Rare Book Monthly
Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2006 Issue
Rare and Old Books from the Antiquariaat Forum
By Michael Stillman
The Antiquariaat Forum of Utrecht, The Netherlands, has issued a pamphlet of books in conjunction with their recent appearance at the ILAB Antiquarian Book Fair in New York. What you will find here is both rare and old, generally 16th-19th century, and published in Europe, though several countries and languages are represented. Naturally, an Antiquariaat Forum catalogue will have its share of Dutch titles, but this list is more evenly spread across the continent. Americana collectors will also find many items of interest here. Several of these books fall into the category of the earliest books within the Americana field, that is, European Americana. While the ILAB show in New York has now passed, these books are timeless. Here are a few from this pamphlet.
Item 13 is a rare and important collection of Dutch voyages published in 1646. Edited by Isaac Commelin, it comes with the very Dutch title of Begin ende voortgangh, van de Vereenighde Nederlantsche Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie. Don't be fooled into thinking this is important only to the Netherlands. The trips may have started in Holland, but they went all around the world. It includes many voyages to the cold North, East Indies, and even the Americas. Often, this book was the first report of the travels. There are 21 voyages in all, 12 reported for the first time. Price available on request.
Another rare Dutch voyage offered is Journael oft daghelijcx-register van de Voyagie na Rio de Plata by H. Ottsen. Please don't ask me to pronounce "daghelijcx." This is the first edition of a voyage to South America, which took place in 1598-1601. The book was published in 1603. The author was the captain of one of the two ships that made the trip. Item 39. Price on request.
Item 9 is one of the most important early botanical works published, Herbarum vivae eicones ad naturae imitationem. Author Otto Brunfels describes some 230 species of plants, including 40 which were identified for the first time. Brunfels has been described as the first great botanist, and this book as the first to contain realistic and accurate illustrations. Many of the woodcut illustrations were created by Hans Weiditz. This copy includes the three parts from printings of 1532-36 bound in one volume. $35,480.