Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2016 Issue

Travels, Art, and a Magnificent Peruvian Collection from Douglas Stewart Fine Books


Travels, art and Peru.

Douglas Stewart Fine Books recently prepared a catalogue for the California Book Fairs 2016. Stewart made the journey across the Pacific from Australia with some special items for American collectors. Much of it deals with travels and early explorations, covering locations in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and the Antarctic. Those trips were challenging, with the last ones very cold to boot. In a totally unrelated field, there are a few artists' books from the 20th century at the end, from artists including Andy Warhol and others. Here are a few selections from this catalogue.


We will start with that spectacular Peruvian collection, as this is a large assortment of material rather than a single item. All told, it includes 128 items. It was gathered over several decades by a private collector. Dates range from 1585-1817. Stewart notes the collection covers diverse subjects, including "ecclesiastical, theological, judicial, political, military, historical, linguistic, literary and scientific." The earliest book, Terecero Cathecismo, was the third or fourth book printed in South America. The majority of the items are Limenian imprints (published in Lima). Over 40 of those were printed prior to 1700. Two books are among the four printed by Father Bertonio from the Jesuit press in Juli from 1610-1613. All items were published prior to Peruvian independence in 1821. Item 1. The entire collection is priced at $750,000.


Here is another very rare item printed from a Jesuit press, but this one was on the other side of the world. Item 4 is Innocentia Victrix... attributed to Antonio de Gouvea. It is one of just 11 books printed from xylographic blocks (woodblocks) rather than type by Jesuit missionaries in China between 1662 and 1778. This one was the third, printed in 1671. It contains three Chinese scripts, a phonetic writing, and a Latin translation of an imperial edict providing official tolerance for Christianity. This was significant at the time as there were fears Christianity was being used as part of an attempted takeover by the Portuguese. This book could have been used by missionaries for protection, or to assure prospective converts that they would be protected. $39,000.


Here is a book that was interesting and well-read in its time, but its enormous importance would not be revealed until a couple of decades later. Item 14 is a Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of the Adventure and the Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836. The first of the four volumes, by its commander, Phillip Parker King, covers the first of the two voyages in the Adventure, not of great importance. The second, by its commander, Robert Fitzroy, describes the second voyage, in the Beagle, and this is of great significance. After a few years along South America, the Beagle proceeded to complete a circumnavigation, but this is not what was significant either. What was important was Fitzroy's selection of a naturalist for the trip, a young Charles Darwin. Darwin carefully studied flora and fauna on the mainland of the continent and on islands offshore, noting similarities and differences. He also excavated fossils he found. The third volume of this set was written by Darwin, and it became the most popular part of it, later being separately published. The complete set was published in 1839. $85,000.


And then...


Two decades later, after years of study and evaluation of what he saw, Darwin released the book that shook up our understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live. Item 19 vies with a handful of titles for the most important scientific book ever written: On the Origin of Species, by Means of Natural Selection... It's been 150 years and some still find it controversial and upsetting. What Darwin observed in South America led him to conclude that plants, animals, and we ourselves, are the product of evolution, the means being natural selection, survival of the fittest. Item 19 is a first edition of this monumentally important book in its original binding. $135,000.


We need to have an Australian item for an Australian bookseller, so here is one of the most important voyages concerning that land down under. The book is A Voyage to Terra Australis by Matthew Flinders, published in 1814. Flinders commanded the first circumnavigation, not of the world but of the Australian continent. This was accomplished in 1801-1803, but the book was delayed as Flinders was imprisoned for 6 ½ years in Mauritius as he attempted to sail home. Flinders died the day after his book was published. The book includes remarkably accurate charts, maps, engraved watercolors, and an appendix of information compiled by the mission's botanist. Item 11. $44,000.


Douglas Stewart Fine Books may be reached at +61 3 9066 0200 or info@douglasstewart.com.au. Their website is found at www.douglasstewart.com.au

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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.

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