Daniel Crouch Rare Books’ Inaugural Exhibition

Daniel Crouch Rare Books, specialist dealer in antique atlases, maps, plans, sea charts and globes, presents its inaugural exhibition of ‘The Gestetner Collection of Maritime Atlases and Voyages’ this December. The collection, undoubtedly one of the best libraries of sea atlases in private hands, was built up by David Gestetner’s family over a period of 20 years and will be on view from Thursday 15th to Wednesday 22nd December 2010 at Apter Fredericks Gallery (256-267 Fulham Road, London). Prices range from £4,000 to £485,000.

The Gestetner family made its fame and fortune through David Gestetner’s (1854-1939) invention of the stencil duplicator in 1881. A precursor to today’s printer/photocopier, this was the first piece of equipment that allowed businessmen to make numerous copies of office documents quickly and inexpensively. Life-long lovers of sailing, the family started collecting maritime atlases and voyages twenty years ago to commemorate the time it had spent together on its various boats, all named ‘Grumpy Skipper’. David Gestetner (1937-2010) was a passionate sailor and was hugely proud of the navigational skills he developed before the advent of electronic aids and GPS. Collecting sea atlases and voyages was a natural extension of this passion, and was continued by his wife Alice and their children as a memento of their times together.

“We are delighted to offer this remarkable collection as our inaugural catalogue. It features items of exceptional quality and rarity and gives a fascinating glimpse into naval history as it charts two distinct courses through the waters of Europe’s maritime past; the first by way of the practical pilot guides and sea atlases used aboard ship, and the other through the adventurous tales of voyages by the likes of Drake, Cavendish, and Cook”, comments Daniel Crouch.