Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2014 Issue

Books and Manuscripts from James Cummins Bookseller

10ec1739-726d-49bd-b490-1d9992d5753d

Fine books and manuscripts.

James Cummins Bookseller has released Catalogue 121. It contains a mix of books and manuscripts, covering a variety of subjects. Cummins features material that is important, rare, and in top condition. It is designed for those who collect at the highest level. Here are a few of these very interesting items now offered.

 

For those still fascinated by railroads, once the gateway to travel and adventure for regular folks, here is an outstanding book from England: Drawings of the London and Birmingham Railway, by John C. Bourne, with an Historical and Descriptive Account, by John Britton F.S.A. Bourne provided the illustrations, Britton the text. Published in 1839, The 34 lithographs display construction of the railway line from London to Birmingham at the dawn of railroading. It was a spectacular feat of construction, and the quality of this book matches the construction work. It was produced by Ackerman & Co., noted for the high quality of their printing. Item 6. Priced at $9,000.

 

Item 18 is a late in life letter from Mark Twain, but we will call him Samuel Clemens because this story begins before he adopted that pseudonym for his writings. At the age of 22, Clemens, still working on a steamboat, spied a young lady named Laura Wright. She was quite young – 14. Twain was evidently smitten, and the two spent three days together, evidently fond of each other without being terribly romantic. They shared some correspondence for several years, but other than a reported meeting when Sam was seriously discouraged by Laura's mother, they never met again. Nonetheless, Laura remained in Clemens' consciousness the rest of his life, and he had a recurring dream of an unidentified woman seemingly based on Laura. He never forgot her. Item 18 is a letter the now 70-year-old Clemens wrote in 1906 to his sister-in-law, Susan Crane. Crane was the younger sister of Clemens' wife, Olivia, and she remained close to her sister and brother-in-law all of their lives. Olivia died in 1904, but Sam and Susan remained in regular contact. In this letter, Clemens writes of that old romance, perhaps surprising since it is to the sister of his late wife. Writes Clemens, “Here's a romance for you! Forty-eight years, 2 months & 1 day ago I parted from a sweetheart who was 14 years old, & since then I have never seen her nor exchanged a word with her - & today I got a letter from her! (I remembered her hand.) She is poor, is a widow, in debt, & in desperate need of a thousand dollars. I sent it. Still, I am not bankrupt yet...” Clemens reveals something about himself, and to his wife's sister no less, in remembering the exact number of days since he had last seen Laura Wright, and the fact that he sent her $1,000, a very large sum of money in 1906. However, it appears that he had not been fully honest with his sister-in-law since they apparently did meet once again two years later, and they did exchange letters for some number of years afterwards. $4,500.

 

We can all sympathize with Charles Dickens when it comes to this problem. Item 25 is a letter Dickens wrote in 1869 to Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Le Fanu was an Irish writer most known for his gothic, mystery, and ghostly tales. Le Fanu had submitted an article for Dickens' periodical, All The Year Round. It was for Green Tea, a short work about spiritualism that Cummins describes as arguably his greatest work of short fiction. However, Dickens had a problem reading it, for reasons we can all understand. He writes to Le Fanu, “...I have safely received your MS and have sent it to the printer. I tried to read it in your writing, but could not succeed without devoting more time to the task than I could spare.” $7,500.

 

Item 31 is a collection of correspondence, primarily to James McLaughlin in 1890, though as late as 1898, during the time of the Ghost Dance. The Ghost Dance movement was a native spiritual revival, an Indian prophet preaching that taking part in the dance would revive the natives' good fortune. White settlers were afraid. They feared part of the Indians' hopes for a revival of their culture meant getting rid of them. McLaughlin was the Indian Agent for the Sioux Reservation in Dakota, and while he saw himself as sympathetic to the Indian, he still decided to bring in troops and clamp down on Sitting Bull and the Sioux. Perhaps some of these letters led him to act this way. One woman wrote, “...we are living in mortal fear at the present time of being surprised by the bloody Sioux.” A man says, “...there is quite a big excitement here over the Indian scare and my family has gone to safety...” Another says an Indian who went to Nevada to learn about the dance (that is where it started) had returned to start a Ghost Dance in McLaughlin's area. The rest is history – an army confrontation with the Indians, a misunderstanding, and then the slaughter at Wounded Knee, including the killing of Sitting Bull. $15,000.

 

James Cummins Bookseller may be reached at 212-688-6441 or info@jamescumminsbookseller.com. The website is www.jamescumminsbookseller.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions