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>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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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