Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2005 Issue

Into The Heart Of Africa From Bernard Shapero Rare Books

Bernard J. Shapero takes us deep insdie of Africa.


By Michael Stillman

Bernard Shapero Rare Books
takes us into what was a mostly unknown continent to the West a few generations ago with their latest catalogue, Africa 2005. While the continent was undoubtedly well known to those who lived there, Europeans in the 19th century rarely penetrated deeply into its interior. Modern means of transportation were virtually nonexistent, making travel extremely difficult and dangerous for outsiders. Extreme climates, difficult geography, suspicious or hostile natives, and various unfriendly animals and disease added to the problems. The result was that books recounting explorations in Africa were of deep interest to people in Europe, and people like Livingstone, Stanley, Burton and Speke became heroes to Europeans in the way the great voyagers like Cook had been to an earlier generation. Africa 2005 is filled with books, photographs, and other material from these primarily 19th and early 20th century expeditions. Then, there is also a large collection of items from those semi-explorers, the big game hunters, who came to Africa to hunt its wildlife, but came back with tales of their own to tell. Here are a few samples of what you will find in Shapero's latest catalogue.

Item 71 is one of those big game journeys by a then relatively obscure young man from England. The book is My African Journey and it was published in London in 1908. It recounts hunting in East Africa and eventually on to the Nile. Along the way, the writer bags a white rhino. White rhinos are actually grey, not white ("white" probably comes from the similar sounding Afrikaans word for 'wide,'" pertaining to their wide mouths). Shooting them today would get you arrested for poaching. But, we digress. The intrepid big game hunter/author of 1908 was none other than young Winston Churchill, who would later go on to save the world, among other things. Priced at L375 (British pounds, US equivalent $664).

David Livingstone was one of the most famous African explorers, although he is better remembered for being found himself (by Stanley) then for what he found. Livingstone was part missionary, part explorer, part promoter of commerce. His expeditions were not monumental successes, but he became famous when he determined to continue explorations deep in Africa, despite declining health and loss of outside contact. That is when Stanley was sent on his mission by a newspaper to locate the "lost" Livingstone. Item 141 is, The last journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from, 1865 to his death. Continued by a narrative of his last sufferings, obtained from his faithful servants Chuma and Sisi... Faithful they were, as they carried Livingstone's body over a thousand miles after he died so he could be buried in Britain. L225 (US $398).

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    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.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
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    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    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.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
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    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    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.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    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.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.

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