Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2019 Issue

Australia and the Pacific Region from Hordern House

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The latest from Hordern House.

Hordern House has issued a new catalogue that is lacking a title, but not much else. It is a fully illustrated, well-described collection of material that will appeal to collectors at a high level. Hordern House is located in Sydney, Australia, and most items touch on their homeland in some way. It is heavy on travels and voyages, as is generally the case with Australian material from the early 19th century or earlier. The land was still in discovery mode. Many of these travels reached other lands as well, so Pacific travels in general are well-covered here. Some went inland into the continent, but not many people were straying too far from the shore in these early days. While books are frequently found here, this catalogue also includes paintings and other artwork, manuscripts, maps, documents, and ephemeral items. We will next take a look inside at a few selections.

 

We begin with one of those sort of Australian items. It dates from way before the discovery of Australia as we know it today, a mere speck of the land once thought to exist down under. It refers to the "australe" or southern land. The author was Henri Lancelot-Voison de la Popeliniere, the title L'Amiral de France. Et par Occasion, de Celui des Autres Nations, tant Vieles que Nouvelles. La Popeliniere was a French historian, and this work was published in 1584. It would not be until almost two centuries later, after the second journey of English Captain James Cook, that the myth of there being a giant southern continent was finally put to rest. The theory was based primarily on there being far more known land in the northern hemisphere than the southern. It was believed there must be a balancing amount of land in the southern half, and since travelers had not spotted it in the more northern regions of the southern hemisphere, it must exist in the hemisphere's farther southern regions. La Popeliniere also believed that Magellan had seen the tip of this great land to the south when he passed through the Straits of Magellan. While other than this misunderstanding, no one had ever seen this great continent, la Popeliniere thought that France needed to quickly go and colonize it. This book, his second on the subject, is an attempt to get the French to expand its navy so it can get to work colonizing this mythical land. By this time, other European powers had already grabbed the New World, so this was France's last chance to take a large territory still unclaimed by her rivals. He imagined this land would be filled with riches and beauty, but even if not, France needed to be first to make the discovery. Item 31. Priced at AU $45,000 (Australian dollars, or approximately $30,870 in U.S. dollars).

 

The Beagle, a ship not a dog, participated in what, in hindsight, proved to be the most important of explorations. It was the ship's second major voyage, lasting from 1831-1836. The commander was Captain Robert FitzRoy and the mission was to survey the southern portion of South America. FitzRoy wished to have a naturalist on board and selected a young man with little experience in the field to fill this role. His name was Charles Darwin. It was the result of his observations on this trip, particularly similarities and differences between certain species based on location, that led to his discovery of the theory of evolution. No scientific discovery has ever been as important for humans' understanding of who they are than this. So, what happened to the Beagle after Darwin's voyage? The answer is the Beagle undertook one more significant voyage, this one to Australia. Here is the account of that final voyage, Discoveries in Australia... by John Lort Stokes. This voyage lasted from 1837-1843. This voyage was originally commanded by John Clements Wickham, but when Wickham took ill in 1841, command went to Stokes. Stokes was the longest serving officer on the Beagle, having served there even before its first voyage. He named several places in Australia after companions on his journeys, Port Darwin being named for Charles Darwin. The Beagle surveyed the northwest coast of Australia along with various other sections of the continent, occasionally charting rivers and inland areas as well. When Lort's mission was completed and his book published in 1846, no one yet had an inkling as to the monumentally important theory Darwin was developing, so the significance of the ship was still unknown. Item 5. AU $9,500 (US $6,520).

 

Edward John Eyre was an early inland explorer of Australia. He traveled from England to Australia at the age of 18 and settled into sheep raising. When he sold his sheep, he used the proceeds to fund his explorations inland, accompanied by an Aboriginal friend. It was a time when little was known of the interior and his expeditions involved great risk. All of this said, this next item pertains to Eyre, but has nothing to do with Australia. He would go on to serve as a lieutenant or acting governor in New Zealand and the West Indies, then acting Governor of Jamaica, and finally, in 1864, as Governor of Jamaica. In 1865, there was a rebellion by black Jamaicans which Eyre put down brutally. Over 400 blacks were killed, 600 flogged. George William Gordon was a mixed race businessman and legislator, and a critic of Eyre. When the rebellion began, Eyre had him arrested, and after a short dubious trial, had Gordon executed. Eyre had many supporters for his savage response, but also many critics, particularly in England. There was great controversy and Eyre was recalled to England in 1866. Several attempts were made to try him for murder, but his case never was brought to trial. Item 19 is a large broadside, actually two sheets were needed for it. It is headed Gordon and Eyre. It was created by Gordon's supporters. It quotes from a dispatch written by Eyre, "It is well known that Mr. Gordon was universally regarded as a bad man in every sense of the word. Reported to be grossly immoral and an adulterer, a liar, a swindler, dishonest, cruel, vindictive, and a hypocrite, such are the terms applied to G. W. Gordon, and I believe abundant proof might be adduced of all these traits." Gordon's supporters respond, "The undersigned having resided in the island for many years, and having had very considerable opportunities of knowing and forming an estimate of the late Mr. Gordon's character in his various relations in life, do hereby protest against the foregoing allegations as made by Mr. Eyre, and declare them to be utterly without foundation." It is signed by several missionaries and ministers, an attorney, a councilman, and others. Several years later, the British paid Eyre's legal expenses and gave him a pension as a former governor. He lived until 1901. In 1969, Gordon was officially proclaimed a Jamaican National Hero and his portrait was used on the $10 bill. AU $6,850 (US $4,701)

