Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2003 Issue

Catalogue Review – Travel Books From Bernard J. Shapero

Trave2003

“Travel Books” from Bernard J. Shapero


By Mike Stillman

Mb>Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books has just released their latest catalogue, “Travel Books – Recent Acquisitions 2003.” Shapero is a London bookseller and most of the material reflects an English or European orientation. However, much of the material is truly fascinating and will be of interest to collectors all over the world. And, for those with a strictly American orientation, you too will find a few gems here.

“Travel Books” has been divided into several, primarily regional subjects. The first, however, is worldwide. It’s called “Mountaineering,” and it covers mountain climbing throughout the world. Naturally, it includes its share of Everest and other Himalayan expeditions, but there are also many books recounting climbs in the Alps, the Americas, Japan and Asia, and more. There’s a wonderful collection here for anyone interested in mountaineering.

Item 50 is a copy of John Hunt’s The Ascent of Everest. Many attempts were made before Hunt’s expedition, but this was the first to succeed. Of course the two who made it to the top, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, are better known than Hunt, but it was Hunt who led the expedition. This 1953 first edition is inscribed by Hillary and George Lowe, another member of the party. Priced £650.

Among those titles with an American connection is E.A. Fitzgerald’s The Highest Andes. This is an 1899 first U.S. edition published by Scribner’s, and it retells the first climb of a couple of peaks in Argentina. Evidently it wasn’t a pleasant time for Fitzgerald as Shapero tells us he never climbed again. £325.

Item 42 is William S. Green’s Among the Selkirk Glaciers… Green was one of the first climbers in the Canadian Rockies, and this is his account of climbing in the Selkirk Range of British Columbia. From 1890. £120. Item 64 is Enos Mills’ The Spell of the Rockies. Mills was a naturalist and writer as well as a guide. Many consider him to be the father of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The cabin he built in 1885 still stands as a museum in Estes Park and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. From 1911. £30.

The remainder of the Shapero catalogue is divided into regional headings: Africa, Americas & Arctic, Central Asia, Far East, Greece & Ottoman, and Pacific & Antarctic. The bulk of the material was written in the late 19th or early 20th century, though numerous pieces do go outside of this range. Many of the travelers to Africa in the late 19th century wrote about the slave trade, a reminder to Americans that our Civil War did not eradicate this horrific practice from the globe.

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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