Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2014 Issue

Americana from Walkabout Books

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Americana from Walkabout Books.

Walkabout Books of Laguna Niguel, California, has issued their second catalogue, appropriately enough titled Catalogue Two. Americana. Offered is a great selection of modestly priced items relating to America, mostly from the 19th or early 20th century. With a very few exceptions (over and under), items are available for three figures, generally lower three figures. Nevertheless, it is filled with fascinating pieces, including numerous selections relating to California locales, the Alaska Gold Rush, treatment of America's natives, slavery and abolition, and western travel. Many other American topics are also to be found. Here is a scattered sample of these works.

 

Who would ask a doctor for medical advice when you can turn to a cowboy instead? The answer is too many gullible Americans. Item 52 is a 48-page production from the “Cowboy Herbalist,” one Charlie White-Moon (real name Charles Bunce). You know the story – saved by Indians, Charlie lives with them and learns their secret remedies, which he now offers to dumb white people. Newspaper records indicate his cure, known as “Com-Cel-Sar,” was promoted during the teens, and this one fits in, dated 1912. The title is The Cow-Boy and Com-Cel-Sar. Charlie liked hyphens almost as much as he liked money. Presumably, “Com-Cel-Sar” is some sort of Indian word, though I find it in no dictionaries. This product combines roots and herbs to create a cleansing tonic that rids the body of “useless matter, undigested foods and the like.” Sounds like it probably had some mild laxative properties. However, it is dubious that it had much effect against disease. Priced at $75.

 

Wilson Lumpkin was a successful political figure in Georgia during the first half of the 19th century. Along with serving as a state representative, he earned terms in the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and two terms as Governor of Georgia, from 1831-1835. His positions undoubtedly made him a popular man at the time, but those who come across his name today will more likely look back at his career in disgust. He accomplished a number of things through the course of his life, but that for which he was most proud was his role in the forcible removal of the Cherokee and other Indians from their ancient homelands in Georgia. He sent them to far off Oklahoma, the horrific Trail of Tears. It is likely no other man played a greater role in this tragedy. He was an early advocate for Indian removal, a prime mover in passing such legislation, worked closely with Andrew Jackson in his shameful support of removal, ignored the U.S. Supreme Court ruling protecting the Indians' rights to their land, and after his term was over served on the commission to enforce the “treaty” signed by a small group of Cherokee consenting to removal, and guarded its final stages in the senate. Of course, he always claimed this was for the good of the Indians, as did Jackson, even as he held the lottery which gave away Indian land to white settlers. Item 29 is The Removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia, Including His Speeches in the United States Congress on the Indian Question... This is a two-volume set, one of 500 copies, compiled by Wymberley Jones DeRenne from Lumpkin's manuscript and published in 1907, several decades after the Governor died. $600.

 

Item 92 is Dissolution or Physical Death, and How Spirit Chemists Produce Materialization, by Michael Faraday. No, it isn't by Faraday. Poor Michael Faraday. He was one of the great scientists, a physicist and chemist who made numerous discoveries concerning electricity and magnetism. It is he who is responsible for the electric motor and generator. What Faraday was not was a spiritualist. Indeed, he was a most vocal opponent, and devised experiments to show how reputed visits from spirits at seances were false. So, after Faraday died in 1867, he became something of a target for spiritualists, who reported having visits from the deceased scientist. This is one such example, published in 1887. In it, the spirit of the departed Faraday supposedly comes back to tell us how we can live after our bodies have died. $100.

 

Item 22 is a rare early issue of San Francisco's first newspaper, and California's second. It is Vol. 1, No. 7 of The California Star, dated February 20, 1847. It tells news of what was then a lightly populated land of uncertain ownership. The U.S. military had seized it from Mexican control, and settlers from America had also participated, but the Mexican War was still ongoing at the time, and California had been Mexican territory. Nonetheless, the Americans were in control. The Star had its editorial viewpoint, critical of Governor Robert Stockton. It describes him as a “pompous, bloated, demagogue.” It is more favorably inclined toward his military rival, General Stephen Kearney. The paper includes numerous articles of local news, but perhaps the most intriguing item is a small classified advertisement. It was placed by John Sutter. It is a want ad for “two Thrashing Machines for wheat of a size and sufficient power for a crop of some 40,000 bushels.” Soon enough, Sutter would discover something far more interesting than wheat on his farm. Within a year, gold would be discovered near Sutter's Mill, and the California Gold Rush was on. $3,500.

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>

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