Antiquariat Kainbacher has created a catalogue of Reisen und Völkerkunde (travel and ethnology). The Austrian bookseller's catalogue is primarily in German, so be forewarned if you do not speak the language. However, there are several items in English with much of their descriptions in that language as well. Indeed, Germany was not a leader in travels and exploration, so many of the books in the German language are translations of other editions. There is even a section devoted to English explorer Francis Drake. And then again, some of those who traveled with English and other explorers were German, such as Georg Forster who traveled with James Cook and published the first (unofficial) account of his second journey.
The catalogue is divided into five sections. They are: (1) Africa, (2) Asia and the Pacific, (3) Francis Drake, (4) Longitude Act, Navigation & Astronomy, and (5) Middle East. Here are a few of the books offered.
We start with a set of books in German that combine the official accounts of Cook with those of Georg Forster and his father, Johann Reinhold Forster, who both sailed on Cook's second voyage as naturalists. It is a set of seven volumes published from 1774-1788 that cover all three of Cook's travels. The first three volumes are Hawkesworth's account of Cook's first voyage, along with accounts of other explorations. The last two volumes encompass Cook and successor Captain James King's description of the third voyage, finished by King as Cook was killed on a beach in Hawaii by unhappy natives. The middle two volumes, however, use the German Forster's account of the second voyage. This was the one on which Cook disproved the long-held belief that there was a massive southern continent, way beyond the Antarctica that is actually there. These are all first German editions of these books. Priced at €18,000 (euros, or approximately $19,789 U.S. dollars).
This next set comes from the field of ethnology. It consists of four volumes (in three) published 1931-1974. The title is Die Feuerland-Indianer (the Fireland Indians) by Martin Gusinde. It is the most extensive book about these Indians, now extinct as a tribe, the victims of genocide by European settlers, ranchers, and gold seekers (and to some extent missionaries). Fireland is better known by its Spanish name, Tierra del Fuego. This land of fire is an archipelago of islands across the Strait of Magellan from the southern tip of the South American continent. It was so named by the fires the natives burned, first observed by Magellan on his trip around the world. The natives, the Selk'nam people, were left alone by Europeans while the rest of South America was being colonized. However, by the middle of the 19th century, Europeans began to colonize even these far southern islands. There were only a few thousand Selk'nam to begin with, and between killings orchestrated by ranchers, the spread of diseases for which they had no immunity, and forced movement and integration with other people, the tribe, and full-blooded Selk'nam, ceased to exist. Author Martin Gusinde was a priest sent to South America, but he became interested in ethnology and the Fireland people in particular. Between 1918-1924 he visited their homeland four times and was accepted by the natives. Gusinde realized their days were numbered and that his study would be the last of the tribe. He learned and preserved everything he could. €5,500 (US $6,052).
In 1714, England enacted the Longitude Act, offering a prize to the person who could devise a way to determine a ship's longitude (east-west) position at sea. Latitude (north-south) could easily be determined by measuring the sun's angle at high noon. No such easy method was possible for calculating how far east or west a ship was located, making global positioning impossible for the crew to determine. John Harrison had a solution. Harrison was a clockmaker, and he knew that if a ship's crew knew what the time was at a fixed longitude, in this case the Greenwich Mean Time line, longitude could be determined by the length of time between high noon at their present location versus the current time at the Greenwich mean line. The problem was developing a clock that would remain perfectly accurate even after weeks or months of travel. Any variation would result in incorrect calculations. Harrison spent most of his life developing chronometers that could keep virtually perfect time over long periods of time. His report, prepared by Harrison and astronomer Nevil Maskelyne, is titled The Principles of Mr. Harrison’s Time-keeper, with plates of the same, published by order of the Commissioners of Longitude (French title Principes de la Montre de Mr. Harrison...). This is a first French edition, published in 1767, same year as the first edition. €25,000 (US $27,498).
Francis Drake was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, a privateer rather than explorer, and English hero. Queen Elizabeth appreciated his efforts deeply, mainly because he stole much Spanish loot to share with his monarch. Drake was quite successful on a mission to Panama in 1572-73, when he captured enormous riches while being the first Englishman to reach the Pacific (the circumnavigation came a few years later). In 1593, Drake presented a manuscript of his adventures for his Queen. It was a heroic story from a British point of view, but with England now officially at peace with Spain, she shipped him off to Ireland to lay low for a while. He would get another chance to raid Spanish shipping a few years later, but died off of Puerto Rico in 1596. The manuscript remained in the archives for the rest of Elizabeth's reign and that of her successor, James I, for diplomatic reasons. However, once James died, it was allowed to be published. It was first published in 1626. This is a copy of the 1628 second edition of Sir Francis Drake Revived: Calling upon this dull or effeminate age, to follow his noble steps for gold and silver. €30,000 (US $33,050).