Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2011 Issue

Some More and Less Eccentricities from Garrett Scott, Bookseller

Scott31

Bishop Onderdonk's trials highlight the cover of Garrett Scott's latest catalogue.

Garrett Scott, Bookseller, has issued his Catalogue 31, Recent Acquisitions, Early 2011. Scott explains, "This catalogue edges away from the stern eccentricities of my previous effort." Could have fooled me. It is true that not every item in a Scott catalogue was written by a crackpot. There are some government publications and university speeches in here, but by and large, this catalogue is not a place to go to hear the latest in rational discourse. Let's take a look inside, and let you decide whether some of these writers should be lauded or locked up.

 

If you are wondering from whence the Dukes of Hazzard arose, item 9 is Pre-Historic Man in Tennessee. The Problem Solved, by John O. Blanton. Tennessee, he informs us, was first settled by a Hindoo race, which we now refer to as the Mound Builders. So what happened to the Mound Builders? They were wiped out by an invasion of giant Huns from northern Asia working with a race of Vishnu-worshipping midgets.  Yes, this really happened. The book carries an author's presentation inscription to the Smithsonian Institution in 1896. Why the Smithsonian chose to get rid of this piece of archeological history remains a mystery. Priced at $275.

 

As long as we are telling true stories, item 64 is The Life of Ann Moore, of Tutbury, in Straffordshire:  Giving an Account of Her Wonderful Existence Without Food, For Above Three Years Past… This circa 1811 pamphlet by Edward Anderson tells the tale of "The Fasting Woman of Tutbury," whose fast would extend to five years before she was finally nailed. Until then, while the medical community was quite suspicious, the general public, including author Edward Anderson, was for the most part taken in. She permitted herself to be observed for 16 days, but the large rotating group of observers allowed for a bit of cheating. Anderson attributed her amazing survival to divine intervention, but when a more rigorous 30-day watch was imposed in 1813, she broke down in a little over a week. It was not so much the inflow as the outflow that gave her away. She also claimed to pass no urine, a claim contradicted by the awful smell in her room, despite the fact that she insisted the window always be kept open. $225.

 

Physicians are generally known for their compassion, though it may be somewhat hard to discern in this 1902 printing of an address given by Dr. L.B. Tuckerman of Cleveland:  Venereal Disease as a Factor in the Moral Evolution of the Race. Most people, particularly physicians, do not see V.D. as a positive for humanity, but good Dr. Tuckerman was a man of deeper insight. "Venereal disease…plays a very important part in uplifting the race as a whole to a higher standard of morality. It enables the entire class of moral idiots of the sensual type to gradually but steadily eliminate itself by auto-sterilization, together with those who are fools enough to marry into it." Well, there was at least one moral idiot it didn't eliminate, though apparently something else soon did as Dr. Tuckerman died the following year. The kindly doctor had to add a little racism to his diatribe by claiming that the black race was headed toward the "graveyard of nations" as it had become promiscuous since the end of slavery, sort of like the Hawaiians and Indians before them. Item 102. $225.

 

The title page depicted on the cover of this catalogue - No Church Without a Bishop - relates to the 1845 church scandal of New York's Episcopal Bishop Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk. The Bishop was accused by several ladies of inappropriate touching. Author Alonzo Potter delicately describes one such alleged occurrence as, "The bishop…again inserted his hand into her bosom, this time very low down, and with the palm inward, and toyed with his handful in a way which, Miss Jane naively says, it is out of her power to describe." That sounds like a compliment for Bishop Onderdonk, though it is unlikely it was so intended. Whether the Bishop actually was a bit too touchy/feely is debated to this day. He had taken one side in what was an intense theological debate of the day. It made him enemies. A split decision in a church trial resulted in Bishop Onderdonk being suspended though never removed as Bishop, a post he continued to hold in suspension for the rest of his life. Item 76. $225.

 

Here is a book whose value is somewhat akin to that of a Thomas Wise forgery. It becomes valuable for not being what it is supposed to be. Item 75 is the anonymously written The Philosophy of Animal Magnetism, published in 1837. This book rested in well-deserved obscurity until 1928 when Joseph Jackson wrote a book claiming the title was the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe had been fascinated by Mesmerism and with this and a few weak connections, Jackson came to his conclusion. He also was able to sell his copy of this book for the astounding price of $2,500 in 1931. Few believe his claim any longer, and Scott notes that a copy was later found with a "from the Author" inscription not in Poe's handwriting. Nevertheless, the history behind this book adds to its interest and value. $475.

 

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

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>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>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <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.

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