Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2017 Issue

Australia from Hordern House

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Australia.

Australian Bookseller Hordern House has released a catalogue of their homeland, titled simply Australia. That sort of says it all, but for more specificity, it is divided into eight sections as follows: Voyages, Transportation, Settlement & Commerce, Indigenous History, Views, Maps, Exploration, Plants of the New World. As a note to outsiders, "transportation" in Australia does not mean highways and railroads like it does in other countries. No, it has a very different meaning. These are a few of the Australian items you will find in this impressive collection.

 

Speaking of transportation, here is a book that helped to spur the process of England shipping its prisoners off to a penal colony on the newly discovered land of eastern Australia. It was actually thought of as a humanitarian solution to a problem, as odd as that sounds for a dangerous ocean journey followed by permanent exile in a newly discovered, undeveloped land. Item 19 is The State of Prisons in England and Wales, by John Howard, a second and "best" edition from 1780. Originally published in 1777, this edition was considerably enlarged. Howard writes about the abominable conditions in English prisons. The second edition also discuses the hulks on the Thames which Howard visited in 1779. These were old ships, tied to docks which were used to house prisoners as there was no room for them all in jail. These conditions were particularly awful, Howard noting that from 1776-1778, 176 of the 632 prisoners on the hulk Justicia died. These horrific conditions led to the plan to ship prisoners to Australia, where conditions, hopefully, would be better, and the British would never have to deal with them again in the mother country. Item 19. Priced at AU $3,400 (Australian dollars, or approximately US $2,613).

 

Matthew Flinders is generally credited with giving the land we know as "Australia" its name, but he was not the first to use that word. It goes back more than a century earlier, to a work of Utopian fiction titled A New Discovery of Terra Incognita Australis, or the Southern World. This is a 1693 first English edition of a work originally published anonymously in 1676. The author was Gabriel de Foigny, a Frenchman about whom almost nothing is known. Born around 1650, he was a Franciscan monk, but his libertine instincts and "deplorable lifestyle" forced him to flee to Geneva and Protestantism. It was from there that he published this book, which was promptly banned by church authorities. It is the story of one Jacques Sadeur, a kidnapped, shipwrecked hermaphrodite who is saved by a gigantic winged creature who drops him off in this unknown southern land. Fortunately, its inhabitants are all hermaphrodites too, but ultimately, like de Foigny, he doesn't quite fit in. Such is the beginning of Australia! Item 4. AU $48,000 (US $36,921).

 

This next item is the first book on Australian settlement and is exceedingly rare. The title is An Authentic Journal of the Expedition under Commodore Philips to Botany Bay... published on April 2, 1789. As for its rarity, Hordern House notes that it is known only in four institutional copies and two in private hands. As for being the first, that publishing date came only ten days after the return to Plymouth of the first of the First Fleet ships. The English public was hungry for news from Australia. The First Fleet had departed two years earlier and many had relatives who were prisoners, and others were simply curious. Up to then, they knew nothing. This book compiled information from various sources, including newspaper reports from a few days earlier based on interviews with returning crewmen, a letter from Watkin Tench whose own account was published on April 24, an anonymous letter, and a letter from a convict to a female friend. Item 9. AU $575,000 (US $442,306).

 

Item 28 is the last of the "Foundation Books," the early titles describing the initial settlement of New South Wales. This book is An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales... by David Collins. It was published in two volumes, in 1798 and 1802. Collins arrived with the First Fleet as Secretary to Governor Phillip. It contains the most detailed account of the voyage and settlement. It came from the observations of an educated man who spent ten years in the colony. The second volume covers some later voyages and explorations, including inland ones. That includes the discovery of the Koala. The first volume is in the rare thick paper issue and has the engraved vignettes that appear in the text also bound in on fold-out sheets. It does not appear that the second volume was ever printed on thick paper. AU $38,750 (US $29,805).

 

Item 59 is an account of a somewhat later inland journey. There is a reason that practically all of Australia's settlement is along the coast, particularly the eastern coast. Much of inland Australia is a desert, not suitable for much use. Charles Sturt was determined to investigate the interior, conducting three expeditions. This is an account of his final one, Narrative of an Expedition into Central Australia, published in 1849. Sturt was convinced there was an inland sea in the center of the continent and was determined to see it. The journey was extremely difficult. At one point, for nearly six months, he was unable to travel. The heat and drought brought them to a halt. Finally, the rain came. They made it as far as the Simpson Desert before Sturt, suffering from scurvy, was forced to turn back. AU $17,200 (US $13,223).

 

Hordern House may be reached at [+61] (02) 9356 4411 or rare@hordern.com. Their website is found at www.hordern.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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 Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <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. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

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