Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

Western Books from Gene W. Baade

Baade412

More Books on the West.

Gene W. Baade Books on the West has put together a new catalogue of works on the American West. It is a mix of books old and recent, some collectible, some for reading, on a variety of subjects related to this colorful section of the globe. As a Washington State bookseller, there are many items related specifically to the Pacific Northwest, but all sections of this land are represented, from the Canadian border to South Texas. Now, here are some samples from Baade's Catalogue 412.


We will start with the first exploratory expedition into the Pacific Northwest. That would naturally be Lewis and Clark's expedition from 1804-1806. This was territory newly acquired from France at the time, and President Jefferson wanted to know what it was he bought. History writer Reuben Gold Thwaites put together a massive compilation of material relating to this journey in time for its centennial in 1904. Fifty-five years later, this edition was reprinted, and offered is a copy of this 1959 reprint, set 250 of 700 numbered copies. The Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804-1806 contains 8 volumes, including notebooks, letters, maps, and other material related to what was undoubtedly America's most important internal expedition. Item 81. Priced at $1,250.

It is a good thing Lewis and Clark did not have to investigate this territory around 15,000 years earlier. It would have been a dangerous place to be. Item 132 is Bretz' Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World's Greatest Flood, by John Soennichsen, published in 2008. J. Harlen Bretz was a young geologist when he began studying the unusual erosion patterns in eastern Washington. Rather than the tapered, V-shaped erosion patterns one expects from rivers, the area had a wide, rectangular shape. Bretz concluded this must have been the result of periodic massive flooding. The geologic community of the 1920s was not buying into his theory. He was subject to the usual academic attacks for a theory that contradicted the predominant belief that geologic processes are more gradual in nature. It took several decades for the community to come around, but the accuracy of his theory was finally confirmed in the 1970s. Bretz received the Geologic Society of America's highest award in 1979, at the age of 96 (he wistfully told his son, “All my enemies are dead, so I have no one to gloat over”). The explanation was that during the last Ice Age, a tall and wide ice dam formed in western Montana, creating historic Lake Missoula, a vast lake whose ice dam would periodically break, causing the great floods in eastern Washington. $30.

Item 47 is an important Native American study by anthropologist Walter Dyk, resulting from his visits to the Southwest in the 1930s: The Son of Old Man Hat: A Navajo Autobiography (1938). Dyk conducted extensive interviews, and this book is focused on those with Left Handed, an elderly Navajo, who recounts his own history and that of his tribe, some legendary, some exaggerated, but as one might expect an Indian to tell his stories to a white man. Dyk's “autobiography” is considered one of the best personal accounts of an Indian ever written. This copy has been inscribed by Dyk. $200.

Item 127 is the story of Pink Higgins, the Reluctant Gunfighter and Other Tales of the Panhandle, by Jerry Sinise (1973). John Pinckney “Pink” Higgins was a Texas cattleman, driver, and guard. He is believed to have killed at least 14 men, and yet he is not nearly as well known as gunmen with far fewer notches on their belts. That is likely because Higgins never went into self-promotion of his career. He was just into protecting his own interests and those of the people for whom he worked, and in days when legal convictions were hard to get, Higgins determined that he had to enforce the law himself. The result was a couple of notorious feuds, and a few rustlers being dealt quick justice on the spot. Offered is copy 46 of a limited Collectors Edition of 100 signed by the author. $175.

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 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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