Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2013 Issue

A Diamond Jubilee Catalogue from the Raab Collection


A diamond jubilee.

The Raab Collection has issued Catalog 75 Our Diamond Jubilee. The Diamond Jubilee, naturally enough, refers to the catalogue number, as while the Raabs are on to their second generation in the business, they are not quite that old yet. Twenty-five years is closer to the mark. They feature historical documents, many written by hand, most signed. The majority are American, but there are some amazing pieces from Europe in their catalogues as well. So, you can add the likes of Churchill and Napoleon to Washington and Lincoln. Raab features much in the way of important material. Their catalogues are among the best you can find, as they carefully place each item within its historical setting. This catalogue provides us with a free history lesson to go along with the material, which is not quite offered for free. Here are a few samples.

We will start with one of those occasional European items, because it comes from one of the most dramatic of times in French history. Somehow within the short span of four years, from 1789-1793, France went from an imperial monarchy, to first a combination monarch and republican government, to a republican government, to uncontrolled terror and killing of anyone deemed even the slightest threat to the supposedly republican madmen in power. This document comes from the middle of that period, when hopes were high for a new and free France. The storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 had forced King Louis XVI to recognize the growing power of the ordinary citizens of France, and he had little choice but to cede part of his authority to the legislature. By 1791, the King had become a virtual prisoner in his home in Paris. In September of that year, the National Assembly passed a new constitution stripping the King of most of his powers. Louis no longer had a choice. He had to sign it. Item 7 is the letter the King sent to the leader of Assembly sending along his official proclamation accepting the new constitution. For a time, it set up this constitutional, weak monarchy, but it would be less than a year before the Revolution turned far more radical, Louis was arrested and imprisoned, and six months further down the line the King was executed at the guillotine. Priced at $55,000.

Next we will combine France with the United States, and in a far nobler moment. The year was 1824, Napoleon had come and gone and the monarchy restored, when an older French gentleman made what turned out to be a year-long trip to America. Everywhere he went, he was greeted as a conquering hero, and that gentleman visited all 24 states that were in the union at that time. He also visited all of the major political figures of the era, including elderly former Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This beloved French visitor was, of course, the Marquis de Lafayette, who brought his military expertise and other assistance to America where, serving under George Washington, he helped America win the Revolution. Now, Washington was gone 25 years as were most other heroes of the Revolution, and those remaining who participated old men. Lafayette came at the invitation of President Monroe, who received him at the White House. He was also visited by James Madison, the country's only other living ex-President. Lafayette had not been in America since the end of the Revolution, and this would be his last visit. Everywhere he went, he was greeted with large crowds of admirers who strained to see the last surviving general from the Revolution. He traveled 6,000 miles, was feted with great parades along the way, and near the end of his trip, laid the cornerstone for the Bunker Hill monument. Item 1 is a manuscript copy of three toasts given on June 13, 1825, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, signed by the speakers. One was Lafayette, the second was Williams College President Edward Dorr Griffin, and the third George Washington Lafayette, Lafayette's son and the namesake of his greatest hero. To his guests, Lafayette proclaimed, “May they more and more enjoy the blessings of Republican freedom and Republican industry.” $9,500.

President Andrew Jackson made his share of enemies, and no one could hold a grudge quite like Jackson. His fight with John Quincy Adams, whom he believed stole the 1824 presidential election from him, is legendary. He would have ongoing fights with many of the figures who would form the Whig Party in the 1830s, but also with his own cabinet and fellow southern Democrat John C. Calhoun, whom he battled over nullification. Among those he despised was Davy Crockett, who opposed many of Jackson's policies, including Indian removal. Jackson would succeed in drumming up enough opposition to Crockett to make him lose his last election for Congress. Disgusted, Crockett left Tennessee for Texas, a poor career move when he ended up at the Alamo at the worst possible moment. However, his old congressional seat would be recaptured by his son, John Wesley Crockett for two terms. It is the younger Crockett to which Jackson refers in this letter to a friend from 1839, after Jackson had left office: “You must not permit that hypocritical scamp Crockett to be elected – he is the mere tool of Bell & J.Q. Adams. Without principle or talents & has become a good Whig by learning the art of lying & slandering good & honest men.” Ol' Hickory would have fit in well with today's politics. Item 20. $15,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <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>
  • <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

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