Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2007 Issue

50 Fine Travel Books from Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books

A50

Fifty Fine Travel Books from Bernard J. Shapero.


by Michael Stillman

The latest in the series of "50 Fine Books" from Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books has arrived. This one is entitled 50 Fine Travel Books. These are certainly fine books, sure to stir the wanderlust in you. They hark back to a day when travel was a bit more challenging, and far away places a lot less familiar. There is much excitement to be relived within these pages, but treat them gently. These are all among the most collectible of books, to be treated with the care they deserve. Here's a look at a few of these fine travel books.

We will start with one of the most collectible works of Americana. Item 41 is Caius Julius Solinus' Ioannis Camertis... the edition from 1520, that is. Solinus actually wrote his work over a century earlier. As usual, this copy is bound with Libri de situ orbis tres by an even older, old-timer, Pomponius Mela, who lived in the first century. These works of natural history were based on even earlier works, and though very old at the time of this printing, still contained much of the "latest" information available at the dawn of the age of exploration. However, it is not the text that makes the Solinus so important. It is the much newer map within. Inside is the earliest obtainable map which labeled the New World with the name "America." Indeed, for a long time, it was believed that the Peter Apian map within was the first to use the name "America." It was not until the discovery of a 1507 Waldseemuller map (which exists in but one copy at the Library of Congress) that it was realized that Apian had "borrowed" his map from an earlier source. "America" is placed squarely on South America, which looks like a full-fledged continent, while North America appears more like a long (north to south) island. Priced at £65,000 (or approximate US equivalent of $131,063).

Item 1 is the first book edition (following the serially issued installments) of the first successful journey to the coldest place on Earth, the South Pole. Perhaps Roald Amundsen had an advantage over most polar explorers, having come from Norway, a quite cold place itself during winter. Amundsen not only beat his rival Robert Scott to the Pole, but returned alive to tell of it. His book, in the original Norwegian, is Den norske sydpolsfoerd med Fram 1910-1912. Those who do not speak Norwegian will be pleased to know it contains many photographs. Amundsen reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911, during the polar "summer," when temperatures average a balmy 20 below zero Fahrenheit. This copy is inscribed by Amundsen, in Norweigian, "Goggo from uncle Roald. 24.12.14." £6,000 (US $12,098).

Winston Churchill is best remembered for leading Britain through perhaps its greatest trial, the Second World War. However, Churchill was also a prolific writer and great historian. Four decades before leading Britain through the Great War, he was a combination combatant and newsman in the Sudan, when his nation was fighting local tribes. In 1899, Churchill published a two-volume account of this not-so great war, The River War. Item 8. £3,500 (US $7,058).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.

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