Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2006 Issue

Swann Americana Sale February 2nd


The Lincoln Assassination!

A wild card in the sale is lot 108, a 200+ page manuscript journal kept by Manasseh Stow covering a six year voyage to the South Pacific, China, California and Hawaii and covering the period 2 August 1810 to 17 October, 1816. It is lot 108. Swann describes it as "an incredible journal detailing the sandalwood trade in the South Pacific and the natives encountered, with a residence on the Sandwich Islands during the War of 1812." It is estimated $4,000 to $6,000. It is seems worth considerably more.

Lot 114 is a book of 52 color tinted lithographs illustrating pre-fire Chicago. A copy sold in the Laird Park sale in 2001 for $27,200. This copy is estimated $18,000 to $22,000. Wright Howes, a Chicago book dealer and author of Howes' Usiana gave this book more than fifty years ago his next to highest rating for rarity, a 'D'. Since then images have been at the forefront of rising value.
AE Footnote 5

Another great visual item is lot 142, a Lincoln assassination wanted poster. This one, dated April 20, 1865 offered "$100,000 Reward!" [for] "The Murderer of our late beloved President, Abraham Lincoln." Swann describes this as "America's most famous reward poster, issued only days after the assassination... This example does not include the rare albumen photographs of the conspirators." It is estimated $20,000 to $25,000. This printing has been in the auction rooms regularly, almost always without the three albumen prints. Examine the records carefully if you are a potential bidder.
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Lot 228 is a Boston almanac for the year 1772. It includes 3 engraved illustrations that, while not signed by Revere, are attributed to him based on "style and charges in his daybook." There are quite a few variant editions none of which are common. The estimate is $2,000 to $3,000. The attached record sheds some light on the subject.
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Finally, there is lot 233, Thomas W. Streeter's copy of Crevecoeur's Letters From an American Farmer [London: Davies and Davis, 1782]. It is estimated $4,000 to $6,000. The market for this book is probably between the estimates but the Streeter provenance makes it highly collectible to experienced collectors.
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The sale takes place on February 2nd.

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