 

Are you wondering what Australian music was like before the Bee Gees? Here is an answer. Item 10 is the Australian Album, and since it was published in 1857, it is safe to say this is not a record album. It is a book produced by J.R. Clarke and Edmund Thomas. Hordern House describes it as "the first music album published in New South Wales." It contains eight musical scores and ten lithographic plates. There is an illustrated frontispiece, title page, and illustrated title page for each song. The preface describes these as all Australian songs, "an index of our education, refinement, art-feeling." Item 10. AU $6,500 (US $4,662).

 

Hordern House may be reached at [+61] (02) 9356 4411 or rare@hordern.com. Their website is found at www.hordern.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books<br>Fine Art<br>Antique Engravings & Lithographs<br>Works on Paper<br>Accepting bids until July 31</b>
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Cleveley, Jukes, & Cook - View of Charlotte Sound, New Zealand. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Peron - Platypus. $300 to $600.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Loon & Pitt - Map of the World published 1680 - <I>Orbis Terrarum nova et accuratissima tabula.</i> $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Maitres de l'Affiche by MUCHA - La Dame aux Camelias. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <center><b>Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books<br>Fine Art<br>Antique Engravings & Lithographs<br>Works on Paper<br>Accepting bids until July 31</b>
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Cause - Peony, Crocus, Dog's Tooth Violet. $400 to $800.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Redoute, Folio - Lemmonnier's Iris - Iris Monnieri. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Audubon, Imperial Folio - Common American Deer. $6,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Gould - Cuvier's Toucan (Ramphastos Cuvieri). $5,000 to $8,000.
  • <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> OUTHWAITE, Ida Rentoul. FROG TEACHER LEADING ELF PUPILS ... Watercolour, c.1920.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> SATO, Gyro. [GENDAI RYOKI SENTAN ZUKAN]. Tokyo : Shinchosa, 1931.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> CARROLL, Lewis. ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. London : Macmillan and Co., 1868.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> FLEMING, Ian and MILLER, Albert. CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. New York : Random House, 1968.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> PHOENIX. Adelaide : Adelaide University Union, 1939.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> BOWEN, Emmanuel. A complete map of the Southern Continent. London : 1744.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> NORTHFIELD, James. AUSTRALIA. Melbourne : Northfield Studios and J.E. Hackett, c.1935
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Les Cigarettes Mekka,</i> 1919. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Plinio Codognato, <i>Cicli Fiat,</i> circa 1910. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> L.N. Britton, <i>Warning! Consider the Possible Consequences,</i> c. 1917. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Leonardo Bistolfi, <i>Première Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs Modernes,</i> 1902. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Paquet Pernot / Biscuits Pernot,</i> 1910. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jul 15:</b> Jessie Tarbox Beals, archive of signed photographs, 15 silver prints, c. 1930. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Francesco Nonni, <i>Font Meo / Acqua Minerale Naturale,</i> 1924. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Frederick Winthrop Ramsdell, <i>American Crescent Cycles,</i> 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> <i>Be a Tight Wad! Own Something!</i> designer unknown, 1925. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Candido Aragonese de Faria, <i>Chamonix–Mont–Blanc,</i> c. 1910. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> W.E.J., <i>Irishmen Avenge the Lusitania,</i> c. 1915. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Your Own Sylvia:<br>Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes and other items,<br>Property of Frieda Hughes<br>9 to 21 July 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Family photograph album ("The Hughes family Album"), 1957-1962. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on "my own private doctrine", with a poem, 5 October 1956. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Pen and ink portrait of Ted Hughes, [1956]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Your Own Sylvia:<br>Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes and other items,<br>Property of Frieda Hughes<br>9 to 21 July 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Joint autograph letter signed, to William and Edith Hughes, March 1960. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Photographic portrait by David Bailey, inscribed by Plath, 1961, and another press photo. £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Tarot de Marseille. Deck of cards owned by Sylvia Plath. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Pair of gold wedding rings. £6,000 to £8,000.

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