Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2011 Issue

Uncommon Books and Unusual Manuscripts from Thomas Cullen

Cullen49

Manuscripts and books from Thomas Cullen.

Thomas Cullen, Rockland Bookman has issued Catalog #49 - Manuscripts & Books. Cullen offers a collection of unusual items, a mix of uncommon books and one-of-a-kind manuscripts, mostly from the 19th century.  The manuscripts frequently cover day-to-day events in the lives of people who lived lives that were both simpler, yet more difficult than those we live today. Nothing was easy by today's standards. Among the personal items offered are diaries, business ledgers, even personal labor contracts for children, politely called "apprenticeships." You would not have wanted to be the apprentice in those days. Here are a few items from this latest Cullen catalogue.

 

Item 61 is a manuscript daybook from John Sanborn, a cobbler and general handyman from Poplin (renamed Fremont in 1856), New Hampshire. It runs from 1808-1837. The book recounts his activities as a shoemaker, but perhaps the most interesting part is a four-page section describing the year without a summer, or what was then known as "the year eighteen hundred and froze to death." That year culminated a series of volcanic explosions in far-off Indonesia, including the worst in recorded history in 1815. The ash spread around the world, dimming the sun. Some areas were affected more than others, and New England and Maritime Canada were particularly hard hit. New Hampshire already has cold winters, and cool nights in summer. Cool midsummer nights turned to frosts and even summertime snow that year. Crops were destroyed, leading to food shortages, extraordinarily high prices, and famine. Sanborn notes that July was "cold and backward," and something appeared to be covering the sun. That something was the volcanic ash. On the positive, the year featured some of the most dramatic sunsets ever seen, but that was "cold comfort" for farmers with failed crops and hungry people. Priced at $800.

 

Here is a series of daybooks from a family of carpenters that record the careers of a father and son, along with some other members of the family. They start in 1829 and run to 1876. The father was James Preston, born in Connecticut but who settled in Claridon, Ohio, where his account begins. James Preston appears to be a fairly strait-laced pillar of his community. He writes of attending church meetings, singing groups, and funerals. He makes all kinds of furniture and home accessories, such as cupboards and stairs. His entries run through 1860. Meanwhile, his son Reuben begins his daybooks in 1858. Reuben moves to Austin, and then on to nearby Merrelltown, Texas. Reuben's interests are less in going to church meetings, and more like "knocking about town among the sisters and to the grog shops." In 1865, "I celebrated my birth day by getting drunk at Sam Bloomers Still House." Item 76. $1,800.

 

Item 13 is a broadside order from the President providing a humanitarian exception to U.S. supported privateering during the War of 1812. The U.S. did not have a navy capable of providing serious competition to the British at that time, so the government authorized privateers to harass British shipping. However, President Madison issued these Additional Instructions to the Public and Private Vessels of the United States are not to interrupt any British unarmed vessels bound to Sable Island, and laden with supplies for the humane establishment at that place. Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia, provided a rescue point for shipwrecks in the area. Scouts regularly patrolled the beaches for survivors of Atlantic shipwrecks, who often made their way to this island. Those survivors were provided food, shelter, and medical help until such time as the occasional vessel headed for that island could take them back to civilization. $1,250.

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 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
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions