Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2017 Issue

Central Asia from Shapero Rare Books

06330757-84d6-41c7-9fd8-493c1cad7331

Central Asia.

Shapero Rare Books has published a catalogue entitled Pushing the Boundaries Central Asia: From the Southern Provinces of Russia to the Sea. Most of these are travel books. Englishmen and Europeans write of their journeys to Central Asia. Some were more exploratory in nature, but others were accounts of people who simply had to get from one place to another at a time when the journey itself was an adventure worthy of writing a book. Shapero being an English bookseller, the largest group of books are English and many of those relate to trips to India when that large territory was a British colony. There is also a selection of Russian books, trips within the homeland by Russian writers, but we will not describe them in detail as they have cyrillic titles. Here, now, are a few samples from this new catalogue.

 

Jean-Baptiste Chappe d'Auteroche was a French explorer noted for his voyages to view the transit of Venus. The transit is when Venus passes in front of the sun, and from it, it is possible to compute the distance from earth to Venus if the transit is observed from various locations. From this, it can further be computed the distance between the various planets and their distances from the sun. At the time, astronomers knew the relative positions of the planets, but had no real idea of what the size of the solar system was. However, transits are rare events, and follow an unusual cycle. They occur eight years apart, but the next two come over 100 years apart. The result is that when astronomers knew there would be two in the 1760s, they had to act right away. Chappe is best known for his voyage to Baja California to view the second of the pair, which occurred in 1769. He made it just in time, only to die of disease two days later. Less well known is he also went to see the first in 1761, watching it from Siberia. Item 34 is his account of the 1761 trip, Voyage en Sibérie, fait par ordre du Roi en 1761... published in 1768. This is not a book merely about the transit but one of the best descriptions of the people and resources of Siberia. Chappe describes the climate, fauna, minerals and more about the land, along with providing his sociological commentary. It was not very complimentary about Russian customs, which reportedly angered Catherine the Great. The second part of the book contains the first complete English, or any European language translation of an early book by Russian explorer Krashenninikov, which describes Kamchatka along with much material on Alaska and the northwest coast of America. The book also contains numerous plates and maps. Priced at £10,000 (British pounds, or approximately $13,166 U.S. dollars).

 

Here is a book by another long ago visitor to Siberia who also went for a specific research purpose, but ended up telling us about the land and its people. Adolph Erman accompanied the Norwegian expedition to Russia and Siberia in 1828. He went there to observe the geography, and in particular, the terrestrial magnetism. Item 50 is the first English edition of his account published in 1848, Travels in Siberia: Including Excursions Northwards, Down the Obi, to the Polar Circle, and Southwards, to the Chinese Frontier. Erman continued on alone farther than the expedition, eventually circling the globe by sailing the Pacific via South America. £850 (US $1,120).

 

Afghanistan has long been a crossroads between East and West, and not a good one. It has been the source of numerous wars between Russia and the West as each sought influence in Central Asia. In the 1980s, we were effectively at war with the Russians by supporting their local opponents. Today, we are not fighting the Russians, but certain local opponents combined with extremist Islamic groups. These wars rarely end well or for long, and America has avoided a bad ending this time by prolonging the battle indefinitely. James Atkinson accompanied the British in their first of three Afghan wars as a surgeon. He did bring back something positive. He was also an artist and he produced the artwork for this book, Sketches of Afghaunistan, published in 1842. He drew these pictures on the march to Kabul. Atkinson returned home in 1841 and it proved to be an incredibly fortunate move. The following year, 16,000 British soldiers and civilians were killed crossing the high mountains in an attempt to escape from Kabul. Item 20 is one of the rare deluxe copies with the hand-colored lithographs mounted on card stock. £30,000 (US $39,569).

 

Here is a book that describes the big power rivalries in Asia during the 19th century, England and Russia in Central Asia. It was published in 1879. The author was Demetrius Charles Boulger, a noted British scholar concerning Asia and the Middle East. Those two nations were constantly vying for power along the northern border of India, which is why the British kept getting into wars in Afghanistan. They wanted to prevent the Russians from getting too close to the border of their Indian colony. Item 26. £2,500 (US $3,300).

 

Next up we have an account of a Residence of Eight Years in Persia. The author was Justin Perkins, the "Apostle of Persia." Perkins, a Presbyterian minister, was sent to Persia in 1833 as a missionary by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. He was the first American missionary to the region. Perkins remained there for over three decades. It was a hard life, six of his seven children dying of disease in Persia, but still he soldiered on, building schools and medical facilities for the locals as well as ministering to them. Though Persia was a Moslem land, Perkins worked with a small remnant Christian community, the Nestorians. They were descendants of a schism in the church dating back to the fifth century, when Nestorius, Archbishop of Constantinople, taught some doctrines unacceptable to the church. He was condemned for heresy and removed from his position. His doctrines were rejected in the West, but continued to be followed by a remnant of the Church of the East. This book was published in 1843, fairly early on in Perkins' mission. Item 86. £1,000 (US $1,320).

