Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2004 Issue

Americana From Michael Brown Rare Books

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Item 8 is an 1860 manuscript account by one Hiram Wilson describing a colony of runaway slaves in Canada. Wilson began working as a missionary to the escaped slaves in 1836, and estimated the number in Canada to have grown from 10,000 in that year to 40,000 by 1860. He describes the liberal education system present in Canada: “Thousands have been taught to read in the land of refuge, whose fathers & mothers in the South, were debarred the privilege by laws & usages which were revoltingly wicked & cruel…” Wilson notes that some former slaves have emigrated from Canada to places such as the West Indies, Australia, California, British Columbia, and some were considering moving to West Africa. He also speaks of a community of 160 families 50 miles east of Detroit where the “fugitives” had become employed in many jobs as well as agriculture and “as a people have made themselves comfortable & independent.” $4,500.

Item 159 presents a piece of a tragic event for the Cherokee Nation. It comes from Secretary of War James Barbour, Negotiations for Cherokee Lands. Letter from the Secretary of War, Transmitting the Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Negotiate with the Cherokee Indians for a Certain Portion of Their Country. January 30, 1828. The parties would reach an agreement whereby the Cherokees exchanged land in Arkansas for land west of the Mississippi. Unknown to the Cherokee, the possession of land in the west would later lead to their forced evacuation from ancestral homeland in Georgia and the tragic “Trail of Tears,” where many would die in a forced thousand-mile trek under often brutal conditions. $300.

One item contains a most memorable quote, even if the title is somewhat pedestrian. Item 44 is entitled The Almaden Mine. A Letter to the Attorney General on his Report to the President of the Legislature of California, from a California Pioneer. The author, contrasting himself to Attorney General Black, states “My method of stating the case, for the information of the President, differs somewhat from yours, in that mine, is a mere statement of facts without comments; yours of comments without facts.” Touche. Item 44. $300.

Item 186 is a Constitution and Bye-Laws of the Richland Company for the Detection of Horse-Thieves. Horse theft was the car theft of its day, though at least they didn’t have to worry about chop shops. This publication specifically involved the citizens of Quakerstown, Pennsylvania, who probably weren’t too peacefully inclined to those who stole their means of transportation. Circa 1811-12. $1,250.

Here’s a promotional piece: Five Minutes’ Talk About Buffalo Erie County, New York. Its Business Facilities and its Advantages as a Place of Residence and Summer Resort – Its Railroads, Elevators and Manufactories – Its Schools, Churches, Parks, Streets and Hotels. But what, no mention of its snow? Is this really an unbiased picture? And how about those four straight Super Bowl losses? Item 167, from 1881. $45.

Item 174, The Cincinnati Directory…, is sort of a Cincinnati phone book before they had telephones. It contains names, addresses, professions and such information as it was in 1819. $950. Item 176 is a similar work for Columbus, The Columbus Business Directory…, for 1843-44. $600.

Thomas Branagan’s 1828 work is self-explanatory: The Excellency of the Female Character Vindicated; Being an Investigation Relative to the Cause and Effects of the Encroachments of Men upon the Rights of Women, and the Too Frequent Degradation and Consequent Misfortunes of the fair Sex. Item 31. $200.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

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