Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2015 Issue

Significant Single Sheets from the William Reese Company

Eee73d6a-6d18-44e9-8842-7f833a121292

Significant Single Sheets.

The William Reese Company has issued their Bulletin 37. Flat: Significant Single Sheets. There are no books nor even pamphlets here. Still, these are important historical documents. Containing primarily broadsides, these were announcements of important news or events from a time when there were no electronic means of relaying information quickly. Other items are official documents and such pertaining to issues of the day. These are a few samples of the important single page documents from many years ago.

 

The item seen on the cover is A Proclamation, issued by His Excellency the Hon. Thomas Gage on June 12, 1775. Gage was the military governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and to the locals, he was neither excellent not honorable. Gage had come from England to impose the Intolerable Acts, issued after the Boston Tea Party, and other indignities on the restless population. An attempt was made by British forces to seize weapons stored in Concord, leading to the Battle of Lexington and Concord, an American victory which highly displeased Gage and the British. Gage then issued this proclamation, which begins “Wheraes the infatuated Multitudes, who have long suffered themselves to be conducted by certain well known incendiaries and traitors, in a fatal progression of crimes, against the constitutional authority of the state, have at length proceeded to rebellion...” Gage proceeded to offer a pardon to all who would lay down their arms, except for the rebellion's leaders, notably John Hancock and Samuel Adams. It is not clear whether the colonists were more angered or amused by Gage's attempt to stifle their rebellion. Five days later, the British and Americans would be in battle again, this time at Bunker Hill, a British “victory” that was so costly in British casualties they could not afford to chance another such success. Item 1. Priced at $90,000.

 

Three years later, the British would attempt to be more conciliatory, but by then it was too late. Item 4 is a Manifesto and Proclamation. To the members of the Congress, the members of the General Assemblies or Conventions of the several colonies...and all others, free inhabitants of said colonies, of every rank and denomination... published in 1778. The British had been defeated at the Battle of Saratoga the previous year, and were concerned the colonists would form an alliance with France, making their task of holding onto the colonies even more costly. The offer was far more lenient than ever before. The British promised a full amnesty, repeal of Parliamentary taxes, and an arrangement for home rule within the colonial empire. Had this been offered prior to the Declaration of Independence, the colonists might have accepted, but by this point, nothing short of full independence was acceptable. The British made the offer both to the legislatures and to the people separately, hoping the people would agree to the deal on their own if their legislatures balked. They had no luck with either. $37,500.

 

Even before independence was declared, the Continental Congress was preparing for war. Item 19 is a broadside of an act of April 3, 1776 (the printing is somewhat later, possibly 1778). It is addressed as Instructions to the Commanders of Private Ships or Vessels of War...Authorizing Them to Make Captures of British Vessels and Cargoes. America had virtually no navy at the time, but an active merchant fleet that could act as privateers, capturing British ships and cargoes for a percent of the proceeds. It allows these ships to board and capture British vessels except those bringing settlers or weapons intended for use by the colonists. In an era when the use of torture is again being debated, it is interesting that America's founders, in this proclamation to privateers, expressly forbade the practice. “If you, or any of your Officers or Crew shall, in cold Blood, kill or maim, or by Torture or otherwise, cruelly, inhumanely, and contrary to common Usage and the Practice of civilized Nations in War, treat any Person or Persons surprised in the Ship or Vessel you shall take, the Offender shall be severely punished.” $17,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions