Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

The Islamic World from the Antiquariaat Forum


The Islamic World.

The Antiquariaat Forum has issued a follow-up to an earlier catalogue – The Islamic World 2. In a time when the Islamic World gets much bad press in the West, this catalogue is a reminder of the great achievements that emanated from that part of the world. As the West emerged from its millennial long Dark Ages, it turned to the Islamic World for the learning it had lost through its dark period. In this catalogue, you will find both works that came from the Islamic nations and experiences of westerners who traveled there in times when little was known to them about this society on their doorstep.


This may not be the most important book ever printed in Mainz, Germany, but it is a good candidate for runner-up. It is a critical work in the history of travels. Item 27 is Peregrinatio in terram sanctum, by Bernhard von Breydenbach, published on February 11, 1486. This is the first illustrated printed travel book published, and was the first authentic western report on the Near and Middle East with illustrations by someone who actually observed the sites and people he drew. Breydenbach traveled to the Holy Land by way of Venice with a group of German Pilgrims in 1483, bringing along artist Erhard Reuwich, who provided the illustrations. He depicted the people, their costumes, architecture, animals, and other aspects of the local culture. They returned home via Egypt in 1484, and illustrations cover not only the Holy Land but stops along the way as well. This copy of the first edition is lacking some of the folding maps and views, script specimens and one woodcut, and is priced accordingly. Priced at €45,000 (euros, or approximately US $56,074).


We in the West have read many accounts of other peoples from the perspective of other westerners who visited their lands. Here is an account from the other direction, a Muslim traveler from India who visited Europe and Asia as well as lands in the Middle East: The travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, in Asia, Africa, Europe, during the years 1799...1803, published in 1810. This is a first edition in English by a traveler who would have had some familiarity with western culture as he had worked for the British East India Company. He speaks of smoking opium in Constantinople, cigarettes and coffee in Baghdad, and “a fiery spirit, called whiskey” in Ireland. He discusses governments and economic systems in the places he visits, and social relations, notably between men and women. He also describes the rise of Napoleon, which had begun during his travels. Mirza offers a first-hand view from a Muslim's perspective of Europe and Asia at the beginning of the 19th century. Item 1. €3,500 (US $4,361).


Here is another remarkable journey, that of Pedro Cubero Sebastian from 1670-1680. He was the first person to travel mostly overland from Spain to the East Indies. His account is found in Breve relacion, de la peregrinacion...del mundo, published in 1680. Cubero was a priest, who first traveled to Rome, where he was trained as a missionary. He was dispatched to Asia, but took a land route, which took him to Constantinople, then north to Moscow, and back to Iran and then India. Eventually, he moved on to Malacca in Malaysia, where he was imprisoned for awhile by the Dutch for teaching Catholicism. From there he traveled to the Phillippines, where he was present for a major earthquake, and then headed east, taking a boat on which half the passengers died before reaching Acapulco. He went on to Havana and finally returned home a decade after he left, having completed a circumnavigation on his own. In his time, we are told, he was recognized as a latter-day Magellan or Drake. Item 45. €18,000 (US $22,429).


Item 152 is the first Quran that was available to western scholars. It was published in Basil in 1543. There was one earlier western edition, which survives in just one copy, but it was published in Arabic. This edition was translated to Latin. It was translated from a 12th century manuscript from Toledo, which had then been taken from the Moors by Christian forces, but who maintained Muslim libraries and translated some of their works. As such, it was this edition that was the only real source of learning about the Quran available to Europeans at the time. This copy includes five short works by Philo of Alexandria bound into the end of volume 1. Philo was a Jewish philosopher who combined Greek teachings with those of the Hebrew Bible, living at the same time as Jesus. €35,000 (US $43,613).


This next book represents a geographical search in the Middle East. Item 78 is Trattato della situazione del Paradiso terrestre... the only edition of this work by Pierre Daniel Huet published in Italian (1737). Huet was a bishop and Jesuit scholar who combined his biblical and geographical knowledge to attempt to locate the placement of the Garden of Eden. Ultimately, he concluded it was in today's Iraq, near Basra. It is Eden no more.


You may reach the Antiquariaat Forum at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@forumrarebooks.com. Their website is www.forumrarebooks.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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