Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2017 Issue

Pick of the Litter

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Lake Mohonk Hotel around 1900

Once a year or so I receive an unpretty box that is wrapped in a nuclear-proof way to ensure the contents arrive in good order.  The shipper is one of the great holdouts to today’s upscale packing conventions that have slowly become the norm over the past twenty years.  But not every dealer has taken the plunge and not this one in particular and I have no complaints for this dealer shops on my behalf for most a year and then, when prompted, admits he’s got a box or two of interesting material that he’ll soon send along.

 

Soon is a rather vague term.  If you are late to turn in homework I can confirm that “soon” doesn’t cut it.  But from experience soon is this gentlemen’s vague but ultimately reliable promise and so it was a few months back that a box, deep into its second life after having been born a storage box, emerged with the appropriate groans of the post office staff, “What’s in this box anyway?”  When/if I mention “it’s books” it often prompts an “Oh really?”

 

The book dealer?  It’s Peter Luke of New Baltimore, New York [on the Hudson River south of Albany] and this is an annual rite.  He lives near to the area I collect and looks for ephemera and the occasional book for me.  Every collector should have such support.

 

This year’s material is a single box that weighs 19.8 pounds.  Fed-ex Ground, now contesting the United Parcel Service’s dominant position in the delivery business, brought the box overland and delivered it in good order.  The box is recognizable for the exceptional amount of wrapping tape employed.  Peter’s boxes don’t fall apart.

 

Peter’s note, with the shipment, mentions that the material is not well described.  Okay, I’ve received these shipments for many years and they are never described at all.  He provides a list written in a cranky hand with a brief name, item number, and price.  The prices fall into the mid-range generally [for rarity, condition and importance].  This year there are 52 of them, more than 90% of it ephemera, that price out at $4,655.  There is also an incentive to buy all the material, this year a $1,405 discount which is void if I take even one item less than the full group offered.  In past years I’ve tried to divide the material into more and less desirable groups but the math just doesn’t work that way.  So I buy everything.  It’s much simpler though my family will someday ask “Why did Dad buy 3 copies?”  For that possible occasion, I’ll leave notes in these multiple copies suggesting they ask Peter himself.  For myself I have no complaints.

 

Here are the 52 items I purchased this year:

 

1.  Guide to the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains.  1893.  $125

2.  A Summer Paradise.  1902.  $75

3.  Tourist Map of the Hudson River.  1923.  $55

4.  The Hudson by Daylight.  1878.  $125

5.  The Story of Mohonk.  1911.  $30

6.  Image taken by a Kingston firm.  Unknown.  $45

7.  Claverack Centennial with 5 images pasted in.  1867.   $175

8.  Souvenir of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. [Albany].  $50

9.  Poughkeepsie and its Points of Interest.  1895.  $95

10.  Hudson-Fulton Souvenir Program.  1909.  $45 

11.  Van Loan’s Catskill Mountain Guide.  1892.  $285

12.  Views of The Hudson River.  Circa 1918.  $135

13.  The Scenery of the Catskill Mountains.  1876.  $100

14.  Choice Bits of Scenery in the Catskills.  Circa 1888.  $100

15.  Haunts of Rip Van Winkle.  1884.  $150

16.   Almanac, 1885.  $15

17.  Maple Grove House.  1910.  $45

18.  The Closing Argument in the case of The People vs, Reuben Dunbar for Murder.  1851.  $185

19.  Lake Mohonk Letter.  1894.  $45

20.  The Scenery of the Catskill Mountains.  Circa 1850.  $150

21.  A Sermon by Samuel Austin, D. D.  1808.  $45

22.  Mountain Echos through the Catskills.  Undated.  $45

23.  Souvenir Letter:  Athens, New York.  Circa 1905.  $35

24.  Winter Clove House, Catskill Mountains.  Circa 1890.  $45

25.  The Athens Sesquicentennial 1805 – 1955.  1955.  $25

26.  Rocks of Greene County.  1912.  $10

27.  Greetings from the Catskills.  1922.  $150

28.  Farms up the Hudson around Newburgh.  Circa 1921.  $50

29.  The Catskills:  Indelible Images.  1892.  $125

30.  The Laurel House.  Date unknown,  $100

31.  Enjoying the Catskills.  1950.  $20

32.  Views of and near Laurel House.  No date.  $285

33.  West Shore River Division Time Table.  1939.  $10

34.  Guide to Rambles from the Catskill Mountain House.  1862.  $100

35.  Sunset Park Inn.  No. date.  $75

36.  American Historical and Genealogical Publications.  Undated but early 20th century.  $20

37.  Sunset Spring Water.  Haines Falls.  Date unknown.  $20

38.  Various issues of Olde Ulster 1901-1912 est.

39.  Sally Hamilton, a put together record.  Undated.  $75 

40.  Early image of Lake Mohonk Mountain House.  Circa 1880.  $95

41.  View from the Catskill Mountain House.  Undated.  $145

42.  Image of Catskill Mountain House.  Undated.  $225

43.  Image of Kaaterskill Falls.  Undated.  $95

44.  Mid-18th to mid-19th Century Receipts in both Dutch and English.  $200

45.  Image of the Otis Elevated Rail Road.  1892.  $145

46.  Receipt for a coffin, Kingston, 1861.  $20

47.  Hudson Navigation Company.  Undated but circa 1880.  $10

48.  Catskill Mountain Guide with Maps.  1878.  $150

49.  Historic Catskill [Vedder].  Date unknown.  $75

50.  The “Old Times” Corner.  1932.

51.  The Fabulous Butlers of Brandy Hill.  1953.  $30

52.  Reminiscences of Catskill.  1868.  $65

As is always the case some of the material is exceptional and others simply good.  Overall, the shipment is simply great, good fun.  So I’m already looking forward to next year’s shipment to discover what he’s recently located.

 

Here’s the guy in the flesh.  Consider him highly recommended.

 

Peter Luke Antiques

P. O. Box 282

New Baltimore, New York 12124

Tel:  518.756.6492

[No, he doesn’t have a website]

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <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>

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