Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2019 Issue

Africa from Shapero Rare Books

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Africa.

Shapero Rare Books a short time ago issued a catalogue entitled Africa 2018. Recent Acquisitions. These works are primarily from the late 18th or 19th century and most are British in origin. The British were intimately involved with the large continent across the Mediterranean during this period. They, like some of their European cohorts, were busy colonizing the continent at the time. However, there were also numerous explorers who came from England, their intentions being to learn and discover, rather than capture. And then there was one other factor that brought the English to Africa - the slave trade. During the 18th century, the English were gladly taking African slaves to work their Caribbean plantations. By the 19th century, that mission changed, as England outlawed the slave trade and sent its ships to the African coast to enforce that decree against those nations or private sea captains who attempted to continue their trade in human cargo. Here are a few selections from this catalogue.

 

Europeans were long fascinated by the Nile River, known to them for millennia. Everyone knew where it ended, but no one knew where it began. In 1768, English explorer James Bruce set out to unravel the mystery. By passing himself off as a physician, Bruce was able to obtain the necessary diplomatic papers to proceed on his journey. He traveled up the river to Aswan, but then headed east to the Arabian peninsula. Hostile tribes made it impossible to continue further up the Nile. He then crossed back into Africa, to Gondar in Ethiopia. That enabled him to return to the Nile at Lake Tana. Voila. He discovered its source in the "Fountains of the Nile," springs around Lake Tana. At least he thought so. Not quite. He discovered the source of the Blue Nile, which had actually been discovered by Portuguese Jesuits a century and a half earlier. The Blue Nile is considered a tributary of the recognized source, the White Nile. It would be almost another century before that source would be discovered. Bruce made the arduous trek back, including 400 miles through the Arabian desert, to return home in 1774. Item 21 is Bruce's account, Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, in the Years 1768...1773, not published until 1790. Priced at £7,500 (British pounds, or approximately $9,901 in U.S. dollars).

 

That same year, a new organization published its findings about Africa, Proceedings of the Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa. Headed by Sir Joseph Banks, a group of wealthy Englishmen formed what is better known simply as the African Association in 1788, for the purpose of exploring Africa. In particular, they wished to determine the route of the Niger River and find Timbuktu, the legendary city whose streets supposedly were paved with gold. They had already learned much by 1790, having sponsored a couple of missions, but had not answered their major questions. Five years later, they sponsored the exploration of Mungo Park, and while he did not find where the Niger terminated, nor see Timbuktu, he came home alive and with knowledge of the region, his mission capturing the imagination of his countrymen. Membership and contributions to the association swelled. It continued until 1831 when the African Association merged into the Royal Geographical Society. Item 2. £2,500 (US $3,300).

 

Among the greatest explorers of the internal regions of Africa was David Livingstone. Livingstone was a missionary, sent to Africa by the London Missionary Society in 1840. He proved to be a better explorer than missionary. His journeys brought him from coast to coast through the center of Africa, visiting lands never before seen by a white man. He discovered the Zambesi River and Victoria Falls. He relayed his findings back to England, including descriptions of the slave trade that encouraged the British to do more to end it once and for all. Item 57 is an account of his first major explorations on the continent, along with his earlier missionary residency, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, published in 1857. £1,250 (US $1,650).

 

David Livingston was "lost," or at least out of contact with Europe, for several years, but everyone has heard about the finding of Dr. Livingstone, I presume. Here is the account, How I Found Livingstone. Travels, Adventures, and Discoveries in Central Africa, Including Four Months' Residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry Morton Stanley, published in 1872. Stanley was sent to Africa by the New York Herald to find Livingstone and the source of the Nile, already discovered but still a matter of some dispute. Stanley found the missionary-explorer near Lake Tanganyika, which he determined did not empty into the Nile. He spent four months with the ill Livingstone, nursing him back to health. The two became close during their time together. Sadly, Livingtone's health did not hold up for long. He died two years later. The younger Stanley went on to further explorations. Item 87. £1,500 (US $1,973).

