Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2016 Issue

A Year Like No Other

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Bruce McKinney, fine with some wear and tear

A year ago, in December, I had elective open-heart surgery.  Congenital issues were in play and my doctors felt they could intervene to alter the pattern of early death by heart disease that is epidemic among men in my family.  The procedure was partially successful and I’m reporting in from the warm side of the mortal coil.

 

Then in September, as if to pack as many difficult situations as possible into a single year, I was hit by a car while walking.  So much for stop signs and crosswalks.  The low speed, reported as 15-17 miles an hour, saved me.  The driver was distracted and did not brake until I was thrown onto the hood of his taxi.  He then jammed on his brakes, throwing me a dozen feet ahead.  Over the next 6 days a debate raged as to what action should be taken.  The triage center at San Francisco General found I was substantially intact except for my left leg that was broken in six places.  Such multiple fractures can be complicated and my HMO declined to advocate a surgical solution.  Another surgeon, introduced by a friend, suggested a complete recovery was possible using screws, ultimately 9, to put the leg and ankle back together, then to be followed by a month strapped to a motion machine to kept scar tissue from reducing the range of motion.  This worked and 4 months later I have substantially resumed my daily walking regime.  I’m walking 3 miles a day and hope to be back to 5 by spring.

 

As if in compensation for the car accident a long-time member of AE/Rare Book Hub, in late September asked what it was I most hoped to accomplish with the site, and I said “completeness”, the building of a complete record of book and manuscript auction lots back to the American Civil War.  He then said he thought he had many early catalogues, they among material purchased in 1948 at the dispersal of unclaimed goods at a public warehouse in New Jersey.  You see, he’s 84 and has been at this for close on seventy years.

 

A few days later he confirmed he still had them and they are now ours.

 

The health issues have been difficult but that chance conversation has set the course for an extraordinary 2016.

 

So I’m grateful.  2015 was a difficult year and ’16 is encouraging.  What else can you ask for?

 

Best wishes for the New Year;

 

Bruce McKinney

Rare Book Hub / AE

bmckinney@americanaexchange.com

877.323.7273 or 415.823.6678


Posted On: 2016-01-01 07:06
User Name: aeg

Sorry to hear about your health problems, Bruce, but I do understand how your passion for "completeness' in your chosen area of interest can be a valuable diversion. I have now hit 70 and am still adding books to my collection (for that illusive completeness).
I enjoy your monthly commentary and wish you a healthy, prosperous and peaceful 1916
Paul Craft


Posted On: 2016-01-02 22:08
User Name: TwelfthStreetBo

I was dismayed to read of your 'annus horribilis' ! It must have been awful. Yet, every first day of every month, Rare Book Hub/AE promptly appeared with its interesting and important material that I enjoy and look forward to. How did you do it??? Hopefully you have recovered and have now set the bar impossibly high for we bibliophilic walkers. Bruce, I remember a phone conversation with you several years ago, and I've never forgotten what a warm and interested and kind person you are. I wish you a very Healthy and Happy and wonderful 2016.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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