Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2004 Issue

Travel From Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books

1204r9

Recent Travel Acquisitions of Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books
has issued a catalogue of "Recent Travel Acquisitions." This catalogue includes 106 items recent only to Shapero Rare Books, as they range from one to four centuries old. Included is a large collection of travels to the Antarctic, plus many trips to Asia in centuries past.

Sir Richard Francis Burton was one of the greatest explorers of the 19th century. An Englishman, he is best remembered for his discoveries in Africa and the Near East. He was part of John Speke's expedition to discover the source of the Nile. He traveled to the forbidden cities of Mecca and Medina disguised as an Arab merchant. He was fluent in many languages and was a translator of works such as "Arabian Nights." So, it's a bit surprising to find him involved in "explorations" of America, but in 1860, looking for something different, Burton traveled to the American West. The result was the following book: The City of the Saints and across the Rocky Mountains to California. Published in London in 1861, it recounts his experiences with the Indians and Mormons. He was intrigued by polygamy, still in practice at the time, as he had seen polygamous societies in Africa. He notes that it is mostly found in societies where the fear for survival is greatest. As to the charge that it amounts to adultery, Burton wryly points out that at least the Mormons practice it openly; "how full is society of these latent Mormons!" Item 2. Priced at L1,250 (US $2,321).

One of the most unhappy journeys ever taken was the Robert Scott expedition to the South Pole in 1912. Scott and his four companions who made it to the Pole never made it back. The blizzards and extreme cold of "summer" blocked their return. Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a member of the expedition who helped locate Scott's body, wrote about his experiences in The Worst Journey in the World. Antarctic 1910-1913. However, Cherry-Gerrard's own personal worst journey was a side trip in the dead of winter to locate Emperor Penguin eggs, a journey by three men of which the author was the only survivor. In his introduction, Cherry-Garrard states, "Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised. It is the only form of adventure in which you put on your clothes at Michaelmas [September 29] and keep them on until Christmas, and, save for a layer of the natural grease of the body, find them as clean as though they were new." That's a good thing, because it's hard to do laundry in a place where temperatures dip to 70 below. Item 17. 1929 second edition. L1,500 (US $2,787).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions