Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2011 Issue

The First Catalogue from Yesterday's Muse Books

Yesterdaysmuse1

The first catalogue from Yesterday's Muse Books.

This month we have the opportunity to review the first catalogue from Yesterday's Muse Books. While this is the first catalogue for the upstate New York bookseller, the firm has been in business since 2003. In 2008, founder Jonathan Smalter opened a shop to go along with the online business. That bookstore may be found in Webster, New York, just outside of Rochester.

This first catalogue has the simple, descriptive title, Catalog 1. That title comes with a bit more explanation - An Eclectic Assortment of Decorative and Collectible Literature, History, and Curiosities, with emphasis on Castles, Utopian Fiction, and Winston Churchill. Certainly, a catalogue that combines utopian fiction with Winston Churchill is eclectic. Perhaps opposites attract. However, there is much more in this catalogue than even that title implies. Among the many other fields well represented are Americana, children's books, literature, Charles Dickens, architecture, very early books, and art. And, there is more. Here are a few selections from the first catalogue for Yesterday's Muse.

Item 11 is a look at Oregon in the days just before settlers began traveling the famed trail. The title is Ten Years in Oregon, written by Daniel Lee and Joseph Frost and published in 1844. They did not go there to settle the area, nor trade in furs. They were missionaries. Lee and his missionaries accompanied the Wyeth expedition of 1834, otherwise consisting of traders and trappers. Their aim was to convert the natives of the Northwest. Their account covers their journey and mission, and discusses their primary financier, the wealthy John Jacob Astor. Priced at $225.

F. Scott Fitzgerald published his first novel (This Side of Paradise) in 1920, and it was an immediate success. Less well known is that in the same year, he also published a collection of short stories. Item 80 is that collection of stories, Flappers and Philosophers, a third printing of the first edition. $300. A fifth printing of the first edition of This Side of Paradise is also offered (item 79. $500) as is a first edition, first state of The Great Gatsby (item 81. $2,500). The Fitzgerald items do not have dust jackets.

If you are looking for wisdom, at least in regards to political and governmental affairs, a great place for Americans to start is with the father of their country. Fortunately, George Washington wrote a lot over the course of his life. From 1834-1837, historian, scholar, Unitarian minister, and Harvard President Jared Sparks compiled 12 volumes of the first President's manuscripts, including letters, documents, messages and other written material. It was the most thorough look at Washington's writings up to that time. Sparks did receive some criticism for occasionally fixing up Washington's grammar and spelling, but the meanings were true. Item 7 is The Writings of George Washington. $850.

Who was the Portuguese Cicero? Stumped? Of course you are. His name was Jeronimo Osorio, and his name would not have been pronounced like the famous Indian Chief, since this “J” would be pronounced like an “H.” Osorio was a learned scholar, historian, churchman, and part of the court. In 1560, he was appointed Bishop of Silves, a position he held until his death in 1580. As for being the Portuguese Cicero, Osorio obtained that moniker as a result of his great fluency in Latin. Item 66 is one of those early books in this catalogue, Hieronymi Osorii Lusitani, Episcopi Silvensis, Paraphrasis in Isaiam, an edition published in 1584 (it was first published in 1579). $1,750.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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.

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