Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2013 Issue

Western Americana from the William Reese Company

Reese299

Western Americana.

The William Reese Company has published their 299th catalogue, Western Americana. Reese describes the theme of this catalogue as “the exploration, settlement, and development of the trans-Mississippi West.” Material ranges from the 16th to the early 20th century. Along with printed items it offers manuscripts, maps, and visual items. The American West remains a topic of fascination, not just to Americans but Europeans and others around the world. It is a land of legends, and many tall tales too, but there is something about the wild frontier that appeals to all of us (just as it did to Davy Crockett). Here are few items that take us back to these wondrous times.

The most important exploration of the American West, and of any internal explorations of America, was conducted by Lewis and Clark in 1804-1806. Having recently completed the Louisiana Purchase, a vast territory he knew next to nothing about, President Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark out to survey what he had purchased. Though they returned in 1806, it was another eight years before the official account was published, various factors delaying its publication. There was some information announced by Jefferson, and Patrick Gass, a member of the expedition, published an account in 1807. Still, there was much more the public wanted to know, and there were unscrupulous individuals ready to fill that void, even if they were no more knowledgeable than anyone else. Item 107 is The Travels of Capts. Lewis & Clarke... published in 1809, the so-called “apocrypha edition.” It was patched together using information provided by others, notably Jefferson and Gass, along with reports about Indians from totally unrelated sources, such as Carver and Mackenzie, the idea being that earlier accounts of eastern Indians would undoubtedly be acceptable descriptions of Indians of the West. The book even uses an illustration of the Indians Lewis and Clark supposedly encountered from Bartram's earlier work. Nonetheless, the book was very popular and accepted, being reprinted for several decades, even long after the official account was published. One positive is the map, and though not much based on Lewis and Clark, it was based on the latest information from various sources available at the time. Priced at $13,500.

Item 9 is one of the earliest obtainable imprints from Texas, a certificate of admission to Stephen F. Austin's colony. The date was 1829, when Texas was still part of Mexico, so naturally the certificate is headed in Spanish, El Ciudadano Estevan F. Austin. Mexico, much to their later great regret, was allowing Americans to colonize parts of this outer province of the nation. In time, they would become suspicious of these American immigrants, but by then it would be too late. Even the then-cooperative Austin would turn against Santa Anna. This certificate was issued to a widow named Frances Manifee. It was the first step to gaining admission to Austin's colony. $25,000.

Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1836, but it was not the only future U.S. state to do so that year. Less well known is that California declared its independence in 1836 too. The circumstances were very different. It was not a case of American immigrants trying to throw off rule that seemed foreign to them, even though they were the immigrants. This was more of an intramural squabble between local Mexican authorities and those back in Mexico City. Juan Albarado (Alvarado) was upset by Mexican attempts to assert greater central authority. He and his associates responded by declaring independence. This broadside, En el Puerto de Monterrey de la Alta California... announces California's independence. It was printed by Santiago Aguilar, using Augustin Zamorano's press. Zamorano had been forced into exile three days earlier by Alvarado. Eventually, the rebels and central authorities would resolve their dispute and the abortive independence of California would end. However, Alvarado would again be serving as California Governor at the time of the Bear Flag Revolt and seizure of the state by General Fremont, when Mexican rule truly was overthrown. This copy is signed in both print and ink by Alvardo and his associates. Item 27. $75,000.

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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