Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2016 Issue

Case Antiques Auctions Features Outstanding Collections from Tennessee Estates, Including Slavery, Presidential, and other Antebellum Material

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Over 500 albumen prints and CDVs that descended in the family of Nashville photographers Otto and C.C. Giers are offered.

There will be an amazing collection of Americana sold by Case Antiques Auction & Appraisals of Knoxville on July 30. Books, autographs, early photographs, maps, and other paper, including a slave archive will be featured. Much of the material is from the antebellum period, with collections of two Tennessee plantations, Devon Farm of Nashville and Hamilton Place of Maury County, featured. Other items come from different Tennessee estates and collections.

 

Among the archive lots are more than 60 slave bills of sale and receipts related to David Morris Harding of Oak Hill Plantation in Nashville (later renamed Devon Farm). They are accompanied by two of Harding's notebooks recording slave transactions, some in Baltimore, others around the South. Also coming from that estate are over 500 early albumin prints and cartes de visite covering people from slaves to generals. Most came from the archives of the business of Nashville Civil War era photographer C.C. Giers and his son, Otto Giers, who married into the Devon Farm family. Other images chronicle the growth of Nashville in the post-war and post-Reconstruction era.

 

Two dozen autograph lots also come from the Devon estate, mostly related to land grants from the family of patriarch John Davis. Davis was an original surveyor of Nashville, back from when it was still part of North Carolina. Signatures include the very scarce signature of James Robertson, founder of Nashville, along with those of North Carolina Governors Alexander Martin, Richard Dobbs Spaight, and Samuel Ashe, and Tennessee Governors Sam Houston (3), James K. Polk (2), Andrew Johnson, Willie Blount, William Carroll and Joseph McMinn. Three of those governors would go on to be presidents, Polk and Johnson Presidents of the United States, Houston President of the Republic of Texas.

 

Speaking of presidential signatures, two from Abraham Lincoln are offered. One is a presidential signed pardon for Wilburn Bybee of Kentucky in 1864. The paperwork indicates he had been imprisoned for "robbing the mail," but it is of the same format used for freeing Confederate prisoners – Bybee agrees to defend the Constitution and obey all laws relating to slaves (notably the Emancipation Proclamation). The pardon is adhered to a copy of volume 1 of Abraham Lincoln: A History, published in 1890 by Lincoln’s former secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay, whose autographs are also included. The second Lincoln signed document, also signed by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, confers the rank of captain in the Veterans Reserve Corps to James Remington of Rhode Island. Remington was seriously injured after only a short period of military service and had to be discharged, but wished to continue serving in some capacity despite his disability.

 

Other items offered include a Gold Rush diary, Civil War diary, a rare Civil War broadside, an autograph album containing signatures of members of the Tennessee legislature in 1875-76, and an archive related to the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. There are family archives from the John Davis-Edward Hicks-Otto Giers families of Nashville and the Lucius Polk-Henry Clay Yeatman families of Maury County. Books from those same historic families’ libraries include Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia (well preserved, but lacking map); an 1837 first edition of Dana’s System of Mineralogy, the complete first 15-volume run of Appleton’s Journals; Richardson’s Dictionary 1839; a first American edition of Davy’s Devon Herd, numerous scarce 19th century books on botany, fishing, and hunting; The Troopers Manual or Tactics for Light Dragoons and Mounted Riflemen by Col. J. Lucius Davis, published Richmond, 1861, and a group of 19th century books with rare Tennessee and Virginia binder’s tickets. There are archives from Civil War soldiers from Tennessee and Virginia, and one for English Crimean War General J. Scott Robertson.

 

There are many southern maps being offered in the auction as well. Included are a Pierre Mortier / Nicolas Sanson map of South Carolina, published in Amsterdam in 1696 (the first map of South Carolina printed in Europe), a Johann Baptist Hamann map of Virginia, Maryland and Carolina circa 1714, and maps of Texas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, along with a prospect view of Charleston, South Carolina, engraved by William Henry Toms and published 1779.

 

You will also find some more recent items in the sale. There is a crew patch and flag with astronaut autographs from the first Space Ship Columbia, and a 1965 Supreme Court photograph signed by all nine justices.

 

Along with the works on paper, there is much else from these estates to be found, such as art work, figurines and other collectibles, furniture, weapons, coins, rugs, jewelry, silverware, and more. Books and paper are featured at items 221-289, 710-764, 872-874, and 896, but the other items are fascinating as well.

 

The auction will be held in Knoxville on Saturday July 30, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time. You don't have to be present as absentee and phone bids will be accepted, along with the more common internet bidding via LiveAuctioneers. Case Antiques Auction & Appraisals may be reached at their Knoxville office at 865-558-3033, their Nashville office at 615-812-6096, or info@caseantiques.com. Their website is found at www.caseantiques.com.

 

If you go to their website, you will find both photographs and descriptions on the Case site and a link to the LiveAuctioneers page for bidding in the sale – www.caseantiques.com.

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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