‘Exploring’ the July 2012 Specialist Book Auction

Lot 3044: Amundsen's 'The South Pole'

Toovey’s July Antiquarian & Collectors’ Book Auction catalogue is now online. The specialist auction includes a fascinating collection of books relating to the Polar regions. The list of authors include Robert Falcon Scott, Douglas Mawson, Fridtjof Nansen, Robert Peary, Roald Amundsen, Edward Evans, Apsley Cherry-Garrard and Ernest Shackleton to name but a few. The collection almost forming a who’s who of Antarctic and Arctic exploration.  The sale commences with two works relating to the Arctic region, Lot 3001 and 3002 are both two volume sets presented in contemporary leather bindings. Lot 3001 is David Crantz’s ‘The History of Greenland’ being the first U.K. edition of 1767 estimated at £400-600, while Lot 3002 is Peter Cormack Sutherland’s ‘Journal of a Voyage in Baffin’s Bay’ published in 1852, estimated at £600-1000.

Many of the works are first editions and provide first-hand accounts of travelling in the North and South. Lot 3027 is a 1922 printing of Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s ‘The Worst Journey in the World, Antarctic 1910-1913’. Taurus [84] described this work as ‘The best written and most enduring account of exploits in the Antarctic’ being the only first-hand account of Robert Falcon Scott’s ‘Terra Nova’ expedition. It is bound in the original blue cloth, a variant to that recorded in Spence [277], but which Rosove states is ‘significantly scarcer than the previous [cloth backed boards edition]‘. The two volumes carry a pre-sale estimate of £700-1000.  Another book relating to Scott is Lot 3026, Raymond E. Priestley’s ‘Antarctic Adventure, Scott’s Northern Party’. This first edition bound in the original decorated cloth is scarce, as ‘Many copies were destroyed during a fire at the publisher’s warehouse‘, see Spence [939]. Lot 3024 is a first U.K. edition of Scott’s ‘The Voyage of the “Discovery”, printed in 1905. This two volume set includes a mounted clipped signature by Scott on the reverse of the frontispiece, reflected in the estimate of £1000-1500. Further presentation copies can be found throughout the collection, Lot 3032 for example is Henrik Johan Bull’s ‘The Cruise of the “Antarctic” to the South Polar Regions’, which carries a presentation inscription from the author’s cousin, Johannes Catharinus Bull, aka ‘John’ to Miss Ivana Bull. John aided his cousin with the completion of the book and is acknowledged in the preface. This first edition is bound in the original decorated cloth and is offered with an estimate of £500-700.

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The sale also includes an account of  the cornerstone of Antarctic exploration, Roald Amundsen’s ‘The South Pole, an Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the “Fram”, 1910-1912’. Which describes the first expedition to reach the South Pole. Although a second impression of the first English edition, this two volume set was printed a month after the first printing. It is bound in the original red cloth with Norwegian flags to the upper covers and spines. This work is Lot 3044 and is offered with an estimate of £400-600.

These books relating to the Arctic and Antarctic are Lots 3001 to 3071 and are all illustrated on Toovey’s online catalogue. This Polar region collection joins other fascinating books within the auction, including Lot 3085 featured in our previous blog post. The Book Sale will be held on the 10th July 2012, commencing at 1.30pm, for viewing times and further information please visit www.tooveys.com.