Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2010 Issue

Rare and Unusual Books and Manuscripts from Thomas Cullen

Cullen48

Thomas Cullen's 48th catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

Thomas Cullen, Rockland Bookman, recently issued Catalog #48 - Manuscripts & Books. Cullen regularly comes up with uncommon material, much of it one of a kind. There are diaries, business ledgers, photographs, and other unique collections of material, along with printed material such as books and broadsides. A fair amount relates to Cullen's home area of western New York and adjacent Pennsylvania, but then again, there are centuries-old items from Europe to be found here too. In other words, you really need to see one of Cullen's catalogues to appreciate the type and variety of material he has to offer. Here are a few samples.

Item 95 is a book that takes us from the Second Great Awakening to the Great Disappointment. It is the prophecies of William Miller, Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, About the Year 1843. Around 25 years prior to this date, as a religious revival was starting to churn in Miller's upstate New York, his study of Daniel led Miller to conclude that Christ's second coming (or "advent") would occur around 1843. By the early 1830s, he was preaching this belief regularly, and as the year drew near, his followers grew. By 1843, it is estimated he had between 50,000 and several hundred thousand followers. Nothing happened in 1843, but Miller, using the Jewish calendar, figured the arrival could come as late as March 1844. When Christ did not return, another month was added in accordance with a competing Jewish calendar. Still no return. As that date too passed, one more delay was calculated, resulting in a final date of October 22, 1844. Miller and thousands of his followers gathered that day to be called up to heaven. With the dawn of October 23 came the Great Disappointment. Many, probably most of his followers, known as the "Millerites," returned to their earlier faiths. Miller and those who remained struggled to understand what went wrong. Miller lived until 1849, still believing the Second Coming was imminent, while others concluded the event expected on earth on October 22 occurred in heaven, or other explanations. Though there are no longer Millerites to be found, several Adventist churches arose from the ashes of the Great Disappointment, the largest of which, the Seventh Day Adventists, has around 16 million members today. Priced at $850.

Frederick Douglass, escaped slave turned orator extraordinaire, is remembered for his leadership in the abolitionist movement. After emancipation, he turned his voice to assisting the freedmen, along with civil rights causes, such as women's suffrage. In recognition of his contributions, Douglass was appointed to several government posts, one of which was Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, so appointed by President Garfield. Item 13 is a deed from 1881 which was signed by Douglass ("Fred'r. Douglass") in 1881. $450.

Item 58 is a broadside for the auction of the estate of Thomas Sargent, Jr., of West Amesbury, Massachusetts. Mr. Sargent passed on in 1858. He was a house and carriage builder, so his estate consisted mainly of tools, wagons, and similar possessions for a skilled workman. Among the items were "Frames, Windows, Side-Lights, Doors, Stove, Grindstone, one fourth of a cow, Horse..." Huh? A quarter of a cow? Isn't that another way of saying steaks? Well, presumably what Mr. Sargent had was a one-fourth share in old Bessie, but the entire horse belonged to him. $450.

Item 76 is a massive archive of information concerning the construction of New York's Barge Canal in the early 20th century. Eighty years earlier, the state had taken on the huge construction project of building the Erie Canal. It linked Lake Erie with the Hudson River at Albany, 400 miles away. Moving products from the Midwest, mainly from farms, was prohibitively expensive at the time. The canal made it cost-effective to farm land in what was then still the Northwest. By the early 20th century, the Erie Canal was no longer able to carry the load so efficiently. Larger barges were needed, so New York State set about reconstructing its canal system. The result was what became known as the "Barge Canal," which included a partly rerouted Erie and three feeder canals. Included in this archive are 1,806 captioned photographs, most approximately 6" x 9". Also included are six ledgers pertaining to the canal survey. Today, the Barge Canal system (which is again known by its original names, the Erie Canal and three others) no longer carries much freight, trucks and trains hauling the cargo, but is widely used for recreational boating. $16,000.

Item 34 is a letter from a naval lieutenant to a Boston firm inquiring about a possible purchase of marine chronometers from Parkinson & Frodsham of London. This June 5, 1836, letter might seem insignificant, but the Lieutenant who made the request was Charles Wilkes. The reason for seeking chronometers, precise clocks which allow for determining longitude at sea, was that America was planning its first major sea expedition. Although Wilkes was not supposed to be commanding the United States Exploring Expedition, he was given command after the original choice, Thomas ap Catesby Jones, resigned. The expedition was launched under Wilkes command in 1838, and brought back much data on natural history, as well as conducting the greatest exploration of Antarctica to date. It also did much to establish the prestige of the United States on the world stage. Among the items taken on the trip were several of this firm's chronometers. $450.

You may reach Thomas Cullen, Rockland Bookman, at 716-662-2082 or tomcatt@roadrunner.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> John Muir. <i>My First Summer in the Sierra</i>, Boston, 1911.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ernest Hemingway. <i>For Whom the Bell Tolls</i>, New York, 1940. First edition later printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Upton Sinclair. <i>The Jungle</i>, New York, 1906. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> George Orwell. <i>Nineteen Eighty-Four</i>, 1949. First American edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Harper Lee. <i>To Kill a Mocking Bird</i>, 1960. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Richard Wright. <i>Native Son</i>, New York, 1940. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Dryden, Congreve, and others. <i>Ovid’s Art of Love</i>, London, 1764. English translation of Ovid’s work.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> S. E. Hinton. <i>The Outsiders</i>, New York, 1967. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> J. D. Salinger. <i>The Catcher in the Rye</i>, Boston, 1951. Book club edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ayn Rand. <i>Atlas Shrugged</i>, New York, 1957. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> J. D. Salinger. <i>Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters</i> and <i>Seymour: An Introduction</i>, Boston, 1963. First [book] edition, third state.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Tennessee Williams. <i>Sweet Bird of Youth</i>, 1959. First edition.
  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

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