Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2009 Issue

Winter Miscellany from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books Features Continental and American Works

Best136

A Winter Miscellany from Gert Jan Bestebreutje Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has released Catalogue 136 A Winter Miscellany. While Bestebreurtje is located in the Netherlands, and there are certainly many Dutch works available, they also have a surprisingly large number of books of interest to collectors of Americana. There are some American books, plus many items of European Americana. So wherever your interests lie, this catalogue may have something you would like. Here are a few samples.

Now here is just about the last book you would expect to find in Holland: The wonder book of freaks and animals in the Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth. This is an 1898 London book, but the subject is very American. P.T. Barnum had made his name in the "freak" business, with various unusual appearing people, with strange tales Barnum often invented to explain their oddities. He toured America with his "Greatest Show on Earth" until 1881, when he merged his circus with that of James Bailey. It survives to this day, later further combined with the Ringling Brothers Circus, but with not so much emphasis on "freaks" anymore. Item 9. Priced at €95 (Euros, or about $136 in U.S. dollars).

Before Barnum became a showman, he was a liberal politician, and strong opponent of slavery. He undoubtedly would have approved of this Ezra Chase book published on the eve of the Civil War, in 1860: Teachings of patriots and statesmen; or the 'founders of the republic' on slavery. The founders managed to combine personal abhorrence for the institution with a tolerance for it based on perceived necessity. The result was that both sides of the slavery debate were able to argue that the nation's founders were on their side. Item 23. €160 (US $230).

There was an alternate point of view, even in the North, at this time. Item 107 is the Official Report of the Great Union Meeting Held at the Academy of Music, in the City of New York, December 19th, 1859. Once the war began, "union" became synonymous with those who opposed the South, slavery, and secession. Before the war, it was more a term used by those who supported the South. At that time, those who supported slavery blamed abolitionists for tearing the union apart with their demands to eliminate this practice in the southern states. At this 1859 meeting, various northerners railed against abolitionists, and John Brown in particular, as they tried to display that northerners were sympathetic to the South's right to permit slavery. These views were not sufficiently supported by the election of Abraham Lincoln the following year, so the South attempted to break the Union anyway. Item 107. €125 (US $180).

Here is a circa 1815 engraving of a settlement on the Kentucky frontier, which is headed, and described, in three languages: Dutch, French and English. The English title is Little Loretto Kentucky United States of America. Three Kentucky women, with assistance from Father Charles Nerinckx, the second priest in Kentucky, founded the Sisters of Loretto in 1812. Their settlement was named "Little Loretto" for a shrine in Italy. Father Nerinckx moved west a decade later, and the sisters moved on as well, though retaining a presence in Kentucky. They can now be found in St. Louis, El Paso, Denver, and serving people around the world, with both sisters who take vows and other affiliated people who form the Loretto community. €1,250 (US $1,801).

Item 17 is Travels to discover the source of the Nile, in the years 1768...1773, by James Bruce. Bruce conducted the most notable attempt to find the source of the Nile, at least until Speke's expedition a century later which actually found it. Bruce thought he had found the source, but he had reached the headwaters of its tributary, the Blue Nile. Most consider the source to be the head of the White Nile, at Lake Victoria. Nevertheless, Bruce's book remains one of the greatest accounts of African exploration. €4,950 (US $7,140).

You may contact Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books at +31 (0)347 322 548 or info@gertjanbestebreurtje.com. Their website is www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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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