The Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins Knight, in his Voyage into the South Sea. Anno Domini 1593.
Hawkins, Sir Richard.
John Jaggard., ( 1622), London
(4), 169, (1 errata), (5) pp.
Richard Hawkins was an Elizabethan adventurer who saw action against the Spanish Armada in 1588. In 1593 he sailed to South America to raid Spanish colonies on the Pacific coast. Years later he produced this account of his privateering venture, which was published in 1622. His “Observations”, aside from being a pirate classic, is the best account of Elizabethan life at sea. It was the first work published by the Hakluyt Society (1848), and has been reprinted several times since. most notably by the Argonaut Press in 1933. This is the copy of famed Americana collector Thomas Streeter, with his distinctive bookplate, and a note on the front blank by his son Henry, indicating that he had purchased it at the auction of his father’s library in 1968. This sale of the Streeter collection took place between 1966 and 1969. The catalog of the sale, produced by Parke Bernet Galleries, was issued in seven volumes, which remain an important reference for rare Americana. This book was number 2400 in the sale. It is in exactly the same condition as it was in 1968. Three letters on the title page (the “THE” in the title) are in facsimile, and the last three leaves are supplied from another copy. Not noted in the Streeter catalog is the fact that this copy has a manuscript ownership inscription dated 1814 and earlier annotations, including a manuscript index – “A Table of Sir Richard Hawkins Voyages,” and marginal notes, both in an earlier hand, perhaps that of “Alexander(?) Hunter” who also wrote his name on a front blank. Bound in full vellum with gold spine lettering. See Hill 784. Sabin 30957 (who calls it “a volume of much rarity.”). Driscoll Piracy Collection 102. Streeter 2400. Borba de Moraes I, p. 395. A wonderful association copy of a rare book. The last copy to appear at auction (2014) was the Brooke Hitching copy, which sold for about $32,000 with the premium. Prior to that, in 2010, the Penrose copy brought about $16,000.