Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2014 Issue

A Variety of Books, Manuscripts and Visual Arts from the William Reese Company

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Not the typical Reese selection.

The William Reese Company has published their 308th catalogue: Rare and Fine Books & Manuscripts, Photographs & Other Visual Arts. This is sort of a catalogue of material that doesn't “quite fit” in their usual specialties, notably Americana and literature. As such, we find a lot of European nonfiction, logically enough. Most items are quite old though there is some 20th century material to be found. English is the predominate language, but many works, particularly older ones, can be found in Latin and various continental European languages. Other than that, all we can say is that there is a wide variety of material to be found in this atypical Reese catalogue. Here are a few examples.

 

What you see on the cover of this catalogue is a collection of personal photographs once owned by the great illustrator, artist, and occasional writer and adventurer, Rockwell Kent. He was also an accomplished photographer, and radical political voice, but out of all of these things, it was his role as illustrator for which he is most remembered. Shown on the cover is just a tiny fraction of this archive. It consists of 31 photo albums containing 1,125 photographs ranging from around 1929 through the 1960's (he died in 1971). The albums cover various locations, including his homes at Asgaard (New York) and Monhegan Island (Maine), as well as trips to Greenland, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Richmond, and the American Southwest. Sixteen of the albums and half of the photographs cover his three trips to Greenland. He spent long periods of time living in the isolation of Greenland, with only a few native neighbors having not a lot in common with him for company. He liked isolation. Item 167. Priced at $195,000.

 

Has it really been 30 years since these two gentlemen graced the pages of our newspapers? Item 66 is books 1-3 of The Mutt and Jeff Cartoons, published from 1910-1912. These are the work of Mutt and Jeff's creator Bud Fisher. The tall and short gentlemen outlived their creator by almost three decades, but Reese informs us that even they passed on to cartoon heaven in 1982. Mutt was the tall one, Jeff short, and neither was terribly bright, though Mutt was always coming up with some scheme or other. The Mutt and Jeff comic strip first appeared in 1907, and it quickly became the first successful daily comic strip in America. There is something odd in that this progenitor, a once beloved part of America's daily life, is available for such a small price compared to the millions of dollars a first edition of Superman or Batman comics now bring. Then again, Mutt's schemes never did make him much money. $1,000.

 

Perhaps this diminutive little lady would have made a good mate for Jeff. Martha Ann Honeywell was only three feet tall. That wasn't what was most remarkable about Ms. Honeywell. She was born without arms and yet she was amazingly talented at needlework, cutting, and embroidery. I don't know how she did it, but for 25 cents you could have found out, had you been around in 1846. Item 147 is a broadside headed Gallery of Cuttings and Needle-Work, Executed without Hands, for One Week Only... It informs us, “This interesting and talented Lady, born without arms, has acquired such extraordinary skill in the use of a common pair of Scissors, that by holding them in her mouth she is enabled to cut out of Paper the most curious and difficult designs ever attempted, or perhaps executed in the known world, such as Scripture Pieces, Likenesses of Distinguished Americans... She also writes the Lord's Prayer in a space that can be covered with a Five cent piece.” If you look around the internet, you can find some of her work still offered today. $1,500.

 

Item 110 is a biography of a man better known as “Fighting Fitzgerald”: The Life of George Robert Fitzgerald, Esq. Containing Every Interesting Circumstance Which Happened to that Unfortunate Man, from His Quitting School to His Melancholy Exit... Fitzgerald's “melancholy exit” came at the end of a rope after he was convicted of participating in a killing. Fighting Fitzgerald was no ruffian but a well-bred, educated, apparently courtly man who could lose it all at times. It was said that a blow to the head at the age of 20 led him to turn mad. Fitzgerald was noted for getting into duels, as many as 12 along the way. However, it was other intrigues that eventually led to his demise. This book was published in 1786, the same year Fitzgerald made his exit. $900.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.

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