do with the Pacific Ocean. Hordern House comes from Australia, and these works pertain to the Australian west coast. For reference, the sea off of the west coast is the Indian Ocean. The Pacific bounds the sixth continent's east coast.

 

Australia is most heavily developed in the east. The British, first to colonize the land, chose the east and southeast coast. The weather is more temperate. However, the earliest discoveries of Australia were on its west coast. Most European travelers came from the east, so it's not surprising this was the first part of the continent they would come upon. In those days, they still thought what they had found was an edge of a massive southern continent they wrongly believed dominated the southern hemisphere. The first discoveries would come in the early 17th century, but the final pieces to the puzzle would not be put together until the beginning of the 19th. Recently, this less inhabited coast of Australia was seen regularly in world news as the launching point for investigations into the whereabouts of the missing Malaysian jetliner. Here are a few of the important western Australia works from earlier times offered by Hordern House.

 

We start with a book that is not primarily about Australia, but it is of major importance to the continent as it contains the first printed map to show a part of it. The book is Iournael vande Nassausche Vloot... an account of a journey of 11 ships under the command of Dutch Admiral Jacques l'Hermite, published in 1626. L'Hermite's mission was to disrupt Spanish shipping in South America before proceeding west to the Dutch stronghold in the East Indies. However, the publisher selected a map of a portion of the western Australia coast reached in 1616 by Dirk Hartog to put on the title page. Hartog was the second European to spot the Australian coast, following Willem Jansz in 1605, who thought he had found a portion of southern New Guinea. This map shows a spit of land protruding from an otherwise undefined land, labeled “'t Land Eendracht,” named for Hartog's vessel. The Dutch would use that name for another 150 years. Item 1. Priced at AU $135,000 (Australian dollars, or roughly U.S. $127,324).

 

This next book is described by Hordern House as “the most desirable of all books relating to western Australia.” It contains the first European images of Australia. It is also a dramatic, and horrible tale. The title is Ongeluckige Voyagie, Van't Schip Batavia... by Francois Pelsaert, a first edition published in 1647. Palsaert captained the Batavia on behalf of the VOC (Dutch East Indian Company) on a trip to that city (today Jakarta) in 1629. He became separated from the other ships, eventually striking a reef off the western coast of Australia. Short on food and water, Pelsaert took a small group of men in a small boat to the Australian coastline to seek supplies. There was not much to be found, so Pelsaert and his men then headed for Batavia, a month away, to seek rescue. They succeeded, and with help in tow, returned to the islands where those who were shipwrecked sought refuge. What they found was horrific. Jeronimus Cornelisz, second in command, and his accomplices, who had already planned to mutiny, had committed a series of terrible atrocities. They had been slaughtering the others to preserve supplies for themselves, as well as exercise complete control over the survivors. Up to 125 people, including women and children, were killed, often brutally. For them, the killing had become fun. A few soldiers, sent to another island to find water, where Cornelisz assumed they would die, actually found water. Warned by a few escapees from the reign of terror, they held off the mutineers, and when Pelsaert and his rescuers arrived, warned them that the mutineers planned to catch them by surprise, kill them off too, and steal their ship. Instead, the mutineers were captured, six, including Cornelisz, immediately hanged (Cornelisz had his hands chopped off first), two were left on the Australian coast, and six more later executed after trial in Batavia. It is from all of this horror that we ended up with a book containing the first European drawings of Australia. Item 3. AU $625,000 (US $590,641).

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 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
  • <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

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions