Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2013 Issue

The Dutch East Indies from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreurtjel59

The Dutch overseas.

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has released their List 59: The Dutch Overseas. The Area Covered by the Charter of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The Dutch East India Company essentially ruled the area of today's Indonesia, and a few other places, for two hundred years, from 1600-1800. It was almost a government unto itself in the days when the Netherlands was a major sea power. It exploited the land and its people, made lots of money, and could push back anyone who got in its way. However, all good things come to an end, and by the late 18th century, it all came tumbling down. The Dutch government would come to rule the Dutch colonies while the VOC became a part of history, but no longer a part of the present, at the beginning of the 19th century.

Bestebreurtje's catalogue is divided into two parts. We will focus on Part I. This section contains the older, mainly contemporaneous material, items which are the most collectible. The second part contains more recent items, many more of reading than collecting interest. However, this is the larger part of the catalogue and those interested in more recent material on the subject will want to obtain this catalogue. Here, now, are some of the older items.

We will start with a major early collection of Dutch voyages: Begin ende voortgangh van de Vereenighde Nederlantsche Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie (beginning and development of the Dutch East India Company). While many of the voyages pertain to areas colonized by the VOC, others traveled to unrelated areas, such as Barentz' discoveries in the Arctic. Additionally, there were circumnavigations, voyages that passed through the East Indies, but other areas as well. In all, 21 voyages are covered by editor Isaac Commelin's collection. For many of the voyages, this was either the first report, or provided detail not previously available. Offered is the third, and “best” edition (1646) as Commelin was able to gain access to some unpublished accounts that were first published in this edition. Item 13. Priced at €68,000 (euros, or approximately $90,966 in U.S. currency).

Item 47 is another collection of Dutch voyages, but one published over a century later: Nederlandsche Reizen, tot bevordering van den koophandel... (Dutch travel to promote commerce). These were Dutch voyages to the far corners of the Earth, with accounts of the adventures and obstacles the explorers faced. It contains 13 volumes (bound in five), beginning with an introduction, the first three volumes covering pre-VOC voyages, and the remainder voyages taken on behalf of or contemporaneous with the VOC. It was published by Petrus Conradi and V. van der Plaats from 1784-1787. €3,250 (US $4,346).

Shipwrecks make for bad experiences, but good stories. Andries Stokram provides such a story in Korte beschryvinge van de ongeluckige weer-om-reys van het schip Aernhem (short description of the unfortunate return voyage of the ship Aernhem). Seven ships left Batavia in late December of 1661, loaded with goods for the Netherlands. The weather was not cooperative. A huge storm appeared while they were off the coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, rising to hurricane strength. Four of the ships went down, three never to be heard from again. The fourth, the Aernherm, sunk, but around 100 of the men survived. They holed up on Mauritius for several months, which apparently was a nice place to land if you have to be shipwrecked. It had previously been a Dutch colony, but was abandoned between 1658 and 1664, with Stokram and his fellow sailors arriving right in the middle of this period. It took awhile for them to get used to the deserted island, but once they did, they found food to be plentiful and life quite nice. Most were reluctant to leave, but eventually, they all hooked on with various passing ships, Stokram returning to the Netherlands to publish his book in 1663. Three other survivors also wrote books. Item 57. €950 (US $1,270).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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