Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2018 Issue

Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again

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I grew up in Ulster County on the west side of the Hudson midway between New York and Albany.  I moved away in my mid-twenties, almost fifty years ago, although some who know me say I never left, for my interest in the Valley remains as strong today as it was growing up.  That interest was recently rewarded with the purchase of a wonderful group of old photographs of New Paltz, zip code 12561.

 

I’ve since 10 been a book collector but, as has become apparent over the past twenty-years, the internet has exposed the depth, range and availability of material that was always assumed to be impossible to find.  That in turn has reoriented collecting to greater specificity creating the possibility of more interesting collections.  I went down that rabbit hole years ago and have found such collecting to be beyond rewarding.

 

Book collecting has long been the category but the increasing availability of paintings and ephemera, manuscripts and broadsides has now transformed the field and photography become perhaps the strongest category.

 

Interesting photographs randomly appear at auction and on eBay but many lack descriptions.  But once in a great while when a group appears, they are all connected and relevant to my collecting of the history of Ulster County.  So it was for me a month or so ago when I stopped in to see Sandy Levy of New Paltz, New York who does a very nice business in paintings of the area and the Hudson Valley generally.  There was no painting that interested me this time but he took a few minutes to talk and I mentioned I had commissioned the renowned painter Lenny Tantillo, formerly of Ohioville and once my immediate neighbor, to paint the burning of the New Paltz Normal School in 1906.  Sandy said he had some old photographs and went off to find them.  He returned with some excellent images, all of them at least uncommon and some exceptionally rare.  He then offered a price and I immediately agreed.

 

A week later I brought them to E. M. Ginger of 42-Line to have them scanned and organized so Lenny could access them.

 

Here’s some background.

 

My family owned the Hudson Valley Newspapers in southern Ulster County.  In New Paltz their competition was the New Paltz Independent, the subject of the first image.  The Ralph Lefevre family produced very charming editions using older type and their classified section even into the 1960s was almost a work of art.  The next three images show two of their type compositors and their press in 1900.

 

There’s also two images of a factory or commercial establishment.  I think they are in the downtown but the company isn’t yet confirmed.

 

There are also a half dozen images of the New Paltz Normal School.  These images were taken post-fire in 1906 and provide information on the nearby landmarks, the main building and its appearance.  Some of these details will find their way into Lenny’s painting.

 

As well, there’s a yet to be understood image taken in Gardiner, just south of New Paltz, in what appears to be about 1880.  There are more than forty men, wearing finery.  Some are wearing a common ribbon, a common frill for an occasion that is not yet identified.

 

There are many ways to know a place but few better than old photographs and I’m grateful to Sanford Levy for selling them to me.

 

For paintings of the Ulster area and nearby counties he’s an excellent resource.

 

Jenkinstown Antiques

Route 32 South

New Paltz, New York 12561

Tel:  845.255.4876 or 845.389.5379

Email:  info@jenkinstownantiques.com

 

Website:  https://www.jenkinstownantiques.com/about_us

 

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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