Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2017 Issue

Travels & Science from Antiquariat Kainbacher

5d9a771f-ce6b-4fd2-a5ed-b0a27c2dd72f

Travels & Science.

Antiquariat Kainbacher has published their Katalog XI, titled Travels & Science. A language warning before we start – while the title is in English, not much else is. The catalogue is written in German, as are most, but not all of the books within. Familiarity with the language, naturally, is helpful. It is divided into three sections: Natural Science and Technology, Rare Travel Reports, and Ethiopia. Here are some samples of the material found in this latest Kainbacher selection.

 

We start with a man whose name is now generally heard in conjunction with the word "effect." Christian Doppler was an Austrian physicist who studied the motion of binary stars. He came upon an important discovery, explained in this 1842 text, Ueber das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels (On the colored light of the twin stars and some other stars of heaven). Motion either expands or contracts light waves, slightly changing the perceived color of the objects. He was able to use this phenomenon to determine speed and motion of distant stars. He didn't quite have it right as he assumed all stars were the same color. It took further refinement to conclude that a spectral analysis could compute the shift of light colors to more accurately reveal motion. To the lay public, Doppler's discovery is better known from its application to sound waves. The pitch is changed by expansion or contraction of sound waves. We all best know this phenomenon from the sound made by passing trains, which dips lower once the train passes. Priced at €13,000 (euros, or approximately $13,728 in U.S. currency).

 

When travelers set out on long voyages of discovery, it was relatively easy for them to determine their latitude. Just look at the angle of the sun, check out your calendar, and voila, you could determine how far north or south you were. Longitude, on the other hand, was an entirely different matter. Knowing the time of day, which could also be determined by the sun, was needed, but it had to be compared to the time of day at a fixed point, either your starting location or a universal longitude such as the Greenwich mean. If, for example, there was a one hour difference, you knew you had traveled 1/24th of the globe east-west. But, while you could compute the time where you were from the sun, travelers had no idea what the time was back home. That is where John Harrison came in. People didn't have watches in the 18th century, and the timepieces they had were not very accurate. He devised a chronometer that could be carried and operated on a ship while being extraordinarily accurate. Even weeks or months of travel later, it would still accurately maintain the time back home, allowing the traveler to make the comparison in time between home base and where they were at the moment, telling them just how far east or west they had traveled. Add that to their preexisting capacity to compute latitude and they could almost precisely determine where they were. Offered is a first French edition (title in French and English) of The Principles of Mr. Harrison’s Time-keeper, with plates of the same, published by order of the Commissioners of Longitude, by John Harrison and Nevil Maskelyne, published in 1767. €25,000 (US $26,347).

 

Albrecht Durer is still one of the most notable artist/illustrators ever, though he lived 500 years ago. His prints, and books containing them, are highly valued and sought after today. Less known is that Durer was also a mathematician, who used his formulas in his artwork. Specifically, he used geometry for both art and architecture. Late in his life, he wrote about it. This is a first German edition of Durer's Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel un(d) richtscheyt... published in 1525. In it, Durer teaches the principles of geometry as applied to painting and architecture, as well as the principles of perspective. The book contains two large woodcuts. €28,000 (US $29,573).

 

Here is a book in English, and one of the most important travel books of the 19th century. The title is The Lake Regions of Central Africa. A Rare Picture of Exploration, by Richard Burton, published in 1860. Burton was Britain's foremost explorer of the 19th century. Most of his travels were centered in the Middle East and Africa, though he also visited, and wrote about, his trip to Salt Lake. His other most notable work is an account of a trip he took to Mecca, at great peril for his life, dressed and convincingly adopting the appearance of an Afghan Muslim. Non-Muslims entering the holy city faced almost certain death. The journey recounted in the Lake Regions had a particular purpose beyond seeing some nice African lakes. Burton, and his partner, John Speke, were seeking the elusive source of the Nile. Despite the many attempts, no European yet knew where the source was located. It was a strenuous journey and both men became deathly ill. Burton reached Lake Tanganyika but could go no further. Half blinded, Speke pushed on. He came back and announced that Lake Victoria was the source. Burton was not convinced. Speke broke an understanding, at least in Burton's opinion, by repeating his story without Burton being present. It led to a bitter feud, which ended only the day before they were to debate when Speke shot himself, either the result of a terrible hunting accident or intentionally. But, Speke was right about the source. €5,900 (US $6,238).

 

While Speke died in 1864, Burton lived to 1890, affording him the opportunity for more adventures and to write more books. In the 1860's, Burton was named British consul to Fernando Po, a small island off the west African coast. It was an insignificant assignment and Burton hated it. He got away whenever he could. He hoped to capture a gorilla, and used one of his escapes to the continent to make the attempt he wrote about a decade later, published in 1876: Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo. It tells about the places he visited and the natives, at least as seen from a British perspective. However, he never captured a gorilla. This copy has a library stamp that provides an interesting history. It was once part of the Ambassador College Library in Pasadena, California. Americans who grew up in the 1950's and 1960's and listened to their AM radios late Sunday night will remember the golden voice of Garner Ted Armstrong, radio preacher broadcasting The World Tomorrow. Ambassador College was operated by the Worldwide Church of God, headed by Garner Ted's father for whom he worked. €6,500 (US $6,870).

 

Antiquariat Kainbacher can be reached at 0043-(0)699-110 19 221 or paul.kainbacher@kabsi.at. Their website is found at www.antiquariat-kainbacher.at.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions