Rare Book Gallery
William Congreve and the development...
Bookseller: Jeremy Norman
Congreve, William (1772-1828). Unique collection of materials by and relating to rocketry pioneer William Congreve, including the following (for... More
Congreve, William (1772-1828). Unique collection of materials by and relating to rocketry pioneer William Congreve, including the following (for our full description of the collection, including a calendar of documents in the archive, please contact us or download the PDF available on our website under the Rare Books tab):(1) Archive of 116 manuscripts, including Congreve's diary of the 1807 Copenhagen bombardment, 30 other manuscripts relating to Congreve war rockets and other military matters, 22 love letters from Congreve to his wife, and 27 manuscripts relating to Congreve's financial affairs. 1803-1869. Preserved in a cloth drop-back box.(2) Bound volume of 2 printed pamphlets by Congreve on his rocket system, as follows:  A concise account of the origin and progress of the rocket system. . . . , 29pp. London: J. Whiting, 1807.  Speculation as to the principles of the flight of rockets, with a view to determine the precise effects of the stick . . . 8pp. Text diagrams. N.p., 1807. Together 2 items, 4to. 229 x 188 mm. 19th cent. boards, rebacked, endpapers renewed. Minor stains on blank flyleaf. Small library stamp of King's Inns Library, London on verso title and last leaf.(3) Bound volume of 7 printed pamphlets by Congreve on his rocket system, as follows:  A concise account of the origin and progress of the rocket system . . . , 32, pp. London: J. Whiting, 1810. Second edition.  Postscript to the concise account of the origin and properties of the rocket system. 15pp. London: J. Whiting, 1808.  The different modes of use and exercises of rockets, both for bombardment and for the field. 20pp. 4 engraved plates. London: James Whiting, 1810.  Detail of a plan for attaching to cavalry regiments a proportion of rocket artillery, with case shot . . . 10pp. 2 folding engraved plates. London: James Whiting, 1809.  General view &c. General view of a complete course of experiments proposed to be tried . . . for the investigation and organization of the rocket system . . . [caption title]. 24pp. N.p., n.d. [1807 or after].  Memoir on the possibility, the means, and the importance, of the destruction of the Boulogne flotilla . . . , 34, [2, blank]pp. London: J. Whiting, 1806.  Explanation of the plan and intention of the project mortar boat [caption title]. -11pp. Folding engraved plate. [London]: Whiting, November 1807. Together 7 items in 1, 4to. 222 x 177 mm. Tree calf ca. 1810, rebacked preserving original gilt spine and leather label, small scratch on back cover; preserved in a cloth drop-back box. Engraved bookplate of Ernst Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and later King of Hanover (1771-1851), brother of George IV and head of the Hanoverian army, in which Congreve held the commission of lieutenant colonel.(4) Congreve. A treatise on the general principles, powers, and facility of application of the Congreve rocket system as compared with artillery. . . . 4to. 84 [i.e., 80]pp. 12 engraved folding plates. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1827. 277 x 211 mm. Quarter morocco, marbled boards in period style; preserved in a cloth drop-back box. Minor foxing to some plates, occasional faint offsetting from plates. From the library of historian of rocketry and space travel Frederick I. Ordway III, with his bookplate.(5) Beatson, Alexander (1759-1833). A view of the origin and conduct of the war with Tippoo Sultaun; comprising a narrative of the operations of the army under the command of Lieut.-General George Harris, and of the siege of Seringapatam. 4to. xxiii, 265, clxxii pp. Engraved frontispiece portrait and 5 folding plates (1 hand-colored), 2 folding printed tables. London: G. & W. Nicol, 1800. 268 x 218 mm. Mottled calf gilt ca. 1800, spine and corners worn, chip in lower spine, hinges cracked. Moderate foxing and toning, some offsetting from plates. From the library of Frederick I. Ordway, with his bookplate.(6) Grant. Rocket practice in the marshes. Hand-colored aquatint engraving. Woolwich: J. Grant, 1845. 343 x 460 mm. Matted. From the collection of Frederick I. Ordway III, so labeled on the back of the mat. Fine.No. (1) is the most significant archive extant of manuscript materials by and about the prolific English inventor and technologist William Congreve and his family. Congreve is best known for creating the first rocket weapons system and initiating the modern processes of research and development in rocketry. Our archive extends over six decades, from 1803 to 1869. No other archive or collection held by individuals or institutions compares to it. Frank Winter, rocketry historian and author of the leading book on the history of the Congreve rocket, The First Golden Age of Rocketry (cited here as Winter 1990), cites in that work one manuscript at the British Library (titled "A second century of