Auction 122, Lot 895

"[Lot of 2] Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon… Part I by Lieut. Herndon [and] …Part II by Lt. Lardner Gibbon", U.S. Navy Dept.

Subject: Exploration and Surveys, South America

Period: 1853-1854 (published)

Publication: HR Doc. Ex. No. 43, 32nd Cong., 2d Sess. And No. 53, 33d Cong. 1st Sess.

Color: Hand Color

6 x 9 inches
15.2 x 22.9 cm

Herndon was sent "to explore the Amazon, to sound its streams and to report as to their navigability." He also was commanded to "examine its fields, its forests and its rivers that he might gauge their capabilities, active and dormant, for trade with the states of Christendom and make known to the spirit and enterprise of the age the resources which lie in concealment there waiting for the touch of civilization." The two men took separate routes and their report remains one of the finest tales in the history of American Naval exploration. Rich in information, it is a record of tact, patience, astute observations and indomitable spirit. The expedition started in Peru, crossed Bolivia, entered the Amazon, and coasted south to Para (Belem). Vol. I, 1853, 414 pp, 16 plates and three maps. Vol. II, 1854, 314 pp, 36 plates and two maps. The plates are stone lithographs and toned lithographs. Both volumes are hardbound in original sheepskin with gilt titling over red and black bands on spine. A terrific historical document and delightful read.


Condition: B

Maps have binding tears, some reaching into image, occasional foxing and some splits along toned folds. Slight occasional foxing to text or plates. The covers show light wear with a little abrasion at edges. Both spines are scuffed and worn with a couple small areas of loss, one is starting. Signatures tight.

Estimate: $600 - $800

Sold for: $300

Closed on 12/5/2007