• <b>Results from Bonhams’ sale of <i>Fine Books & Manuscripts Featuring Exploration and Travel</i></b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Columbus. De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis. Basel, 1494. SOLD for $751,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Cook in Tahiti. [Playbill]. [Germany, c.1840.] SOLD for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Aa, Pieter van der. Naaukeurige versameling der gedenk-waardigste zee en land-reysen. Leyden, 1706-8. SOLD for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Dürer. Underweysung der messung [and two more]. Nuremberg, 1525-8. SOLD for $175,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Cortes, Hernan. A Pleito signed by Antonio de Mendoza in the case of Hernan Cortes. 1542. SOLD for $8750
    <b>Results from Bonhams’ <i>The Air and Space Sale</i></b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Russian Kholod 5D67 HFL Rocket Engine. SOLD for $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Neil Armstrong Apollo Era Training Glove. SOLD for $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Full Scale Sputnik-1 EMC/EMI Lab Model. SOLD for $847,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> SOLRAD GREB Spy Satellite Engineering Dummy. SOLD for $10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Soviet LK-3 Lunar Lander Model. SOLD for $25,000
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio!</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio!</b>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b><br><i>The Centenary Edition of the Works of Ian Fleming</i>, one of 26 lettered sets, 18 volumes, London, 2008. $25,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> William Faulkner, <i>The Marble Faun</i>, first edition, signed & inscribed to Dorothy Wilcox by Faulkner & Phil Stone, Boston, 1924. $18,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Maurice Sendak, <i>Where the Wild Things Are</i>, first edition, signed & inscribed to William Archibald, New York, 1963. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Anne Frank, <i>Het Achterhuis</i>, first edition, in first state jacket, Amsterdam, 1947. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Roald Dahl, <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</i>, first edition, signed, New York, 1964. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b><br>Ray Bradbury, <i>Fahrenheit 451</i>, first limited edition bound in Johns-Manville Quinterra, New York, 1953. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Benjamin Graham, <i>The Intelligent Investor</i>, first edition, in original dust jacket, New York, 1949. $4,500 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Anna Sewell, <i>Black Beauty</i>, first edition, inscribed, London, 1877. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Arthur Conan Doyle, <i>A Study in Scarlet</i>, first American edition, Philadelphia, 1890. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> James Fenimore Cooper, <i>The Last of the Mohicans</i>, first edition, two volumes, Philadelphia, 1826. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Amelia Earhart, <i>20 hrs. 40 mins. Our Flight in Friendship</i>, limited first edition, signed, New York, 1928. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Philip K. Dick, <i>World of Chance</i>, first edition, signed, London, 1956. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Sotheby’s London: Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection. Part I: Music. 26 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Beethoven, Ludwig van. Autograph Manuscript of the Canon "Ewig Dein" Woo 161, signed at the end ("...[Ewig] Dein...Freund Ludwig Van Beethowen"). Est. £120,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Brahms, Johannes. Autograph Manuscript of the "Geistliches Wiegenlied", Op.91 No.2, for Contralto, Viola And Piano, the original version of 1864, signed and inscribed at the end by the composer. Est. £200,000 to £250,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Chopin, Frédéric. Autograph Manuscript of the Opening of the Étude Op.25 No.2, in A-Flat Major, signed and dated ("Paris Ce 28 Avril F. Chopin"). Est. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London: Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection. Part I: Music. 26 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Haydn, Joseph. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jos Haydn[Paraph]"), to the Baden Choirmaster Anton Stoll, 30 July 1802. Est. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Verdi, Giuseppe. Autograph Working Manuscript of a scene from Ernani. Est. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Verdi, Giuseppe. Highly Important Series of Thirty-Six Autograph Letters Signed to The Librettist Salvadore Cammarano, written between 1844 And 1851, the greater part unpublished and unrecorded. Est. £250,000 to £300,000

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

Autographed American Documents from Joe Rubinfine

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American autographs.

