Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2014 Issue

The American West, Fiction, Ivan Doig Archive, and More from Back of Beyond Books

50aa51ba-5352-4d6d-8389-82a992f70a48

The Grand Canyon on the cover of Back of Beyond Catalogue 12.

Back of Beyond Books has issued Rare Book Catalogue No. 12. They are located in the Colorado Plateau, or Four Corners region of the American Southwest, and much of their material comes from, or relates to, this area. However, they also carry a selection of books related to other places, or no particular place at all. This catalogue comes with several subheadings, which are as follows: Colorado Plateau, Fiction and Poetry, Ivan Doig, Miscellany, and Western Americana. For those who do not know him, Ivan Doig is a Montana raised novelist, where much of his writing is set. Back of Beyond offers many of his books, some signed, including a collection of 15 of his works. Here are some more items to be found in this catalogue.

 

We start with a pioneering expedition along the Colorado River, the first recorded description of the Grand Canyon. The title is Report Upon the Colorado River of the West, published in 1861. Joseph Ives led his expedition by steamboat up from the mouth of the river to the Grand Canyon. This was the opposite direction of the famous Powell expedition a decade later. Ives' account provides information about the botanical and zoological specimens of the area, as well as the Indians who lived above the canyon's walls. It contains numerous illustrations, some displaying, perhaps in exaggerated style, the narrowness of the canyons below. Ives was more interested in practical uses of the land than scenery, so he concluded that it would never be of much use for anything. Back of Beyond is offering three copies, items 13-15, priced at $1,975-$2,500.

 

Speaking of the Powell Expedition, John Wesley Powell described his journey in 1875 in his account of the Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and its Tributaries 1869-1872. Powell started on the Green River in Wyoming, following it to its confluence with the Colorado, and eventually down to the Grand Canyon, concluding his journey where Ives had approached from the other direction. This was a first, the Colorado north of the great canyon not having been traveled before. Powell took two trips, first exploring the area, and later gathering more information about it, in particular, learning about the culture of the Utes and other Indians living there. Items 25 and 26 are copies of this account, priced at $2,300 and $7,500 (signed).

 

This is not quite as notable a journey down the Colorado, but Mary Remsen North undoubtedly deserves some recognition for her achievement. Item 23 is her Down the Colorado; by a Lone Girl Scout, published in 1930. Traveling the river at the tender age of 10 is quite an accomplishment, as is writing a book at that age. She didn't exactly travel alone, bringing her parents along. Her father was an adventurer and writer. Mary brought letters from her home state governor, New York's Franklin D. Roosevelt, which she presented to the governors of the surrounding states. Mary's journey followed Ives route from the Grand Canyon south, not so treacherous as the waters traversed by Powell. Her book includes an introduction from Frederick S. Dellenbaugh, an artist and photographer who accompanied Powell on his second trip over half a century earlier, and who also participated in the discovery of the Escalante River and the Henry Mountains. After her auspicious start, Mary seems to have faded into obscurity, we being unable to find anything further about her other than she was apparently living in a retirement home as recently as 2005, possibly in Madison, Wisconsin. $275.

 

As for the Henry Mountains, located in southern Utah, southeast of Capital Reef National Park, they were the last mountain range discovered in the lower 48 states, first visited in 1872. By 1877, the government was able to publish a Report on the Geology of the Henry Mountains, by Grove Karl Gilbert. Gilbert recognized they contributed “almost nothing to our direct material interests,” but pointed out that “[t]he deep carving of the land which renders it so inhospitable to the traveler and the settler, is to the geologist a dissection which lays bare the very anatomy of the rocks, and the dry climate which makes the region a naked desert, soilless and almost plantless, perfects the preparation for his examination.” In other words, it is a barren, desolate land. Item 11. $375.

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