Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2018 Issue

From Pole to Pole - Adventures Far North and South from Shapero Rare Books

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Penguins and polar bears.

Shapero Rare Books has issued a catalogue Of Penguins and Polar Bears. It shouldn't take too long to figure out what this is about. It is not so much about those particular species, but of their habitats. Penguins live in the Antarctic, polar bears in the Arctic. Indeed, this catalogue is divided into two sections, Antarctic and Arctic. Mostly what we read about are the human penguins and polar bears, those intrepid explorers who bundled themselves up and went out into the great white unknown. Many never made it back, but that never quenched the spirit of adventure. Here are a few items from the far north and the far south.

 

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had already made a name for himself discovering the fabled Northwest Passage a few years earlier when he headed far south. Amundsen had hoped to be the first to reach the North Pole, but when Peary apparently reached that destination before he had a chance, Amundsen turned his attention south. He would be first to reach the South Pole, though first he had to win a race against Englishman Robert Falcon Scott. That he did on December 14, 1911. Amundsen was more experienced than Scott, had superior equipment, knew better how to lay out supply caches, and make the most of dogs and sledges. He also was favored with milder weather. Item 1 is Amundsen's account of his journey, The South Pole. An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the "Fram," 1910-1912. Priced at £3,750 (British pounds, or about $5,230 in U.S. dollars).

 

Amundsen's competitor, Scott, did not have anywhere near as smooth a journey. He, too, made it to the pole, only to find the Norwegian flag already implanted. From there it got worse. The weather turned bitter and stormy, and not being as well equipped, Scott and his two companions were unable to make it back. It would take almost a year to find their bodies. One of those who located them was Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a young man with a substantial inheritance who talked his way onto the mission as an assistant zoologist. Cherry-Garrard experienced a mission comparably terrible to the one that took Scott's life. He and two others were sent on a side trip to bring back emperor penguin eggs. They hit terrible weather, and while Cherry-Garrard was able to make it back to their ship, his two companions did not. He wrote about their journey in 1922 in the aptly titled, The Worst Journey in the World. Antarctic 1910-1913. George Bernard Shaw wrote of his account that he was "able to describe it so effectively that the reader forgets how comfortable he is in his arm-chair, and remembers the tale with a shiver as if he had been through it himself." Item 10. £4,500 (US $6,291).

 

Much of our knowledge about the Arctic came from missions with specific goals. One was to find a Northwest Passage that would allow for direct shipping from England to Asia by going almost due west, rather than taking the long and treacherous route around South America. The other was the less practical but challenging goal of reaching the North Pole. However, there was one other mission that perhaps yielded the most information of all. That was the dozens of attempts to find the lost mission of John Franklin. Most were unsuccessful, but brought back much information about the Arctic. Franklin left England in 1845 and was never heard from again. It would not be until 1859 that his fate was finally determined when relics from his journey were discovered. There were no survivors. When the Admiralty threw in the towel and decided it was pointless to search any longer, Lady Franklin financed several missions in hopes of finding her husband. It was one of these that determined the outcome, when the log book, diaries, and other artifacts were found. That mission was headed by Francis M'Clintock, who had participated in two of the earlier unsuccessful searches. His account is found in A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin and his Companions, published in 1859. Item 63. £450 (US $629).

 

One of the most important figures in Arctic exploration was Sir John Barrow, though he never explored the region himself. As a young man, he participated in journeys to China and South Africa, but on returning to England in 1804, he took on the position of Secretary to the Admiralty, where he would remain the next 40 years. It was in this position that he became a great promoter of Arctic exploration, including a hoped finding of the elusive Northwest Passage. In 1818, he published this book recounting historic voyages in the area: A Chronological History of the Voyages into the Arctic Regions; Undertaken Chiefly for the Purpose of Discovering a North-East, North-West or Polar Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific... It traces explorations from the earliest Scandinavian voyages to the then recent ones of Ross and Buchan. His purpose in writing this book was to encourage the Admiralty to sponsor new ones. Barrow proved successful in his aims as he would oversee 13 more expeditions over the next 30 years. Item 46. £1,350 (US $1,885).

 

Next we have a collection of three broadsides, printed in Alaska before any books were. They were printed at Alaska's far northern tip, Point Barrow, named after the previously mentioned promoter of Arctic exploration. They were printed on board H. M. S. Plover, which spent two years at Point Barrow, 1852-1854. It was part of the Franklin search expeditions, the first, leaving England in 1848. Two of the broadsides are headed, Arctic Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin. One says the natives are not unfriendly, but should be dealt with cautiously. The other was intended to be given out to the natives. It was hoped they would pass them along to others along the coast until they eventually reached other search ships. The notice would tell them where the Plover was located. The third is headed, Great Novelty! It is intended to open this season with a Native Dance which will take place on board Her Majesty's Ship Plover, at Point Barrow, Thursday Next... Undoubtedly, the crew could have used some entertainment through the long days and months in isolation, but the purpose for this event, as explained in the notice, was to engender good will, so that the natives would treat members of the Franklin and its search parties kindly. Item 38. £36,000 (US $50,336).

 

Shapero Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)20 7493 0876 or rarebooks@shapero.com. Their website is www.shapero.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cartwright (George). <i>A Journal of Transactions and Events, during a Residence of nearly Sixteen Years on the Coast of Labrador...,</i> first edition, with A.L.s. from the author, 1792. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Swift (Jonathan). <i>Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World,</i> 2 vol., first edition, Teerink's "A" edition, Printed for Benj. Motte, 1726. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Fourier (Jean Baptiste Joseph). <i>Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur,</i> first edition, Paris, chez Firmin Didot, 1822. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Boccaccio (Giovanni). <i>Genealogiae Deorum,</i> additions by Dominicus Silvester and Raphael Zovenzonius, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1472. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mary I. Letter signed at the head "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, 1 page, 7th June 1556. The recall from exile of nine persons opposed to the Marian regime. £10,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Nelson (Horatio). Autograph Letter signed "Horatio Nelson" and written to Francis Drake, British Minister at Genoa, discussing the disposition of his "Cruizers" near Genoa. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Darwin (Charles). Unpublished Autograph Letter signed to Walter Raleigh Browne, playing down his scientific knowledge of comparative anatomy, 1881. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Murphew (J.). <i>The fair in an uproar, or, the dancing-doggs.</i> As they perform in Mr. Pinkeman's New Opera in Bartholomew Fair, 1707. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Chaucer (Geoffrey). <i>The Workes,</i> by [Nicholas Hill for] Thomas Petit, dwellyng in Paules churche yarde at the sygne of the Maydens heed, 1550. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Austen (Jane). <i>Emma: A Novel,</i> 3 vol., first edition, 1816. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>Stamboul Train,</i> first edition, first issue, 1932. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Churchill.- Fearon (Percy Hutton) "Poy". “Eat More Beef,” pen and ink cartoon with shading in blue pencil, [July 1928]. £400 to £600
  • <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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000

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