Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2014 Issue

A Variety of Material from Southwestern Bookseller Back of Beyond Books


A trip to the Great Salt Lake on the cover of the latest catalogue from Back of Beyond Books.

Back of Beyond Books has published their Catalogue 14. Back of Beyond specializes in books relating to the American Southwest, appropriate for a bookseller from rural, eastern Utah. There are certainly many items relating to that subject again this time, but also a broader selection of material as well. There are sections on literature and poetry, Mormon history, mountaineering, Native Americans, natural history, and a miscellany, as well as items of Western Americana. Here are a few of the new items recently added to Back of Beyond's selection.


We will start with the item displayed on the catalogue's cover: Route Map of the Mormon Pioneers from Nauvoo to Great Salt Lake February 1846. It comes with the accompanying Guide to the Route Map of the Mormon Pioneers. It was published by Milroy and Hayes, Map Publishers, in 1899. This large map and guide follow the diary of Orson Pratt, with occasional entries by his brother, Parley Pratt. Both were members of the original Quorum of Twelve. Threats on the safety and lives of the Mormons in Illinois at the time led to their migration to the western desert under Brigham Young. The map shows dates and mileage traveled each day by the Pratts to reach their destination. Those who have traveled today's roughly parallel highways will realize that a day's journey then averages 10-15 minutes today. Scenes from the trip are also depicted. This is the original, larger version of the map (there was a later printing) and is rarely seen. Item 38. Priced at $7,000.


Here is one of those items of poetry, an atypical work from one of the 20th century's most notable poets. If T. S. Eliot was best known during his lifetime for works such as The Waste Land, a later generation may know him better for his whimsical verses pertaining to the personalities of cats. Item 5 is Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, “Old Possum” being Eliot's nickname. The verses in this book were taken from letters Eliot had written to his godchildren, which naturally means they are different from works such as the aforementioned Waste Land (not something you would likely send to children). Eliot's practical cats would become a phenomenon, but not until well after he died, when Andrew Lloyd Webber set them to music and created what was then the longest running Broadway play ever – Cats. Offered is a 1946 edition of Practical Cats that has been signed by Eliot, along with having the initials “O.P.” in Eliot's hand. $3,000.


Item 71 is the Report on the Lands of the Arid Regions of the United States with a More Detailed Account of the Lands of Utah, the second edition, published in 1879. This is explorer John Wesley Powell's survey of the suitability of the dry western lands for agriculture. Powell is most noted for leading the first mission to ride the Colorado River rapids all the way to the Grand Canyon. However, the government wanted his evaluation of the land for practical purposes. Powell concluded that only a very small percent of the land, that closest to rivers that could be used for irrigation, was suitable for farming. The remainder could only be used for low density cattle grazing or set aside as conservation land. $340.


Next we have a handbill offering a reward for the capture of J. K. Bear. Jacob K. Bear was a manager at the Brownville, Nebraska, office of Merchant's Union Express when he absconded with $12,000. The reward offered $1,000 for the capture of Bear, and $1,000 for the return of the $12,000 (or a proportional amount for less than the full $12,000). Bear had gambling problems, and owed money around town, but still, $12,000 was an enormous amount of money on August 27, 1869, when this theft took place. Bear was kind enough to leave a note explaining his theft, and saying there was a 99 in 100 chance he would get caught, but was willing to take the chance for the 1 in 100. He was also gentlemanly enough to pay off his debts around town the night before he disappeared, though quite obviously he was using someone else's money. Later on, he sent back a letter saying he was making money and promising to repay the funds within ten years. In time, Bear was caught, but claimed the cash box with the rest of the money fell in a river. He was convicted, but sentenced to only a year in prison, which the Governor commuted to just three months. That enabled Bear to move on to Oregon, where he committed a similar heist in 1871, only this time he was not caught, and what happened to him after that is unknown. Item 91. $750.


Item 4 is a first edition, first printing, of Willa Cather's first published book, April Twilights (1903). She had written poems and short stories for periodicals prior to this, but this was the start of a long career writing books. It is a collection of poems, many of which were earlier published in magazines, sometimes under pen names. Cather was ultimately not too pleased with this effort, and destroyed remaining copies. The collection was later republished by her, but only after some poems were excised and replaced with others. $750.


Back of Beyond Books may be reached at 435-259-5154 or andy@backofbeyondbooks.com. Their website is www.backofbeyondbooks.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
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <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
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <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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