June 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Catalogue Review: Ten Pound Island

Catalogue Review: Ten Pound Island Book Co., List 202

toc.jpgA timely catalogue review, as Ten Pound of Gloucester, Massachusetts, just released this "maritime list" last week, and of course, with the unofficial start to summer behind us, aren't we all thinking about 'maritime' things? Ten Pound gives us 124 to consider here, in range of prices and formats.

There are beautiful color plates in Clifford W. Ashley's The Yankee Whaler ($250). Published in a limited edition of 1,625 copies, the catalogue calls it "one of the key books on American whaling." Another classic first edition listed here is William M. Davis' Nimrod of the Sea; Or, The American Whaleman ($200).

When the catalogue hails an item as "gruesome and spectacular," you know you need to take a closer look. Mutiny and Murder by Charles Gibbs (a.k.a."Gibbs the Pirate") was published in Providence in 1831 ($750). In it, Gibbs confesses to killing nearly 400 people. A scarce title, this one is complete but lacks its blue wrappers.

The main topics at hand are whaling, scrimshaw, sailing, Navy, pirates, shipwrecks, and merchant ships -- with charming titles like Ocean Melodies ($75), Sea Diseases ($75), and Sea Yarns ($150). There is a selection of ephemera, including a replica of Drake's "plate of brass," mounted on fabric and backed with masonite ($25), and some fabulous manuscript items, such as the 450-page log of the H.M.S. Star ($1,250) and a large original plan in ink for Vanderbilt's yacht, Alva ($250).

The book cover that Ten Pound is using for its catalogue cover is #124 on the list -- believed to be a true first of Rosalind Amelia Young's Mutiny of the Bounty and Story of Pitcairn Island from 1894 (125).

Download the entire list here. Then, hit the beach!