Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2013 Issue

Recent Acquisitions in Americana from the William Reese Company

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Recent Acquisitions in Americana.

The William Reese Company has added to their long line of catalogues with 305 Recent Acquisitions in Americana. The items are within Reese's primary specialty – Americana – but it is all new material, not listed in any previous catalogues. As to be expected with Reese, this is important material, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Many items were the work of notable Americans, such as Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, or Franklin's famous almanacs. Others come from forgotten people describing memorable events, such as Civil War soldiers' letters back home from the battlefield. The participants may now be gone, but American history is still alive and well in this latest William Reese catalogue. Here are a few representatives of what is offered.

 

From the more things change the more they remain the same department, we start with The History of Pithole, by “Crocus” (Charles C. Leonard), published in 1867. Pithole was an oil boomtown in Pennsylvania, part of America's first oil boom. Located in northwestern Pennsylvania, where oil was first discovered in 1859, the first gusher near Pithole was discovered in early 1865. People flocked to the newly created town, it reaching a population of 20,000 by year's end. Reflecting the transient nature of many residents, there were 54 hotels, the third largest post office in Pennsylvania, a huge theater, newspaper, churches, and, naturally, brothels. However, a financial panic and several major fires struck the town. A year later, population declined to 2,000. The oil wells moved on, and by 1870, the census showed just 237 remained. A few years later, the community was unincorporated, and today there is no one left except for guides at a historic visitors' center. This book tells of the town while still in its better days, including information about the oil companies and wells operating in the community. This copy has been inscribed by “Crocus.” Item 113. Priced at $2,500.

 

Item 116 takes us back to one of the saddest moments in American history: Official Arrangements at Washington for the Funeral Solemnities of the Late Abraham Lincoln, President... Dated April 17, 1865, this official program issued by the War Department outlines the procession that brought Lincoln's body from the White House to the Capitol. There was an escort representing all branches of the military, along with numerous dignitaries, family members, representatives of various organizations, and finally, room for private citizens. This all happened almost 150 years ago, and no one on earth today was even close to having been alive at the time this tragedy unfolded, and yet somehow it is hard to read about it without feeling great sadness. Lincoln was a remarkable man. $6,000.

 

Item 9 is a broadside depicting Illustrations of the American Anti-Slavery Almanac for 1840. The abolition movement was fairly quiet through most of America's first four decades, but rapidly began to gain steam in the 1830s. The American Anti-Slavery Society, which produced the underlying almanac, was formed in 1834 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan, and the first anti-slavery candidate for President ran in 1840. This broadside contains 14 woodcuts depicting the horrors of slavery, such as a mother and child being separated at a slave auction, slaves chained together at work, being chased by dogs, and subjected to various other forms of physical abuse. $2,000.

 

Here is a book with more portraits, though of actual people rather than representatives of a type: Defenders and Offenders, published in 1888. It includes 210 chromolithographed portraits, some ten to a page, others four. Biographical sketches accompany the portraits. Two hundred of the portraits are of offenders, various criminals including murderers, con artists, counterfeiters, western robbers, burglars, pickpockets, and a woman convicted of selling obscene pictures. The other ten portraits are of good guys, police officers who protected the public from this nefarious lot. Item 62. $1,850.

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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