Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

The Islamic World from the Antiquariaat Forum

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The Islamic World.

The Antiquariaat Forum has issued a follow-up to an earlier catalogue – The Islamic World 2. In a time when the Islamic World gets much bad press in the West, this catalogue is a reminder of the great achievements that emanated from that part of the world. As the West emerged from its millennial long Dark Ages, it turned to the Islamic World for the learning it had lost through its dark period. In this catalogue, you will find both works that came from the Islamic nations and experiences of westerners who traveled there in times when little was known to them about this society on their doorstep.

 

This may not be the most important book ever printed in Mainz, Germany, but it is a good candidate for runner-up. It is a critical work in the history of travels. Item 27 is Peregrinatio in terram sanctum, by Bernhard von Breydenbach, published on February 11, 1486. This is the first illustrated printed travel book published, and was the first authentic western report on the Near and Middle East with illustrations by someone who actually observed the sites and people he drew. Breydenbach traveled to the Holy Land by way of Venice with a group of German Pilgrims in 1483, bringing along artist Erhard Reuwich, who provided the illustrations. He depicted the people, their costumes, architecture, animals, and other aspects of the local culture. They returned home via Egypt in 1484, and illustrations cover not only the Holy Land but stops along the way as well. This copy of the first edition is lacking some of the folding maps and views, script specimens and one woodcut, and is priced accordingly. Priced at €45,000 (euros, or approximately US $56,074).

 

We in the West have read many accounts of other peoples from the perspective of other westerners who visited their lands. Here is an account from the other direction, a Muslim traveler from India who visited Europe and Asia as well as lands in the Middle East: The travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, in Asia, Africa, Europe, during the years 1799...1803, published in 1810. This is a first edition in English by a traveler who would have had some familiarity with western culture as he had worked for the British East India Company. He speaks of smoking opium in Constantinople, cigarettes and coffee in Baghdad, and “a fiery spirit, called whiskey” in Ireland. He discusses governments and economic systems in the places he visits, and social relations, notably between men and women. He also describes the rise of Napoleon, which had begun during his travels. Mirza offers a first-hand view from a Muslim's perspective of Europe and Asia at the beginning of the 19th century. Item 1. €3,500 (US $4,361).

 

Here is another remarkable journey, that of Pedro Cubero Sebastian from 1670-1680. He was the first person to travel mostly overland from Spain to the East Indies. His account is found in Breve relacion, de la peregrinacion...del mundo, published in 1680. Cubero was a priest, who first traveled to Rome, where he was trained as a missionary. He was dispatched to Asia, but took a land route, which took him to Constantinople, then north to Moscow, and back to Iran and then India. Eventually, he moved on to Malacca in Malaysia, where he was imprisoned for awhile by the Dutch for teaching Catholicism. From there he traveled to the Phillippines, where he was present for a major earthquake, and then headed east, taking a boat on which half the passengers died before reaching Acapulco. He went on to Havana and finally returned home a decade after he left, having completed a circumnavigation on his own. In his time, we are told, he was recognized as a latter-day Magellan or Drake. Item 45. €18,000 (US $22,429).

 

Item 152 is the first Quran that was available to western scholars. It was published in Basil in 1543. There was one earlier western edition, which survives in just one copy, but it was published in Arabic. This edition was translated to Latin. It was translated from a 12th century manuscript from Toledo, which had then been taken from the Moors by Christian forces, but who maintained Muslim libraries and translated some of their works. As such, it was this edition that was the only real source of learning about the Quran available to Europeans at the time. This copy includes five short works by Philo of Alexandria bound into the end of volume 1. Philo was a Jewish philosopher who combined Greek teachings with those of the Hebrew Bible, living at the same time as Jesus. €35,000 (US $43,613).

 

This next book represents a geographical search in the Middle East. Item 78 is Trattato della situazione del Paradiso terrestre... the only edition of this work by Pierre Daniel Huet published in Italian (1737). Huet was a bishop and Jesuit scholar who combined his biblical and geographical knowledge to attempt to locate the placement of the Garden of Eden. Ultimately, he concluded it was in today's Iraq, near Basra. It is Eden no more.

 

You may reach the Antiquariaat Forum at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@forumrarebooks.com. Their website is www.forumrarebooks.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>Timed auction, April 29</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1032. RATZER, BERNARD. Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1011. [BROADSIDE]. Life, Last Words and Dying Confession, of Rachel Wall... $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1055. BEATON, CECIL. Scrapbook prepared by Cecil Beaton over the period 1935-1944, with some later inclusions. $800 to $1,200.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>Timed auction, April 29</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1051. ADDAMS, CHARLES. Original drawing "I hope the power doesn't go out until after Masterpiece Theatre." $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1037. The Campaign Speeches of Nixon of Kennedy, inscribed to William Safire by Richard Nixon and secretarially for John Kennedy. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1036. Celebration of the Commencement of Work on Rapid Transit Railroad. March 24th 1900, one o'clock, City Hall Park, New York. $200 to $300.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1005. 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers signed baseball including Jackie Robinson. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 12. OKLAHOMA! Celeste Holm's vocal score for Oklahoma! inscribed by Richard Rodgers. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 20. WILSON, DOOLEY. Fine inscribed photograph to Celeste Holm with Casablanca reference. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 79. Original production script of the Broadway musical CATS with notes written by Claude Tessier. $600 to $900.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 139. STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Autographed musical manuscript signed for "Broadway Baby" from Follies. $500 to $800.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 180.<br>Cecil Beaton. Headdress for Liza at the Ball, from My Fair Lady, circa 1962. $700 to $900.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 177.<br>Cecil Beaton. Set Design for The Gainsborough Girls, 1951. $2,000 to $3,000.

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