Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2014 Issue

Latin Americana from Kaaterskill Books


Latin Americana.

Kaaterskill Books recently published their Catalogue 19 Latin Americana. From Mexico to Chile, and from the early days of exploration to the turbulent century after the overthrow of Spanish rule, there is much to be found in the pages of this catalogue. Spanish, naturally enough, is the most common language, but English and other European tongues are regularly to be found. For those interested in the large American land on the other side of the Rio Grande and Gadsden Purchase, this is your collection, Here, now, are a few samples.


The U.S. and Mexico have, on occasion, had uncomfortable relations, but only once did the two truly go to war. America attacked on the grounds Mexico was occupying part of Texas. The Texans and Mexicans had differing ideas on where the border lay. However, it would be disingenuous to think the dispute wasn't a welcome excuse for President Polk, a believer in Manifest Destiny, to attack. America wanted more land, Mexico had a lot of it, and Mexico was much weaker militarily. The outcome was virtually a foregone conclusion, and at the end of the Mexican War, America now had California, New Mexico, and Arizona as part of its territory. Americans saw this as a great triumph. Mexicans had a different point of view. Item 1 is Apuntes para la Historia de la Guerra entre México y los Estados-Unidos, notes on the history of the war between Mexico and the United States, published in 1848, the year the war ended. It was authored by Damon Alcaraz and 14 other Mexican writers. The book is described by Sabin as “extremely rare.” It is highly critical of the loss of so much territory, which did not sit well with Mexican leader Santa Anna, a serial loser of Mexican territory. He ordered the work suppressed, copies in private hands burned, and the authors imprisoned. The purpose of the book was to preserve the nation from further encroachments, though more land would be taken a few years later through the Gadsden Purchase. Priced at $4,000.


It is beyond the scope of this review to set out the competing interests in Latin America in the early 19th century. The land that would eventually become Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, and a small part of Brazil, was once known as the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. When Napoleon captured Spain, the colonial ruler of most of Latin America, a void was created. Even after Napoleon was defeated and the Spanish monarchy restored to power, South America would not be the same. In the United Provinces, there were battles between royalists and those who favored independence, there were designs on the territory by the Portuguese, and within those who favored independence there were those who wanted dictatorial or monarchical control and those who wanted something more democratic. On top of that, there were regional disputes. José Artigas was for a more inclusive form of government, and his focus was on the region now Uruguay. He would at various times be in and out of favor with central authorities, depending on the circumstances, but in 1814, the leaders of the United Provinces wanted his skin. This two-page notice came from El Supremo Director de las Provincias Unides del Rio de la Plata, Gervasio Antonio Posadas. It announces that Artigas was accused of treason and sentenced to death. However, the authorities did not have Artigas in hand, so a 6,000 peso reward was offered for his capture, dead or alive. His troops who did not immediately surrender, it announced, would be found guilty of treason, and shot within 24 hours if found carrying weapons. It was to no avail. Artigas was too popular among his people and was not captured. Instead, he rallied his people, only to be forced out by the Portuguese. Artigas went into exile in Paraguay, where he remained for the remaining 30 years of his life, even as Uruguay finally achieved independence, and then broke into civil war. He is today regarded as one of Uruguay's greatest heroes. Item 128. $1,000.


Over a century later, a leader would arise in Argentina whose influence still dominates much of local politics today. Juan Peron was a contradiction, a “man of the people” who also treated himself lavishly. He was for freedom but willing to crush opposition brutally. He formed a base of supporters both left and right, brought together by little but his personality, but could turn against either if he felt threatened. He served as President from 1946-1955 when he was overthrown by a coup. He returned from exile 18 years later to reclaim the office in 1973, but died a year later. Item 116 is Por la cooperacion economica y la paz mundial, a 15-page proclamation from Peron issued in 1947. In it, Peron attempted to stake out a middle position between the Cold War battles of the world's greatest powers, while promoting international peace. He also expresses his support for protecting workers, regulating the economy to benefit all, not just the wealthy interests, bringing an end to social injustice, and keeping Argentina free and independent. His ideals were greater than his reality. $200.


Item 75 is a book by a man described as “the first United States' merchant to bring weapons to the rebels fighting for Chilean independence.” Henry Hill hoped to sell them in Buenos Aires during the previously mentioned fighting in the United Provinces, but being unable to do so, traveled through the Strait of Magellan to the other side of South America. He arrived in Chile 1817, gradually sold his cargo to rebels fighting the Spanish colonial authorities, and departed in 1821, crossing by land over the mountains to Buenos Aires and back to the U.S. He wrote about his adventures many years later and printed them “to be sent to a few kind friends, with my complements,” in 1889. His book is entitled Incidents in Chili, South America, 1817-1821. If that sounds like a long time later, Hill, who had written a book of reminiscences of an octogenarian five years earlier, was 94 years old at the time, with three more to go. $500.


Kaaterskill Books may be reached at 518-589-0555 or books@kaaterskillbooks.com. Their website is www.kaaterskillbooks.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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