Joe Rubinfine has released his List 176 of American Historical Autographs. These are primarily signed documents by American political and military figures, though a few non-Americans (French who aided the American cause during the Revolution) and people from other walks of life can be found. Many documents contain the signatures of “signers,” those who signed the Declaration of Independence. Many military leaders from the Revolution have autographed material found herein, including a few who fought for the other side. Another major source of autographs are U. S. presidents, some signed as President, others before or after their terms in office. Here, now, are a few examples of these signatures.

 

We start with an item that is symptomatic of the downfall of one of America's great explorers, Meriwether Lewis. Lewis and William Clark led the famous expedition to explore the newly purchased Louisiana Territory in 1804. It remains America's greatest internal exploration. After it was concluded, Clark went on to have a long and successful career, as Missouri's Territorial Governor and later as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Lewis did not fare so well. He was appointed Territorial Governor of Louisiana, but personal debts and accusations made against him led to a deterioration of his situation. In 1809, Lewis set out to Washington to explain his side of the story, but died en route from gunshot wounds. Most believe they were self-inflicted, though some think he was assisted by someone who wanted his money. Item 31 is a promissory note to St. Louis merchants Falconer & Comegys in the amount of $331.45 ½, signed by Lewis. It is dated August 22, 1809, less than two months before Lewis' death. The word “Judgement” has been written across the face of the note, likely meaning it was not repaid. Priced at $15,000.

 

William Henry Harrison built his reputation as an Indian fighter in the West (“Tippecanoe”), and during the War of 1812. After holding several public offices, he was appointed U.S. Minister to Gran Columbia in 1828 by John Quincy Adams. He got into a verbal battle with the country's leader and famed revolutionary, Simon Bolivar, and was replaced in 1829 after Andrew Jackson took office. However, he maintained connections in the area that comprised Gran Columbia, and he promised to use his influence to help the brother of former New York Congressman Gulian Verplanck make connections of his own. Harrison wrote to Gulian Verplanck in 1837 offering this assistance, and spoke politics as well as personal issues with the Congressman. While making two connections, Harrison writes that he knows more people in Columbia, but locating them now is too great an effort as “both my mind & body are in a situation very unfavorable to do any thing.” His mind was low because of “the situation of a beloved son whom an uncurable disease is hanging to his person,” while his body suffered from a “highly inflamed knee which is exceedingly painful.” The son was likely William Henry Harrison, Jr., who died at age 35 two and one-half months after this letter was written. However, Harrison's introductory sentence is the most interesting for its painful irony - “Your letter...found me suffering under a severe inflammatory rheumatism in the knee from having foolishly exposed myself to rain when under the operation of medicine for a previous cold.” Harrison's presidency is remembered for only one thing – it was the shortest in American history, lasting only a month. His death has long been attributed to his foolishly exposing himself to rain by giving a long-winded inauguration speech in the rain and freezing cold without being properly dressed (some scholars now believe that pneumonia, attributed to his inauguration exposure, was not the cause of his death). Item 42. $8,500.

 

Harrison's wife, Anna, who long suffered ill health and never even made it to the White House during her husband's brief tenancy, wrote this next letter on August 5, 1848. It is to her grandson, John Cleves Symmes Harrison, reminding him that he has promised to visit her. She tells him that at her age (73) it is too risky to put off a visit. She writes, “...you must remember, that I am very old, & as none of us know the time of our death, yet to one, threescore and ten of course, but a few Months, perhaps days are allotted to them.” We don't know whether J. Cleves rushed his visit, but it wasn't necessary. Anna Harrison lived another 16 years, passing away at the age of 88 in 1864. She outlived 10 of her 11 children. Item 44. $2,500.

