Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2011 Issue

Texas and the American West from Kenston Rare Books

Kenstonsummer2011

Books from Texas and the West from Kenston Rare Books.

Kenston Rare Books has issued their catalogue for Summer 2011. It comes with the subtitle, Fine Books on Texas and the American West. This is predominately a catalogue of Texiana, yet other areas of the American West are well represented. We find books going as far east as Florida (who knew Florida was cattle country?), west as California, and north all the way to Canada. While the geography is wider than Texas, the topics, from cowboys and cows to gunfighters and lawmen, are quintessentially Texan. Here are a few of the items that you will find.

 

There were a couple of ill-fated attempts to start a community of Frenchmen in Texas. Item 267 is a tale of one of those accounts:  The Story of Champs d'Asile as Told by Two of the Colonists… This first edition in English was edited by Fannie Ratchford and published by The Book Club of Texas in 1937. Something in the area of a couple of hundred officers and others who had served Napoleon attempted to settle along the Trinity River in 1818. They built a fort, and planned to do some farming to make a living. The Spanish, still in control of Mexico (including Texas) at the time were not amused to see a French settlement on their land. They marched toward the Frenchmen's fort, and figuring they would be seriously outnumbered, the French decided they best move on, and quickly. They hightailed it back to Galveston, from which they sailed back to Louisiana with help from the French pirate Jean Laffite. Priced at $225.

 

The French refugees came to Texas a little too soon. Had they waited a little over a century longer, they could have attended the Gainesville Community Circus, much more pleasant than dealing with angry Spaniards. Item 108 is Gainesville Community Circus Magazine and Daily Review - the Only Show of its Kind in the World! This 1941 publication (pictured on the catalogue's cover) describes this unusual community circus put on by the good folks of Gainesville, Texas, near the Oklahoma border. The circus began in 1930 when the Gainesville Little Theater, in debt and needing to find a source of funds, decided to try putting on a circus. It was an immediate success. Indeed, it was so successful that the show hit the road. It performed around the country, despite the fact that all of its performers were unpaid amateurs from the tiny North Texas community. The circus garnered great attention and admiration through the 1930s and 1940s, but after a bad fire, the death of its founder, and popularity of a new invention called TV, the circus was forced to wind down, and closed in the late 1950s. $85.

 

Gainesville wasn't always such a fun and happy place. Item 20 is The Great Hanging at Gainesville, the Texas State Historical Association's 1961 reprint of a book by Thomas Barrett first published in 1885. The Great Hanging was a truly ugly affair. Confederate authorities believed Union sympathizers in North Texas were planning an attack, and proceeded to round up dozens of locals they thought were involved. Many, if not most, were not, but it didn't matter. Trials, featuring a majority of slave owners on the jury, were conducted, and sentences carried out swiftly. Forty men were hanged, two others shot trying to escape. The affair proved to be an embarrassment for Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy, who were trying to paint the Union as brutal. The author of this book, Thomas Barrett, was one of the jurors, and he maintained the jurors were a reasonable bunch and that, but for his influence, many more would have been executed. $85.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions