Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2010 Issue

Travel and More from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreurtje142

Travels from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

The 142nd catalogue from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books comes with the brief title, Travel. There is actually more than just travel here. There are many books of Americana to be found, which perhaps qualifies as travel as one would have to travel from Bestebreurtje's home base in the Netherlands to reach America. We are actually sort of surprised to find some of these 19th century American titles being offered from the Netherlands. How they got there is unknown, but - Americana collectors take heed - they are just begging to come home. We will focus primarily on Americana in this review, but there are many books in Dutch and pertaining to Dutch issues, such as the activities of the VOC (East India Company).

Item 174 is the 1861 London edition of Elisha Kent Kane's Arctic Explorations: The Second Grinnell Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, 1853, '54, '55. Sir John set out to find the Northwest Passage in 1845 but never returned. His entire crew was lost, setting about a flurry of rescue missions, later followed by exploratory ones after all hope of anyone's survival was lost. The Grinnell expeditions, financed by wealthy American merchant Henry Grinnell (but not led by him) were among the many that attempted to find the explorer without success. The second proved to be a brutal though ultimately heroic, but unsuccessful mission. Headed by Elisha Kane, it searched for Franklin in far northern Canadian territory around Baffin Bay. The expedition ran into many problems, scurvy, their dogs dying, their ship becoming frozen in, and assorted other unpleasantries associated with long winters in places where temperatures are constantly far below zero. After two long winters survived in their ice-jammed boat, Kane realized it would never become free, and there followed a harrowing journey over and through ice-filled waters to eventual rescue. They never came close to finding Franklin's expedition, but at least their alliances with the native Inuit enabled them to achieve something Franklin did not - survival. Priced at €275 (euros, or approximately US $387).

Kane's travels were all too real. Not necessarily so were those of "Eduward Melton." Item 236 is a 1681 first edition of Zeldzaame en gedenkwaardige zee - en land - reizen… It is not clear whether Melton even existed, let alone visited the many places he describes - Egypt, America, the Caribbean, Persia, Turkey, and the Orient. One source has attributed Melton's work to G. van Broekhuizen, a Dutch translator and publisher who had access to many travel accounts from which he could have devised one of his own (some parts are clearly stolen from the works of others). The book includes illustrations from the noted illustrator and poet Jan Luyken. €3,500 (US $4,923).

Here are a couple of speeches from two of the most notable U.S. senators of the 19th century, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, given during the critical year of 1850. The capture of new territories during the Mexican War, and the question whether they would be slave or free, had greatly opened the divide between North and South. Webster and Clay tried to bridge the divide through compromise, though in reality there isn't much of a middle position between slavery and freedom. Item 388 is Webster's Speech upon the subject of slavery, delivered…March 7, 1850. In 1832, Webster had given his greatest speech, calling liberty and union, inseparable. This came in reaction to South Carolina's attempt to nullify federal laws to which it objected. In 1850, Webster was again fighting for the Union, but this time, rather than standing up to the South, he opted for compromise. In his March 7 speech, Webster, labeling himself not a "Massachusetts man," or "Northern man," but an "American," called for support of the Compromise of 1850, including acceptance of the Fugitive Slave Law, hated in the North. It earned Webster some friendships in the South, but turned his northern base against him. It assured his dream, being elected President of the United States, would never come to pass. €75 (US $105).

Item 59 is the bookend to Webster's speech: Speech of Henry Clay…on taking up his compromise resolutions on the subject of slavery. Delivered…Febr. 5th & 6th, 1850. Clay, the Great Compromiser, was one of the authors and proponents of the aforementioned Compromise of 1850. Clay, being from the border state of Kentucky, did not receive the backlash Webster did for his support. However, the Compromise of 1850, though it might have brought about a slight delay, did little to avoid the growing confrontation between North and South over slavery. Rather, it angered the North while making the South more intransigent in its fight to expand slavery to the new territories. In the end, it may have made civil war more certain, rather than less likely. €65 (US $91.)

Item 363 is a massive work by a Dutch Reformed minister who lived in the Dutch Asian colonies: Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien... Francois Valentijn lived for many years on Java and Amboya, about which he offers great detail, but his five-volume (in eight) folio first edition goes well beyond this location. He provides information on history, geography, ethnology and natural history on areas throughout the world in which the Dutch East India Company was involved, including Indonesia, Japan, China, India, Persia, and the Cape of Good Hope. There are maps of Australia, long before Cook, likely taken from manuscripts now lost. Indeed what makes Valentijn's work particularly valuable is that much of what he was working from were documents that are now lost. His descriptions of the natural history of Amboyna come from unpublished, lost manuscripts produced by the great naturalist Rumphius. Along with the text, the volumes contain 338 maps, plans, portraits and views. €60,000 (US $84,432).

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>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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