Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2012 Issue

Images of Native Americans from the William Reese Company

Reesebul27

Le Moyne's Florida Indians on cover of Reese's Bulletin 27.

The William Reese Company has issued their Bulletin 27, this one with the title Images of Native Americans. The natives of this New World long fascinated Europe's natives. Their customs, appearance, clothing, were all so strange to a people whose looks and behavior, as we look back from today, were equally odd. This bulletin contains some of the earliest somewhat realistic depictions of American Indians, as seen through European eyes, but at least based on actual observations. From 16th century drawings by early explorers, up to the plethora of illustrations and portfolios created in the 19th century, we have a last look at cultures and lifestyles that rapidly disappeared with advancing settlement. Here, now, are some of these looks at America's Indians as they once were perceived.

Item 3 offers the first reliable images of the New World contained in a book by a man who actually went there - Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo. Oviedo's work, entitled La Historia General de las Indias, was published from Seville in 1535. Oviedo, who made many trips to America over the course of his life, provides woodcut illustrations of things found in the New World, including botanical specimens such as the prickly pear, and the hammock. He also provides the first illustrations of natives, not exactly those of a skilled artist, but at least a glimpse at the people who inhabited the land. Priced at $225,000.

Item 1 offers a very early look at Florida and its natives, Der Ander Theyl, Der Newloch Erfvndenen Landt-Schafft Americae. This is the 1591 German edition of Theodor De Bry's account of the ill-fated French Huguenot settlement in Florida in the 1560s. The text comes primarily from the expedition's leaders, Jean Ribault and René de Laudonniere. After a decent start, the mission went very bad. Early favorable relations with the Indians turned sour, the settlers began to fight among themselves, and finally they were attacked by the Spanish from St. Augustine, with most of the members wiped out. Among the few who escaped was Jacques Le Moyne, who accompanied the mission as its artist. Forty-two of the 43 illustrations were created by Le Moyne, and they give us a good look at the settlement, botanical specimens, and the local natives. These illustration feature contemporary hand coloring. One of them is featured on the cover of this catalogue (see image above). $300,000.

Item 17 offered the first illustrations of Indians encountered on Lewis and Clark's pioneering expedition to the American Northwest... maybe. Probably not. It is The Travels of Capts. Lewis & Clarke... published in 1809. The public was still awaiting news of this exploration, the official account not yet published (nor would it be for three more years). This work was something of a clever fraud on an anxiously waiting public. Known as the “apocryphal edition,” it was taken from other books and documents, including Patrick Gass' book, President Jefferson's message, and other material, and presented in a way that many believed it to be the official account. Of course, if this were the official report, you would think they would have spelled Clark's name correctly. About the only new piece of significance was the map, created from reports that were out there. It also contains five plates, supposedly of western Indians. Reese was able to trace one of these back to Bartram's Travels, but was not able to determine the origin of the other four. These plates have been described as “fanciful and absurd,” which seems a likely description. $25,000.

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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