Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2008 Issue

Voyages and Travels, to America and the World, from Helen Kahn

Kahn73

Voyages and Travels from Helen Kahn.


By Michael Stillman

Helen R. Kahn and Associates has issued a new catalogue of Travels and Voyages, number 73 for the Canadian bookseller. Most of these travels at least included the North American continent, although some went to Asia, South America, Australia, and the Arctic. Included in this catalogue are some of the earliest ventures into the heartland of North America, those of French explorers and missionaries whose travels brought them to the Great Lakes and as far as the Mississippi at a time when English pilgrims were just beginning to settle the Atlantic coast. Here are a few of the groundbreaking works found within this new catalogue.

Among the earliest missionaries to New France were the Recollets, a branch of the Franciscans whose role would soon be replaced by the Jesuits. They first arrived in Canada in 1615 and remained until 1629, when trouble back home with the French government would result in their removal. One of the earliest works on the interior country was published in 1632 (the same year as the first Jesuit Relation) by Gabriel Sagard-Theodat, Le Grande Voyage du Pays des Hurons... Sagard was a Recollet missionary who spent 1623-24 working among the Huron Indians. This rare book is considered to be the main authority on the first Recollet mission (they returned again in 1670). It recounts what he and his colleagues learned about the Hurons and the Great Lakes region, and contains the first printed Huron vocabulary. This book is the main source of information about the relations between the Indians and the French in this period to come from sources other than the Jesuits. Item 105. Priced at $35,000 (all prices are in U.S. Dollars).

Long before the French were exploring the northern ranges of North America, the Spanish were investigation, and conquering, the southern part. Bartholome de las Casas accompanied Columbus on his third voyage to America in 1498, was the first priest ordained in the New World, and went on to be the Spanish conscience for most of the coming century. De las Casas observed the brutality of slavery and the Spanish treatment of the native populations, and spoke out strongly against it, even going to authorities in Spain to try to stop the abusive exploitation. While he was not able to dismantle the system, he did reduce the abuses some. Item 36 is Newe Welt, the rare first German edition of his report published in 1597. $8,500.

Item 6 is the anonymously written Descriptione Exacte de tout ce qui passé dans les Guerres Entre le Roy D'angleterre, le Roy de France... This is the first French edition of 1668 of a book first published in Dutch a year earlier. It is regarded as one of the best accounts of the various wars going on at the time between the English, French and Dutch. While these European powers were engaged in battles across the globe, this book is notable for some of the earliest reports from America, and in particular, of the English ousting the Dutch from New Amsterdam and renaming the city New York. $2,350.

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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