Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2006 Issue

Pacific Voyages and Other Historical Works from Hordern House

Rare books and manuscripts from Hordern House.


By Michael Stillman

Hordern House
has released another of its fine catalogues of voyages and other historical items. The latest is titled A selection of rare books, manuscripts and other historical items. Hodern House is located in Sydney, Australia, so naturally there is much on the sixth continent. However, that is hardly an exclusive, as many of the explorations that touched Australia also reached many other areas of the world. Hordern House's catalogues will appeal to anyone who collects voyages and other explorations, particularly in the Pacific. Here are a few of the items they now have available.

Item 31 is one of the exceedingly rare, important early works pertaining to the discovery of Australia and the search for a southern continent. It is a Memorial by Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, published in 1611 in Madrid. Quiros undertook two voyages on behalf of Spain in the early 1600s. He was in search of the fabled southern continent, but in reality he never found that nor Australia. He found some South Pacific Islands. On his first trip, he got as far as the Solomon Islands; the second took him to Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides). One of those islands on his second trip he called "Austrialia del Espiritu Santo," which he thought was the tip of the southern continent. He claimed the vast area he thought he found for Spain, and returned, seeking financing for further explorations. His Memorial was an attempt to garner additional financing, but Quiros was not successful. Priced at AU $295,000 (Australian dollars, or US equivalent of $225,877).

By the end of the 17th century, what is today Australia had been claimed by the Dutch when William Dampier became the first Englishman to land on the continent. In 1697, he published item 9, A New Voyage Round the World. In it, he writes, "New Holland is a very large tract of Land. It is not yet determined whether it is an Island or a main Continent; but I am certain it joyns neither to Asia, Africa, nor America..." It would be almost another century before Cook would determine it was not part of some massive southern continent, as long believed. Dampier anchored for two months off the west coast of Australia, and he writes about both natural features and the native people of the area. AU $34,500 (US $26,407).

Captain James Cook put an end to speculation about a southern continent on his second voyage, but he would make one last trip to the Pacific in 1776. On this third trip he discovered the Hawaiian Islands, reached the west coast of North America, but on a return stop in Hawaii, he was killed by natives. Item 6 is the official account of his last voyage, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. This copy carries the provenance of another famed explorer, James Bruce. Bruce was a British explorer who attempted to find the source of the Nile. In 1770, he was the first European to reach the source of the Blue Nile, which he believed to be the Nile of the ancients, though most people consider the real source to be that of the larger White Nile, not discovered until almost a century later. AU $32,000 (US $24,481).

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
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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