Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2010 Issue

A "Special Catalogue" from Hordern House

Hordernspecial2009

A special catalogue from Hordern House.


By Michael Stillman

Hordern House recently published their 2009 Special Catalogue, a conclusion to a year perhaps less special than this catalogue. Despite only containing 34 items, Hordern House still managed to come up with a large, thick catalogue. Their catalogues are always special, befitting the works they offer. These are some samples.

If you ever do a word association for the word "mutiny," almost certainly the first one to come to mind is Bounty. And after that, it's probably its dour captain, William Bligh. Bligh was sent to Tahiti to gather breadfruit, the idea being to transport the fruit trees to the Caribbean as a cheap food source for slaves. Bligh gathered his crop, but shortly thereafter, many of his crewmen mutineed. They spoke of the unpleasantness of working under Bligh's command, though he was probably less abusive, at least physically, than many captains of his era. More likely, they liked the leisure and women of Tahiti, and decided this offered a more rewarding lifestyle than the cold and damp of London. The blow to Bligh's reputation caused by the mutiny, however, was more than balanced by his marvelous feat of leading the longboat on which he and those loyal to him were cast 4,000 miles to safety. Along the way, he even managed to first chart part of Australia's northern coast. Item 4 is Bligh's A Narrative of the Mutiny, on Board His Majesty's Ship Bounty, the Captain's first account of the incident published in 1790. Bligh wanted to get his side out before the court martial of the mutineers was heard, to absolve himself of all blame. Priced at AU $23,500 (Australian dollars, or roughly $21,485 in U.S. dollars). Item 5 is the more detailed and corrected account Bligh published in 1792 when he was less rushed: A Voyage to the South Sea, undertaken by Command of His Majesty, for the purpose of conveying the Bread-fruit Tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty's Ship Bounty... AU $22,000 (US $20,112).

George Anson didn't have to deal with a mutiny, but he did have deserters. Item 1 is a letter Anson sent to a commissioner of the Royal Navy in Plymouth in 1746, requesting he apprehend and court martial two men who deserted his ship in port. Anson had sailed into Plymouth as much of his crew was sickly and his ships foul. No wonder they deserted. Or perhaps they were aware that Anson had accomplished a circumnavigation a few years earlier which had made him rich, but that most of his men had died of disease and shipwreck along the way. AU $8,850 (US $8,090). Item 11 is a compilation of discoveries published in two volumes from 1770-71 by Alexander Dalrymple: An Historical Collection of the Several Voyages and Discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean. This work represented the state of knowledge of the area when James Cook set out on the first of his three voyages. Dalrymple was a firm believer in the existence of a huge southern continent, a belief he promoted through this collection of voyages. Dalrymple had hoped to lead the expedition to the South Pacific, but when he held out for an admiralty commission, the call went to Cook instead. Adding insult to injury, Cook eventually disproved the large continent theory by sailing through what was supposed to be part of its body. Nevertheless, Dalrymple went on to have a long and illustrious career, while Cook paid for his good fortune by being killed on Hawaii by unhappy natives in the prime of life. AU $28,250 (US $25,824).

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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