inventions," BM MS. 38844) and three letters dated 1785, 1810 and 1813. OCLC records a manuscript at Princeton dated 1794-1800 and titled "Exercises and manoeuvres for two light six pounders, or two heavy 3 pounders of General Desagulier's construction"; it is not stated whether the manuscript is in Congreve's hand. OCLC records a "Signed list of ammunition needed for a particular service," dated July 6, 1793, in the collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library (it is possible that this last was actually written by Congreve's father, who was head of the Royal Arsenal). These are, as far as we know, the only recorded manuscripts relating to William Congreve apart from our archive.Included in our archive are letters and manuscripts covering William Congreve's career in rocketry. The most notable of these is his diary of the 1807 Copenhagen bombardment, which represents the first truly successful large-scale use of the Congreve war rocket in combat. Other noteworthy manuscripts include a signed draft and a fair copy of a "Report to the Commissioners of the Navy" dated October 1813, in which Congreve summarized his war rocketry activities from 1805 to 1813; a letter dated November 1813 relating to "the expense, or rather the economy of the Rocket System"; bills for materials used in rocket construction; an undated letter to a Captain Elliot discussing the subject of a "rocket cavalry"; letters discussing a plan of "applying Rockets for throwing ropes ashore from shipwrecked vessels"; and letters in which Congreve writes of his achievements and his attitude towards his work. The archive also contains manuscripts and letters relating to some of Congreve's other inventions: naval guns, bombships, and Congreve's design for a paddlewheel boat, which is detailed in a long letter illustrated with Congreve's sketches. Also included are a long series of love letters that Congreve wrote to his wife, Isabella, and another series of long, detailed letters written to Congreve during the last few months of his life by his secretary, R. Drake, discussing, among other things, Congreve's political career as a Member of Parliament, his precarious financial position, the publication of his Treatise on the General Principles, Powers, and Facility of Application of the Congreve Rocket System (1827), and negotiations with the British East India Company for exclusive rights to the Congreve war rocket for use in India.A calendar of all the documents in the archive can be had from us upon request.Nos. (2) and (3) contain a total of nine papers constituting the nucleus of Congreve's publications on rockets, beginning with his proposal for the attack on Boulogne and finishing with somewhat revised versions of his first expositions of the rocket system. A bound collection identical to our no. (3) is held at the Naval History Center of the U.S. Navy Department Library; this suggests that Congreve had a few collections like these made, most likely for presentation. Our collection bears the bookplate of Prince Ernst Augustus (1771-1851), fifth son of George III; he was made Duke of Cumberland in 1799, and in 1837, with the death of his brother William IV, he became King of Hanover. Ernst Augustus no doubt figured largely in Congreve's sphere, both as the brother of the Prince of Wales, whose patronage Congreve enjoyed, and as the head of the Hanoverian army, in which Congreve was awarded a commission in 1811.No. (4), A Treatise on the General Principles, Powers, and Facility of Application of the Congreve Rocket System, contains the fullest account of Congreve's rocket system. It is the only one of his works to contain illustrations of the Congreve rocket system in use. The plates depict the use of the rockets in various military situations: by rocket cavalry and infantry, in bombardment from earthworks, in the attack and defense of fortresses, from boats and ships, etc. Letters referring to the book's publication can be found in the Congreve archive.No. (5), Beatson's View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with Tippoo Sultaun, is an account of the fourth Anglo-Mysore war (1798-99), in which Indian troops under Tipu Sultan of Mysore (1750-1799) were defeated by the British East India Company under Sir Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington). Tipu, together with his father, Hyder Ali, developed the tactic of using rocket brigades to launch mass attacks on infantry formations. These rocket attacks, used during both the third and fourth Anglo-Mysore wars, so impressed the British forces that they brought several examples of Indian gunpowder rockets back to England; these provided Congreve with the inspiration to develop his own system of war rockets.No. (6), a hand-colored aquatint engraving published by R. Grant, shows British Army war rocket practice using a rocket launcher mounted on a tripod. The image was used as an illustration in the Army and Navy Register and Woolwich Gazette for 1845. Less
Price: 125000.00 USD
LABYRINTHO DE COMERCIO TERRESTRE Y...
