Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2004 Issue

Lewis & Clark Start The Journey<br>Through Donald Heald’s Latest Catalogue

Lewisclark

Perhaps the most collectible book of the American West is the one know simply as “Lewis and Clark”


By Michael Stillman

Donald A. Heald Rare Books, Prints and Maps, of New York City, offers one of the very finest selections of illustrated books, drawings and maps. Their recently issued spring catalogue, “A Selection of Antiquarian Books,” is no exception. This month, we’ll take a look at Part I, which covers Americana and Native Americans, Voyages and Atlases, and Colour-plate and Illustrated Books. Due to space limitations we will concentrate on the first category, but those whose collections are focused outside of America will want to see this catalogue as well, as there is much material from all over the world. Next month we will take a look at part two of this catalogue.

German Prince Maxmilian of Wied and Swiss artist Karl Bodner explored the upper Missouri River in the years 1832-1834. They would travel as far as Fort Mackenzie in present-day Montana and winter over near the Mandan villages. After returning to Europe, Bodner would spend the next five years preparing the plates for his illustrations and writing the text. Item 4 is the first English language version of his book, Travels in the Interior Parts of North America. Priced at $35,000.

Perhaps the best known and most collectible of all American West exploration books is the one generally known simply as “Lewis and Clark.” Of course, this is not the real title. The title is actually History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the Sources of the Missouri, Thence Across the Rocky Mountains and Down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Performed During the Years 1804-5-6. Nor are Captains Meriwether Lewis or William Clark even shown as the authors. While no one is officially the author, the book states it was “prepared for the press” by Paul Allen. It doesn’t matter. This is a copy of the official 1814 printing of Lewis and Clark, describing their overland journey to the Pacific during the administration of Thomas Jefferson. This particular copy includes the folding map which was not included with all of those originally printed. Item 24. $125,000. Item 25 is the first English edition of this title, also printed in 1814 (in London). $39,500.

Item 17 is William Hubbard’s The Present State of New England… Printed in 1677, it covers events as far back as 1607, but is particularly focused on “the late Troubles in the two last years 1675, and 1676.” Those “troubles” are what we now refer to as “King Philip’s War.” “King Philip” was the Wampanoag Chief who led his people in a bloody confrontation with the settlers that cost many lives on both sides. Increase Mather also wrote about this period, but Hubbard’s account is generally regarded as more objective and fairer to the Indians. This is a copy of the first English (London) edition after the virtually impossible to find Boston edition, with the almost identical map except for the labeling of New Hampshire’s White Mountains as the “Wine Hills.” $67,500.

Henry Walke was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and was second in command of the U.S.S. Vesuvius during the Mexican War. He was also a self-taught artist. Once the navy’s role in that war was over, Walke took his leave to prepare this set of prints for publication. There are eight in all, but the book itself has no text nor even a title. It is now known as the Naval Portfolio since this was on the captions and it is a work of extreme rarity. Item 37. $60,000.

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