Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2013 Issue

The Latest Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

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Rare Americana #133 from David Lesser.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has released No. 133 of Rare Americana. This catalogue is filled with material from the 18th and 19th centuries. Ranging from the colonial period to the days after the Civil War, it is the history of the formation and development of a new nation. It carries us from strained relations with England to strained relations with ourselves. It has never been easy for America, any more than it is today. Here are a few samples of what David Lesser has to offer.

 

We start with a speech that from the last days when relations were still good between Great Britain and its colonies: A Sermon upon Occasion of the Death of Our Late Sovereign, George the Second. It was published in 1761, the year after the second King George died. The French and Indian War was winding down, and the British and their American colonists were starting to enjoy the rewards of their joint victory. The sermon was preached by Samuel Cooper, a Congregationalist minster whose flock at various times included John Hancock, Samuel and John Adams. Cooper praises the last King George popular with Americans as “this truly great and Pious Prince.” He expresses hope for continued great relations with the new King George, but cautiously warns against putting absolute trust in any monarch, and tellingly explains that “power is derived and limited, not original and absolute.” Of course, we all know what happened between George III and the colonies, and Samuel Cooper would become one of the leading voices in supporting the revolution, so much so that the British attempted to have him arrested. Item 48. Priced at $450.

 

Bad relations did not end with the American Revolution. Three decades later, the two sides were back at war again, this time the War of 1812. Item 10 is Charles Andrews' The Prisoners' Memoirs, or, Dartmoor Prison... published in 1815. Dartmoor Prison is located in England, and it housed prisoners from America and France, both of whom England was fighting at the time. The Americans were overwhelmingly sailors seized from American ships, around 6,000 at the height. Andrews was a prisoner, and reportedly the only one to keep a journal. He describes it as “a depot of living death.” Many of the prisoners died, and it was undoubtedly a most horrible place, though not unusually so for its time. $650.

 

Andersonville was worse. This was the southern prison during the Civil War. As time went on and the Civil War dragged on, the South had trouble enough taking care of its own. Northern prisoners were not a top priority. Add to that enormous anger between the sides and it resulted in a prison that was more of a death camp for northern soldiers. Item 11 is A List of the Union Soldiers Buried at Andersonville, by Dorence Atwater, published in 1868. Atwater was captured in 1863 and sent to Andersonville the following year. After the war, he went through the records at Andersonville and compiled his list because “I fear that neither you nor the Government of the United States would ever otherwise learn the fate of your loved ones whom I saw daily dying before me.” The pamphlet includes Clara Barton's report identifying graves in Andersonville shortly after the war. $250.

 

Prisoners weren't the only noncombatants to suffer during the war. Item 69 is An Account of the Sufferings of Friends of North Carolina Yearly Meeting, in Support of Their Testimony Against War, from 1861 to 1865. The Quakers were the subject of harassment from some of their southern neighbors on two accounts. First, they opposed all war, not popular in a land that had chosen to go to war. Secondly, they were against slavery, whose preservation was the reason their neighbors went to war. This 1868 pamphlet provides detailed evidence and testimony concerning their persecution – violence, forced conscription, even murder. $275.

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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