Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2018 Issue

Expeditions and Travel from the Arctic to the Tropics from Antiquariat Kainbacher

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From the Arctic to the Tropics.

Antiquariat Kainbacher has issued their Katalog XVI, Von der Arktis in die Tropen Expeditionen und Reisen. That translates to "From the Arctic to the Tropics, Expeditions and Travel." That title not only tells us that the books contain travels to regions of climatic extremes, but that the catalogue is written in the German language. Most of the books are also in German, but not all. English and French can also be found. Likewise, many of the explorers were German, but along with books not in German are German editions of books about explorers from other countries. In other words, the appeal of this catalogue is wider than it might initially appear. Here, now, are a few selections from it.

 

We begin with Vom Brodfruchtbaum (From the Breadfruit Tree). It appeared in Gartenkalender (Garden Calendar) for the year 1784. It is an account of the discovery of this marvelous fruit tree. While known for centuries, particularly among Polynesians on whose islands it flourished, it was publicized as a result of the journeys of Captain James Cook to the Pacific islands. It would be the German naturalist father and son team of Johann Reinhold Forster and J. Georg Adam Forster, who traveled on Cook's second voyage, who gave it the technical name of Artocarpus. That is taken from the Greek words artos (bread) and karpos (fruit). However, the "breadfruit" moniker goes back to George Anson's circumnavigation in the 1740s when his sailors were willing to substitute the starchy fruit for bread. What the English decided is that the breadfruit would be a good source of food for their slaves in the Caribbean. They thereby commission Capt. William Bligh to go to Tahiti and transport a group of the trees to Jamaica. You already know how that turned out - the infamous mutiny on the Bounty. Ultimately, the plan was a failure. The slaves refused to eat the stuff. Priced at €2,200 (euros, or approximately $2,504 is U.S. dollars).

 

Next up is Zweyfache Reise nach Amerika der beyden Russischen Seeofficiere Chrostoff und Dawidoff. This is an account of trips to America by Russian officers Chrostoff and Dawidoff. These were trips to Russian America, also known as Alaska, but they also paid a less than friendly visit to Japan. The Russians wanted to trade with Japan but their overtures were not welcomed. Chrostoff and Dawidoff were imprisoned, but managed to escape. This book, published in 1812, was the work of Russian writer August von Kotzebue and I have not been able to determine the level of accuracy of the account. The book describes their visit to Alaska along with the unpleasant stop in Japan, their escape, and return to Petersburg. They later went off to war, survived that too, but fell through ice in Petersburg one night when staggering home drunk and drowned. €2,500 (US $2,845).

 

This is a first German edition of a compilation of works pertaining to America. The title is Von dem Newen Hispanien (from New Spain), published in 1550. The most notable parts are the second and third letters of Hernan Cortes, the Spanish Conquistador who captured Mexico, destroying the Aztec empire. With not very many men he was able to take over an entire empire. The Aztecs were not prepared for invaders from a land unknown. Along with Cortes are works from Peter Martyr, Oviedo, and others, including the first account of Germans in Venezuela. €39,000 (US $44,410).

 

Next we go to Africa, this time near the end of the 16th century. This is a rare first English edition of A Report Of The Kingdome of Congo, a Region of Africa. And of the Countries that border rounde about the same. It was prepared by the Portuguese merchant Duarte Lopez who traveled to the Congo in 1578 and remained for nine years. The account was edited by Filippo Pigafetta and first published in Italian in 1591, in English in 1597. Lopez was appointed by Congo King Dom Alvaro I as ambassador to Spanish King Philip II, seeking more trade and to discuss mining prospects. He also attempted to meet with the Pope to discuss sending missionaries. He was unable to gain an audience, but did meet Pigafetta, who helped put together this account. It describes African "Amazons" and a tribe of cannibals. It also describes the land, includes images of Africans in native dress, and some of the best maps of Africa from this era. €45,000 (US $51,243).

