Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2010 Issue

Maritime Books from Ten Pound Island Book Company

Tenpound189

Maritime works from Ten Pound Island Book Company.


By Michael Stillman

Ten Pound Island Book Company has issued its Maritime List 189, Fine & Rare Books, Manuscripts, Ephemera. There isn't much that need be said to describe the type of material found in this catalogue. The word "maritime" says it all both succinctly and well. We note that Ten Pound Island has announced that this will be their final printed catalogue. Changing times have caught up with the medium. Due to increased printing and mailing costs, and the limited presentation possible with print, they will be moving to online catalogues, which allow for more thorough descriptions and the addition of color images for each item. Print presentations in the future will be limited to short title lists. While it is sad to see this traditional method of bookselling fade, and particularly for a seller who has issued 189 catalogues, technology moves forward, and those who don't go with it are likely to be left behind. Here are a few of the items to be found in issue number 189.

Item 53 presents an interesting collection of documents from the privateering vessel Fox after it sailed into Gloucester (Massachusetts) in 1814. This was during the War of 1812, and the U.S. had virtually no navy to combat British dominance of the seas. As a result, the U.S. turned to privateers, independent contractors so to speak, or pirates in the eyes of others, who in return for a portion of the spoils were licensed by the U.S. to attack British shipping. The Fox, under Samuel Handy, brought home a prize to Gloucester, the British ship Byker. Offered are four documents pertaining to the turning over of the Byker, including a landing permit, accounting of the ship's contents, and a report of the prisoners turned over to authorities. Priced at $1,500.

Item 14 is a look at the isolated island where many of the mutineers from the Bounty lived out the remainder of their lives: Pitcairn's Island, and Islanders in 1850, by Walter Brodie. The famed mutiny on the Bounty occurred in 1789, when a group of disgruntled seamen overpowered Captain William Bligh and his men. Bligh and most of those loyal to him were put on a small boat and cast out to sea. Miraculously, they traveled 3,500 miles to find rescue on a Dutch island, and then make it back to London to promote the court martial of the mutineers. Meanwhile, mutiny leader Fletcher Christian and his cohorts returned to Tahiti, where the Bounty had spent several months prior to the mutiny, and after gathering some women and men, set out to find an isolated island where the Royal Navy would not find them. They came upon Pitcairn, scuttled the Bounty, and stayed, undiscovered. The next time a vessel stopped at Pitcairn was 1808, and by then, all but one of the mutineers had died, Christian, reportedly, after a fight in 1793. Brodie's account, published in 1851 (this third edition was published in the same year as the first), tells of the descendants of mutineers and their Tahitian wives, who inhabited Pitcairn at that time, and still do today. It also provides shipping records of the limited number of vessels that had come calling to the island. $350.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

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