Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2017 Issue

July 6-17: Cowan's Online Sale of N. Flayderman & Co. Civil War material and more

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Brevet Brigadier General William Miltimore McArthur Collection of Civil War Papers Incl. Letters with Heavy Battle Content

Cowan’s Auctions, based in Cincinnati and in business since 1995, has been an auction house always at the forefront of technological advances. One of the first houses to boast a website and to conduct online sales, they, along with five competitors, launched Bidsquare, a bidding platform focused on ensuring the highest levels of quality and honesty in auctions, in 2014. Cowan’s is renowned in the field for their sales of Civil War-era material, and this month, they’re hosting an online-only sale that will be conducted, of course, through Bidsquare, and of course, Civil War material is at the forefront.

Norm Flayderman of N. Flayderman & Co. passed away in May, 2013, and for over 50 years, he was known for vast expertise in the fields of antique firearms and militaria, having published 118 consecutive editions of his catalog and authored Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values. The Flayderman family ran the N. Flayderman & Co. business for several years following his death, but they have since decided to close shop and auction the remaining inventory. Significant offerings were sold by Cowan’s in February and June of this year, and this month, beginning July 6th, and ending July 16th, a timed online sale of Property from N. Flayderman & Co. will be taking bids on 300 items, the majority of which are Civil War lots.

Estimates for the sale are quite reasonable, topping out at just $1,500 and the large majority estimated under $1,000. A highlight lot from the sale includes over 1,000 papers of records relating to the 11th Massachusetts Infantry and 3rd Army Corps during the Civil War. The documents in the lot include (but are not limited to) autographed letters signed from various soldiers and officers, receipts for the 3rd Army Corps, 2nd Division 3rd Brigade, general orders, monthly reports for the sick and wounded of the 11th Massachusetts for April and June 1864, and a document recording payments for paroled prisoners in Camp Parole. All together the lot is a unique and detailed glimpse into the war-time experience of Union soldiers, and it is estimated $1,000 to $1,500.

Another lot offering as unique a view of the Civil War experience is a series of 79 papers written by or related to Brigadier General William M. McArthur of the 8th Maine Infantry—47 of which are letters written home to his father. Within these letters are descriptions of some of the most difficult times in the General’s career: the action before Petersburg and events at Bermuda Hundred and Dewry’s Bluff. In one of McArthur’s last war letters to his father, from Richmond in May, 1865, he provides perspective on the end: “The war is indeed over. How strange it seems here in the field—so quiet—no alarms—Only the soldier can appreciate peace.” The archive of McArthur papers is estimated $800 to $1,000 and is certain to please an avid collector of the war.

Collectors of American political autographs will be happy to learn of two specific lots: one being a large collection of autographs, including senators, representatives, and cabinet members, and the other a collection of U.S. Secretaries of State autographs. Both are estimated $500 to $1,000.

Cowan’s Auctions sale of Property from N. Flayderman & Co. is a timed online sale beginning at noon EDT on July 6th and closing at noon EDT on July 17th. Bidding will be done through Bidsquare. Logging in with an existing account or registration with Bidsquare is required. 

The sale can be viewed by appointment at Cowan’s Cincinnati sales room. To make an appointment or to request additional information and condition reports, please contact Katie Horstman: Katie@cowans.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <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>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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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