The Antiquaariat Forum at the Madrid ILAB Fair
By Michael Stillman
The Antiquariaat Forum has published a new Short Title List with recent acquisitions and a selection from our stock. This list was prepared specifically for last month's 21st ILAB-LILA International Antiquarian Book Fair held in Madrid. This list contains many significant items, both from their home in the Netherlands and other nations. Several languages are represented as well, so there are items of interest for many collectors. Here are a few of the works that were recently displayed in Madrid.
Item 17 is a collection of 42 portraits and scenes created by engravers Gaspar and Pieter Baltasar Bouttats. These were taken from circa 1700 publications and relate to Spanish and Portuguese involvement in Central and South America. There are portraits of Magellan, Pizzarro and Montezuma, and views of colonial conquests and native activities. Priced at €11,660 (Euros, or approximately $16,968 in US dollars).
Item 30 is one of the most beautiful and important botanical works ever printed. It is the 16th century herbal of Leonhart Fuchs: De historia stirpium commentarii insignes. It contains 512 woodcut illustrations of various plant species, including 100, such as tobacco, cactus, and chili pepper, which were herein illustrated for the first time. This is a first edition from 1542, and the woodcuts are colored in a contemporary hand. €100,700 (US $143,663).
Item 47 is Official papers relative to the dispute between the courts of Great Britain and Spain, on the subject of the ships captured in Nootka Sound, and the negociation that followed thereon. This recounts a controversy along the North American Pacific coast which almost led to war between Spain and Great Britain in the late 18th century. At the time, Spain controlled the Pacific coast of the Americas from South America to California. It believed it was entitled to the rest per the Papal Bull of 1493, but there was competition for the Pacific Northwest, particularly from Protestant England, which did not recognize papal pronouncements. Spanish vessels had conducted some fur trading in the 1780s with American natives from Nootka Sound, an inlet on what is now Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It was quite profitable, as the vessels would trade for furs from the natives, and in turn trade them in China for a large profit. When some British vessels joined the trade, the Spanish seized the ships. Spain was not militarily strong enough to make its claims hold up. As a result, they agreed to the Nootka Convention of 1790, which opened the area to all. This account was published in 1790, the year of the treaty. €15,900 (US $22,683).
Item 43 is Sebastian de Mesa's biography of 16th century Portuguese King Sebastiao (or Sebastian). Sebastian became heir to the Portuguese throne a few weeks before he was born in 1554 on the death of his father. Three years later, he was king when his grandfather also passed on. In his early reign, Portugal was expanding its colonial rule in places such as Angola and Macau. As he grew older, Sebastian was, by all accounts, a good king, promoting education, good medical care, and helping the poor. However, he made a major mistake in deciding to help an ousted Moroccan leader recapture his throne. Sebastian led a Portuguese contingent into the heart of Morocco, where it was soundly routed. It is unknown exactly what happened to Sebastian, but it is presumed he died where last seen, fighting in a battle his commanders urged him to avoid. The lack of a precise account of his death led for years of rumors that he would return, and pretenders who claimed to be the King. However, Sebastian never did return, and the young King who died in 1578 at the age of 24, never married and left no heirs. He was succeeded by a great uncle 42 years his senior. De Mesa's biography is Ionorda de Africa por el rey Don Sebastian... €12,675 (US $18,082).
The Antiquariaat Forum may be reached at +31 (0)30 6011955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.forumrarebooks.com.