West Sea Company

23. Antique Books & Ephemera

Prices in U.S. Dollars are listed in GREEN.



7.03  FAMOUS WHALING CATALOG.  "The Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection: Part I, Sotheby's New York, December 11 and 12, 1981."  Arguably the most famous nautical antique auction in history which contains 511 world class items collected by Ms. Johnson over a period of 20 plus years before collecting such items became fashionable.  Many of these items now reside in prominent world museums.  Profusely illustrated with detailed captions, provenance and histories.  Complete with the original Prices Realized document.  The cover is worn.  The contents are very fine.  Full sets of auction records for this collection command over $500.   This is the first and oldest of the 4.  SOLD



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7.00  CLASSIC NAVIGATION BOOK.  Scarce original copy of Blunt's "The New American Practical Navigator," 7th edition, 1832, E. & G. W. Blunt, New York.  Hard cover, 620 pages retaining the original pigskin spine.  Colloquially referred to as "Bowditch," this work was first published in 1802 by Nathaniel Bowditch as an encyclopedia of navigation.  It served as a valuable handbook on oceanography and meteorology, with useful observation tables and a maritime glossary.  In 1867 the copyright and plates were purchased by the United States Navy Hydrographic Office.  The book is still published in updated versions to this day.  It is considered a cornerstone of American nautical literature.   This copy must be rated as being in "good condition" considering it is 190 years old.  Importantly, it is totally complete with all pages and rarely preserved fold-out map.  Both end boards are sturdy and intact.  The spine is original and sound retaining its gold-embossed title.  The first and last few pages are spotted and dog-eared.  The title page is tattered but intact.  In general the interior content is very good.  A very interesting testament to its actual use at sea is the fact that there are numerous calculations for astronomical sightings penciled in the front.  A super rare book at a super price!  289


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7.98  ANTIQUARIAN REFERENCE BOOK.  William Brady, "The Kedge Anchor or Young Sailors' Assistant," 1872, D. Appleton & Company, New York.  Hard cloth cover, 393 pages, very finely illustrated with black and white engravings throughout.   A wealth of nautical knowledge!  This highly instructive "how to" book intended for the apprentice seaman has no less than 544 separate entries detailing various forms of seamanship from ropework, steering, navigation, deck seamanship, sail handling, boats, anchoring, weather, gunnery and watch standing to numerous tables showing strengths of lines and cables, allowable quantities of stores, etc., etc.  At the time, steam was just beginning to find its way into the merchant service.  So this book covers it all from the perspective of sailing ship seamanship of that era.  Good overall condition.  The cover and binding are sound.  Pages are complete with no damage and only expected slight toning from age.  An absolute must for the serious nautical historian with insights and lessons learned at the time.  150 years old!  A literal "anchor" in a well rounded nautical library.  189

Provenance:  Ex. "Michael Rupp & Co., Chronometer Manufacturers, New York."



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7.96  EARLY ANTIQUARIAN BOOK.  Andrew Wakeley, "The Mariner's Compafs Rectified," J. Mount and T. Page, Tower Hill, London, 1767.  Hard pigskin cover, 272 pages.  This amazingly old mariner's reference book is printed in Olde English style on high quality laid paper with a few descriptive wood block prints.  As the title implies it was intended to be an aid to mariners using the primitive navigational methods of the time.  The chronometer and Hadley's quadrant were both in their infancy.   The Lunar Distance method had yet to be perfected.  The cross staff, back staff and dead reckoning were the accepted tools of navigation.  As such emphasis was devoted to celestial observation.  The major portion of the book are devoted to tables indicating the Sun's Declination – a "Sun Dial for the Latitude" for varying degrees of latitude.  Next are descriptions of the Davis Quadrant (backstaff) and the Nocturnal and a series of example mathematical solutions for their use.  Finally there is a "Table containing the chief Harboures, Headlands and Iflands of the World" with their Latitudes and Longitudes.  Overall condition is fair to good.  Content is complete and totally legible. The first 2 end papers bear water stains.  Remarkably the remainder of the book, title page and beyond, is free from any damage or foxing, although the pages are notably toned with age.  The pigskin covers were professionally reattached a long time ago.  4 ½ by 7 inches and 1 ¼ inches thick.   Over 2 ½ centuries old! 495



