Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2013 Issue

Climbing Mt. Everest, from Aquila Books and Meridian Rare Books

Morrisarchive

Charles Morris' archive of 1922 and 1936 expeditions.

Item 46 is an archive of material compiled by Charles John Morris pertaining to the 1922 and 1936 ascents of the mountain. Morris participated in both. As noted, 1922 was the first serious attempt, while the 1936 expedition, the second led by Hugh Ruttledge, was the fourth major ascent. Morris' archive is notable mainly for its photographs. There are 186 photographs from the 1922 expedition, 403 from 1936. Fifteen of the images appeared in Ruttledge's account of the 1936 expedition. He, and many others from it, are portrayed in the photographs. Additionally, there are maps, postcards, and Morris' published accounts of the expeditions. £15,000 (US $22,864).

Item 94 is Hugh Ruttledge's account of his first expedition in 1933. Two climbers from this group came to within less than 1,000 feet of the top but were unable to find a climbable route. They did find the ice ax of Andrew Irvine, who along with Mallory, came very close to the top in 1924, but were lost in a squall likely still short of the peak. Mallory's body was later discovered, but not Irvine, only his ax. The title of Ruttledge's 1934 book is Everest 1933. £450 (US $685).

Item 160 is a copy of the official account of the first successful ascent: The Ascent of Everest, by John Hunt, published in 1953. Hunt was the leader of the expedition, though not one of the men who reached the top. That achievement fell to Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. This copy contains the ownership inscription of participant Michael Ward, while the flyleaf has been signed by Hunt, Hillary, Tenzing, Ward, Lowe, and others who participated in the expedition. £2,750 (US $4,191).

Item 159 is another copy of The Ascent of Everest, but this is one of just 20 that were specially bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, evidently to be given to a few people who contributed substantially to the expedition. This copy belonged to H. C. Drayton, who probably provided financial assistance. It has been signed by Hunt and Hillary. £5,000 (US $7,620).

Aquila Books may be reached at 403-282-5832 or aquila@aquilabooks.com. Their website is www.aquilabooks.com. Meridian Rare Books is reached at +44 (0)20 8694 2168 or info@meridianrarebooks.co.uk. Their website is www.meridianrarebooks.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
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    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BINDINGS]. MUIR, John (1838-1914). <i>The Writings of John Muir.</i> Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916-1924. 10 vols. $2,000 to $3,000.
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