Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2006 Issue

Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje

Travel

Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje


By Michael Stillman

The latest offering from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje, Antiquarian Bookseller, is Travel. The Library of the Dutch Collector Berend Ten Hoove. Do not be fooled by the Dutch collector or Dutch bookseller. While there is certainly Dutch material in this catalogue, there is also a great number of English and French language works, and a surprising amount of Americana. Indeed, this is not the first time we have discovered a trove of English and American items hidden off in the Netherlands in Bestebreurtje's inventory. You just may find some books you cannot locate in their native country secreted away in this place where you might least expect to find it. Here are a few samples, with a tilt to those in the English language.

Item 30 is one of the major explorations of French America. The French would be driven from the North American continent as a result of the French and Indian War (Seven Years War), but prior to 1763, they were a major force. Pierre Charlevoix was a Jesuit missionary sent by the government of France to report on French settlements and surrounding territories in Canada and Louisiana (the old, much larger Louisiana). His report was first published in French in 1744. This is the first English translation from 1761, Journal of a voyage to North America. Undertaken by order of the French king containing the geographical description and natural history of that country, particularly Canada. Charlevoix's journeys took him through the Great Lakes region and down the Mississippi as well as eastern Canada. Not only does he provide accounts of the French communities, but of the native Indians as well. Priced at €2,250 (Euros, or approximately US $2,667).

The Marquis de Lafayette is one of America's greatest Revolutionary War heroes, though he was a Frenchman, not an American. He came to America in 1776 at the age of 19, whereupon he was given a command by Washington and served honorably throughout the war. His influence in garnering French assistance for the cause was even more notable. When he left America at the close of the Revolution in 1783, he was deeply admired by the citizens of his adopted nation and a great friend of Washington and other American leaders. Lafayette did not again set foot on American soil for over 40 years. When he did return, it was as a beloved hero. He embarked on a tour which took him through all 24 states, and lasted over a year. He met with 88-year-old former President John Adams in Massachusetts, and was seated between former Presidents Jefferson and Madison for dinner in Virginia. He visited the White House while Monroe was president, and again while John Quincy Adams was its resident. He met with future President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee. Everywhere he went, he was greeted by enthusiastic crowds and the most important of local officials. He was guest of honor at ceremonies marking the beginning of construction of the Bunker Hill monument, and took back soil from the hill, which would be sprinkled over his grave. Finally, 13 months after his arrival, Lafayette bid his last goodbyes to America and boarded a ship for his final return to France. This amazing tour is recounted in the two-volume book Lafayette en Amerique en 1824 et 1825, ou journal d'un voyage aux Etats Unis, written by his personal secretary Auguste Levasseur, who accompanied him. It was published in 1829. Supposedly, when General Pershing led American forces into France in World War I to free that country from the Germans, he said, "Lafayette, we are here." Item 95. €395 (US $468).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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>

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