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7.55  IMPORTANT ANTIQUARIAN BOOK.  Henry Howe, “Life and Death on the Oceans, a Collection of Extraordinary of the Form of Personal Narratives…,” 1855, Hard cover with marbled boards and pig skin spine,  624 pages. Henry Howe, Publisher, Cincinnati.  A remarkable early book chronicling the adventures of seamen around the world from America’s Revolutionary War into the middle of the 19th century.  Noting that the world was a wild and unexplored place, this extraordinary book provides a firsthand account of just how interesting yet treacherous foreign lands were at that time.  There are 32 chapters revealing an amazing diversity of experiences.  Some of the more notable are, “Seven Year of a Sailor’s Life Among the Savages of the Caroline Islands;  Paddock’s Narrative of Bondage among the Arabs upon the Coast of South Barbary;  Ethan Allen’s Narrative of the Captivity on board of British Vessels in the Revolutionary War;  Incidents in the War with Tripoli; The Chase of the United States Frigate Constitution by a British Squadron; The Extraordinary Sufferings of Donald Campbell who, being shipwrecked, fell into the hands of the cruel, Hyder Ali; Description by an English Sailor Boy of the Battle between the American Frigate United States and The British Frigate Macedonian; Convict Life in Australia; A man Overboard; Narrative of the Mutiny on the Somers, a brig-of-war in the American Naval Service; Scenes on a Man-of-War in a Hurricane, “ and many, many more.  Perhaps the most desirable aspect of this fascinating book is the number of large fold-out prints pertaining to the narratives.  Each print has been laboriously hand-tinted in color.  Some of the captions are, “Gallant Defense of Three Sailors; Interior of the old Jersey Prison Ship in the Revolutionary War; The Signal Gun of Distrefs (sic) on the Arctic; The Survivors on the Raft Signaling a Vefsel (sic); Stowing the Cargo on a Slaver at Night,” etc.   Considering its 165 years, this book must be considered in “excellent” condition.  There are no losses.  Many of the pages are toned with moderate spotting.  But the high quality rag paper is completely intact throughout.  6 ½ by 9 inches and 2 ½ inches thick.  A period nautical treasure predating the Civil War.  595


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7.34  INSTRUMENT CATALOG.   A wonderful scientific instrument reference in the form of second edition of the “Stanley, London A Edition” catalog, copyright 1960.  The title page indicates that W.F. Stanley & Co. were established in 1853 as makers of “Surveying, Mathematical, Drawing, Optical Nautical and Scientific Instruments.”  To those ends, this hard cover book-like catalog contains 392 pages offering every conceivable manner of goods for which the firm was famous.  The table of contents reads:  “Surveying, Drawing Instruments, Drawing Office Equipment, Photo Printing, Stationery, Etc., Mathematical Planimeters, Integrtaors, Integraph, Harmonic Analysers, Miscellaneous, Navigational, Thermometrical, Meteorological, and Index and Cross Reference.”  The items offered are fully described and accompanied by the finest quality engraved drawings on gloss paper overlaid by a protective fly leaf page.  Many of the items shown are carryovers from a century earlier.  Gold embossed hard cloth cover.  Excellent condition throughout.  An absolute wealth of information!   Rare.  175



