Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2007 Issue

A Collection for the California Book Fair from Antiquariaat Forum

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A collection of items taken to the California Book Fair.


By Michael Stillman

The Antiquariaat Forum recently published a Short Title List with recent acquisitions and a selection from our stock to bring to the California International Antiquarian Book Fair. It isn't that short a list since 124 items are described. The Antiquariaat Forum made the long journey from the Netherlands to San Francisco, a painfully long trip in airplane seats now more cramped than Columbus' ships, and with less food offered the passengers. Anyone who endures the horrors of such travels deserves a bit of recognition, so here is a brief review of some the material the Antiquariaat Forum was exhibiting in the City by the Fault.

We will start with an American item, Narrative of the life and adventures of Paul Cuffee, a Pequot Indian. During Thirty Years Spent at Sea, and in Travelling in Foreign Lands. Cuffee was a most remarkable man. As if having an Indian mother was not handicap enough in 18th century America, his father was Black, having once been a slave. Cuffee was determined and very smart. He overcame his enormous disadvantages to become a most successful businessman, operating a sailing ship managed by a crew of Blacks. He also stood up for his principles, refusing to pay taxes on the grounds of the old colonial complaint, taxation without representation. Blacks weren't allowed to vote. Massachusetts was forced to relent and grant all men the franchise. When his children weren't allowed to attend school because of their color, he used his wealth to build an integrated school. In the ‘teens of the 19th century, he worked to set up a colony in Sierra Leone where former American slaves and other Blacks could settle in freedom. He devoted his time and money to this cause, but died in 1818 while the project was still in its early stages. This rare book was published in Vernon, New York, in 1839. Item 26. Priced at $7,150.

Christiaan Huygens was a pioneering Dutch astronomer and mathematician from the 17th century. He discovered the first moon of Saturn, accurately described its rings, patented the first pendulum clock, designed superior telescopes, and promoted a wave theory of light. Item 58 is a first edition of his final work, Kosmotheoros, published in 1598, three years after his death. This book includes both calculations about the planets and universe, as well as Huygens' speculations on inhabitants of other worlds. He believed there must be other beings out there, and that they must resemble humans, both physically and in terms of thinking. While we can conclude fairly conclusively now that these beings do not exist in our solar system, the rest of the universe remains open to discovery. $11,000.

The three voyages of Captain James Cook are among the most notable of all explorations. He provided official reports for each of his voyages (he needed help on the last as he died before its conclusion). However, the public did not always want to wait, and Heinrich Zimmerman was one who helped spread the word early. His account of Cook's third voyage was published in 1781, three years ahead of the official report. Item 123 is the rare first edition in Zimmerman's native German, Reise um die Welt, mit Capitain Cook, published in Manheim. $71,100.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.

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