Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2017 Issue

Two Sales of Books and Ephemera Coming Up Soon at Cowan's


Cowan's Auctions of Cincinnati has two auctions coming this month of great interest to those who collect in the books and works on paper field. The first, a live auction scheduled for Friday, June 9, features more in the way of ephemeral types of paper. The second, being held online, is a collection focused on books.


The live auction on June 9 is titled American History, Featuring the Property of N. Flayderman & Co. N. Flayderman & Co. was in the business of selling historic arms and militaria for 64 years. After Norman Flayderman died in 2013, the family decided to close the business. Over the years, it had acquired a large collection of paper items pertaining to American history, and in particular its military, arms, and wars in which the country was engaged. There are 396 lots, mostly works on paper but some others as well. Paper includes broadsides, manuscripts, photographs, and various other forms in smaller numbers.


Here are a few items from the Flayderman sale to give you an idea of what sort of material you will find.


Lot 15. Extremely rare catalogue of hand-drawn swords from Widman & Co. and Horstman of Philadelphia, circa late 1840's-1851. Approximately 35 pages with swords colored. Starting Price $1,000. Estimate $2,000-$4,000.


Lot 104. Civil War message from General Burnside to General McClellan in September 1862. It reads in part, "Adam received of send new report return indicate left accordance office directions but udder seem on once pigeons..." How did the Union win this war when their commanders spoke like that? This is actually a ciphered communication, with an 1895 translation provided with it. Starting Price $2,500. Estimate $5,000-$8,000.


Lot 19. A Confederate broadside headed Circular concerning the employment and impressment of free blacks and slaves living in the Confederacy. Free blacks could be hired for such tasks as building fortifications or hospitals, but not serve as soldiers. Slaves could be impressed to serve similar functions, but only if between the ages of 18-50, and no more than one out of every five slaves from a slave owner could be impressed into service. Starting Price $250. Estimate $500-$700.


Lot 182. This is a southern item that focuses us on a controversy that still rages today. It is a printed cotton kerchief headed Our Heroes and Our Flags. The date was 1896, the Civil War 30 years past, but the heroes were not Lincoln and Grant, the flags American. The heroes depicted are Stonewall Jackson, Beauregard, and Lee, the flags variations on the Confederate one. Starting Price $250. Estimate $500-$700.


Lot 188. The times they are a-changin'. This is a World War I recruitment poster for the Naval Reserve and Coast Guard. It features an illustration of a young woman wearing a white sailor's hat and naval jacket with the caption "Gee!! I wish I were a man. I'd join the Navy." You can today, young lady! The drawing was created by Howard Chandler Christy. Starting Price $400. Estimate $800-$1,200.


Lot 211. Seven photographs, including one autochrome lumière (an early color photographic process) of Clara Clemens, her husband Ossip Gabrilowitsch, and daughter Nina. Clara was Mark Twain's only surviving daughter, Nina his only grandchild and last surviving descendant. Other photographs are of Clara and Nina, and one shows a group of boys dressed up like Huckleberry Finn from a 1935 Huck Finn look-alike contest in which Nina was the judge. Starting Price $800. Estimate $1,600-$2,800.


Lot 231. Was George Washington supposed to pay the postage? Evidently, he was confused about the original free franking privilege on postage and was concerned his recipients were being charged postage due. In this letter, likely from 1789, Washington writes, "As the Law exempting me from payment of Postage, is not worded as I expected it wd. have been, and as I believe it was intended to be -- Pray let me know whether you are charged Postage for my letters to you? Not meaning you should do so." It is signed "GWash." Starting Price $1,500. Estimate $3,000-$5,000.


Lot 310. At last, there is a cure for baldness. Actually, it happened almost two centuries ago, in 1832. This is a broadside for Ward's Vegetable Hair Oil. It takes "but a short time" to regrow lost hair, even on heads that are totally bald. It even prevents hair from turning grey. If you doubt the claim, Ward's points out that "Physicians second to none in Medical Science" use and recommend it, and "the concurring testimony of thousands put it beyond all doubt, so that the most incredulous no longer hesitate." The drawing at the top shows a man pouring the miraculous oil on the heads of bald men and women who walk away with a full head of hair. Starting Price $250. Estimate $500-$700.


The second sale is online only. Bidding opens on June 8 and closes on June 19 at noon. This one is of The Book Collection of Dr. Ivan Gilbert, Columbus, OH. Dr. Gilbert's collection is hard to categorize, which is to say, if he had a clear focus, it's unclear to me. He collected a lot of interesting books, but what is their connection, I cannot say, other than that Dr. Gilbert must have liked them. This is a something for everyone sale. Here are a few samples.


Lot 101. This is a most entertaining book of drawings and captions entitled Adventures of a Woman in Search of Her Rights. It is a circa 1871 Boston & New York edition, following a circa 1870 from London. The author was Florence Claxton, who with her sister was trained by their artist father in art. This book contains nearly 100 drawings. They follow the protagonist's odd search for her rights. She decides to pursue a typical male education. She reads John Stuart Mill, which makes her more educated, but for some reason her nose becomes larger and her looks deteriorate. Still, she emerges emancipated, becomes a lawyer, a politician, and finally a doctor, failing at all. Eventually, she emigrates to the United States, marries polygamous Mormon leader Brigham Young, and in the final illustration, is once again a beautiful young woman, awakening from a dream. "Thank goodness it's only a midsummer night's dream and I'm not emancipated," she exclaims. Estimate $500-$1,000.


Lot 9. Biblia dat is de Gantsche H. Schrifture. This is a massive Dutch bible from 1682. It features contemporary colored maps, a plan of Jerusalem, 80 biblical scenes, and working brass clasps. Estimate $2,500-$3,500.


Here is a link to the Flayderman sale: www.cowanauctions.com/auction/692017-american-history-featuring-the-property-of-n-flayderman-co-live-salesroom-auction-3768


Here is a link to the Gilbert sale: www.cowanauctions.com/auction/682017-the-book-collection-of-dr-ivan-gilbert-columbus-oh-timed-bidsquare-auction-ends-619-7514

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

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions