Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2011 Issue

The Uncommon from The Pages of Yesteryear

Pagesyesteryear04-11

A belated holiday from Pages of Yesteryear.

This month we have our first catalogue from The Pages of Yesteryear, of Newtown, Connecticut. We will admit to being a bit late as this is titled Holiday List. Easter? Not likely. We are late, but this is such an interesting and eclectic collection of material it is worth a look anyway. The catalogue contains books and manuscripts you are not going to find everyday.

 

John Renjilian's Holiday List offers 46 items. That number coincides with The Pages of Yesteryear's years in business - 46. This business may be qualified for the appellation "antiquarian bookshop" in more ways than one. Now, let's take a look at a few of the unexpected items to be found in this list.

 

Item 5 is A Military Genius. Life of Anna Ella Carroll, by Sarah Blackwell. Anna Carroll is a somewhat elusive figure to history, a very smart lady if not a genius, whose influence was significant, but it is still debated whether it was essential or was she more a self-promoter. Ms. Carroll was the daughter of a Maryland Governor who became deeply involved in politics. As the parties realigned in the years leading up to the Civil War, she was a Whig, then a Know Nothing, and finally a Republican. She wrote political pamphlets, anonymously as a woman's voice might not be heeded in those days. They were apparently very well written and very effective for her causes and candidates. Once the Civil War began, she became a behind-the-scenes advisor to President Lincoln, and was sent to gather information in St. Louis. She sent back military advice, recommending an attack by Union forces along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers rather than the heavily fortified Mississippi. This strategy was followed by the Union, and resulted in their first major victories, but it is unclear whether the decision to so attack resulted from her advice or was independently reached by the military. After the war, she spent most of her life filing claims for payment for her services, without much effect. However, her being brushed over led to support for her cause from the Woman's Suffrage Society, which published this biography in 1891. Priced at $75.

 

Item 35 is a letter from "Alice," whom the catalogue describes accurately as "a young lady it would have been fun to know." It was mailed from Providence on February 22, 1860, to her brother David. Alice and David were apparently two of seven siblings. Alice was staying with an aunt and uncle, and while she had been "begging and teazing" them to let her go to a ball, so far she had been denied. That was evidently about change. Most of this letter is written as a poem, and as Alice explains:

 

"Next week to a ball this child will be took,

To shake for awhile her dear little foot;

Some ladies will be there with dresses so low,

That if babies were there for their dinners they'd crow."

 

Alice also inquires of her brother about a special male friend. $100.

 

Item 19 is a collection of 30+ letters and other items, not nearly so cheerful as that of young Alice. They pertain to Mary Hartwell and her family, many coming from Edwin Miller, a printer in Hartford, Connecticut. At one point, Miller expresses his wish that his letters be destroyed after they were read, but obviously Hartwell paid no heed to his reasonable request. One item is a most interesting document from 1881 in which Miller and Hartwell sign a pledge to live together while avoiding the "bondage" imposed by legal marriage. However, they recognize that society may make this arrangement difficult, whereupon they get married and become absolutely miserable. Two years later, a friend tells Mary the two are completely unsuited for each other, and some of the letters from Miller show a strained relationship. Mary lived much of the time in Vermont though Miller worked in Hartford. The marriage was most unusual for its day in that Mary was already 40 by the time she married and there is no sign of a previous "bondage." However, there is a letter two decades earlier signed "Mary" about bearing an illegitimate child, that she wishes her mother to raise, but it is not clear that this is Mary Hartwell, and nothing more about this child appears. $750.

 

Item 6 is the Memoir Rufus R. Dawes, privately printed in 300 copies by the De Vinne Press in 1900. Dawes was an officer who served in numerous battles during the Civil War, including Gettysburg. He returned home to Marietta, Ohio, where he was a quite successful in the lumber business, served one term in Congress (he was defeated for reelection), served for 28 years as a trustee of Marietta College, and was offered the ambassadorship to Persia by President McKinley but declined due to poor health. He died in 1899. He had four successful sons, three of whom became involved in politics, and one of whom, Charles Dawes, served as Vice-President. As we all remember, Charles Dawes was Calvin Coolidge's Vice-President. $125.

 

The Pages of Yesteryear may be reached at 203-426-0864 or jrenjilian@hotmail.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b> The Library of Pierre Bergé<br>Auction Pierre Bergé & Associés<br>in association with Sotheby’s<br>Paris-Hôtel Drout<br>December 14, 2018<br><br>New York Exhibition<br>Oct. 16 to Oct. 20</b>
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> BARTHOLOMEUS ANGLICUS. <i>Le Proprietaire des choses.</i> Lyon, [circa 1484]. 150 000 / 200 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> MONTAIGNE, Michel de. <i>Essais.</i> Bordeaux, 1580. 400 000 / 500 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> PROUST, Marcel. <i>Du côté de chez Swann.</i> Paris, 1914 [1913]. 600 000 / 800 000 €
    <b>The Library of Pierre Bergé, NY exhibition 10/16 to 10/20:</b> MONSTRELET, Enguerrand de. <i>Le Premier [-Tiers] Volume des Cronicques.</i> Paris, circa 1503.<br>300 000 / 400 000 €
  • <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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Aegidius Sadeler (Flemish, 1570-1629), engraving on laid paper "Madonna and Child in a Landscape", after a drawing by Albrecht Durer. $800 to $1,200
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), drypoint etching on paper "On Hemso Island", 1917, pencil signed. $400 to $600
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Joseph Pennell (American, 1860-1926), etching on paper "Setting Up Columns", pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> William Lee Hankey (British, 1869-1952), drypoint etching on paper "Affection", pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> William Walcot (English, 1874-1943), drypoint etching on paper "Lower Broadway, New York", 1924, pencil signed. $200 to $300
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Auguste Brouet (French, 1872-1941), color etching "La Pirouette", pencil signed, ed 111/250. $400 to $600
    <center><b>William Bunch Auctions<br>October Fine Art and Prints<br>October 29, 2018</b>
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975), lithograph on paper "The Boy", pencil signed. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> John Stockton de Martelly (American, 1903-1979), lithograph on paper "Looking at the Sunshine", pencil signed, original AAA certificate. $400 to $600
    <b>William Bunch Auctions, Oct. 29:</b> Jacques Hnizdovsky (Ukrainian-American, 1915-1985), woodcut on paper "Moppet", pencil signed and dated 1965, ed 118/250. $400 to $600
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Jean de Mandeville, <i>Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land,</i> Strassburg, 1488. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Titus Livius, <i>Las Quatorze Decadas,</i> Zaragoza, 1520. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Printed <i>Book of Hours</i> with 20 full-page illustrations, Paris, 1509. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Jean La Fontaine, <i>Fables Choisies, mises en Vers,</i> first editions, Paris, 1668. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Giovanni Boccaccio, <i>De las mujeres illustres en romance,</i> Zaragoza, 1494. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Giovanni Boccaccio, third edition of the first published work of female biography, Louvain, 1487. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> José González Cabrera Bueno, <i>Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica,</i> Manila, 1734. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Andreas Vesalius, <i>Icones Anatomicae,</i> Munich, Bremer Press, 1934. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 16:</b> Joseph Boneta y Laplana, <i>Gritos del Purgatorio, y Medios para acallarlos,</i> Manila, 1711. $4,000 to $6,000.

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