Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #71 begins on
22 Nov 2018 16:30 GMT

Charles Du-Val & Charles Deecker (Editors)


Published: News of the Camp, Pretoria, 1880-1881

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All 40 issues of this scarce newspaper, chronicling the First Anglo Boer War, also known as the Transvaal War or the Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, which was fought from 16 December 1880 until 23 March 1881 between Great Britain and the South African Republic (ZAR or Transvaal Republic) and resulted in defeat for the British and the second independence of the South African Republic. Issue 1 is dated December 25th. 1880 and Issue 40, April 9th. 1881. Bound in black quarter leather and green buckram with patterned endpapers and a later ex-libris on the front pastedown. A preliminary leaf has the following calligraphic inscription: "Presented /to/The Honble George Hudson/by the Editors/Messrs Charles Duval and/Charles Deeker/Pretoria/20th June 1881". Laid down on to some blank leaves, both before and after the bound newspapers, are 27 original photographs pertaining to the war, the battlefields and quite a few of the military personnel including Hendrik Schoeman, Henning Pretorius and Colonel Gildea. Many of the photos have hand written annotations. Original photographs of this war are presumably very scarce. They vary in size from 19x14cms. to 14x8cms. 

A prnted Preface begins : "The Editors. in presenting to their Subscribers the bound Edition of the full files of 'NEWS OF THE CAMP', think it but fair to themselves to ask the readers, when donning their caps of judgement to sit upon its imperfections, to consider well the difficulties under which the issuers of the journal were placed. Surely never was a paper printed under such irregular auspices - a bungalow for a printing office, with canvas thrown over its unfinished roof, through which rain frequently penetrated.........." . And so on. 

Condition. The binding is moderately worn with rubbing and chipping of the corners. Both front and rear inner hinges are cracked but holding. The newspapers themselves are in very good or better condition. The preliminary and after leaves with the laid down photographs have moderate wrinkling and creasing.

This item would appear to be very rare. I have only traced one similar copy (but without the photographs) which is currently on offer online by Maggs & Co. at something over $5000! I can do no better than to quote extracts from their online listing. " Rare. Published during the siege of Pretoria, News of the Camp affords an interesting narrative of the daily life of Pretoria during the investment, the military incidents of the siege, the sorties and engagements of the garrison, as well as accurate information with regard to the progress of the campaign in other localities. (Mendelssohn). This is one of only 200 copies bound after the cessation of publication. According to Duval, there are copies with photographs interleaved throughout, and apparently a separate volume containing these photographs, could be purchased. They are both exceedingly rare. It took Mendelssohn five years to obtain his standard copy. "

The copy on offer differs from the Maggs copy in the following respects:

     1. In the Maggs copy, the News of the Camp appears to be bound together with The Transvaal Government Gazette.

     2. Although the bindings of the Maggs copy appears identical to this copy, the Maggs copy has the title imprinted in gilt on the front board.

     3.The Maggs copy is the "standard edition" and lacks the photographs. 

Based on the above, my conclusion is that this lot is a major rarity and possibly one of a kind.

  • Binding Condition: Good
  • Overall Condition: Good
  • Size: Folio (370x250cms.)
  • Sold By: Ronald Levine - Modern First Editions
  • Contact Person: Ronald Levine
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 27 11 728-2044
  • Preferred Payment Methods: EFT for S.African customers and PayPal or Bank Transfer for overseas clients. I regret that I no longer accept Credit Cards..
  • Trade Associations: SABDA

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