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>Doyle: Hunting Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson. Online only auction Aug 3-14</b>
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>The Sportsman's Portfolio of American Field Sports.</i> 1855. Est: $600 to $900
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Bishop's Birds. Etchings of Water-Fowl and Upland Game Birds.</i> 1936. Est: $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hunting Big Game in Far Northwest British Columbia</i>. 1904. Est: $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Mananaland. Adventuring with Camera and Rifle Through California in Mexico.</i> 1929. Est: $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle: Hunting Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson. Online only auction Aug 3-14</b>
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Grand Canyon Trails.</i> 1924. Est: $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>A Sporting Trip through Abyssinia. A Narrative of a nine months’ journey..</i> 1902. Est: $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hunting in Tanzania [...in Zimbabwe; ...the Sudan; ...in Botswana; ...in Ethiopia; ...in Zambia; ...in South Africa; ...in Kenya]</i>. 1991-2000. Est: $800 to $1200
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hounds and Hunting through the Ages ... with an Introduction by the Earl of Lonsdale</i>. 1928. Est: $600 to $900
  • <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>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000

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