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7.62

7.62  BILL of SALE.  Original sailing ship bill of sale for the Brig “Silas S. Martin” of Castine as penned in lovely cursive script.  This document conveying 1/32nd part of the vessel (“together with sails, boats, anchors, cables, tackle, furniture and all other necessaries”) to F. A. Hooke from Mary W. Hooke for the sum of $400, is dated May 5, 1876.  It is pre-printed on quality rag paper, folded into 4 pages.  The top front bears the image of an American eagle perched on the Union shield clutching olive braches and arrows.  The inside pages contain much information about the ship and its official transfer of title, and bears the seal of the Registrar of Castine, Maine.  This document measures 8 ½ by 14 inches on each of its 4 pages, is 17 inches wide overall, and folds down to 8 ½ by 3 ½ inches.  Good original condition considering its 135 years.  49

The Brig SILAS S. MARTIN was built in Castine, Maine.  She had a length of 109 feet, displaced 218 tons, had a square stern and a prow decorated with a billet head.  Her master was R. B. Brown.


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7.60


7.60  BILL OF SALE.  Rare, early American document conveying the official sale of a fractional part of the 3-masted sailing ship VICTORIA RUD built in Bath, Maine in 1854.  This handsome original document is on high grade pre-printed light blue paper consisting of 4 pages.  The frontispiece shows a sailing ship with the words, “To all to whom these Presents shall come, GREETING: Know ye.. 1/16 Ship Victoria Rud F. Rua to W. H. Potter.  Custom House Bath Received Nov 6 1854.”  The remaining four pages are printed in  exquisite cursive script with hand-written insertions where applicable.  The front page is entitled “BILL OF SALE OF REGISTERED VESSEL by Collins Bowne Co., Stationers’ Hall, 174 Pearl-st N.Y.” with a 3-masted full rigged American ship under shortened sail.  The inside page bears the image of a spread-winged American eagle perched on a shield.  This document measures 8 by 13 inches with 3 original folds.  It is in an excellent state of original preservation with no tears, stains or losses.  A very decorative piece of genuine American sailing history!  79

The 3-masted square rigged ship VICTORIA RUD was built in Bath, Maine in 1854.  She had a length overall of 145 feet 10 inches a breadth of 30 feet 5 inches, a depth of 15 feet 2 inches and displaced 621 tons.  Her Captain was Andrew Talbot.


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7.40  EARLY NAUTICAL POST CARDS.  Lot of 30 turn-of-the-last century postcards relating to ocean commerce in and around New England.  Of particular note are a lithograph entitled “Reflections, Nantucket,” 6-masted schooner “William L. Douglas,” the whaling bark “Lagoda,” Cape Cod scenes, “Whalers at Pier, New Bedford,” and yachting scenes.  Most are in full color and unfranked, although some bear early stamps and interesting penned messages.  3 ½ by 5 1/2 inches and in generally good condition.  60


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B-16

B-16 "Appendix to Lloyd's Register Book 1949" Lloyd's, London England. This large and impressive leather-bound book with gold embossed cover contains: "Types of Vessels, Index to Vessels with Compound Names, Shipbuilders and Builders of Marine Machinery, Index to Docks and Harbours Throughout the World, Dry Docks, Wet Docks, Statistical Tables, Fast Merchant Ships and Steamers, Steamers and Motorships by nationality, Telegraphic Address of Companies, Deadweight and Cubic Capacities of Steamers and Motorships, Vessels for the Carriage of Petroleum, Marine Insurance Companies, etc." Both French and English texts. Pages are not consecutively numbered, but there are many hundreds of pages in total. 11 1/2 by 10 inches and over 2 inches thick! Excellent, very well preserved original condition. A rare BIG collector's book. 69

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B41


B-41  EARLY WHALING BOOK.  Rev. Henry T. Cheever, “The Whale and His Captors or The Whaleman’s Adventures.”  1850, Harper Brothers Publishers, New York.  314 pages of content with additional advertisements following.  Hard embossed cloth cover, 4 ¾ by 6 ¾ inches.  This extremely rare antique book describes the whale fishery in pre-Civil War America, complete with several fine steel plate engravings.  Condition is sound with no losses.  Covers are stained and foxed as are end papers.  A nice gold embossed image of a whaleship and boat on the cover. Content is good with some minor water staining evident.  An important old book on the subject.  49


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