Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2008 Issue

Thirty-two Rare Books, Prints and Manuscripts from Hordern House

Hordern07

Thirty-two rarities from Hordern House.


By Michael Stillman

It is not often we see catalogues that are 8 x 11 1/2 and a quarter of an inch thick. When we receive one of this size that contains only 32 items, you can be confident that the works offered must be quite special. The latest from Australian bookseller Hordern House is entitled Thirty-two rare books, prints and manuscripts. This is a collection of gems, a great many with some tie to Australia or the Pacific, but not exclusively so. For example, a circa 1794 jigsaw puzzle world map certainly includes Australia, but covers all of the rest of the globe too. Whatever and wherever you collect, particularly if it relates to travel and exploration, this catalogue is likely to offer items that will intrigue. Here are a few.

Item 30 is a copy of the second (and preferred) edition of the essential early history of Mexico by Juan de Torquemada, Los veinte i un libros rituales i Monarchia Indiana. Torquemada was a missionary to New Spain who set out to record everything he could find about the indigenous peoples. The three-volume set includes much about the area after colonized by Spain, and much theological material as well. However, Torquemada also endeavored to record all he could about the people prior to Spanish rule. He studied pictographs and ancient writings, and interviewed aged people who retained native oral histories dating to pre-Spanish times. The first edition was published in 1615 but is extremely rare. This second edition, published in 1723, is preferred as it contains the map. Priced at AU $38,000 (Australian dollars, or approximately US $33,227).

Item 4 is a discharge certificate for Midshipman Phillip Carteret, signed by his captain, John Byron, in 1753. However, Carteret was not abandoning ship, but simply moving from one ship commanded by Byron to another. Byron had already sailed around the world with Anson at this point, and he and Carteret were evidently good friends. Carteret would sail again with Byron from 1764-1766 during the latter's own circumnavigation aboard the Dolphin, during which the British claimed the Falkland Islands. Carteret would next be given command of the Swallow as part of Samuel Wallis' circumnavigation. However, the two ships would be separated rounding the Strait of Magellan. Carteret would go on to discover Pitcairn Island and, naturally, the Carteret Islands before returning home. Sadly, his memorial may soon be lost, as the Carterets are currently under evacuation. They are being swallowed by the sea, the first victims of global warming. In a few years, it is anticipated they will be no more. AU $15,500 (US $13,567).

Item 15 is the four-volume official account of the ill-fated La Perouse voyage, Voyage de la Perouse autour du Monde... Jean La Perouse never made it "autour du monde," though he did visit many locations along the Pacific. Fortunately, the commander had a habit of sending his reports back with others when he made stops, so his account survived even though he and his crew did not. He had visited the Pacific Coast of North America, China, and various islands when he pulled into Australia's Botany Bay in 1788. The British had arrived just ahead of him, and as was his habit, La Perouse gave the latest updates in his account to the British to take back to France. After six weeks of observing the British, Perouse and his ships departed, never to be heard from again. AU $36,000 (US $31,507).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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