Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2015 Issue

Pacific Voyages and Early Australia from Hordern House

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38 Pacific and Australian books.

We recently received the latest catalogue from Hordern House, and despite a thorough search, I can find no title, not even a number for it. There is no description either. It just proceeds directly to the 38 items offered. We shall do the same, except to note it primarily covers Pacific voyages, mostly real, a few imaginary, with most related in some way to their home base in Australia.

 

We start with some of the first books about Australia, though they weren't about Australia at all. They were about imaginary lands way down under, the great (but non-existent) southern continent, or Terra Australis. Item 17 is The Discovery of a New World... by Joseph Hall, the first edition, first issue, of the first book in English to imagine a society on the southern continent. It was published in 1609. At the time, it was believed there must be a massive, unknown continent emanating from the South Pole to balance all of the continents in the Northern Hemisphere. Hall wryly observes that maps show this "unknowne Southern Continent," but if it is truly unknown, how can they display it on maps? "How long shall wee continue to bee ignorant in that which wee professe to have knowledge of?" Makes sense to me. So Hall went forth to describe it. It consists of four major regions, Tenterbelly – land of gluttons, Theevigen – land of thieves, Fooliana – land of snobs, and Sheelandt – land of women. In Tenterbelly, birds are too fat to fly. In Sheelandt (not so much a feminist ideal but a man's stereotype of women), all the women talk at the same time, but "none doth give ear, but each one yells as if she were horn-mad..." Priced at AU $44,500 (Australian dollars, or approximately $31,478 in U.S. dollars).

 

Australia was still essentially unknown when Gabriel de Foigny published A New Discovery of Terra Incognita Australis, or the Southern World... in 1693. That did not stop him from describing it, though his was more of Utopian society than that of Hall. It consisted of large hermaphrodites who lived in harmony with each other. Fortunately, the visitor himself is hermaphroditic, so he is accepted into the society. Interestingly, de Poigny, a Franciscan monk, was relieved of his duties for licentious behavior and fled to Protestant Geneva. His book is notable for being the first to use the term "Australia" to describe the land and "Australians" to describe its inhabitants. Item 13. AU $48,000 (US $33,973).

 

Of all the strange tales of the southern land, this one is the most bizarre: Le Relationi Universali... by Giovanni Botero, this edition being from 1622-23. It includes images of creatures to be found there, with no distinction between those based on reality and those on fantasy. Those based on fantasy are truly fantastic, requiring an imagination deeper than displayed in the martians and other space beings depicted in typical science fiction. These were not just people with big heads and big eyes. There is the winged being whose human-like face is where we expect the chest to be, with a serpentine head extending from the neck above. Another has developed a foot which is used to shade himself from the hot summer sun. Australians are an odd lot. Item 5. AU $55,000 (US $38,808).

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.
  • <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.

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