Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2018 Issue

First Contact from Shapero Rare Books

First Contact from Shapero Rare Books.

Shapero Rare Books has printed a compact catalogue of First Contact. Rather than Shapero's usual large and highly detailed catalogues, this twelvemo size selection contains photographs and only brief descriptions. However, it is filled with many of history's pioneering accounts of travel and exploration (hence the title First Contact). This is a handy guide to some of the most significant material in the field presently available at Shapero Rare Books. Here are a few of these selections.

 

The oldest item offered comes from 1483, at the dawn of the Age of Discovery. It is the first edition of Macrobius' In Somnium Scipionis Exposito to contain a world map. Macrobius was a Roman writer from the early fifth century. What is most interesting is the map, which depicts what was known of the world before Columbus, and even the somewhat earlier Portuguese explorers. Europe is rather narrow, Italy and England identifiable. The continent connects to Asia and goes as far east as India, marginally identifiable. Across the Mediterranean is a narrow band of land named Aphrica. Just below that is more open sea, followed by the antipodes, described as an unknown balancing land. The lower portion is labeled "frigida," a frigid place establishing that the bottom of the Earth, like the top, is cold. What we know today as Russia is also labeled "frigida." East Asia and the Western Hemisphere are unknown, and no speculation is offered. Priced at $140,000.

 

Here is someone who could have told us more about Asia in 1483... maybe. Tractato bellisimo... is a 1492 Florence edition of John Mandeville's travels. Mandeville was supposedly an English knight from the 14th century who visited Asia, Arabia, and parts of northeastern Africa. At least, that's what his account, which was circulated in numerous manuscripts before the age of printing, claimed. By the 1480s, his account became the most well-read travelogue printed, with numerous editions appearing. However, it is dubious whether Mandeville even existed. It seems more likely that he was a European who wrote his account based on what he learned from others. Certainly some of it is pure fantasy, but along with Marco Polo, Europeans did not have much else to go on for learning about the world outside of their limited horizons. $52,500.

 

Next we have one of the earlier and better collections of travels and voyages. The title is Delle navigationi et viaggi and its author was Giovannni Battista Ramusio. It contains three volumes. First published in the mid-16th century, these are volumes from 1613, 1606, and 1606. They were the last editions and thereby contain the most complete text. Volume 1 covers, Africa, volume 2 Asia, and volume 3 America. Ramusio's work is highly respected, with even John Locke describing it as the "most perfect work of that nature in any language whatsoever." $110,000.

 

William Broughton first traveled to the Northwest coast of North America with Vancouver in 1791. In 1795, he returned, in command of his own ship. He was to meet up with Vancouver, but was not successful. However, he spent four years exploring. Much of his time was spent around Japan and Russia on the other side of the Pacific, and Hawaii and various islands in between. However, it is his time along the North American coast that is most notable. He sailed along Alaska, visited Nootka Sound, and traveled up the Columbia River (earlier, with Vancouver, they explored the mouth of the river but did not go farther inland). It was Broughton's explorations along the Columbia that led to Britain's later claim to Oregon, eventually resolved by treaty with the United States. He also visited California, but received no more than a chilly reception from the Spanish. The title of Broughton's book is A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean... published in 1804, and it is not only one of the most notable of Pacific Northwest exploration books, but one of the rarest as well. $31,500.

 

This next book does not come from a ship's captain, but from a common seaman. It was a terrible trip, but Archibald Campbell tells us all about it. What's more, he gives us a very thorough look at Hawaii in the early 19th century. The book is titled A Voyage round the World; from 1806 to 1812, in which Japan, Kamschatka, the Aleutian Islands, and the Sandwich Islands, Were Visited, published in 1816. Those were the days when the British still called Hawaii the Sandwich Islands. The bad part came when their ship was wrecked off the coast of Alaska. The men were able to make it to shore, but the journey overland to the nearest settlement in Campbell's waterlogged and frozen boots resulted in severe frostbite. Both of Campbell's feet had to be amputated, along with a couple of fingers. He was sent to Hawaii to recuperate, where he stayed over a year. It gave him an opportunity to become very familiar with life there, resulting in a description that reads more like that of a resident than a visitor. On returning to England, Campbell could no longer sail, so he became an organ grinder on the streets. An editor heard of Campbell's plight, and listening to his story, decided to publish his tale to help him raise funds to pay for his needs. $9,000.

 

Shapero Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)20 7493 0876 or jeffrey@shapero.com. Their website is www.shapero.com.

Rare Book Monthly

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    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 546. Christoph Jacob Trew. Plantae selectae, 1750-1773.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 70. Thomas Murner. Die Narren beschwerung. 1558.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 621. Michael Bernhard Valentini. Museum Museorum, 1714.
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    Auction 151
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    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 545. Sander Reichenbachia. Orchids illustrated and described, 1888-1894.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1018. Marinetti, Boccioni, Pratella Futurism - Comprehensive collection of 35 Futurist manifestos, some of them exceptionally rare. 1909-1933.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 634. August Johann Rösel von Rosenhof. 3 Original Drawings, around 1740.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
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    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 671. Jacob / Picasso. Chronique des Temps, 1956.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1260. Mary Webb. Sarn. 1948. Lucie Weill Art Deco Binding.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 508. Felix Bonfils. 108 large-format photographs of Syria and Palestine.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 967. Dante Aligheri and Salvador Dali. Divina Commedia, 1963.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1316. Tolouse-Lautrec. Dessinateur. Duhayon binding, 1948.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1303. Regards sur Paris. Braque, Picasso, Masson, 1962.
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: McCarthy (Cormac). Cities of the Plain, N.Y., 1998, First Edn., signed on hf. title; together with Uncorrected Proof and Uncorrected Advance Reading Copies, both signed by the Author. €800 to €1,000.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Stanihurst (Richard). De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis, Libri Quattuor, sm. 4to Antwerp (Christi. Plantium) 1584. First Edn. €525 to €750.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Fleischer (Nat.) Jack Dempsey The Idol of Fistiana, An Intimate Narrative, N.Y., 1929, First Edn. Signed on f.e.p. by Rocky Marciano. €400 to €600.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Smith - Classical Atlas, Lond., 1820. Bound with, Smiths New General Atlas .. Principal Empires, Kingdoms, & States throughout the World, Lond. 1822. €350 to €500.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Rare Auction Catalogues – 1856: Bindon Blood, of Ennis, Co. Clare: Sotheby & Wilkinson. €320 to €450.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Mavor (Wm.)] A General Collection of Voyages and Travels from the Discovery of America to the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century, 28 vols. (complete) Lond., 1810. €300 to €400.
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Mc Carthy (Cormac). Outer Dark, N.Y. (Random House)1968, Signed by Mc Carthy. €250 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Three signed works by Ted Huges - Wodwo, 1967; Crow from the Life and Songs of the Crow, 1970; and Tales from Ovid, 1997. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: The Garden. An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Horticulture in all its Branches, 7 vols. lg. 4to Lond. 1877-1880. With 127 colored plates. €200 to €300.
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Procter (Richard A.) Saturn and its System: Containing Discussions of The Motion (Real and Apparent)…, Lond. 1865. First Edn. €160 to €220.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Ashe] St. George, Lord Bishop of Clogher, A Sermon Preached to the Protestants of Ireland, now in London,... Oct. 23, 1712, London 1712. Second Edn. €130 to €180.
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    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
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    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
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    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
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    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
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