 

America had its Audubon, England its Gould. France had Francois Levaillant. He preceded the others. Levaillant was born in Africa in 1753, and his wanderlust brought him back to explore the southern part of the continent. He had an interest in animals, and birds in particular. That interest translated into this book, six volumes published 1805-1808, Histoire naturelle des Oiseaux d'Afrique (natural history of African birds). The illustrations, provided through the efforts of Jacques Barraband, were printed in color with enhancements by hand. Item 55. £50,000 (US $65,800).

 

Next is a collection of 22 gelatin silver prints taken by Harry Burton in 1923. They were taken at the unsealing of the tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamen. King Tut's grave provided an incredible collection of artifacts, including the body of the King himself, as it had been undisturbed by grave robbers since the King was buried 3,000 years earlier. Burton was from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was the official photographer for the excavations. Most of the photographs show the inner chambers of the tomb and objects discovered, but there is also one of Howard Carter, who conducted the excavations, and Lord Carnavon, who financed them. Item 22. £4,750 (US $6,252).

 

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>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Smith, Joseph. <i>The Book of Mormon.</i> Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin for the Author, 1830. First printing. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Last Words of Joseph Smith. Autograph Letter Signed from a Mormon disciple, conveying a contemporary account of the Prophet's final words, Nauvoo, July 27, 1844. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> John Brown's Body. Autograph Letter Signed from the daughter of John Brown attempting to arrange the return of her father's body, North Elba, Essex Co, NY, November 29, 1859. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Powell Expedition. Autograph diary of Rhodes C. Allen kept during the Powell Expedition of 1868, June 29, 1868 - November 16, 1868. $20,000 to $40,000
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, <i>El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha . . . Nueva Edición,</i> first Ibarra edition, Madrid, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French, France, 1530-40s. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b><br><i>Die Ernsthaffte Christenpflicht,</i> earliest known edition of the first complete Mennonite prayer book, 1708. $300 to $500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Georg Agricola, <i>De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib V.,</i> first edition, Basel, 1546. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Frederick Ruysch, <i>Icon durae matris in concava [convexa] superficie visae,</i> with 2 mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral, first edition, Amsterdam, 1737. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, <i>Eine Neue Art von Strahlen,</i> Würzburg, 1895. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pietro Carrera, <i>Il Gioco de gli Scacchi,</i> first edition, Militello, 1617. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> William Lithgow, <i>The Totall Discourse, of the Rare Adventures</i> [etc.], London, 1632. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Michel de Nostradamus, <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> first complete edition in English, London, 1672. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pseudo-Methodius, <i>De revelatione facta . . . beato Methodio,</i> Basel, 1504. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Hrabanus Maurus, <i>De laudibus sancte crucis opus,</i> Pforzheim, 1503. $1,000 to $2,000.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Autographs & Memorabilia. February 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Autograph album featuring signatures by prominent actors, politicians, musicians and authors, including Rudolph Valentino. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> An extremely rare working radio script for Crazy People No 29, the first series of <i>The Goon Show.</i> £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Manuscript prayer book, in German. 8vo, 1755 £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Italian Manuscript on Geometry, with diagrams, 18th century. £500 to £700
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Thorburn (Archibald). Sparrowhawk, original watercolour & gouache, signed & dated lower right, 1917. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Burton (Sir Richard Francis). <i>Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.</i> 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, 1855-56. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> [Mount (Richard) & Page (Thomas)]. <i>The English Pilot. Describing the Sea-Coasts…</i> 31 engraved maps, W. & J. Mount, T. Page, 1756 £4000 to £6000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> D’apres De Mannevillette (Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denis). <i>Le Neptune Oriental.</i> Paris & Brest, [1775 – 1781]. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Loring (Josiah). Terrestrial Globe Containing all the Late Discoveries and Geographical Improvements. Boston, Gilman Joslin, 1846, £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Shelley (G. E., Capt.). <i>A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-birds,</i> FIRST EDITION, by the Author, 1876-80. £4,000 to £6,000

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