Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2014 Issue

Early Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

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Early Americana.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has issued a new catalogue of Rare Americana. This one is No. 136. It is primarily filled with shorter form material from 18th and 19th century America. Many items pertain to the long running battle over slavery, or earlier skirmishes between North and South such as the nullification crisis. There are also numerous pieces which deal with disputes between the colonists and England in the days leading up to the Revolution, often sermons by ministers who mixed politics with religion. In all, these works provide a fascinating look at early American history. Here are a few.

 

Item 16 is one take on a terrible tale that tarnished several reputations in the U.S. military. Capt. Frederick Benteen did not quite emerge unscathed, though he did not take too much blame for General Custer's brave, but foolhardy attack on an Indian encampment much larger than he imagined. Benteen was searching for Indians on Custer's left flank when he received a message from his commander, saying that he had found a large Indian village, and that Benteen should come quickly with his pack mules carrying ammunition. Bringing pack mules would slow down his speed. Nevertheless, some question whether Benteen moved as quickly as he could have. He next met up with Marcus Reno's badly battered troops, and the two regrouped on a ridge. They continued to move slowly, though they could hear the battle in which Custer was engaged. Still, they had no idea what was happening, and it is dubious whether swift action would have made much of a difference. Item 16 is The Custer Fight. Capt. Benteen's Story of the Battle of Little Big Horn... It was published in 1933 and is signed by author E. A. Brinistool who sought “to correct many misleading and distorted stories dealing with the Battle of Little Big Horn.” Priced at $375.

 

Thomas Paine was a revolutionary, a defender of human rights whose disdain for organized religion would eventually make him something of a pariah in his homelands of America and England. He became a hero in America with his publication of Common Sense in 1776, a commanding argument for revolution. However, his popularity would later fade with his controversial religious views and support of the French Revolution. Still, he continued to expound his radical views, and some way ahead of its time are were expressed in item 103, Agrarian Justice, Opposed to Agrarian Law, and to Agrarian Monopoly. This book proposed a version of social security almost 140 years before Roosevelt. Paine called for a pension of £10 per year to be paid to every person over the age of 50. Fifty was the average adult life expectancy at the time, and £10 was a little under half of the wages of a typical laborer. Paine also proposed a one-time payment of £15 to every citizen on reaching the age of 21, to give them a start in life. That is an interesting twist on the debt many young people start out with today as a consequence of the cost of education. Paine proposed to pay for this and other assistance for the poor through a property tax and a 10% tax on inheritances. This pamphlet was published in Philadelphia in 1797. $750.

 

Here's something you may not have thought about before. What did they have before auto insurance? The answer is horse insurance. Item 73 is a broadside printed in 1866 by the Great Western Horse Insurance and Detective Company of Decatur, Illinois. It's headline blasts STOP THIEF!, followed by an image of a thief being chased on horseback and another bold headline, STOLEN!. It goes on to explain that a 6-year-old black horse had been stolen from a resident of Peoria County, and obviously, the insurance company wanted the horse back so it would not have to pay the claim. $650.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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.

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