Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2005 Issue

Travel, History, and Early Geologic Books from Schoyer's Books

S118b

Recent Acquistions by Schoyer's Books.


By Michael Stillman

This month we look at Catalogue 118b from Schoyer's Books of Berkeley, California. The title is Recent Acquisitions in Travel, Historia, & Varia. Schoyer's Catalogue 118a was focused on Americana. This one has a distinctly European flavor, and the ages of the books, as befitting that continent, are generally older. Many French and German titles inhabit this catalogue, but we will concentrate on those in English as these we best understand.

A section of the catalogue is devoted to the collection of the late Melvin E. Jahn. Jahn was a collector of early natural histories and geological books. There are 55 items offered from his library.

Here is a book about an area of the world that was little known to Americans at the time it was published, but is very much at the forefront of our thoughts today. The title is, Caravan Journeys and Wanderings in Persia, Afghanistan, Turkistan, and Beloochistan... by Joseph Ferrier, published in 1857 (second edition). Ferrier began his journey in Baghdad. Assuming the name "Yusuf," he traveled through Persia (now Iran) pretending to be a merchant or a pilgrim. He survived an attempted poisoning by his "servant," and numerous other unpleasantries from his fellow pilgrims and those he encounters along the way. The trip was almost as risky then as it would be today! For a contemporary (1856) review of this most intriguing book, see http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/sgml/moa-idx?notisid=ABR0102-0050-245. Item 30. Priced at $400.

This part of the world may stir associations with an earlier case where America assumed responsibility for running a far off land. As a result of the Spanish-American War, America assumed control of the Philippines a century ago. Item 85 is a stark reminder of some of the disagreeable aspects of such responsibility. It is seven original photographs, showing "the public hanging of two natives, Ramon Santiago and Pablo de la Cruz, for murder, at Binalonan, Luzon, Oct 5th 1900." The execution was carried out by American forces. The photographs show the entire sequence, from the march to the gallows, testing of the trap door, the drop and removal of the bodies. Despite the caption, three men are shown being executed. $250.

Item 77 is a whole album of photos from this era, but a much more pleasant group. It was kept by an unknown American soldier in the winter of 1900-1901, on his trip aboard the Army Transport Buford on its way to the Philippines. The pictures start around Gibraltar, and capture the journey through the Suez, around the Middle East, and through the Indian Ocean to its destination in Manila. There are 226 photographs depicting life at the various ports along the way and fellow soldiers from the ship. Additionally there are 117 personal and family photographs from the period 1912-1914 in the album. $350.

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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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