Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2017 Issue

Journeys from Douglas Stewart Fine Books

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Journeys.

Douglas Stewart Fine Books has issued a catalogue entitled Journeys. Stewart is a Melbourne, Australia, bookseller, but the continent's isolation is not reflective of the books they offer. The journeys described cover the entire world. They are broken down by destination: American, Asian, Antarctic, Pacific, and World. Only a small portion pertain directly to Australia. The catalogue was prepared for the California International Book Fair, perhaps explaining its international focus. The prices listed are in American dollars, in recognition of the fair's host. Here are a few of the travels covered in this catalogue.

 

For those interested in printing history, here is an item you don't find everyday. It is an example of printing prior to Gutenberg. Say what? Wasn't Gutenberg the first? He was first when it comes to using movable type. However, there was printing from blocks in China centuries earlier. Here is one such block, a stone printing block from China, circa 1287. This was the time when Marco Polo visited China, during which he described its paper currency. The text for the currency on the block provides a notice that counterfeiters will be punished by decapitation. A person identifying a counterfeiter would get a sizable reward along with the criminal's property. Despite the dire consequences, the warning may not have been that effective. Stewart points out that this block was carved in stone, rather than bronze as normal. That is an indication that it may have been created by a forger to produce counterfeit notes, though another explanation, such as an artisan's model, is possible. Item 42. Price on Request..

 

Item 43 is an example of one of these pre-Gutenberg printings of Chinese currency. It is a 1 kuan paper note, circa 1375. It depicts ten piles of 100 copper coins each to illustrate its value. It also contains the warnings against counterfeiting and the rewards to squealers, the quotation that it is "to circulate forever," and the seals of the Office of the Superintendent of the Treasury and the Great Ming Dynasty. By the following century, inflation caused by overprinting of banknotes, led to the discontinuation of their circulation, with silver coins their replacement. $15,000.

 

Item 7 is the first part of Comentarios Reales, que tratan del Origen de los Yncas, by Garcilaso de la Vega ("El Inca"), published in 1609. It is an account of Inca life in Peru, the culture, politics, and economics of an empire that quickly disappeared after the arrival of the Spanish. De la Vega had a unique perspective on Inca culture as well as access to their oral history. His father, of the same name (hence the author being distinguished as "the Inca"), was a Spanish conquistador. His mother was from Inca royalty. He learned about Inca culture from his mother's family. De la Vega went to Spain to further his education at the age of 21 and never returned to Peru. However, he had his memories to provide insights others lacked. De la Vega later wrote a second volume covering the conquest and early colonial period. $9,500.

 

Americans are pretty keen on body art these days, but I don't know whether they are even close to matching the artwork of Pacific islanders from centuries ago. The picture on the cover of this catalogue is an example. It is one of the drawings by Sydney Parkinson, the artist taken along on Capt. James Cook's first expedition to the Pacific. Parkinson produced over 1,300 drawings and sketches on his journey, including the first of natives of Australia and New Zealand from direct observation. Unfortunately, Parkinson never made it home, dying from dysentery in Batavia (today's Jakarta). His drawings did, and in 1773 they were published by his brother, Stanfield Parkinson, in A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship the Endeavor. Faithfully Transcribed from the Papers of the Late Sydney Parkinson... It was unauthorized and an injunction placed on its publication until after the official account was released. Item 87. $12,500.

 

Item 75 is a three-volume set of facsimiles of a newspaper. Facsimiles of a newspaper may not sound exciting at first, but this was a very unusual paper, not one you could buy at a newsstand or find in a library. It was the South Polar Times, originally published in 1902-1903. There aren't many newsstands or libraries in Antarctica. It was written and published by the crew of the British National Antarctic Expedition. It was edited by Ernest Shackleton, who would later command major Antarctic expeditions, but on this one was serving under Robert Falcon Scott. The explorers would make it farther south than anyone had before, though they did not reach the Pole. Of course, there's lots of downtime on board a ship in the Antarctic – nights that go on for months and biting cold that limits outdoor activities. Crewmen on the expedition, including Apsley Cherry-Garrard, who later participated in "the worst journey in the world" with Scott, wrote literary articles and provided illustrations. The three volumes were published from 1907-1914, the first two volumes in 250 copies, the third in 350. This copy comes with the very rare subscribers' broadside. $25,000.

 

This next book provides an account of explorations in America and Asia, or specifically, in the area where those two continents almost come together. Item 40 is an Account of the Russian Discoveries between Asia and America. To which are added the Conquest of Siberia, and the History of the Transactions and Commerce between Russia and China. The author was William Coxe, an English clergyman and historian who traveled around Europe, spending much time in St. Petersburg, where he conducted research into Russian Pacific explorations. He writes about the voyages of numerous explorers whose names are better known in Russia, and then moves on to expeditions in Siberia and China trade. Of particular interest to Americana collectors are sections about contacts made between the Russians and Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. $6,000.

 

Douglas Stewart Fine Books may be reached at +61 3 9066 0200 or info@douglasstewart.com.au. Their website is found at www.douglasstewart.com.au.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.

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