Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2011 Issue

The American West, Fiction, Art and More from Back of Beyond Books

Backofbeyond6

A railroad train rambles up Ruby Canyon on the cover of Catalogue 6.

Back of Beyond Books recently published their Rare Book Catalogue 6. The Moab, Utah, based bookseller opens their catalogue by noting, "we're experiencing one of the wettest and muggiest summers that we can remember." Really? I read this in Texas, barely a day's drive away over I-40 and up the old Devil's Highway (before fearful bureaucrats changed its number from Route 666 to something bland and inoffensive). We are experiencing a draught of historic proportions. What's going on here? Is the Devil toying with us?

 

Anyway, Back of Beyond features books about its corner of the world, particularly eastern Utah and western Colorado, along with the Four Corners region. It is an area of spectacular beauty and one of the last parts of continental America to be explored. However, Back of Beyond expands beyond its own borders, also offering books pertaining to the broader reaches of the American West, to Native Americans, the Mormons who settled most of Utah, railroads, Western fiction, general fiction, and art. These are a few selections from this latest catalogue.

 

Robert LeRoy Parker was a Utah native who knew many of the back reaches of Back of Beyond's territory, stretching from Montana to Arizona. He knew the good hiding places because Parker made a career of robbing banks and trains throughout the West. You may not recognize his name, but probably will know his alias - Butch Cassidy. Cassidy, his cohort, the Sundance Kid, and the rest of the Wild Bunch wreaked havoc across the West, and when the heat became too great, they hightailed it to South America. After several robberies there, they were surrounded and killed in a shootout in 1907. That's what most people believe, although there were always those who questioned the identification of the bodies. For years, Cassidy sightings were reported. Supposedly, Cassidy returned to America, may have worked under the name William Phillips in Spokane, and supposedly participated in a family reunion around 1925. These stories were resurrected in just the past few weeks when an old manuscript by Phillips was discovered bolstering these claims. Phillips writes as a friend of Cassidy, but some believe his knowledge of details of earlier events in Cassidy's life could only have come from Cassidy himself. One who believed Butch had survived South America and returned was Lulu Parker, Cassidy's sister. She claimed he lived until 1937, but was not Phillips. Ms. Parker wrote a book about him, Butch Cassidy, My Brother, and she has signed and inscribed this copy of her 1975 book (Lulu was Cassidy's younger sister and she lived to be 96). Item 4. Priced at $50.

 

Item 78 is a Guide to the Route Map of the Mormon Pioneers from Nauvoo to Great Salt Lake, 1846, 1847. It was designed to provide textual explanation of the route map (not included). The author of this 1899 publication was Orson Pratt. Pratt was one of the earliest converts to Mormonism, joining the Church and becoming associated with its founder, Joseph Smith, in 1830, the Church's first year. Pratt would serve numerous missions, mainly in England, and would publish several newspapers and books defending the faith. He would also have a falling out with Joseph Smith after the latter announced his position on polygamy, but Pratt would rejoin the fold and serve until his death in 1881. Pratt was one of the leaders of the advance party for the Mormons' great migration from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Salt Lake Valley, reportedly the first to enter. He kept detailed notes of the trek, so when this map was published 18 years after his death, his notes of the journey were used for the accompanying guide's text. $100.

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

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