# 39762


The Circumnavigators’ Club. (Including an early Certificate of Membership)

$400.00 AUD

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New York, NY : The Circumnavigators’ Club, 104 Pearl Street, 1912. Duodecimo (155 x 118 mm), original limp pigskin (moderate wear to edges, corners and spine), front lettered in blind ‘Circumnavigators’ Club’; marbled pastedowns and endpapers; pp. xxi, [2 blank], [1 List of officers], printed on parchment, text in black with vignette decorations and initials in black and green; the list of officers on the last page includes Wm. H. Taft (Honorary President), Robert Frothingham (President), George F. Trowbridge (Vice-President), William E. Peck (Treasurer), and V. Atherton Dodge (Secretary); very good throughout; loosely enclosed is the portable certificate (117 x 150 mm) that would have been issued with the book, belonging to member no. 291 (whose “sober signature” is difficult to decipher), which is printed on the same parchment stock and signed by Frothingham, Dodge and Peck.

A very early piece of memorabilia associated with the Circumnavigators’ Club, which was founded in New York City in 1902. The colophon to the booklet states ‘Copyright 1912’; both the booklet and certificate of membership were issued to just the 291st member of the club, leading us to speculate that the certificate dates from 1912 or 1913 – almost certainly from within the term of William Howard Taft as President of the United States (March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913).

The witty text in the booklet has been attributed to journalist and fiction writer Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916) by Turner and Bishop in their checklist Books Printed on Vellum in the United States.

From the Club’s website:

‘The Circumnavigators Club is the only international organization devoted to bringing together those men and women who have gone around the world. The Club was organized over 100 years ago by two Americans sailing across the Indian Ocean aboard the S.S. Barbarossa, they discussed their good fortune to have gone around the world. They decided there was a need for a club composed of those adventurous individuals who had actually experienced the crown jewel of travel. On their return to New York, James H. Birch, Jr., John D. Morrison together with E. H. Patterson founded the Circumnavigators Club. They are known by Club members as “The Three Immortals”. In 1902, global travel was arduous and expensive and few were privilege to experience it. Early members were famous, or associated with exploratory, military and diplomatic assignments. Such legendary figures as William Jennings Bryan, President William Howard Taft, John Phillip Sousa, Harry Houdini, and many others. With the advent of air travel, the world came within reach of an increasing number of travelers. Although our Club roster continues to include a number of celebrities, most Club members today are successful professional people.’