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>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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