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>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Extremely Fine Copy of Fantasy Classic. Tolkien (J.R.R.) <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,</i> L. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Museum Street) 1937. €20,000 to €30,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Incunabula. [Sirectus, Antonius] O’Fihely (Maurice)Abp. <i>Formalitates de Mente Doctoris Subtilis Scoti Nec Non Stephai Burlifer cum novis additionibus…</i> Venice 14th December 1051 (ie. 1501). €3,000 to €4,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Original Book Illustrations by Pamela Leonard. Illustrations: Regan (Peter) Touchstone, 8vo D. (Mount Salas Press) 1989. €3,500 to €4,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> [Petit (Jean), Prevel (Jean) & Gregory (Pope)] [Gregorius]. <i>Compendium Textuale Compillationis decretalium Gregorri noni sine qua…</i>, Paris [Dec. 1524]. €350 to €500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Excessively Rare – V. Fine Copy. [Mac Mahon]. <i>Jus Primatiale Armacanum, In Omnes Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, et Universum Clerum</i>… [n.p.] 1728. €750 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Madden (R.R.). <i>Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia and Palestine in 1824, 1825, 1826 and 1827,</i> 2 vols. 1822. €500 to €700
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Early English Herbal. Gerarde (John). The Herball or General History of Plants, thick folio L. (John Norton) 1597. €700 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The Tehran World War 2 Conference Photograph: [Tehran Conference 1943] An important and iconic Group Photograph showing Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. €80 to €120
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Natural History Specimens from Jersey Jersey Islands: Westacton [Mrs Acton] Collection of 53 original dried examples of Seaweed collected in Jersey, c. 1860. €300 to €400
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Plyglot Bible: Hutteri (Eliae). <i>Biblia Sacra, Ebraice, Chaldaice, Graece, Latinae, Germanice, Sclavonice.</i> Lg. folio Nurimberg 1599. €250 to €350
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The American Invasion 1888: “First Ever G.A.A. Hurling Match in America” Medal: G.A.A., The Invaders, 1888. €2,000 to €3,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> “Babe” Ruth and the G.A.A. G.A.A. & Baseball: A unique and early Sporting Association. An original Spalding B12 Baseball Bat. €4,000 to €6,000
  • <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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <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. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions