Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2019 Issue

A Melbourne Fair Catalogue from Douglas Stewart Fine Books

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Melbourne 2018.

Douglas Stewart Fine Books published a catalogue for Melbourne 2018. That was the book fair recently held in Melbourne, Australia. Naturally, there is much that would be of interest to an Australian collector, but this is not a catalogue of Australian material. Historic material covers a wider range, mainly Asia and the Pacific. Other items, particularly in the arts, extend to Europe and America (such as The Philosophy of Andy Warhol). This is a varied and fascinating catalogue, one easy to appreciate. Here are a few selections.

 

We begin with one of the earliest European travelers to Asia. Marco Polo headed east from his home in Venice with his father and uncle in 1271. He did not return until 24 years later. Item 2 is the third Spanish edition of his travels, Libro del famoso Marco Polo Veneciano... published in 1529. His travels took him through Arabia, the Holy Land, Turkey, Persia, China and Tibet. His account, for the first almost two centuries available only in manuscript form, was for years the only reasonably reliable source of information for Europeans on this part of the world. Conflicts on the Italian peninsula led to Polo being imprisoned until 1299, affording him time to write his account. This edition was translated by Rodrigo Fernandez de Santaella, who has included the account of 15th century traveler Nicolo Conti, who visited some of the same lands. It also contains Santaellas Cosmographia. Santaella had concluded very early on that the East and West Indies were separate lands, not the same one approached from different sides. He so concluded based on differences between natural resources and the environment of the two places. He also believed that "Antilla" was a corruption of "Antindia," meaning the opposite of India. Priced at AU $220,000 (Australian dollars, or approximately $157,840 in U.S. dollars).

 

Next we have a study of the fruit that led to the most famous sea mutiny in history. It was not the breadfruit's fault. Item 9 is Vom Brodbaum (on the breadfruit) by Georg Forster, published in 1784. Forster and his father were naturalists on Captain James Cook's second voyage. The breadfruit was a food staple on the Pacific islands, and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks had brought samples back to Britain on Cook's first voyage. This is a first edition, printed for private distribution in Kassel (Cassel, Germany) where Forster was a professor of natural science. As such, it is quite uncommon. Back in England, Banks had concluded that the large breadfruit would be a great source of food for the slaves in the Caribbean. Banks successfully promoted a mission by the Royal Navy to gather some breadfruit trees in Tahiti and transport them to the Caribbean. Placed in charge of that mission was William Bligh, commander of the not so good ship Bounty. You know the rest. AU $8,500 (US $6,106).

 

Talk about mutinies, this one made the one on the Bounty look like fun. Technically, this was not a sea mutiny. It occurred on land, after the shipwreck of the Batavia. It did result in the publishing of the first images of Australia, but the price was hardly worth it. Here is the terrible story. The Batavia was headed for Batavia (today Jakarta), but was off course when it was wrecked off the western Australian coast in 1629. Forty of the passengers drowned, but around 300 made it to the shore of a couple of islands. It was an inhospitable site, with little fresh water available. Commander Francois Pelsaert and a few of his men headed for the Australian coast, hoping to find water. They found a dry desert. Realizing the potential for disaster, Pelsaert decided to take the longboat and head for Batavia. It took them 33 days, but the commander was able to secure a rescue ship, with which he rushed back to the location where the survivors were stranded. What Pelsaert found when he returned was beyond shocking. The man he had left in charge, Jeronimus Cornelisz, and his band of mutineers, had initiated a reign of terror on their fellow survivors. Over 110 men, women, and children had been murdered by the mutineers, the women made into sex slaves. Cornelisz quickly killed anyone he feared might be a threat to his rule. Fortunately, when Pelsaert returned, a few of the survivors, left on an island to die, reached him first and told the commander the grisly news. Justice prevailed. The worst of the mutineers were tried, tortured, and executed on the spot. Cornelisz had his arms cut off with a hammer and chisel before being hanged. Two of the mutineers were dumped off on the Australian mainland, never to be heard from again. Others were returned to Batavia for trial. Pelsaert's book, Ongeluckige voyagie, van't schip Batavia, nae de Oost-Indien, not only recounts this horrific tale, but includes drawings of the west Australian coast, the first European images of Australia. This is an extremely rare first edition, published in 1647. Item 4. AU $400,000 (US $287,360).

 

Item 36 is a photograph album from the maiden voyage of the German warship SMS Bismarck in 1879-1880. The photographs document visits to Patagonia, Samoa, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Tonga, Fiji, Sydney, Peru, and the Falkland Islands. The photographer was Claus Franzen, and while Stewart has been able to locate many others of his photographs, they have not found a comparable portfolio to this. This one was given to Chancellor Bismarck himself, possibly by the ship's captain when he personally visited with Bismarck on December 26, 1880. The Bismarck was primarily employed during the 1880s during the colonization of Africa. The Bismarck was decommissioned in 1888, and though an overhaul was planned, that plan was abandoned. She then served only as a barracks ship until broken up for scrap in 1920. It should be noted that this was not the same ship as the battleship Bismarck of "Sink the Bismarck" fame, sunken off the French coast during World War II. AU $42,000 (US $30,193).

