Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2014 Issue

Voyages and Americana from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller


Voyages and Americana.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has issued the latest in a series, Catalogue 60: Books from a San Francisco Private Library Part 4. Voyages and Americana. This was evidently an extensive collection, with a fairly broad focus. It can also be noted that it was an important collection. While its owner is unnamed, he or she collected books of the highest importance. Here are a few examples.


America's most notable migration began in the 1840's, when Americans from east of the Mississippi River began the long trek by foot and wagon to the west coast. The hardships and risks were enormous, but the call of productive land there for the taking was greater still. In the 1840's the movement was to Oregon, the land to the south of that territory still belonging to Mexico. After California was seized from Mexico during the Mexican War, and particularly with the soon-to-follow Gold Rush, emigrants headed to that new territory, shortly a state. Item 18 is Horn's Overland Guide, from the U.S. Indian Sub-Agency, Council Bluffs, on the Missouri River, to the City of Sacramento, in California, published in 1852. Council Bluffs, Iowa, was the last safe haven before one entered the open country of the trail. Hosea Horn's guide was particularly helpful as it provided accurate mileage charts, a mile-by-mile list of “notable places, objects and remarks,” and a business directory with advertisements for stores, hotels, and ferries, where settlements had developed along the way. A newspaper review at the time said “No one should venture across the desert without it.” It would have taken travelers a few months to make the journey. Today, you just hop on I-80 and it takes you all the way, travel time being a little under 24 hours. There are lots of stores and hotels along the way. Priced at $8,500.


It would be wishful thinking to believe everyone in the North supported Lincoln and his policies during the Civil War. Fortunately for the Union, a majority did. Item 24 is an election pamphlet from 1864, a New York published vitriolic, racist attack on the President: The Lincoln Catechism. Wherein the Eccentricities & Beauties of Despotism are Fully set Forth. This is a mock catechism, a series of questions and answers that, one only hopes, convinced more people to vote for Lincoln than against him. Among the questions are who has made the Constitution obsolete, the answer being “Abraham Africanus the First.” As to what is a President, the answer is “A general agent for Negroes.” The first commandment of Republicans is said to be “Thou shalt have no other God but the negro.” On and on, the racist rant continues. $1,500.


George Anson's circumnavigation in the 1740's should have been recorded as a horrific disaster. You would think he would have been court martialed. To the contrary, he came home a hero to his country – England. It's amazing what money can do. Anson led a fleet of seven ships, supposedly protecting British shipping interests. In reality, he was a privateer, a legalized pirate, sent to disrupt Spanish shipping by stealing their cargoes. He set out with seven ships for the west coast of South America, but by the time he navigated the Strait of Magellan, all but his own ship had either sunk or been forced back. Along the way, approximately 600 of his 900 men died, others went through grueling survivals from sunken ships. Most died of disease, but others fell to the disasters. Virtually nothing was achieved until, near the end, he intercepted a Spanish ship laden with riches. Anson returned home with great wealth, some of which went to the Crown, making the state quite pleased with his mission, and Anson kept most of the rest for himself. He was not very generous towards his men. Anson became a rich man, and was promoted to Rear Admiral. Item 1 is Anson's account of his great “success”: A Voyage Round the World, in the Years [1740-1744], one of 350 copies on “Royal Paper” published in 1748. $6,500.


From a real, almost pirate, we go to the most famous fictional pirate, and his adventures. Item 35 is the tale of Long John Silver, a familiar name, even if he didn't exist. Heck, he even has a chain of seafood restaurants named after him. Item 35 is a first edition, with all the first issue points, of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. The book formed much of the public's image of pirates, and the idea of buried treasure marked on lost maps. $9,500.


This next book is another tale of the high seas, both real and most unpleasant: Capt. Inglefield's Narrative Concerning the Loss of His Majesty's Ship the Centaur... published in 1783. The Centaur, under the command of Capt. John Nicholson Inglefield, was sailing with a British fleet when it was struck by a mighty hurricane. The ship was badly damaged. For eight days, the crew attempted to save it, but to no avail. On the eighth day, she sank, and all but 11 of the men on board perished. Inglefield was one of the 11. They escaped on the ship's pinnace, a small boat used to service the larger ship. There followed a harrowing 16-day journey, with little food or water, until they landed in the Azores. When the men returned to England, the Captain was court-martialed. This was routine in the day, and it doesn't seem anyone was upset that the Captain was one of the men who got in the small boat, rather than, as was the custom, going down with the ship along with the others. However, based on the testimony of the survivors, Inglefield and his men were determined to have acted “great and manly,” and that nothing more could have been done. He was acquitted, and went on to have a long naval career. His reputation was only later tarnished by a public split with his wife. He accused her of being unfaithful, she accused him of desertion, and Inglefield lost that case. None of that appears in this heroic tale. Item 20. $375.


John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller may be reached at 415-986-5826 or john@johnwindle.com. Their website is www.johnwindle.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <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.
  • <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

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