Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2010 Issue

The Desert Southwest and More from Back of Beyond Books

Backofbeyond3

The third catalogue from Back of Beyond Books.


By Michael Stillman

Back of Beyond Books has issued Rare Book Catalogue #3. This Moab, Utah, based bookseller features books related to the Western Slope and Desert Southwest, but you will find many other items in this latest selection. Novels from Norman Mailer, Tony Hillerman and Edward Abbey are featured this time. As we will see, there are also a few items offered that are not books or even works on paper. Now, here are a few items from the eastern edge of the Beehive State.

Ferdinand V. Hayden is not a household name as he was not the first to explore the western territories. However, he was often the first to provide detailed information. He was a geologist and surveyor who conducted several mission into the west between 1856 and 1878. He was one of the first to survey Yellowstone and was instrumental in encouraging Congress to make it the nation's first national park. Item 12 is the Tenth Annual Report of the United States Geological and Geographic Survey of the Territories, published by the Government Printing Office in 1878. It covers Hayden's survey of Colorado and adjacent areas. This copy is stamped "Library of Hannibal Hamlin." One would guess this refers to the former vice-president ("Hannibal Hamlin" not being a common name). Hamlin had returned to the senate at this time, serving as a senator from Maine. Hamlin was Lincoln's first vice-president (and the first Republican vice-president). Had the party not sought to expand its base in 1864 by replacing Hamlin on the ticket with war Democrat Andrew Johnson, Hamlin would have become President after Lincoln's assassination. Priced at $375.

Item 58 is a first edition of Hayden's Geological and Geographical Atlas of Colorado and Portions of Adjacent Territory. This also came as a result of Hayden's travels to the area in the 1870s. It includes 20 folding sheets - 18 maps and charts along with two panoramic views. $5,000.

Item 3 is a remarkable one of a kind - the diary of Jessie Benton Fremont. Mrs. Fremont was the daughter of one of the most powerful senators of the first half of the 19th century, Thomas Hart Benton. Benton was perhaps the leading proponent of America's westward expansion. Her husband was John C. Fremont, the General and great explorer, notable mainly for his explorations in California, and for being the first presidential nominee of the Republican Party (he lost in 1856). Jessie undoubtedly would have created a comparable career in her own right, as she was bright, inquisitive, and well educated, but such was not possible for women in this era. Instead she wrote many books, including those describing her husband's explorations, and worked behind the scenes, notably as an advocate for the abolition of slavery. This diary was given to Jessie Fremont by her daughter Elizabeth ("Lily"). Six pages contain entries by Mrs. Fremont, including one transcribing a letter from her husband. $900.

Item 34 is a Utah piece...sort of. It's a signed first edition of Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song. It is the story of Gary Gilmore, an intelligent but incorrigible criminal who went to Utah to live with an uncle after being released from prison. He returned to his criminal ways and then some, committing two cold-blooded murders. The one for which he was convicted involved the shooting of a Provo motel clerk who offered no resistance. Gilmore's execution became celebrated as it was the first in the U.S. after a lapse of many years as a result of a Supreme Court decision, and because of his choice of how to die - by firing squad. $750.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

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