Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2011 Issue

Rare Americana from the George S. MacManus Co.

Macmanus407

Rare Americana from the George S. MacManus Co.

The George S. MacManus Company has issued their Catalogue 407 of Rare Americana. This is a selection filled with important items for collectors of Americana, whether from Colonial, Revolutionary or later times, or for travels, politics, natural history, or just about any subset of the field. This is a catalogue filled with essential pieces for major collections. And, while there are 201 items in this group, we suspect there will be more to come as the authors' names all begin with the letters A through D. Nonetheless, there is plenty to keep your attention from those four letters. Here are some examples.

 

Not everyone was enthralled with the rebellion that would lead to American independence, particularly back in England.  Item 14 is a sammelband containing 15 tracts from the revolutionary period, all printed in London, mostly critical of what the Americans were up to. The collection was put together by Francis Foliambe, a British MP and book collector. Two of the pamphlets come from the legendary lexicographer and wit Samuel Johnson. He found nothing humorous in the colonists rebellious ways. In 1775 he writes that the Americans should "…be subdued with the least injury possible to their persons and their possessions. When they are reduced to obedience, may that obedience be secured by stricter laws and stronger obligations." Thanks for the advice, Sam. Samuel Seabury, perhaps the most vocal proponent of British rule in the colonies, makes an appearance, as does Joseph Galloway, who competes with Seabury for that honor. One anonymous author claims that John Hancock was "one of the most notorious smugglers in North America" who encouraged the dumping of tea in Boston harbor not out of principle, but to protect his own investments. Priced at $35,000.

 

Item 49 is a broadside from the loyalist Boston printer John Howe, from June 26, 1775. It came a week after the Battle of Bunker Hill, a Pyrrhic British victory if ever there was one. Howe puts a spin on the outcome, exaggerating the American manpower advantage while stating, "This action has shown the bravery of the King's troops, who under every disadvantage, gained a compleat victory over three times their number, strongly posted, and covered by breastworks. But they fought for their King, their laws and constitution." The British technically won the battle with the aid vastly superior arms, but their "compleat" victory convinced the colonists that, despite the British advantage, they could hold their own, imbuing them with the confidence they would need to rebel for total independence. $25,000.

 

Item 110 is An Account of the Late Revolution in New England, by Nathaniel Byfield. You might think this referred to the famous American Revolution, but this account was published in 1689, almost a century earlier. Even then, New Englanders were an independent lot, and they were displeased with the imperious ways of their governor, Edmund Andros. After the rebellion which overthrew King James II in England, the colonists responded with one of their own against Andros, who had removed some of their charters, along with other affronts. Andros was captured, some say while attempting to escape dressed in women's clothing, and shipped back to England for trial. Naturally, he was immediately released without trial once he arrived England, and was later sent back to America to be governor Virginia and later Maryland. $8,500.

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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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