Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2009 Issue

Travels, Exploration and History from Helen Kahn

Kahn75

Voyages, explorations and more from Helen R. Kahn and Associates.


By Michael Stillman

Helen R. Kahn and Associates has issued a new catalogue: Voyages and Exploration, History and Biography, War and Peace. What you will find here is a collection of books that range from old to antiquarian, which cover topics historic and serious, and which bring back times when much about the world was still unknown. Most titles are in English, though there are many, as befitting a Canadian bookseller, in French, some in German. Perhaps less typical for this bookseller is that only a handful of titles are significantly tied to Canada. Most involve explorations and other stories whose genesis was in Europe. Now, here are a few of the books being offered.

Item 80 is the first printed eyewitness account of Cook's second voyage: Journal of the Resolution's Voyage, In 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775. On Discovery to the Southern Hemisphere, by which the Non-Existence of an undiscovered Continent...is demonstratively proved. Not finding something would not appear to be a momentous discovery, though in this case it was. Up to this time, it has been believed that there was a massive southern continent far beyond the size of Antarctica. The author was John Marra, a gunner's mate on the Resolution, but was published anonymously. Marra did not seek credit as no one from the journey was supposed to publish a history prior to the official version. Marra's 1775 book preceded the official account by two years. Marra provided charts that showed the three occasions where Cook's mission penetrated the Antarctic Circle, and his account also spells out some of the intrigue which led naturalist Joseph Banks to back out of participation in the voyage at the last minute. Priced at $12,500.

Item 45 is an important account of Central America from the mid-17th century: The English-American his Travail by Sea and Land: Or, a New Survey of the West Indies... We will cut off the title of Thomas Gage's book there, as it is one of those extremely lengthy headings that almost tells the whole story in its title. Gage, who had gone to Spain in 1612 and entered the Dominican order, determined to travel to Spain's territories in the New World in 1625. This was not permissible, as Spain prohibited foreigners from entering their new lands, fearful that knowledge would lead to other countries trying to seize their land. To get around this, Gage had himself smuggled aboard ship, and for the next 16 years, traveled extensively through Mexico and other Central American territories. He finally returned in England in 1641, signed on as an Anglican priest, and published this extensive report in 1644. It quickly became the most authoritative report on the Spanish territories in Central America available to those outside of Spain. $5,000.

As every American schoolchild knows, Sebastian Cabot discovered America in 1494. Actually, this may be true. He just wasn't the first to discover America. He was more like the millions of other immigrants who also later discovered America. However, this is not what author J.F. Nichols had in mind when he published The Remarkable Life, Adventures and Discoveries of Sebastian Cabot, of Bristol...Discoverer of America... Nichols had to use secondary sources to reach this conclusion, as he was not an eyewitness to Sebastian, and his father, John Cabot's, discoveries (Nichols' first edition was published in 1869). Supposedly, the Cabots landed in Newfoundland in 1494, and somehow this preceded Columbus. Item 88. $400.

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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