Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2009 Issue

Voyages and Travel from Maggs Bros.

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Voyages & Travel from Maggs Bros.


By Michael Stillman

The historic London bookselling firm of Maggs Bros. Ltd. has issued its 1,435th catalogue: Voyages & Travel. It includes books that cover trips all over the world, so Maggs Bros. has grouped the books into regions which include the Americas, Near and Far East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, even the Arctic and Antarctic. There is much in the way of discovery to be found in this catalogue, which takes you back to an era of great adventure. These are a few of the items being offered by Maggs.

Item 461 is a very rare work of early Americana, God's Protecting Providence... Evidenced in the Remarkable Deliverance of Robert Barrow with divers other persons, from the Devouring Waves of the Sea, amongst which they suffered Shipwrack [sic]: And also, From the Cruel Devouring Jaws of the Inhuman Canibals [sic] of Florida, by Jonathan Dickenson. This is a gripping story of a group of people, including the author and Barrow, shipwrecked along the Florida coast. They were captured and robbed by Indians, but allowed to proceed by foot up the coast to St Augustine, 200 miles away. There they were befriended by the Spanish and sent north, first reaching Charleston after another arduous trek, and finally Philadelphia. Wright Howes says of their story, "The almost incredible adventures of these men, women and children in the hands of their Indian captors and their hardships and hunger endured on a march from Southeast Fla. to St. Augustine and along the wild coast of Ga. and Carolina to Charleston can not be equalled either in fiction or history." This book provides one of the best accounts of 17th century Florida Indians as well as the coast from St. Augustine to Charleston. Offered is one of two printings of the 1700 second edition, this one from London (the other is from Philadelphia). The 1699 Philadelphia first edition is considered unobtainable, with the second edition, as described during the Streeter sale of 1967, as "almost as rare as the first edition." Priced at £16,000 (British pounds, or about $26,532 in U.S. dollars).

Item 293 is an account of a very different, though also quite dangerous adventure. It is Richard Burton's Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah, published in 1855-1856 (three volumes). Maggs describes this as, "...perhaps the most famous of Burton's travel books," of which he produced many. Burton disguised himself a Moslem pilgrim in order to make the sacred journey to Mecca, the first English Christian to do so. Naturally, Burton had to become very familiar with the language and customs of his fellow pilgrims. £8,750 (US $14,502).

Here is another item for Burton collectors: Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, from January 1849. This includes the first printed work produced by Burton. Item 337. £2,500 (US $4,143).

Item 363 is a rarely found early Spanish-American War piece, Spanish-American War, 1898. The USS "Baltimore", at the Battle of Manila Bay... The war was barely a week old when this battle took place on May 1, 1898. The American forces commanded by Admiral George Dewey won a decisive victory that day. Within a couple of months, the war was over and America controlled the Philippines. £850 (US $1,408).

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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