Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2017 Issue

Travels & Science from Antiquariat Kainbacher

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Travels & Science.

Antiquariat Kainbacher has published their Katalog XI, titled Travels & Science. A language warning before we start – while the title is in English, not much else is. The catalogue is written in German, as are most, but not all of the books within. Familiarity with the language, naturally, is helpful. It is divided into three sections: Natural Science and Technology, Rare Travel Reports, and Ethiopia. Here are some samples of the material found in this latest Kainbacher selection.

 

We start with a man whose name is now generally heard in conjunction with the word "effect." Christian Doppler was an Austrian physicist who studied the motion of binary stars. He came upon an important discovery, explained in this 1842 text, Ueber das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels (On the colored light of the twin stars and some other stars of heaven). Motion either expands or contracts light waves, slightly changing the perceived color of the objects. He was able to use this phenomenon to determine speed and motion of distant stars. He didn't quite have it right as he assumed all stars were the same color. It took further refinement to conclude that a spectral analysis could compute the shift of light colors to more accurately reveal motion. To the lay public, Doppler's discovery is better known from its application to sound waves. The pitch is changed by expansion or contraction of sound waves. We all best know this phenomenon from the sound made by passing trains, which dips lower once the train passes. Priced at €13,000 (euros, or approximately $13,728 in U.S. currency).

 

When travelers set out on long voyages of discovery, it was relatively easy for them to determine their latitude. Just look at the angle of the sun, check out your calendar, and voila, you could determine how far north or south you were. Longitude, on the other hand, was an entirely different matter. Knowing the time of day, which could also be determined by the sun, was needed, but it had to be compared to the time of day at a fixed point, either your starting location or a universal longitude such as the Greenwich mean. If, for example, there was a one hour difference, you knew you had traveled 1/24th of the globe east-west. But, while you could compute the time where you were from the sun, travelers had no idea what the time was back home. That is where John Harrison came in. People didn't have watches in the 18th century, and the timepieces they had were not very accurate. He devised a chronometer that could be carried and operated on a ship while being extraordinarily accurate. Even weeks or months of travel later, it would still accurately maintain the time back home, allowing the traveler to make the comparison in time between home base and where they were at the moment, telling them just how far east or west they had traveled. Add that to their preexisting capacity to compute latitude and they could almost precisely determine where they were. Offered is a first French edition (title in French and English) of The Principles of Mr. Harrison’s Time-keeper, with plates of the same, published by order of the Commissioners of Longitude, by John Harrison and Nevil Maskelyne, published in 1767. €25,000 (US $26,347).

 

Albrecht Durer is still one of the most notable artist/illustrators ever, though he lived 500 years ago. His prints, and books containing them, are highly valued and sought after today. Less known is that Durer was also a mathematician, who used his formulas in his artwork. Specifically, he used geometry for both art and architecture. Late in his life, he wrote about it. This is a first German edition of Durer's Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel un(d) richtscheyt... published in 1525. In it, Durer teaches the principles of geometry as applied to painting and architecture, as well as the principles of perspective. The book contains two large woodcuts. €28,000 (US $29,573).

 

Here is a book in English, and one of the most important travel books of the 19th century. The title is The Lake Regions of Central Africa. A Rare Picture of Exploration, by Richard Burton, published in 1860. Burton was Britain's foremost explorer of the 19th century. Most of his travels were centered in the Middle East and Africa, though he also visited, and wrote about, his trip to Salt Lake. His other most notable work is an account of a trip he took to Mecca, at great peril for his life, dressed and convincingly adopting the appearance of an Afghan Muslim. Non-Muslims entering the holy city faced almost certain death. The journey recounted in the Lake Regions had a particular purpose beyond seeing some nice African lakes. Burton, and his partner, John Speke, were seeking the elusive source of the Nile. Despite the many attempts, no European yet knew where the source was located. It was a strenuous journey and both men became deathly ill. Burton reached Lake Tanganyika but could go no further. Half blinded, Speke pushed on. He came back and announced that Lake Victoria was the source. Burton was not convinced. Speke broke an understanding, at least in Burton's opinion, by repeating his story without Burton being present. It led to a bitter feud, which ended only the day before they were to debate when Speke shot himself, either the result of a terrible hunting accident or intentionally. But, Speke was right about the source. €5,900 (US $6,238).

 

While Speke died in 1864, Burton lived to 1890, affording him the opportunity for more adventures and to write more books. In the 1860's, Burton was named British consul to Fernando Po, a small island off the west African coast. It was an insignificant assignment and Burton hated it. He got away whenever he could. He hoped to capture a gorilla, and used one of his escapes to the continent to make the attempt he wrote about a decade later, published in 1876: Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo. It tells about the places he visited and the natives, at least as seen from a British perspective. However, he never captured a gorilla. This copy has a library stamp that provides an interesting history. It was once part of the Ambassador College Library in Pasadena, California. Americans who grew up in the 1950's and 1960's and listened to their AM radios late Sunday night will remember the golden voice of Garner Ted Armstrong, radio preacher broadcasting The World Tomorrow. Ambassador College was operated by the Worldwide Church of God, headed by Garner Ted's father for whom he worked. €6,500 (US $6,870).

 

Antiquariat Kainbacher can be reached at 0043-(0)699-110 19 221 or paul.kainbacher@kabsi.at. Their website is found at www.antiquariat-kainbacher.at.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <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.

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