Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2007 Issue

Travel 2007 from Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books

T2007

Worldwide travels from the past are described in books offered by Bernard J. Shapero.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books of London is entitled Travel 2007. The 2007 refers only to the catalogue, as these travels took place long ago, mostly 19th century or earlier. These are accounts of trips that started in Europe, but spread from there to all around the globe. The catalogue is divided into sections based on the destinations: Africa; Americas, Pacific and Polar; Central Asia; Europe; Far East; Greece and Ottoman Empire; India and South East Asia; Middle East; and Russia. There is much in the way of adventure to be relived, inside the pages of these books, from the days when the world was much larger. Here are a few examples of what is in store.

Roald Amundsen is best known as the first person to reach the South Pole. His team arrived in December of 1911, succeeding where Robert Falcon Scott's expedition failed. Amundsen had better weather, but was also better prepared. He learned how to survive extreme cold in another, longer journey a few years earlier. In 1903, he set out to find the fabled Northwest Passage to the Pacific through the Canadian arctic seas. Locating such a shortcut had been an elusive goal of countless expeditions going all the way back to the time of Columbus. However, none succeeded until Amundsen made his way from the Atlantic to Alaska through the northern route. Still, it was not of much practical use as it took several years and his route would not have been navigable by a large ship. Nevertheless, he proved that there was such a route after centuries of unsuccessful attempts to find one. Amundsen's account of this expedition is found in the pages of The North West Passage being a record of a voyage of exploration of the ship "Gjoa" 1903-1907... Item 86 is the first British edition, published in 1908, while item 87 is a copy of the first American edition, also published in 1908. Each is priced at £850 (British pounds, or approximately $1,737 in U.S. dollars).

Captain George Francis Lyon reports on a journey to a very different part of the world in his 1821 book, A narrative of travels in northern Africa, in the years 1818, 19, and 20... Lyon had joined this British scientific mission in 1818, but when its leader died in 1819, he took over command. The expedition involved traveling around the Sahara and its extreme climate, but did not accomplish all that much. Perhaps the extreme heat was too much for Lyon, as shortly after his return, he joined Sir William Parry on his unsuccessful trip to the Arctic to find the Northwest Passage. Lyon was given command of Parry's companion ship, HMS Hecla. Item 61. £2,750 (US $5,619).

For those interested in a visual representation of India's leaders of long ago, item 312 is The rulers of India and the chiefs of Rajputana, 1550-1897. Thomas Holbein Hendley put together these portraits of various rulers, dating back to the emperor Akbar in the sixteenth century, and published them in 1897. Shapero notes that this book is also useful for understanding the costumes worn by chiefs during these various eras. £2,500 (US $5,108).

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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