 

Shapero Rare Books may be reached at +44 207 493 0876 or rarebooks@shapero.com. Their website is www.shapero.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. October 31, 2018</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> SHACKLETON, Ernest Henry, Sir. <i>Aurora Australis. Printed at the Winter Quarters of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907, During the Winter Months of April, May, June, July, 1908.</i> $60,000 to $80,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> HUMBOLDT, Alexander von, and Aime J. A. BONPLAND. <i>Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique.</i> Paris, 1810. $30,000 to $40,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> COOK, James, Captain. [Collected Voyages]. London: Strahan and Cadell, 1773, 1777, 1784. First editions of the second and third voyages. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. October 31, 2018</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> DARWIN, Charles. <i>A Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the years 1826 and 1836.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> SPILBERGEN, Joris van (1568-1620). <i>Speculum orientalis occidentalisque Indiae navigationum.</i> Leiden: Nicolaus van Geelkercken, 1619. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> DRAKE, Francis, Sir. <i>Sir Francis Drake Revived. Who is or may be a Pattern to stirre up all Heroicke and active Spirits of these Times…</i> London, 1653 [i.e. 1652]. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. October 31, 2018</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> SHACKLETON, Ernest Henry, Sir, Louis C. BERNACCHI, and Apsley George Benet CHERRY-GARRARD, editors. The South Polar Times. London, 1907-1914. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> ANSON, George. <i>A Voyage round the World, In the Years 1740...</i> 1744. London: John and Paul Knapton for the author, 1748. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> HERRERA Y TORDESILLAS, Antonio de. <i>Description des Indes Occidentales, Qu'on appelle aujourdhuy Le Nouveau Monde...</i> Amsterdam: Michel Colin, 1622. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. October 31, 2018</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> NOORT, Olivier van. <i>Description du Penible Voyage fait entour de l'univers ou globe terrestre...</i> Amsterdam: Cornille Nicolas, 1610. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> LEO AFRICANUS, Johannes. <i>A Geographical Historie of Africa, Written in Arabicke and Italian.</i> London: George Bishop, 1600. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, Oct 31:</b> SCHOUTEN, Willem Corneliszoon. <i>Journal ou Description du Merveilleux Voyage de Guillaume Schouten, Hollandois natif de Hoorn, fait es années 1615, 1616, & 1617.</i> 1619. $4,000 to $6,000
  • <b>Bonhams: Sale Results from <i>Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I.</i> September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. Sold for $97,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. Sold for $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. Sold for $87,50
    <b>Bonhams: Sale Results from <i>Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I.</i> September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. Sold for $8,750
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. Sold for $37,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. Sold for $6,875
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25 results:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. Sold for $3,750
  • <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Aegidius Sadeler (Flemish, 1570-1629), engraving on laid paper "Madonna and Child in a Landscape", after a drawing by Albrecht Durer. $800 to $1,200
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), drypoint etching on paper "On Hemso Island", 1917, pencil signed. $400 to $600
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Joseph Pennell (American, 1860-1926), etching on paper "Setting Up Columns", pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> William Lee Hankey (British, 1869-1952), drypoint etching on paper "Affection", pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> William Walcot (English, 1874-1943), drypoint etching on paper "Lower Broadway, New York", 1924, pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Auguste Brouet (French, 1872-1941), color etching "La Pirouette", pencil signed, ed 111/250. $400 to $600
    <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975), lithograph on paper "The Boy", pencil signed. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> John Stockton de Martelly (American, 1903-1979), lithograph on paper "Looking at the Sunshine", pencil signed, original AAA certificate. $400 to $600
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Jacques Hnizdovsky (Ukrainian-American, 1915-1985), woodcut on paper "Moppet", pencil signed and dated 1965, ed 118/250. $400 to $600
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters, signed to his family, 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Allen Ginsberg, 11 autograph manuscripts, including 10 drafts of poems & a page of notes, circa 1948. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Joan Miró, illustrated autograph note signed to MoMA Director of Exhibitions & Publications, 1959. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Carl Gustav Jung, typed letter signed to a colleague, 1948. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Gustav Mahler, ALS, arranging a meeting during his historic visit to New York, circa 1908. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Mark Twain, ALS, explaining the target of his new book, 1902. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Charles Dickens, ALS, accepting an invitation in the voice of a <i>Martin Chuzzlewit</i> character, 1843. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Jacob Lawrence, illustrated greeting card signed, 1960. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 8:</b> Robert E. Lee, ALS, to the colonel of the Kanawha Valley volunteers, boosting morale, 1861. $15,000 to $25,000

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