Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2007 Issue

Items for the London Fair from the Antiquariatt Forum

Antiquariatt's Forum's list from the London Book Fair.


By Michael Stillman

We are a bit late here, but we recently received the latest Short Title List from the Antiquariatt Forum. Perhaps because it is from a Dutch bookseller, printed for the Antiquarian Book Fair in London, this explains why we were a month behind the times in receiving it. We are, after all, located in the New World. Offered is a mix of books ranging from old to very old, including travels, medicine, science, poetry, art, religion, satire, and more. There is a greater concentration of English works than usual for the Dutch bookseller, as befitting a display presented in London. Here are a few of these works.

Item 9 is one of the great English adventures, worthy of fiction but true nonetheless. It is A Narrative of the Mutiny on board His majesty's Ship Bounty. This is the first edition of the account of this famous mutiny written by Captain Bligh himself. Bligh was transporting breadfruit trees from Tahiti to the Caribbean when part of his crew mutinied, perhaps finding life on Tahiti preferable to Bligh's stern discipline. Whatever the reason, Bligh and his loyal sailors were placed on a dinghy, where the Captain managed one of the most spectacular nautical feats imaginable. He brought his boat across 3,500 miles of sea to rescue without losing a man. William Bligh then went on to serve several more decades in the Navy. Priced at £8,350 (or approximate US equivalent of $16,830).

Item 45 is a very rare and important piece of Americana. It is a first edition copy of the Kanagawa Treaty, or Treaty Between the United States of America and the Empire of Japan. Concluded March 31, 1854. It was printed in 1855 and bears a printed signature of President Franklin Pierce. This was the treaty that forced Japan to open its doors to the world after centuries of total isolation. It was Commodore Matthew Perry who sailed to Japan and quite literally refused to take "no" for an answer. The treaty allowed for a certain amount of trade, the protection of shipwrecked American sailors, and the establishment of a consul. Why copies of this treaty are so rare is unclear, but the Antiquariatt Forum notes that they can locate only one other copy of this first edition. £32,580 (US $65,655).

Trips to the Holy Land entail a certain amount of risk today, but nothing like in the 16th century. Voiage de la saincte cite de Hierusalem recounts Hungarian Batholomeus Georgiewitz trip to Jerusalem almost five centuries ago. Published in 1600, it not only describes his pilgrimage from Paris, but the twenty years he was waylaid in Turkey as a prisoner and slave. Item 37. £12,680 (US $25,553).

If Georgiewitz felt ill on his trip, he could have consulted this book -- The Boock of Physicke, by Oswald Gabelchover. This medical text was quite popular in Germany, going through many editions over many decades, but this 1599 edition was the first and only one in English. It is probably a bit too dated to justify a second edition now. Item 31. £17,450 (US $35,149).

Now for some lighter fare. Item 63 is Les Chats ("The Cats") by Francois Paradis de Moncrif. This 1727 first edition is one of the earliest books devoted entirely to cats. It is written in an overly serious and pedantic style to achieve its aim of humor. After the "serious" part, it adds some letters between cats, a letter from a cat to a dog, and the like. £3,280 (US $6,603).

The Antiquariatt Forum may be found online at www.forumrarebooks.com, telephone +31 (0)30 6011955.

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
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions