Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2005 Issue

Acquisitions From Australia And Beyond By Hordern House

R1218

The latest acquisitions from Hordern House.


By Michael Stillman

Hordern House
is a major Australian bookseller, so it is no surprise that their catalogues are filled with Australian items. If you collect Australiana, you should not miss them. However, Australia is not a limiting factor. Many of their books may have an Australian connection, but fit more closely with other collections, such as travel and voyages, or even Americana. And then, there are a few with no obvious connection to Australia beyond the fact that they were owned by an Australian. So we will take a look at their latest catalogue, "Acquisitions December 2004," but don't make any assumptions about what you will find.

Item 33 is an example of a piece of Americana with an Australian connection. It is an agricultural almanac printed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1887. Along with the usual stuff about calendars and phases of the moon, there's a story called, "A Desperate Encounter with a Kangaroo." This is not about an escapee from the Lancaster Zoo, but about a man who visits Australia's "Outback," and finds himself in a life and death struggle with a crazed marsupial. Fortunately, his canine companion saves his life, establishing why it is not kangaroos who are man's best friend. Priced at Australian $750 (US equivalent $573).

Here is another piece of Australio-Americana (that's probably not a word), George Barrington's A Voyage to New South Wales... This is the 1801 second edition of the book which was only the second work on Australia published in America when it first appeared in 1796. This is also the book through which most Americans first learned about Australia. That was unfortunate, since the book was a fraud. So was Barrington. He was a notorious pickpocket, who was transported to the penal colony in Australia for his errant ways, but managed to earn his way into the good graces of his jailers. He was freed and became a celebrity. However, none of this has to do with the fraudulent nature of this book. The fraud is that it was not even written by Barrington. It was written by someone who stole his recognizable name, figuring it would help sales. Item 4. $550 (US $420).

Here is one more piece with an Australian-American connection. It is Poems by Robert Southey by...you guessed it. Southey was an English poet, but his "Botany Bay Eclogues," contained in this book, dealt with the misery of British criminals transported to Botany Bay, Australia. Item 9 is the Boston 1799 printing of these poems, and it too is one of a very small number of Australian-related items printed in America in the 18th century. $2,800 (US $2,136).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.

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