Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2005 Issue

Exploration and Travel from Helen Kahn Rare Books

Hk67

Adventure, Exploration, Voyages & Travel from Helen R. Kahn.

By Michael Stillman

Helen R. Kahn Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts
has released its Catalogue 67 of Adventure, Exploration, and Voyages and Travels. It is an extensive catalogue of travels from all over the world. There are many books covering explorations in the far north, as befitting a Canadian (Montreal) bookseller. However, there is also a wide variety of other travels, including many from Europe to the Near and Far East. There is something here for everyone who collects within the field of travel and voyages. Here are a few samples.

Baron George Anson was a British naval officer sent with a squadron of six ships in 1740 to harass the Spanish settlements and shipping in South America. By the time he returned four years later, he had succeeded in causing some inconveniences to the Spanish, and captured an extraordinarily wealthy Spanish vessel. The booty from this capture (some might call it an act of piracy) enabled Anson to return home an enormously rich man. However, not all of his men fared so well. Two ships were forced to return to England after failing to make it around Cape Horn, and three others did not make it at all. Only Anson's ship, the Centurion, survived to complete the circumnavigation. Item 24 is the tale of one of the other ships, the Wager, which was shipwrecked off the coast of Chile. It is The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron, containing an Account of the Great Distresses suffered by himself and his Companions on the coast of Patagonia from the Year 1740, till their Arrival in England, 1746. Suffer they did. Byron, and the men with him, were captured and imprisoned by local Indians, who then turned the men over to Spanish authorities. However, they were still more fortunate than most who served on Anson's ships, as the majority of his men died, either from accidents or battle, or, for the most part, from scurvy. Along with descriptions of their "distresses," Byron tells us much about the customs of the Indians who held them. Byron would go on to be an admiral and governor of Newfoundland, while his grandson was the famous poet Lord Byron. This copy is a first edition, published in 1768. Priced at $1,800.

Not all shipwrecks end in such extreme unpleasantness. For one of the happier shipwreck stories, here is a Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas, and the Shipwreck of the Princess of Wales Cutter, with an Account of Two Years Residence on an Uninhabited Island...by Charles Goodridge. The Princess of Wales was a sealer which was shipwrecked along the Crozet Islands. For those unfamiliar with the Crozets, it's a small group of islands in the Indian Ocean located not close to anything. Its cool, damp and windy climate make it less than an ideal vacation spot, but the sea lions and other fish and animals make food plentiful. Goodridge noted that they made full use of the sea lions, for food, clothing, and soap, and even made pipe bowls from the teeth, using them to smoke the island grass. He notes that they ate the lions' brains raw. He describes the taste as "sweet as sugar." Perhaps. I'll take his word for it. After two years, they were rescued from their island paradise. Item 58. $450.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions