Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2005 Issue

Into The Heart Of Africa From Bernard Shapero Rare Books

Shapero

Bernard J. Shapero takes us deep insdie of Africa.


By Michael Stillman

Bernard Shapero Rare Books
takes us into what was a mostly unknown continent to the West a few generations ago with their latest catalogue, Africa 2005. While the continent was undoubtedly well known to those who lived there, Europeans in the 19th century rarely penetrated deeply into its interior. Modern means of transportation were virtually nonexistent, making travel extremely difficult and dangerous for outsiders. Extreme climates, difficult geography, suspicious or hostile natives, and various unfriendly animals and disease added to the problems. The result was that books recounting explorations in Africa were of deep interest to people in Europe, and people like Livingstone, Stanley, Burton and Speke became heroes to Europeans in the way the great voyagers like Cook had been to an earlier generation. Africa 2005 is filled with books, photographs, and other material from these primarily 19th and early 20th century expeditions. Then, there is also a large collection of items from those semi-explorers, the big game hunters, who came to Africa to hunt its wildlife, but came back with tales of their own to tell. Here are a few samples of what you will find in Shapero's latest catalogue.

Item 71 is one of those big game journeys by a then relatively obscure young man from England. The book is My African Journey and it was published in London in 1908. It recounts hunting in East Africa and eventually on to the Nile. Along the way, the writer bags a white rhino. White rhinos are actually grey, not white ("white" probably comes from the similar sounding Afrikaans word for 'wide,'" pertaining to their wide mouths). Shooting them today would get you arrested for poaching. But, we digress. The intrepid big game hunter/author of 1908 was none other than young Winston Churchill, who would later go on to save the world, among other things. Priced at L375 (British pounds, US equivalent $664).

David Livingstone was one of the most famous African explorers, although he is better remembered for being found himself (by Stanley) then for what he found. Livingstone was part missionary, part explorer, part promoter of commerce. His expeditions were not monumental successes, but he became famous when he determined to continue explorations deep in Africa, despite declining health and loss of outside contact. That is when Stanley was sent on his mission by a newspaper to locate the "lost" Livingstone. Item 141 is, The last journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from, 1865 to his death. Continued by a narrative of his last sufferings, obtained from his faithful servants Chuma and Sisi... Faithful they were, as they carried Livingstone's body over a thousand miles after he died so he could be buried in Britain. L225 (US $398).

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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