 

Item 38 is an archive of material relating to the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-1904. The highlight is an unpublished manuscript by the expedition's meteorologist and hydrographer, Gosta Bodman. It also contains 270 pages of letters Bodman wrote, his journal, and 50 photographs taken on Snow Hill Island, where six of the men were stranded for two years. The mission was a reasonable success in terms of information gathered, but the price was many hardships suffered. Bodman's account describes his observations concerning the environment, descriptions of his companions, his scientific findings, and the harsh living conditions and ordeal they endured. They had planned to spend a year on Snow Hill Island, but ended up there for two when the main ship, which was to pick them up, sank. Antarctic winters are not pleasant. Finally, they were rescued by the Uruguay, a rescue ship sent by Argentina. There is also a letter from Bodman to his mother written from the Uruguay. AU $85,000 (US $60,991).

 

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

  • <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>New York | June 11, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Faulkner, William. <i>The Sound and the Fury.</i> New York: Jonathan Cape, [1929]. First edition in dust jacket. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Trautz-Bauzonnet bindery. Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Thompson, Kay. <i>Eloise at Christmastime.</i> New York: Random House, [1958]. First edition. In custom binding by Asprey. $2,000 to $3,000
    <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>New York | June 11, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Taylor, Deems. <i>Walt Disney’s Fantasia.</i> New York: 1940. In custom binding by Asprey. $2,500 to $3,500
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Shakespeare’s Sonnets, In Two Parts,</i> limited Saint Dunstan edition, Oxford University Press, 1901. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. $18,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b><br>Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b><br>Ian Fleming, <i>The Man with the Golden Gun,</i> first edition, first state with the dust jacket, London, 1965. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>The Voyage Out,</i> first American edition of the author’s first book, in rare dust jacket, NY, 1920. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Gabriel García Márquez, <i>Cien años de soledad,</i> Buenos Aires, 1967. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Mary Mapes Dodge, <i>Along the Way,</i> first edition, author’s copy, annotated in her hand, NY, 1879. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> <i>The Dial: A Monthly Magazine for Literature, Philosophy and Religion,</i> first edition, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s copy, Cincinnati, 1860. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Gaston Leroux, <i>The Phantom of the Opera,</i> first American edition, first printing, New York, 1911. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Walt Whitman, <i>Leaves of Grass,</i> signed, Camden, 1876. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts. May 1, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> WRIGHT, Wilbur -- WRIGHT, Orville. Photograph signed. 128 x 177 mm, black and white. Taken for Collier's Weekly by James H. ("Jimmy") Hare. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> WRIGHT, Wilbur -- WRIGHT, Orville. Typed document signed, New York, NY, 18 November 1909. A founding document in the history of aviation: the certificate of incorporation for the Wright Company. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> LINCOLN, Mary Todd. Personal monogrammed handkerchief. Square linen handkerchief, silk border, "ML" monogram to one corner, 11 1/8 x 11 1/4 in. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts. May 1, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> TRUMAN, Harry S. Broadside signed, as President, 8 May 1945. Truman's V-E Day proclamation. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> WASHINGTON, Martha Dandridge Custis, First Lady. Autograph free frank signed on integral cover sheet. One of four surviving free franks by Martha Washington. $30,000 to $40,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> DALI, Salvador, illustrator. -- DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge. <i>Alice in Wonderland.</i> New York: W.U.C.U.A. and Maecenas Press - Random House, 1969. Limited edition, signed by Dali. $3,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts. May 1, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> CHURCHILL, Winston Spencer. <i>Lord Randolph Churchill.</i> London: Macmillan and Co., 1906. First edition, presentation copy to his valet, inscribed. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> DICKENS, Charles. <i>Great Expectations.</i> London: Chapman and Hall, 1861. First edition, 3 vols. Vol. I second issue, vol. II first issue, vol. III third issue. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge ("Lewis Carroll"). <i>Sylvie and Bruno. -Sylvie and Bruno Concluded.</i> London: Macmillan, 1889, 1893. First editions, inscribed presentation copies. 2 works in 2 vols. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts. May 1, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> KEULEN, Gerard van. <i>Nieuwe Wassende Graaden Paskaart Vertoonende alle de Bekende Zeekusten en…</i> [Amsterdam, ca 1720]. Important 18th century world map depicting California as an island. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> ALHAZEN [Abu 'Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham]. <i>Opticae thesaurus.</i> Translated from Arabic into Latin. First edition of Alhazen’s classic work on optics and vision. $18,000 to $25,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman, May 1:</b> GALILEI, Galileo. <i>Systema cosmicum... in quo quatuor dialogis…</i> Translated from Italian by Matthias Bernegger. Strasbourg: D. Hauttius for the Elzevirs [at Leiden], 1635. First Latin edition. $6,000 to $8,000

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