Rare Books and Manuscripts From The 19th Century Shop
Two of America's longest serving, most famous, and most influential Supreme Court justices were John Marshall and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Marshall preceded Holmes by about a century, and it was he more than anyone who established the Court's authority to uphold the requirements of the Constitution (as interpreted by the Court) over the other branches of government, and established federal supremacy over the states. In 1901, the year before he was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Theodore Roosevelt, Holmes wrote this autographed manuscript tribute to Marshall and the American flag. His message is, "The flag is but a bit of bunting...yet, thanks to Marshall and to the men of his generation...its red is our life-blood, its stars our world, its blue our heaven." While today there is no shortage of people willing to pay homage to the flag, one wonders how many of them appreciate the role Marshall and the other "men of his generation" played in making it a symbol of something meaningful. Indeed, how many even know who John Marshall was? For those who know and appreciate Marshall and Holmes, the 19th Century Shop offers both this document and a signed photograph of Holmes from his college days, shortly before the Civil War. $18,500.
Translators are usually unknown or forgotten, but Edward FitzGerald is the exception. FitzGerald translated the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam into English, and he is perhaps as much creator as translator. His book was first published in 1859, and it was not a success, at least not at first. Of course it is now one of the bestselling poems ever written, but FitzGerald's first edition remains a rarity. Here is a copy. $42,000.
Another book that retains its popularity a century and a half later is Henry David Thoreau's Walden. It was first published is 1854. However, two years earlier, parts of what would become that book were printed in Sartain's Union Magazine. The specific sections are "The Iron Horse," and "A Poet Buying a Farm." While Thoreau's book would become very popular, it did little to save the dying Sartain's. The July and August 1852 issues, in which Thoreau's works appeared, were the last two ever published. Offered here is a bound collection of the eight editions of Sartain's which were printed in its final year. Also in this volume is "A Voyage in a Balloon," the first American publication of a work by Jules Verne. $2,200.
The website for The 19th Century Shop may be found at www.19thcenturyshop.com, and their phone number is 410-727-2665.