A Sporting Journey Around the World with the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson

Launch Slideshow

Sotheby’s is delighted to present a selection of highlights from the Sporting and Travel Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson, including India, Africa and the Americas. Johnson’s library encompasses a wide range of sporting and travel titles. His collection eventually grew to include bird shooting, angling, British sport, western Americana, 19th-century travel and exploration, with a particular strength in privately printed volumes, original photo albums and journals. Come hang up your hunting cap in our New York galleries for the preview beginning on 7 December.  

Fine Books & Manuscripts
New York | 11 December

A Sporting Journey Around the World with the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson

  • Alaska: Thomas Gilbert Bowick [Travel and Sporting Photography and Original Drawings]. Random Sketches on a Hunting Trip Through Mexico, the Western States and Alaska T.G.B. May 4/19 to Apl 3/90 [Manuscript Title]. [C. 1890]. Estimate $3,000–4,000.
    An album of drawings and photographs by Thomas Gilbert Bowick, an accomplished amateur artist. The images here were made with his brother, John Robie Bowick, during a hunting trip through Alaska and Oregon, including salmon fishing and early town views.

  • Ingolstadt, Germany: [Bavaria]. Bairische Lanndtsordnung. Ingolstadt: [A. Weissenhorn], 1553 [bound with] Erclärung der Landsfreiheit . . . widerumb verneut. Munich: [A. Schobser], 1553 [bound with] Declaration und erleutterung etlicher in Iüngst Bayrischer aufigerichter Policeyordnung begriffner Articul. [Munich: A. Schobser, 1557]. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    A collection of laws regulating brewing, distillation, the sale of wine, beer and spirits, woodmen, hunters, fishermen and all kinds of craftsmen.

  • Missouri: George Catlin. O-Kee-Pa: A Religious Ceremony; and Other Customs of the Mandans. Philadelphia: B. Lippincott and Co., 1867. Estimate $4,000–6,000.
    First American edition. This account of the Mandan buffalo dance ceremony, or O-Kee-Pa, is a highly important historical survival, as the Mandans, who lived on the upper Missouri, were practically wiped out by smallpox in 1837 shortly after Catlin's visit.

  • Sri Lanka: Samuel Daniell. A Picturesque Illustration of the Scenery, Animals, and Native Inhabitants, of the Island of Ceylon. London: T. Bensley, 1808. Estimate $20,000–30,000.
    Samuel Daniell was the younger brother of William and the nephew of Thomas Daniell. He arrived in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1805, where he was appointed Secretary to the Board of Revenue and Commerce, and latterly Ranger of Woods and Forests, which gave him the freedom to travel the island and record what he saw. He died in Ceylon in 1811 aged 36.

  • Patna, India: Sir Charles D'Oyly. Indian Sports. [Patna:] Behar Amateur Lithographic Press, [1828] – Behar Amateur Lithographic Scrap Book. [Patna:] Behar Amateur Lithographic Press, 1828. Estimate $6,000–8,000.
    First editions, with important Anglo-Indian provenance. This copy of Behar Amateur Lithographic Scrap Book comes from the collection of Sir John Shore, first Baron Teignmouth (1751–1834) Governor-General of Bengal.

  • Northeast United States: Arthur Burdett Frost. Shooting Pictures. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1895. Estimate $6,000–8,000.
    First and only edition of famed sporting illustrator A.B. Frost's most important work.

  • Edmondton, Alberta: Frederick Ulric Graham. Notes of a Sporting Expedition in the Far West of Canada 1847. London: Printed for Private Circulation, 1898. Estimate $10,000–15,000.
    Privately printed edition of perhaps only 20 copies, presentation copy from editor Jane Hermione Graham ("Aunt Mione"). A rare narrative of a hunting expedition from Sault Ste. Marie to the Red River, Lac La Plume, Edmondton and back, with extensive notes on hunting buffalo.

  • South Africa: William Cornwallis Harris. Portraits of the Game and Wild Animals of Southern Africa. London: Published for the Proprietor by William Pickering [and Others], 1840[-1842]. Estimate $10,000–15,000.
    First edition, large paper issue. According to the critic Mendelssohn, "One of the most important and valuable of the large folio works on South African fauna …”.

  • Nepal: [Photography - India]. His Excellency the Viceroy's Shooting Tour, Nepal, Tarai, April 1901. Mhow, Central India: Herzog & Higgins, [c. 1901]. Estimate $5,000–7,000.
    Lord Curzon's hunting trip in Nepal with the king, including a full length formal portrait of the king of Nepal, Lord Curzon and his party, the camp and images of the hunting party on elephants, a formal meal, hunting scenes and groups with tigers, etc.

  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: William Emerson Strong. A Trip to the Yellowstone National Park in July, August, and September, 1875. From the Journal of General W. E. Strong. Washington: Privately Printed, 1876. Estimate $6,000–8,000.
    First Edition. Contains a renowned description of a buffalo hunt and remarkable angling feats (claiming over 3,000 trout were caught).


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