Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2006 Issue

Dawson Ephemera Auction September 29th

Jwg.111

An early map with a Bancroft connection.


By Bruce McKinney

Glen Dawson, the consummate bookman and bibliophile, has sent Part II of his collection of early Californiana and Los Angeles ephemera to auction to be parsed, savored and sold by Johns' Western Gallery on September 29th. The sale includes 99 items from the 1874-1879 period. Part I, comprising 100 lots brought $152,000 on December 2, 2005. The first sale was successful both for buyers and the seller as Mr. Dawson's decades long commitment to the collection of obscure early local materials was welcomed by a new generation of collectors who appreciated the rarity of both the material and the opportunity to acquire it. Lots in the first sale had low estimates and no reserves leaving bidders from around the state and across the country to fight it out for the privilege of taking home a prize. Most lots fell to a Southern Californian passing bids by phone to his attractive representative who systematically decapitated hopefuls with an upraised paddle that refused to fall.

In that sale Doug Johns, the proprietor and auctioneer, was content to let prices find their natural perches after starting at levels that let everyone present believe they would be carrying home boxes of gems for the price of a Big Mac. Alas it didn't work out that way as one buyer ate all the lunch.

This sale, the second of four projected, continues the deaccessioning in date order. The first sale included imprints issued between 1843 and 1873. This sale covers 1874 to 1879. The collection is the lifelong avocation of Glen Dawson and his connection adds significant cachet to the material. For collectors, who may not otherwise covet the material, the acquisition of one or two items for their Dawson provenance may prove irresistible. The numbering of the lots conforms to the yet-to-be published Bibliography of Southern California Imprints being prepared by Dr. Stuart Robinson. Thus there are occasional blanks.

Here then a few examples from the sale.

Lot 111. Diagram of the Scene of the Capture of Vasquez. Typographical map composed entirely of printers' ornaments, 24.6 x 33.9 cm. Supplement to the Los Angeles Star, Vol. XI, No. 21 (May 23, 1874). Est. $1,500/2,500

Lot 114. Tiburcio Vasquez, the Notorious Bandit. 9 x 6 cm, albumen-print carte de visite with 42 lines of printed text on verso. [Los Angeles, 1874.] Est. $500/800

Lot 138. By-laws of the California Wine-Growers' Association of Los Angeles, Incorporated March 20, 1875. 14 pp., 21.5 cm, printed wrappers, in cloth & leather case, fold-out photograph tipped in facing title page. Los Angeles: "Mirror" Book and Job Printing Establishment, Downey Block, Temple and Main Streets, 1875. Est. $1,000/1,500

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>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, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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