Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2009 Issue

The Dutch East Indies and Beyond from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

The Dutch East Indies and beyond from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje.


By Michael Stillman

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has issued A Fine Selection of Books and Prints on the Dutch East Indies and Beyond. This, naturally, includes many works related to the land today known as Indonesia, the major Dutch colony for several centuries, but it also covers many other locations. Several of the books include long journeys, even around the world, so many lands find their way into this collection. Here are a few of these items.

Item 17 is an early account of what is today the Republic of Palau. Two centuries ago, these Micronesian islands in the Pacific were called the Pelew Islands, as noted in this book title: An account of the Pelew Islands...composed from the journals of Captain Henry Wilson, and some of his officers, who, in August 1783, were there shipwrecked, in the 'Antelope'... The Spanish had earlier discovered the islands, but no one paid them much mind until Wilson and his men were forced into their extended stay. While such meetings between islanders and Europeans were not always congenial (witness the death of Captain Cook), Wilson and the Palau island natives struck up a great friendship. The British sailors were able to build a new ship, and when they departed, Wilson took the King's second son, Lee Boo, back to England with him. Tragically, and despite Wilson's efforts to protect him, the Prince came down with smallpox and died. This book (a third edition from 1789) by George Keate was quite popular among British readers, hungry for information about strange and faraway places, at the time. It tells all about the shipwreck, Lee Boo, and, of course, the islands. Priced at €1,450 (euros, or approximately $2,029 in U.S. dollars).

Item 35 is Krakatau, two volumes in one published 1884-85 by Rogier Verbeek. This is a description of the volcanic island located between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia (frequently called "Krakatoa" in English) that is noted for its volcanic eruptions. In 1883, the mountain exploded in one of the greatest seismic events in recorded history. Officially, over 36,000 were killed, primarily from the ensuing tsunamis, though it may have been several times that number. All 3,000 residents of a nearby island perished. Ash and sulphur spewed up to 50 miles in the air, and led to several years of global cooling as a result of filtering the sunlight. Verbeek was a Dutch geologist living on Java at the time, and his book is a thorough investigation of the eruption. It includes numerous colored views of the island in the weeks after the event. €1,650 (US $2,308).

Here is the account of the voyage that made it all the way around the world: Voyage autour du monde... by George Anson. This is the first French edition (1749) of the Englishman Anson's voyage in the early 1740s. Anson set out to harass (and steal from) Spanish shipping. His mission was for the most part a disaster, all but one of his half dozen ships being wrecked or forced to abandon the journey, and most of his men perished. Anson did attack a Spanish ship late in the voyage that was loaded with treasure with the result that he returned a wealthy man. Item 2. €1,850 (US $2,614).

Item 15 has been described as possessing "undoubtedly the finest 17th century plates of Indonesia." This is a Dutch work, Gedenkwaerdige zee en lantreize door de voornaemste landschappen van West en Oostindien, by Joan Nieuhof. This was the period of rule by the Dutch East India Company. Nieuhof was a Dutch adventurer who spent most of his life abroad, including a stint with the Dutch East India Company in the colonial capital of Batavia. This is a first and only edition of his book. €9,500 (US $13,419).

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books may be reached at +31 (0)347 322 548 or info@gertjanbestebreurtje.com. Their website is www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LEBEDEV (VLADIMIR). Russian Placards - Placard Russe 1917-1922. Saint-Petersbourg, Sterletz, 1923. €1,000 to €1,200.
    ALDE, May 28: MARDRUS (JOSEPH-CHARLES). Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris, F.-L. Schmied, 1927. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: TABLEAUX DE PARIS. Paris, Émile-Paul Frères, 1927. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MAGNAN (JEAN-MARIE). Taureaux. Paris, Michèle Trinckvel, 1965. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.
  • 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
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.

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