 

Here is an Arctic rarity: Report from Select Committee on the Expedition to the Arctic Seas, Commanded by Captain John Ross, published in 1834. Ross led his first Arctic expedition in 1818. It didn't go so well. He didn't get lost, lose a bunch of his men, or anything like that. What happened is that he was sent on one of many attempts to locate a northwest passage, a sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the north side of the North American continent. However, just as he was about to enter Lancaster Sound, what would later prove to be the opening to the route, Ross thought he saw mountains in the way. Others thought they might be a mirage, and encouraged him to move forward. Ross was convinced they were real and returned to England. A year later, one of his lieutenants returned to the area and sailed through Ross' imaginary mountains. It was seriously embarrassing, so much so that the Admiralty would not finance another journey. Instead, he obtained private financing, and while still not finding a northwest passage, he made many discoveries over a four-year period, lost only three men, and his nephew, who accompanied him, became the first person to reach the magnetic North Pole. This report is Ross' after-the-fact request for payment for his men in recognition of their discoveries on behalf of the Crown. His accomplishments were recognized and the government paid. €8,800 (US $10,021).

 

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. The Rocky Mountains. Emigrants Crossing the Plains, 1866. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in English]. <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English.</i> Rheims, 1582. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in Latin]. <i>Biblia latina.</i> Venice: Franz Renner of Hailbrun [Heilbrunn], 1483. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822). Autograph letter signed ("P. B. S."), to Charles Ollier. Florence, Italy, 15 December 1819. “MY PROMETHEUS IS THE BEST THING I EVER WROTE.” $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> RAMSAY, David (1749-1815). <i>The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina…</i> Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1785. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BINDINGS]. MUIR, John (1838-1914). <i>The Writings of John Muir.</i> Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916-1924. 10 vols. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [CHICAGO] -- <i>Park & Guide Map of Chicago.</i> Chicago: Jas. Van Vechten, 1873. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [ALLEN PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). <i>Romeo and Juliet.</i> Greenbrae: Allen Press, 1988. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BEMELMANS, Ludwig (1898-1962). Pencil drawing on paper. 247 x 198 mm, sight, matted and framed. Showing a child shooting at a baby's balloon. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [LOGAN ELM PRESS]. HARVEY, Rebecca. <i>Any Number of Things.</i> Ohio State University, 2013. Single sheet paper scroll. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BINYON, Laurence (1869-1943). A small archive of letters and pamphlets. $200 to $300.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Mariette (Pierre-Jean). <i>Traité des pierres gravées / Recueil des pierres gravées...,</i> 2 vols., 1750. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> [Bryant, Jacob & William Cole]. <i>Gemmarum Antiquarum Delectus, [Marlborough Gems],</i> 2 volumes, [privately printed, 1780-83], £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Caylus (Anne Claude Philippe, Comte de). <i>Recueil d'Antiquités Egyptiennes, Estrusques, Grecques et Romaines,</i> 7 volumes, Paris, 1756-67, £700 to £1,000.
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    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Devonshire Gems. <i>Duke of Devonshire's Collection of Gems,</i> privately printed, c. 1790, [one of 8 copies], £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Goltz (Hubert). <i>Le Vive Imagini di tutti quasi gl'Imperatori,</i> Antwerp, 1557, £500 to £800.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Manuscript. <i>An Explanation of Dassier's Medals, by Charlotte Hanbury,</i> c. 1795-1800, £700 to £1,000.
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    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Paoletti (Bartolomeo and Pietro). A collection of 300 plaster cameos presented in 7 leather-bound double-sided faux book boxes, Rome, c. 1820, £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Mayer (Luigi). <i>Views in Egypt, from the Original Drawings, in the Possession of Sir Robert Ainslie,</i> London: Thomas Bensley for R. Bowyer, 1805, £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Blaeu (Willem Janszoon & Johannes). <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Atlas novus, pars quarta</i> [England and Wales], Amsterdam: Johannem Blaeu, 1648, £6,000 to £8,000.
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    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Reuter (O.M. & Mela, A.J.). <i>Finlands Fiskar. The Fishes of Finland,</i> 12 parts (complete), Helsingfors: G.W. Edlund, 1883-93, £500 to £800.
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  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Daniel Giraud Elliot. <i>A Monograph of the Phasianidae, or Family of the Pheasants,</i> 1870-1872, coloured plates. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Georg Braun und Franz Hogenberg. <i>Civitates orbis terrarum.</i> Cologne, 1597-c.1606, 5 volumes, hand-coloured, calf. £140,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Qianren Huang. "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Abraham Ortelius. <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum,</i> 1595. £40,000 to £60,000.
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    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>China, Canton School. A superb album of 141 watercolours, c.1800. £70,000 to £100,000.

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