Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2014 Issue

Travel and Exploration from Peter Harrington

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Travel and Exploration.

Peter Harrington has issued a new catalogue of Travel and Exploration, their Catalogue 103. It contains a wide variety of travel narratives, though we can mention a few concentrations. Most of the explorations covered emanated from England, home base for the bookseller. While travels reach all points of the globe, including the Americas, Asia, and Australia, there is some concentration on journeys to the Middle East and Africa. The timing of the journeys is mostly 18th to early 20th century, though there are some that go over these borders of time in both directions. The language of most books is English, though again, there are exceptions. Travel and exploration is one of the most popular of fields for collectors, and if this is your interest, you will appreciate this latest catalogue from Peter Harrington.

 

We start with the second book, with many more to come, of the prolific writer and great English wartime commander Winston Churchill. Published in 1899, the title is The River War. An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan. The British had lost control over the Sudan to local forces, a situation intolerable to them during the height of the colonial era. Churchill served with the 21st Lancers, who led what has been described as the last cavalry charge, on the city of Omdurman. While the British had fewer forces than their enemy, they had a major advantage in terms of advanced weaponry and were successful in retaking the country. Churchill described the book as “a tale of blood and war.” He has signed the first volume and initialed the second. Item 61. Priced at £7,500 (British pounds, or approximately $11,909 U.S. dollars).

 

While Churchill's political career was only beginning at the turn of the century, its highlights 40 years away, this next author was reaching the peak of his political career at the time. Theodore Roosevelt ascended to the U. S. presidency in 1901, and became one of the most influential, and many believe greatest, of presidents. Yet, he left office in 1909 after declining to seek reelection, which left the adventurous former leader with nothing in particular to do. Not for long, though, as he almost immediately headed out on a monumental African safari. He took some 250 others along, mainly guides and porters, and brought back thousands of plant and animal specimens for the Smithsonian. The highlight of his long journey from British East Africa to the Belgian Congo, and to the Sudan a decade after Churchill, was big game hunting. Still, Roosevelt was also a conservationist, dedicated to preservation. Item 215 is his 1910 account of his journey, African Game Trails. An Account of the African Wanderings of an American Hunter-Naturalist. This is #106 of the signed, limited edition of 500 copies. £6,000 (US $9,522).

 

In the same general time, but on the other side of the Nile, T.E. Lawrence was busy excavating archeological sites in the Middle East. Lawrence had grown up in England with a fascination for antiquarian history. However, with war on the horizon in early 1914, the British decided to use Lawrence's ready cover as an archeologist to obtain military information. Lawrence was conducting his research within the Ottoman empire, which would soon be the ally of Britain's war enemy, Germany. The British were afraid the Turks would try to seize Egypt, and figured such an attack would require crossing the Negev, an area about which they had little information. So, they sent Lawrence on an archeological mission to the biblical “Wilderness of Zin,” the real aim being to learn about routes across this area in case of invasion. Lawrence (along with archeologist Leonard Woolley) prepared the necessary archeological report which was published in 1915: Palestine Exploration Fund Annual, 1914. The Wilderness of Zin. Lawrence would soon become better known as “Lawrence of Arabia,” as, on behalf of the British, he assisted Arabs in rebelling against Ottoman rule. This required the Turks dedicate great resources to putting down the Arabs, resources that otherwise could have been employed to assist Germany. Item 149. £1,250 (US $1,983).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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>

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