Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2009 Issue

Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreurtje139

Poster on Bestebreurtje's cover celebrates emancipation from slavery.


By Michael Stillman

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 139 Travel. Bestebreurtje is located in the Netherlands, but nevertheless this catalogue contains much material related to America and England. Dutch, English and French are the languages that predominate. Those, like this writer, who speak English but not much else, will have no problems here as the descriptions are written in English (even for the Dutch works). Along with travel, the catalogue includes sections on ephemera and historical prints. We will focus primarily on those items with a connection to America, but there are lots of items pertaining to travels to the Middle East, India and Asia, including the longtime Dutch colony in Indonesia.

Item 120 is one of two great works from a man who was as remarkable as he was unfortunate. Georgius Rumphius sailed to Batavia (in today's Indonesia) as a midshipman for the Dutch East India Company in 1653. However, within a few years, he transferred to Ambon Island where he began undertaking massive studies of the area's natural history. He would produce this book, D'Amboinsche rariteitkamer... and another, but it would be a long, arduous project he would not live to see completed. In 1670, Rumphius became blind, but with the help of an assistant, he pushed on. In 1674, his wife and child were killed in an earthquake, yet he persevered. Then, in 1687, his manuscript and drawings were destroyed in a fire, requiring him to start over. When his book was finally reproduced and sent back to the Netherlands, the ship sank. Fortunately, he kept a copy. However, publication was delayed because the Dutch East India Company found some information sensitive. It was finally published in 1705. Unfortunately, Rumphius died in 1702. Offered is a copy of the 1740 edition of this book. Priced at €3,450 (euros, or approximately $5,051 is U.S. dollars).

Item 1 is Henry Ward Beecher: a sketch of his career, by Lyman Abbott and S.B. Halliday. It was published in 1887, the year in which the popular American preacher died. Write the authors, "It cannot be questioned that no man has exerted so wide and profound an influence on the progress of thought - moral, political and religious - in this country for the past fifty years, as has Mr. Beecher." Perhaps no man, but it could be argued his sister, Harriett Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, was more influential. Nevertheless, the fiery New York abolitionist preacher and defender of various progressive causes was a major American figure in the 19th century. €125 (US $183).

Obviously, not everyone shared Beecher's vehemently anti-slavery beliefs. Here is a book by a notable English soldier who was favorably inclined toward the practice: Transatlantic Sketches: comprising visits to the most Interesting Scenes in North & South America & West Indies. With notes on negro slavery and Canadian emigration. Author James Edward Alexander served in numerous wars and expeditions in the British military through over a half century of service, retiring as a major-general. In 1833, he published this book on his visit to America. Alexander offers his observations on life on many of the islands of the West Indies, the Mississippi and St. Lawrence Valleys, and the eastern part of the U.S. He opposes sudden emancipation and argues that the plantation owners have not been given a fair hearing. Item 4. €975 (US $1,426).

However, a different opinion on slavery is expressed in the print shown on the cover of this catalogue. Printed in London in 1853, it depicts a group of former slaves celebrating their freedom. It includes the wording, To the Friends of Negro Emancipation, This Print Is Inscribed. Item 42. €495 (US $723).

Item 193 is The American Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, published in London in 1876. This includes 32 engravings on 11 leaves that were published in The Graphic, a London weekly newspaper noted for its illustrations. This contains illustrations from America's first major exposition, celebrating the 100th birthday of the Declaration of Independence. An estimated 10 million people attended. Numerous scenes inside the fair are shown. €295 (US $431).

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

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    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor:<br>A Magnificent Illuminated Ashkenazic Prayer Book<br>19 October 2021</b>
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    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor:<br>A Magnificent Illuminated Ashkenazic Prayer Book<br>19 October 2021</b>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Pancho Villa, passport for a news correspondent covering the Mexican revolution, signed, 1914. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Nirvana’s <i>Nevermind,</i> CD insert signed & inscribed days after release by Cobain, inscribed by Novoselic, 1991. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Robert Indiana, <i>The Book of Love,</i> complete portfolio, artist’s proof set, 1997. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Marcel Vertés, Colette, <i>Chéri,</i> two volumes, deluxe edition, signed by the artist, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Orlando,</i> first trade edition, first impression, London, 1928. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Mark Twain, receipt for payment of the Mark Twain Public Library Tax, 1908. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> portfolio, collotype plates, 1918. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A third selection of 16th and 17th<br>Century English Books from<br>the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>Thursday 21st October 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Hawking & Hunting.- Turberville (George). <i>The Booke of Falconrie or Hawking,</i> second edition, Printed by Thomas Purfoot, 1611. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> George Steevens' copy.- Coryate (Thomas). <i>Coryats Crudities Hastily gobbled up in five Moneths travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia...,</i> first edition, complete copy, Printed by W. S[tansby], 1611. £4,000 to £6,00
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Butler (Charles). <i>The Feminine Monarchie: or The Historie of Bees,</i> second edition, Printed by John Haviland for Roger Jackson, 1623. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A third selection of 16th and 17th<br>Century English Books from<br>the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>Thursday 21st October 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Brathwait (Richard). <i>The English Gentlewoman, drawne out to the full Body: expressing, What Habilliments doe best attire her…,</i> Printed by B. Alsop and T. Fawcet, for Michaell Sparke, 1631. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Glapthorne (Henry). <i>The Ladies Priviledge,</i> first edition, Imprinted...by J. Okes, for Francis Constable, 1640. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Witchcraft.- F. (H.) <i>A true and exact Relation Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches, arraigned and executed in the County of Essex,</i> first edition, 1645. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A third selection of 16th and 17th<br>Century English Books from<br>the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>Thursday 21st October 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Hobbes (Thomas). <i>De Corpore Politico. Or the Elements of Law, Moral & Politick,</i> first edition, 1650. £2,000 to £3,000.
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Cookery.- M[ontagu] (W[alter]). <i>The Queens Closet Opened. Incomparable secrets in physick, chirurgery, preserving and candying, &c,</i> 3 parts in 1 vol., 1674. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A third selection of 16th and 17th<br>Century English Books from<br>the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>Thursday 21st October 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Speed (John). <i>An Epitome of Mr. John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain,</i> 2 parts in 1, 90 engraved maps, Printed for Tho. Basset, and Ric. Chiswel, 1676. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Le Boe (Franciscus). <i>Of Childrens Diseases... also a Treatise of the Rickets,</i> first edition, Printed for George Downs, 1682. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Economics.- Locke (John). <i>Several Papers Relating to Money, Interest and Trade,</i> first collected edition, Printed for A. and J. Churchill, 1696. £2,000 to £3,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>26th-29th of October 2021</b>
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th- 29th:</b><br>Books from XV to XX Century
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    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Magazines
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th- 29th:</b><br>Books from XV to XX Century

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