Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2010 Issue

Miscellaneous Pamphlets from Garrett Scott, Bookseller


Garrett Scott eschews complexity in catalogue covers.

By Michael Stillman

Garrett Scott, Bookseller, has issued his 28th catalogue: Miscellaneous Pamphlets. As usual, you can expect to find the unusual. Scott manages to find the rare, obscure, and often strange writings from deep in America's, or sometimes England's, past. Not many of these works made the bestsellers' list, even in their day. Still, they give us a window on the thought processes of our ancestors, often frighteningly similar to our own. Here is a look.

For anyone needing reassurances that today's dirty politics is nothing new, we give you the 1846 senate race in Vermont as a case in point. Actually, this was just infighting in the Whig Party, the incumbent senator and incumbent governor battling it out, in pamphlets. Governor William Slade had said some things Senator Samuel Phelps disliked, so he responded in To the people of Vermont. Mr. Phelps' Rejoinder to Mr. Slade's "Reply." Phelps describes the Governor as "Naturally selfish, ambitious, cold-hearted, hypocritical, and revengeful..." While those sound like good qualities for a politician, evidently voters in 1846 didn't like selfish, ambitious, cold-hearted politicians the way they do today, so Phelps won the race. Item 27. Priced at $100.

Rev. Henry Warren provided his flock with some serious warnings about alcohol consumption in 1878 with his Scientific Certainties (Not Opinions) About Alcohol. A Sermon... At one point Warren admits, "What I know about alcohol by experience would make a very short chapter. It would be only one word. And that word would be nothing." Fortunately, Rev. Warren does not let his knowing nothing about the subject stop him from talking about it, so we have been blessed with this sermon. The pamphlet includes a color plate depicting the stomach lining in varying states of deterioration from alcohol abuse, one of those gruesome illustrations that would drive anyone to drink. Item 268. $50.

This author's work would probably be more expensive if he had been treated more fairly by the government. Item 31 is The New York City "Ring:" its Origin, Maturity and Fall, Discussed in a reply to the New York Times. The writer was Samuel J. Tilden, and at this time (1873) he was a Democratic Assemblyman. The "Ring" was the notorious Tweed Ring, the corrupt Democratic leadership in New York City. Despite being of the same party, Tilden led an investigation of the power brokers that helped bring about their downfall. His role in disclosing their corruption resulted in Tilden being elected Governor in 1874, where he continued to attack corruption. In 1876, the Democrats, having been soundly defeated in every election since 1856, selected Tilden for their presidential nominee, seeing him as a candidate who could finally reclaim support across the nation. They were right, but votes were challenged in four states, and the upshot was a Republican majority election commission gave every contested electoral vote to his Republican opponent, Rutherford B. Hayes. Hayes emerged the victor by one electoral vote. Tilden was long remembered for graciously accepting the result, despite the fact that he carried both the popular and electoral votes. $75.

Next we turn to literature. Item 125 is Isabella, or The Pride of Palermo. A Romance. The author is anonymous, so we will never know who wrote lines like, "Leila is saved; but Leila is a maniac. Reader, have you a heart to pity? Oh! Pity the beautiful maniac; she cannot pity herself." The anonymous author probably wasn't Shakespeare. Published in 1850. $225.

Here is a work from 1868, but it addresses a problem that is even greater today: For the People. The Public Debt: What to do with it. An Examination of the Financial Problems of the Day, and a Distinct Showing of their True Solution. Author Henry Reed proposes a clever solution to the public debt, perhaps the only one left considering its size today. "Thus all the different lines of argument lead to the same conclusion: that the public debt - that public debts - should not be paid..." So simple it is masterful. Just don't pay them, though during the current time of financial difficulties, it might be wise to borrow a few trillion more before deciding not to repay any of it. Reed's argument is that the people did not incur these debts, and those who did had no legal authority to do so. Therefore, they don't have to be repaid. It should be noted that Reed was a pro-slavery Northerner, even to the point of favoring the reinstitution of the slave trade, so perhaps that affected his thoughts on the legitimacy of Civil War debt. Item 209. $125.

Item 79 is an argument for a college education by Robert Davidson, President of Transylvania College in 1840. In his A Vindication of Colleges and College Endowments, Davidson tells the story of a young man, fortunate enough to find himself seated next to a "gay young dashing belle" ("gay" had a different meaning then), struggling to find something to say, finally manages to stammer out, "Pray, Miss, have you ever read Homer?" There you have it, young men. If you can just get your parents to pony up the $200k it takes to get a college education these days, you, too, can learn clever pick up lines like this one. $125.

Garrett Scott, Bookseller may be reached at 734-741-8605 or garrett@bibliophagist.com. His website is www.GSBbooks.com.

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

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