Hevia y Bola? Juan de:
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana
Lima: Francisco del Canto, 1617.. ,799,pp. Small quarto. Later vellum with pigskin ties, manuscript title on spine, brand on top edge.... More
Lima: Francisco del Canto, 1617.. ,799,pp. Small quarto. Later vellum with pigskin ties, manuscript title on spine, brand on top edge. Modern bookplate on front pastedown. Internally clean. Near fine. In a cardboard slipcase. First edition of the "first American work with substantial portions devoted to law of the sea and customs regulating sea-borne commerce" (JCB Maritime Books 459). A general encyclopedia of legal knowledge concerning trade by land and sea, it was drawn up for the use of merchants, agents, navigators, lawyers and consuls. It was reprinted nine times in Spain in the 17th century and fifteen more times in the 18th century. By the nature of its subject, it clearly was an important and heavily used reference, and consequently has become rare, especially in fine condition. This is the first major work on commerce, banking, and trade published in the New World, and stands among a mere handful of books to be first printed in the Americas and then exported to Spain. At the time of publication there were only three presses in the New World, in Mexico City, Puebla, and in Lima. The book's printer, Francesco del Canto, was the successor to Peru's first printer, Antonio Ricardo, who began printing in South America in 1585. This is the most extensive work published in South America up to the time, and surpassed only by a few works published in Mexico in all of the New World. A very rare work, with only two copies traced at auction in at least 100 years. Not in HAS, Salva, Kress or Sabin. A lovely copy of an early Lima imprint and an Americanum of surpassing importance. MEDINA (LIMA) 73. PALAU 114526. Less
Price: 90000.00 USD
A DESCRIPTION OF NEW ENGLAND: OR THE...
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana
London: Printed by Humfrey Lownes, for Robert Clerke, 1616.. ,61,pp. plus folding engraved map of New England. Small quarto. Full calf in... More
London: Printed by Humfrey Lownes, for Robert Clerke, 1616.. ,61,pp. plus folding engraved map of New England. Small quarto. Full calf in antique style. Light dampstaining on top edge. Some careful expert paper restoration to upper foremargins of first ten leaves or so (including titlepage), and to a lesser extent on some later leaves. Map trimmed to the neat line, with a very small hole (4 x 25 mm.) at center in the ocean, neatly filled in. Some contemporary manuscript on verso of title- leaf and first text leaf. A nice copy. One of the great rarities of colonial Americana, Smith's A DESCRIPTION OF NEW ENGLAND... was, according to Streeter, "the pilgrim's principal guide to their American haven." Based on Smith's two visits to the New England coast in 1614 and 1615, this book did much to encourage later settlement in New England, preceding by four years the sailing of the Mayflower. In fact, Smith named Plymouth Rock, and described the place as "an excellent good harbour, good lands, and no want of anything but industrious people." Smith's first voyage was financed by a group of London merchants, with the primary objective being the search for whales and gold mines (the gold mines turned out to be "the masters device to get a voyage"). That first visit was relatively brief but afforded ample opportunities for trading with the Indians and for the collection of much geographical and natural history information. On his second voyage in 1615, Smith met with less success; thwarted by storms and pirates, he was eventually taken prisoner by a French warship. During his free time as a captive, Smith wrote A DESCRIPTION OF NEW ENGLAND..., destined to reveal the advantages and prospects for future adventurers to the region. "The use of the term 'New England' on the title page of this book established that name for the region that until then had been called North Virginia. The 'altered names' leaf, inserted between A4 and B1, records thirty new names chosen by Prince Charles to replace the mainly Indian place names of New England. All of the new names seem to have stuck except Cape James for Cape Cod" - Streeter. The rare map, printed by George Low, is here present in the fourth state as described by Sabin, Church, and Burden (there are nine recorded states of the map). Only the exceedingly rare first two states of the map properly belong with the book, both produced in 1616 (most copies, however, contain later states of the map; the only copy in some decades to have the first issue was the Siebert copy). Based on surveys made by Captain Smith for the Council for New England, the map is considered the foundation of New England cartography. It stands as the first map on which the name New England appears. The map depicts the area from the present Penobscot Bay in Maine, to Cape Cod. A monumental American rarity of the greatest possible importance. While not the main entry in PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MAN, Smith's GENERALL HISTORIE..., this work appeared eight years earlier, and is wholly incorporated into that work. CHURCH 369 (originally with 6th state of the map, but with the Britwell Court 1st state later substituted). BURDEN 187. STC 22788. VAIL 40. JCB II, pp.113-15. SABIN 82819. STREETER SALE 610. STREETER, AMERICANA BEGINNINGS 11. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 616/107. SIEBERT SALE 94. SCHWARTZ & EHRENBERG, pp.96-99. DEK, PICTURING AMERICA 19 (illustrating one of the NYPL copies). PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MAN 124. Less
Price: 125000.00 USD