 

Item 37 is a May 17, 1817 letter from newly inaugurated President James Monroe to his physician, Charles Everett. He writes about an expected visit from the doctor during the summer. Of note, he alludes to an important part of the reason for the success of his presidency and the “Era of Good Feelings” over which he presided. Writes Monroe, “I shall set out, on my tour, in the north & west, in a very short time, by the 25th if possible, but certainly by the last of the month.” Four of the first five American presidents, Monroe being the fourth, came from Virginia. There was unease in other parts of the country, and to alleviate these fears, Monroe set out on a tour of the rest of the country to reassure those people he served them as well. He was well-received, and it enabled him to lead America through perhaps its calmest and most conciliatory period of time. $3,000.

 

“Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!” Those lyrics, from the song Home Sweet Home, are still familiar, almost two centuries after they were written. The writer was John Howard Payne, a playwright whose song, Rubinfine notes, “is all he is remembered for.” But for this, he, or at least his words, are well remembered. Payne penned out the lyrics to the song (written for an 1823 play) in 1851 for New York Congressman C. E. Clark. He also sent a cover letter, and here is another great irony. Payne had no such home, sweet or otherwise. As he writes, “...surely there is something strange in the fact that it should have been my lot to cause so many people in the world to boast of the delights of Home, when I never had a Home of my own, and never expect to have one...” To this, Payne adds a dig at federal officials (he served as American Consul at Tunis, an honor bestowed upon him more for his literary than diplomatic prowess): “...now – especially since those here in Washington who possess the power, seem so reluctant to allow me the means of earning one!” Payne wandered the world after the death of his parents at a young age. Most of his life was spent abroad, he never married, and he died in Tunis, his remains being disinterred and brought back to America 30 years after he died by a philanthropist who gave him an honored “home” in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington. Item 61. $12,000.

 

Joe Rubinfine may be reached at 321-455-1666 or Joerubinfine@mindspring.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Sotheby’s Paris: Books & Manuscripts. 30 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> MARCEL PROUST. Du côté de chez Swann. Grasset, 1913. First edition. One of 5 copies on Japan paper, inscribed by the author to Louis Brun. Est. €400,000 - 600,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> Saint-Exupéry. <i>25 Autograph Illustrated Letters to his Friend Charles Sallès</i>. Est. €30,000-50,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> French Revolution, 1793. Déclaration des droits de l’Homme. 2,55 x 1,30m. A monumental wallpaper poster of the 1793 version, with hand-colored highlights. Unique copy. Est. €100,000 - 150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> GIAMBATTISTA PIRANESI. <i>Vedute di Roma</i>, 1748-1775. 107 etchings. An exceptional copy, printed and bound before 1780. Est. €50,000 - 80,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> Picasso, Pablo -- Fernando de Rojas. LA CÉLESTINE. [PARIS, EDITIONS DE L'ATELIER CROMMELYNCK, 1971.] One of the 30 copies hors commerce (n° X). 66 original etchings by Picasso. Signed. Est. €30,000 - €35,000
  • <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Magnificent Botanical Library of D. F. Allen. October 26, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Redouté, Pierre Joseph, and Claude Antoine Thory. <i>Les Roses</I>. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1817–1824. Est. $225,000 to $325,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Trew, Jakob Christoph. <i>Hortus Nitidissimis Omnen Per Annum Superbiens Floribus</i>… Nuremberg: Johann Joseph Fleischmann, 1750 [–1786]. Est. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Trew, Christoph Jakob, and Benedict Christian Vogel. <i>Plantæ Selectæ</i>…[Nuremberg:] 1750–1773; Supplement, [Augsburg:] 1790 [–1792]. Est. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Magnificent Botanical Library of D. F. Allen. October 26, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Jacquin, Nikolaus Joseph von. <i>Plantarum Rariorum Horti Caesarei Schönbrunnensis Descriptiones Et Icones.</i>Vienna; London; Leiden, 1797–1804. Est. $180,000 to $250,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Weinmann, Johann Wilhelm. <i>Phytanthoza Iconographia; Sive Conspectus Aliquot Millium, Tam Indigenarum Quam Exoticarum</i>… Regensburg, 1735–1737–1745. Est. $120,000 to $180,000

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