Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2012 Issue

Fine Books and Manuscripts from James Cummins Bookseller


Fine books & manuscripts.

James Cummins Bookseller has issued Catalogue 112 of Fine Books and Manuscripts. This catalogue contains a wide mix of material, making it hard to describe beyond the word “fine.” The works here are notable both for top condition and significance. This is material certainly suitable for a fine collection. Here are some examples of what you will find.

Item 5 is a set of the first four volumes of the History of Woman's Suffrage, edited by Susan Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Gage, and Ida Husted Harper. The four volumes were published between 1881 and 1902. The first and fourth volumes are inscribed by Susan B. Anthony to businessman, author and women's rights supporter George Francis Train. Train made a great amount of money in transportation, including, appropriately, railroads. He also was something of an eccentric, particularly as he aged. In 1872, he ran an independent campaign for president, and was jailed for a while for supporting a publication deemed obscene. In his spare time, he attempted several around the world trips in an air balloon. He was the inspiration for Jules Verne's classic Around the World in 80 Days. Train also was a strong supporter of various causes, including woman's suffrage, and had financially backed Susan Anthony and toured Kansas with her. Two more volumes were later added to this title in the 1920s, but they are not present with this set, not surprisingly as Train died in 1904. Priced at $15,000.

Item 57 presents a collection of 1970s letters on a single topic from an amazing collection of authors. A few of the authors included are Ray Bradbury, Erskine Caldwell, Michael Crichton, Joseph Heller, Erica Jong, Stephen King, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, William Saroyan, Herman Wouk, and Robert Penn Warren. A note from Thornton Wilder says he can't participate because he is “very old and half blind,” while Conrad Aiken's widow explains he cannot participate because he is dead. All told, 65 responses are included. And the topic? Writers Who Drink / Drinkers Who Write. This subject would probably not be treated so lightly today, but in 1978, it worked for a story in Writer's Digest. Malcolm Cowley observes that Hemingway was a heavy drinker, Conrad Aiken “consumed more gin than anyone else in the world.” Stephen King says “I like to write when I'm drunk...but I never wrote anything that was worth a shit under the influence of pot or any of the hallucinogenics...” John Cheever offers some insight with “The immense happiness of writing to one's satisfaction can be equaled only by sex or sauce or both...” Norman Mailer, who had a reputation for alcohol abuse, wisely responds, “Pass.” $15,000.

Item 69 is another extensive collection, perhaps the best on its subject, a great American tragedy of the 1880s. It pertains to the assassination of President James Garfield. Garfield is something of a forgotten President. He was a very popular Ohio Congressman and Civil War veteran, but not a presidential contender in 1880. However, the Republican convention became deadlocked that year, between former President Ulysses Grant, future nominee James G. Blaine, and Senator John Sherman, brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. The result was Garfield being selected as a compromise. He went on to be elected in the fall, and was a very popular man when he took office in 1881. Unfortunately, we never got to see whether Garfield would have been a great president. Just 6 months into office, he was assassinated by a disappointed, mentally unbalanced office seeker named Charles Guiteau. This collection includes material relating to the assassination and to the trial and execution of Guiteau. Among the items are five letters and manuscripts written by Guiteau, one a very early letter, another a “chilling jailhouse manuscript” written shortly before his execution. There is one of prosecutor James K. Porter's trial notebooks, and correspondence between Porter and a trial attendee, civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass. There is an autograph draft of the doctor's announcement of Garfield's death, a trial autograph album with signatures from Guiteau, attorneys, jurors and attendees, the Speaker of the House's letter conveying a first-hand account of Garfield's condition on the day of the shooting, one of Garfield's last signatures (from the morning of the shooting), and a letter from Lucretia Garfield, still in mourning several years later. $90,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to General James Clinton, preparing for the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, 1778. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising to send reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Edison, Autograph Letter Signed, to Western Union President William Orton, 1878. $10,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> William, Bishop of Coventry, vellum charter granting the church of Rochdale to the Cistercian Abbey of Stanlaw, in Latin, 1222. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> FDR, Photograph Signed & Inscribed, framed with wood removed from the White House roof, 1927. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Dubuffet, archive including many letters written while painting in NYC, 1951-72. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autograph Letter Signed, describing the source of his patience, 1939. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Lithograph portrait of Albert Einstein by Hermann Struck, signed by both, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Charles The Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Letter Signed to Johann IV of Nassau, in French, 1470. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Cocteau, Autograph Letter Signed, in French, 1919. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Louis Armstrong, two Autograph Letters Signed to Erich Kauffmann, his lip salve purveyor, 1965-70. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Wernher von Braun, Autograph Letter Signed to Jonathan Cross, 1975. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>

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