Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2007 Issue

Recent Acquisitions at the Antiquariaat Forum

Foru

The Antiquariaat Forum displays at the Amsterdam Book Fair.


By Michael Stillman

The Antiquariaat Forum has issued a new Short Title List with recent acquisitions and a selection from our stock. These short catalogues are issued in conjunction with the numerous book fairs the Antiquariaat Forum attends. This list was prepared for the Amsterdam Antiquariaat Book and Print Fair, completed just a few days ago. Here are a few of the items they featured at this recent fair.

Item 6 is an item the Antiquariaat Forum describes as a "rare travel account, which is largely unknown to Western bibliographers..." That is explained by it being a rare Russian work, Neshchastniya priklucheniya Vasiliia Baranshchivoka (The misfortunes of Vasilii Baranshchikov). Baranshchikov traveled around the world from 1780-1787, and as the title implies, experienced many unpleasantries on his voyage. He visited Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the West, as well as Bethlehem, Constantinople, Venice and France. His book was published in St Petersburg in 1787. Priced at €13,250 (Euros, or approximately $18,946 in U.S. dollars).

Item 44 is one you might not expect from a Dutch bookseller as it is most important to collectors of California. It is the memoirs of a French sailor, Pierre Francois Peron: Memoires du Capitaine Peron... P.F. Peron sailed to many locales in the late 18th century, but perhaps the most notable was on the American ship Otter. This ship was engaged in the transport of sealskins and furs from the Pacific coast to China. In his day-to-day accounts, Peron writes about the Pacific Northwest and its natives, as well as the Hawaiian Islands. Most notable is a visit to California, including a stay at Monterey. This may be the first time an American ship entered California waters. He found Monterey somewhat backward at the time, though I imagine he would be far more impressed with its exclusiveness were he to return today. Captain Peron also recounts being left for 40 months gathering sealskins on New Amsterdam Island, located between Africa and Australia. Other places he describes include Australia, China and New England. This book was produced from Peron's manuscripts many years after his voyages and published in 1824. €2,650 (US $3,788).

The recent book fair undoubtedly attracted many people to Amsterdam, but they were hardly the first to visit. Item 7 recalls a spectacular visit in 1638 by Marie de Medici, once Queen and regent of France, but now on the outs with her son, Louis XIII, and his powerful advisor, Cardinal Richelieu. Marie, her veins filled with the blood of European royalty, was the second wife of France's King Henry IV. When Henry was assassinated in 1610, she took control of the country as Regent for her then eight-year-old son. However, within a few years, the young King Louis XIII became tired of her control and ousted his mother. She was exiled in 1617. There began years of maneuvering between mother and son. She returned a few years later, but was finally thrown out of the country in 1630 after attempting to remove Richelieu. She embarked on her trip to Amsterdam in 1638 where she received a spectacular welcome, the Dutch considering it recognition of their republic. There were great displays and celebrations. Marie must have once again felt like a queen. Item 7 recounts the visit: Marie de Medicis, entrant dans Amsterdam, by C. Barlaeus, published in 1638 by J. and C. Blaeu of atlas printing fame. This book is the official, illustrated coverage of Marie's entrance into the country. €15,900 (US $22,741).

Rare Book Monthly

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