Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2012 Issue

More from the American West from Old West Books

Oldwest34

Old West Catalog 34.

Old West Books has released Catalog 34 of rare and out of print books on the American West. Old West Books is located in Colorado Springs, and owner Tim Phelps recounts the harrowing experience of last summer's devastating fires. They came as close as the other side of the street. It is a stark reminder that, like real estate, they aren't making any more copies of old books, though unlike land, they can disappear in a moment. Get them while they are... no, “hot” is not a well-chosen word for the occasion. “Get 'em while you can” is better. Here are a few that are still available.

For those looking to start a new life on the prairie, item 3 is W.C. Avery's Cattle Raising in South Dakota The Most Profitable Field in the West and Why? The Best and Cheapest Lands and the Healthiest Climate. The claims about cheapest land may have been accurate, but I'm not so sure about the most profits and healthiest climate. This booklet was put out by the Forest City & Gettysburg Railroad Co. in 1904. That is Gettysburg as in Gettysburg, South Dakota, not Pennsylvania. The line ran 19 miles from Gettysburg to Forest City, and evidently the railroad hoped that bringing in more ranchers would be good for their struggling business. Gettysburg is the county seat of Potter County, but even today, barely 2,000 people inhabit the entire county. The railway was used to ship agricultural products to Forest City on the Missouri River, where steamboats could carry them to market. It didn't work out that well and by 1911 the railroad had closed down. This booklet provides data on climate, soil, price of land, cost of raising cattle, etc. There is a map and photographs of local scenes, including a group of Indians at council after a white man was shot. Priced at $2,250.

A costly defeat in battle made General George Armstrong Custer one of the most collectible figures from the West. After his demise, his widow, Elizabeth Custer, spent the remainder of her 50+ years of life trying to rehabilitate his reputation. Item 30 is Tenting on the Plains or General Custer in Kansas, published in 1889. This copy was inscribed by Mrs. Custer many years later near the end of her life. She has written, “Motto on General Custer's Spanish Sword, Do Not Draw Me Without Cause, Do Not Sheath Me Without Honor.” It is signed and dated 1930. Mrs Custer had lived to see warfare – with airplanes and bombs – that her husband could not have imagined when he died on the battlefield in 1876. $2,500.

Item 129 is another signed edition, this coming from a famous explorer not known for his travels in America. Nonetheless, he did do some exploring in this land, and wrote about it many years later in My Travels and Adventures in America and Asia. The author was Henry M. Stanley, known mostly for finding Dr. Livingston in the heart of Africa in 1872. However, Stanley came to America in 1859, and found himself briefly fighting for both sides during the Civil War. After the war, he became a correspondent for the New York Herald, visiting Asia before undertaking his notable assignment to Africa to track down the missing missionary. Stanley did not publish his American adventures until many years later – 1895. This copy was signed and dated in 1899. $3,750.

Item 71 is The Life and Daring Adventures of This Bold Highwayman and Bank Robber and His No Less Celebrated Brother Frank James... Hm... Wonder who that could be? This book was published in 1883, the year after Jesse James was gunned down. It is one of several books published on the notorious outlaw after his death, seeking to make the most (financially) of his demise. It's supposed to be one of the better of these tomes and a worthy item for any James collector. $850.

Some emigrants made their way over the Oregon Trail virtually without incident. For others, it was a nightmare beyond description. Such was the case for the Utter-Myers party that traveled west in 1860. They made it as far as the Snake River in Idaho when events turned tragic. They were attacked by Indians, not just shooting from afar but a full-fledged slaughter. They circled the wagons but kept on getting picked off. Finally, they decided to make a run for it, scattering as fast as they could, leaving their wagons and possessions behind. Those who survived hid at a river bank. They moved at night, hid during the day, repeating this until they felt they were safely away. However, they had no food and hunger soon set in. They killed a couple of dogs and gathered a few provisions, but it was not nearly enough. They came across some less hostile Indians who were willing to trade, but it meant giving up clothing, which in turn led to shivering nights. When they mentioned they were waiting for soldiers to rescue them, the Indians became frightened and left the area. Finally, like the Donner party, they were forced to resort to cannibalism, eating those who died from starvation. By the time rescue came, only 15 of the party of 54 were still alive. One of those was Emeline (Trimble) Fuller, who wrote the only account of this journey by a member of the party. The title is Left by the Indians the Story of My Life, published in 1892. $2,500.

Old West Books may be reached at 719-260-6030 or oldwestbooks@earthlink.net. Their website is www.oldwestbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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

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