Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2006 Issue

"The Ways of the World" from Helen R. Kahn

Kahn69

Helen R. Kahn's The Ways of the World.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from Montreal bookseller Helen R. Kahn and Associates is The Ways of the World - Sixteenth to Twentieth Centuries. This time you can ignore the fact that Helen Kahn is situated in Canada. This is not a collection of Canadiana. It is international in scope, with most works coming from Europe. Indeed much of the material undoubtedly predates the first press to appear in Canada. This is a varied catalogue, including the topics of history and natural science, religion and philosophy, economics and politics, science and medicine, travels and voyages. This should cover a great many collections.

The works come in many languages. With very early works, naturally, there is a good number in Latin, but other European languages such as French, Italian, and English are found. There are quite a few works pertaining to Hungary, so while I am not sufficiently knowledgeable on the topic to provide much help, Hungarian collectors (as in collectors of Hungary) should take note. I am going to cheat here as we take a look inside the catalogue's pages and focus on works in English since I struggle with other languages. Those less linguistically challenged should be aware that there is much more here. Now let's take a look inside.

Kahn offers two early unofficial reports of Cook's second voyage. Both of these precede the official version. Cook's second voyage was his farthest south. He never quite reached the Antarctic continent, but he traveled far enough to the south to put an end once and for all to the belief that there existed a massive southern continent. Item 70 is Journal of the Resolution's Voyage, In 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775. On Discovery to the Southern Hemisphere, by which the Non-Existence of an undiscovered Continent...is demonstratively proved. The author, John Marra, a low-ranking crewman, published the work anonymously since such unofficial reports were discouraged by British naval authorities. Nevertheless, Marra's account was the first by someone who participated in the expedition, published in 1775, 18 months before the official report. Priced at $12,500.

Item 40 is A Voyage Round the World, in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop, Resolution... by George Forster. Forster and his father were naturalists on the expedition. They also published their work without permission, despite using notes from Cook's journal. They, too, beat the official version, by six weeks. $9,850.

Here is another first that precedes the noted version. Item 57 is The Life of Samuel Johnson, not by Boswell, but by Sir John Hawkins. Published in 1787, Hawkins' biography precedes Boswell's, though the latter is the one everyone knows. $800.

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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