The front page illustration for our list shows a scene from the African wilderness, as painted by Thomas Baines. It appears in The Life and Work of Thomas Baines, by Jane Carruthers and Marion Arnold, which is one of the books on offer this month. We have chosen this picture because it encapsulates the appeal of many of the books we have assembled for you in Newsletter 130: It has undoubted artistic appeal, and the list is rich in Art titles; it also evokes the lure of wild places, which lies at the heart of what many hunting tales are actually about – we also have lots of Hunting to show you this month.
Dispensing with strict alphabetic order in the arrangement of categories, we have started the list with Military History, largely because these items were the ones we found most exciting. Apart from several sought-after volumes from the limited-edition Scripta Africana series, we also have a number of pocket aids actually used in the field by Rhodesian forces during the Bush War. Then, there is an intriguing letter written by a South African officer in German East Africa during the First World War. A little sleuthing revealed some interesting details concerning the writer. An uncommon little book issued by the Union Defence Force, entitled General Management and Care of Horses and Treatment of Their Common Ailments, also dates from the time of the campaign in East Africa. This was the only theatre of war where the Germans had not surrendered by the end of hostilities in 1918.
South African Art continues to soar in value, both locally and on Bonhams’ London sales. The 2016 Mid-year Review, received last week from Strauss & co, shows fabulous prices, anticipated and realised, for works by, among others, Anton van Wouw, Irma Stern, and Cecil Skotnes. We have books on each of these artists in this month’s list, besides several on emerging talents. It is sensible to get a feel for the new kids on the block, before the rest of the world discovers them …
The Hunting books include some originals, and several from the Peter Capstick Adventure Library, a few of which are actually quite difficult to obtain in themselves. There is also a 1960s printing of that most thrilling of Hunting books, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, in lovely condition.
Local History includes a prospectus for a show of ostrich feathers, shortly before the bottom fell out of that world. In the South African History section, there is a somewhat weatherbeaten early South African history textbook, with charming evidence of a young girl’s ownership. In our Travel section, we have the Official Road and Handbook 1922-3, with some early routes for motorists in southern Africa. It’s a thoroughly absorbing publication, well worth comparing with current maps.
As always, we have aimed to catalogue scrupulously, with details of content, provenance, and noteworthy features in each item described. Additionally, we price very reasonably, as the list will reveal. We trust that we have found something for you.
You can find the newsletter here:
Lindsay and Wendy