Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2007 Issue

Travels and Other Books from Librairie Thomas-Scheler

Books exhibited in San Francisco by Librairie Thomas-Scheler.


By Michael Stillman

Librairie Thomas-Scheler
recently published a List of the Books Exhibited at the recent California Antiquarian Book Fair. These are certainly works of importance, as one does not bring books all the way from Paris to San Francisco if they are not significant. Thomas-Scheler offers mostly books that more than qualify for the label "antiquarian," including some items of incunabula. As expected of very early items, most are European in origin. However, Americana collectors are not ignored as they offer books of early European Americana. Following are a few of the books that recently made the journey to the New World.

Captain Cook made the trip to America's west coast a couple of centuries before the Clavreuils of Librairie Thomas-Scheler. It was considerably more difficult and time-consuming in those days, though at least dinner in San Francisco was not yet so pricey. Unfortunately, Cook was killed by locals in Hawaii on his way back, unlikely to be the fate of current visitors to the fair who stop at those islands on their return. Item 45 is the very rare first French edition of Heinrich Zimmerman's account of Cook's third and final voyage. This book gave the world an advance look at this trip as it was published in 1782, prior to the official account. Zimmerman served on the lower deck of the Discovery, but was sufficiently literate to keep a shorthand account of what he saw. His account, which first appeared a year earlier in his native German, preceded the official account by three years. It includes descriptions of Pacific Indian tribes and an eyewitness account of the death of Cook. The title, in French, is Dernier voyage du Capitaine Cook autour du Monde... Priced at $20,000.

There was a French trip to California even earlier, though it did not make it as far north as San Francisco. Jean-Baptiste Chappe D'Auteroche led a French expedition to the Pacific to view the transit of Venus across the sun in 1769. This was the same transit that Cook set out for the Pacific to view on his first voyage. This voyage made it to Baja California just in time to achieve its goal, only to have illness hit the crew a few days later, taking many lives, including that of its leader. The book is Voyage en Californie pour l'observation du passage de Venus...published in 1772. Item 9. $12,000.

Of course, the French were active in North America long before this. They were the first to explore much of Canada and the Louisiana Territory in the 17th century. Less well known is their even earlier attempt to settle Florida. In 1564, with the support of the French King, Rene Laudonniere led three ships of French Protestants, not particularly welcome in France, on a voyage to settle Florida. It was a classic example of everything that can go wrong going wrong. It started out auspiciously. The settlers were welcomed by natives, and set up a fort and settlement.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
  • 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

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