Lot 12
  • 12

Bartram, John, and Peter Kalm

5,000 - 7,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • printed book
Observations on the Inhabitants, Climate, Soil, Rivers, Productions, Animals, and other Matters Worthy of Notice. Made by Mr. John Bartram, in his Travels from Pensilvania to Onondago, Oswego and the Lake Ontario, in Canada. To which is annex'd, a Curious Account of the Cataracts at Niagara. By Mr. Peter Kalm London: Printed for J. Whiston and B. White, 1751

8vo (8 x 4 3/4 in.; 204 x 121 mm). Engraved folding frontispiece plan of "The Town of Oswego," incorporating the first published plan of the Iroquois Long House; scattered light foxing. Red morocco gilt by Zaehnsdorf, marbled endpapers, gilt edges.


Frank T. Siebert (sale, Sotheby's New York, 21 May 1999, lot 152). Acquisition: William Reese


Church 977; Field 92; Howes B222; Lande S148; Sabin 3868; Staton & Tremaine 186; Streeter 2:869; Vail, Old Frontier 449; Wroth, Mirror of the Indian 49

Catalogue Note

First edition, with distinguished provenance, of "a very reliable work by two of the most eminent observers and naturalists of their day" (Church). The first part of the book contains the journal kept by naturalist John Bartram during his 1743 expedition—in company with cartographer Lewis Evans and Indian agent Conrad Weiser— from Philadelphia, through Pennsylvania, and into the New York and Canadian lands of the Iroquois Confederacy. Bartram initiated the journey primarily to study the flora of the country, but his journal is most important for its thoughtful descriptions of the customs and manners of the peoples of the Six Nations. The second half of the book prints a letter to Bartram from the Swedish naturalist Peter Kalm that features the first scientific description in English of Niagara Falls.