Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2009 Issue

Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreurtje139

Poster on Bestebreurtje's cover celebrates emancipation from slavery.


By Michael Stillman

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 139 Travel. Bestebreurtje is located in the Netherlands, but nevertheless this catalogue contains much material related to America and England. Dutch, English and French are the languages that predominate. Those, like this writer, who speak English but not much else, will have no problems here as the descriptions are written in English (even for the Dutch works). Along with travel, the catalogue includes sections on ephemera and historical prints. We will focus primarily on those items with a connection to America, but there are lots of items pertaining to travels to the Middle East, India and Asia, including the longtime Dutch colony in Indonesia.

Item 120 is one of two great works from a man who was as remarkable as he was unfortunate. Georgius Rumphius sailed to Batavia (in today's Indonesia) as a midshipman for the Dutch East India Company in 1653. However, within a few years, he transferred to Ambon Island where he began undertaking massive studies of the area's natural history. He would produce this book, D'Amboinsche rariteitkamer... and another, but it would be a long, arduous project he would not live to see completed. In 1670, Rumphius became blind, but with the help of an assistant, he pushed on. In 1674, his wife and child were killed in an earthquake, yet he persevered. Then, in 1687, his manuscript and drawings were destroyed in a fire, requiring him to start over. When his book was finally reproduced and sent back to the Netherlands, the ship sank. Fortunately, he kept a copy. However, publication was delayed because the Dutch East India Company found some information sensitive. It was finally published in 1705. Unfortunately, Rumphius died in 1702. Offered is a copy of the 1740 edition of this book. Priced at €3,450 (euros, or approximately $5,051 is U.S. dollars).

Item 1 is Henry Ward Beecher: a sketch of his career, by Lyman Abbott and S.B. Halliday. It was published in 1887, the year in which the popular American preacher died. Write the authors, "It cannot be questioned that no man has exerted so wide and profound an influence on the progress of thought - moral, political and religious - in this country for the past fifty years, as has Mr. Beecher." Perhaps no man, but it could be argued his sister, Harriett Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, was more influential. Nevertheless, the fiery New York abolitionist preacher and defender of various progressive causes was a major American figure in the 19th century. €125 (US $183).

Obviously, not everyone shared Beecher's vehemently anti-slavery beliefs. Here is a book by a notable English soldier who was favorably inclined toward the practice: Transatlantic Sketches: comprising visits to the most Interesting Scenes in North & South America & West Indies. With notes on negro slavery and Canadian emigration. Author James Edward Alexander served in numerous wars and expeditions in the British military through over a half century of service, retiring as a major-general. In 1833, he published this book on his visit to America. Alexander offers his observations on life on many of the islands of the West Indies, the Mississippi and St. Lawrence Valleys, and the eastern part of the U.S. He opposes sudden emancipation and argues that the plantation owners have not been given a fair hearing. Item 4. €975 (US $1,426).

However, a different opinion on slavery is expressed in the print shown on the cover of this catalogue. Printed in London in 1853, it depicts a group of former slaves celebrating their freedom. It includes the wording, To the Friends of Negro Emancipation, This Print Is Inscribed. Item 42. €495 (US $723).

Item 193 is The American Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, published in London in 1876. This includes 32 engravings on 11 leaves that were published in The Graphic, a London weekly newspaper noted for its illustrations. This contains illustrations from America's first major exposition, celebrating the 100th birthday of the Declaration of Independence. An estimated 10 million people attended. Numerous scenes inside the fair are shown. €295 (US $431).

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <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 Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions