Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2014 Issue

Buying New York Ephemera


Recently I purchased 130 items from Peter Luke, the New Baltimore, New York antique and Americana dealer.  I have bought from him before with good results and found the decision easier this time as he has both a clear idea of what I want and understands my idea of what appropriate pricing is.  The material I bought is New York State ephemera with a randomness to it that mimics the flow of ephemera both in real life and on the web, particularly eBay.  For a dealer to invest any time in this material there has to be money in it but, given that prices are low, there also has to be volume.  This lot contained:

1.  A run of Dutchess and Ulster Co. Farmer’s Almanacs for the years 1869 to 1897, including many duplicates and some omissions – all in fair to good condition.

2.  Other miscellaneous Poughkeepsie almanacs, a half dozen from the beginning of the 20th century that were offered by other firms and printers.

3.  Strong & Douw’s Agricultural Almanac.  1868.  6.75 x 10”.  32pp.  Probably printed by Newcomb & Co., Booksellers and Stationers.  A nice item.

4.  Eureka Poultry Farm of Cobleskill New York, a catalogue of their specialty –White Leghorns.  24pp. + covers.  Undated circa 1900.

5.  Recollections of Albany and of Hudson with Anecdotes and Sketches of Men and Things by Ignatius Jones.  Albany 1850.  168pp.  Uncommon and in very nice condition.

6.  Three items bound as one and lacking covers.  [1] Address to the Citizens of Albany and Some Considerations respecting the Proposed Construction of the Albany & Susquehanna Rail-Road.  January, 1852.  [2] Some remarks on the Prospects of the Albany and Susquehanna Rail Road as a Dividend-Paying Road.   32pp. + fold out chart.  Printed by Munsell, 1854.  [3] An Inquiry into the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad Litigations of 1869 and Mr. David Dudley Field’s Connection Therewith, by George Ticknor Curtis, 1871

7.  Lake Minnewaska Mountain Houses.  E. A. & G. H. Smiley, Proprietors [A seasonal brochure for 1909].  24pp + printed cover.  This was Minnewaska at its peak.

8.  An address delivered by Maj. Gen. J. M. Schofield to the Corps of Cadets, U.S.MA.A., West Point, N. Y. Monday August 11th, 1879. 9pp.  With Gen. Schofield’s name card inserted.

9.  Into the Lake Region of the Adirondacks by S. R. Stoddard. 1900.  Printed by A. V. Haight, Poughkeepsie. 9.25 x 6.75”.  46 pp. + covers.

10. Guide to Kaaterskill Park.  Apparently prepared for guests of the Hotel Kaaterskill, 1882.  32pp. + covers.  8.5 x 7.5”.  Thorough and well done.

11. Trinity Church Title.  An Exposure of Miller’s Letter, with documents, etc., addressed to the late commissioners of the land Office.  48pp. 5.75 x 9.25”.  Printed by Joel Munsell, 1856

12. The Catskill Mountains – the most picturesque region on the globe.  A guidebook for those travelling on the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, the Stony Clove and C. M. Railroad, and the Kaaterskill Railroad.  With a foldout map.  An as-new copy.  136pp. + covers

13. Overlook Mountain House, via Kingston, Ulster County, N. Y.  An 8 x 10” broadside for the 1873 season.  A very rare survival and a wonderful engraving of the hotel.

14. First Annual Report of the President of the Newburg, Dutchess & Connecticut Railroad Company – to the Stockholders and Income Bondholders.  1879.  12pp. One of many such reports.  The news usually wasn’t good.

15. Mid the Catskill Mountains by John W. Rusk.  32pp. 10 x 8”.  1907.  A book of photographs with none of the usual wear.

16. The Catskill Mountains.  Devoted to a Description of this Famous Summer Resort Region.  Printed by the Stamford Press, Stamford-in-the-Catskills, 1927.  64pp.  11 x 7.75”.

17. Life of the Late John Elwes, Esquire, member is three successive parliaments for Berkshire.  A reprint of the second edition, this one by Paraclete Potter, Poughkeepsie, 1815.  A difficult copy with recommendations at the back for Willet’s Geography, another publication from the press of Mr. Potter.  80pp, + 5 pages of endorsements of Mr. Potter’s press.

18. Catskill Mountains - Squirres Inn, Twilight Park, Haines Falls, N. Y.  An 8 page brochure, 6.625 x 4.625”

19.  Official Register of the Officers and Cadets of the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, New-York.  June 1849.  Including the famous and infamous.   24pp.  4.25 x 6.5”

20.  Handbook of the Pompeia – A grand Roman house:  illustrating the art, architecture, mythology and customs of the Roman Empire.  In Saratoga Springs, a reproduction of the House of Pansa, in Pompeii, buried by Vesuvius, A.D. ’79 was available for tourists to inspect for the sum of 50 cents.  This brochure explains the exhibit circa 1890.  5 x 6.75”. 16pp.

21.  Forest Grove [Pine Hill, N. Y.] Souvenir 1898.  Compliments of John Schwabel.  Forest Grove was a hotel.  5.375 x 3.25”, 32pp.

22. The Inn at High Point, Port Jervis, N. Y.  A 12 pp. brochure [6.875 x 4.5”].  [1882].

23. Snap Shots on the Upper Hudson, taken from a Day Line Steamer.  16pp. 4.25 x 6.5”

24.  Palmer House.  Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, N. Y. 3.25 x 4.875”.  Undated but before 1875.  A little gem. 16pp.

25. Bridging the Hudson at Poughkeepsie for a Short Direct Through Line, from New England to the Coal Fields and from the West to the East, for An All Rail Route, saving One Hundred Miles in Distance over present lines, and Eighty Miles over any other proposed route.  Published at Poughkeepsie by the Eagle Printing House, 1871.  With two important fold-out maps hand colored. 9 x 5.625”, 34pp.

26. The America Lead Company of Dutchess County, New York.  Organized 1863.  Printed 1864. A 16pp. pamphlet 5.625 x 9”.

27.  Kingston Point Park, 1903.  A souvenir brochure published by The Freeman Press, Kingston, New York.  32pp + covers 8” x 5.5”

28. Three priceless photographs, each 8 x 10.125”, of Kingston, New York businesses:  [1] Schryver Bros. Lumber Co., [the company] [2] Schryver Bros. Lumber Co., their railroad siding, and [3] A scene of festivities in Kingston, New York [1911].


The price for the lot:  $2,000


Peter Luke Americana and Antiques

P. O. Box 282, New Baltimore, New York

518.756 6492

His email:  oldluke50@hotmail.com


As he travels frequently his reply may take up to a week.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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