Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2015 Issue

The Old West from Gene W. Baade


Western books.

Gene W. Baade Books on the West has issued their Catalogue 615. This catalogue will appeal to collectors of the West who never struck that vein during the Gold Rush. Nothing is priced in four digits, except when there is a decimal point in the middle, and only a few exceed double digits. Most books describe the West of the 19th century or early 20th, before old gave way to new. Once cars replaced horses, barbed wire replaced the open range, and guns became a recreation rather than a survival tool, the Old West was over. Still, it lives on in our memories and in these books. Here we go.


If we were responsible for our neighbors' behavior, Homer Croy would have been in deep trouble. Item 31 is a copy of his 1949 book, Jesse James Was My Neighbor. Well, sort of, but not really. James died the year before Croy was born. Nonetheless, Croy did grow up in the same part of Missouri where the James family lived, and as such, he spoke with many people who knew James personally. The result is that he does capture the essence of the man in this biography. The book comes with a humorous letter from Croy concerning its obtainability, and a news clipping on the death of 109-year-old James Russell Davis, a member of the James Gang. He had just testified at a 1950 hearing that youthful (102 years old) J. Frank Dalton was really Jesse James. Most believe James died after being shot in the back in 1882, but Dalton has his believers. Priced at $125.


Item 140 is a book by J. D. B. Stillman though it is the photographer's contribution that is notable: The Horse in Motion as shown by instantaneous photography with a Study on Animal Mechanics founded on the Anatomy and the Revelations of the Camera in which It is Demonstrated the Theory of Quadrupedal Locomotion, published in 1882. The photographer was Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge was a photographer of the West, who had photographed scenery, Indian battles, landmarks and the like. He was one of the best. However, his focus changed when Leland Stanford, a former California governor (for whom Stanford University is named) hired him to settle a bet. The issue was whether all four of a horse's feet are ever off the ground at the same time while trotting. There were debates over this issue (as well as while the horse is running), but the eye is not quite quick enough to determine the answer with certainty. Muybridge set up a series of cameras that would take numerous pictures at tiny intervals as the horse trotted by. Ultimately, he was able to establish through a specific frame that yes, indeed, the horse's feet were all off the ground at a particular moment. Stanford asked his friend J. D. B. Stillman to write the text to go with 100 of Muybridge's photographs. This ended in a split between Muybridge and Stanford as Muybridge felt he was given little credit in the book. However, he would then go on to focus his career on photographing animal locomotion, taking tens of thousands of photographs. He published several works on the subject after this book, some very well known and valuable today. He also produced a machine that could display the photographs in rapid succession. It created the impression of motion. Muybridge had developed a precursor of motion pictures. $650.


Item 3 is a newspaper with a contemporary account of the Battle of the Alamo. It is the April 16, 1836 edition of Atkinson's Saturday Evening Post, and if April 16 doesn't quite sound contemporary for a battle which ended on March 6, in those days, it took that long for information to wind its way back to Philadelphia. On the second page, the Post reports on Horrible Butchery. Highly Important from Texas. The article first covers the early slaughter of the Texians at Goliad, followed by the massacre at the Alamo. The newspaper's pro-Texian position is clear, claiming more than 1,000 Mexicans had died (an exaggeration though many did), while pointing out that Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and William Travis had all died. Only two people (it was actually a few more), were spared, a woman and Travis' Negro slave, who were sent to Sam Houston to encourage the Texians lay down their arms. The Post quotes Houston as responding to Santa Anna, "you have succeeded in killing some of our brave men, but the Texians are not yet conquered." Santa Anna believed the defeat would discourage the settlers and lead them to flee Texas, but the effect was the opposite. The Post correctly noted that it led more of them to take up arms to overthrow Mexican control. Just five days after this article was published, in a stunning reversal, the Texians thoroughly defeated Mexican troops at San Jacinto, captured Santa Anna, and forced him to grant independence to Texas. $200.


Next up is a printing of Four American Indian Songs from 1909 by a once popular American composer who seems to have vanished into time. Charles Wakefield Cadman was a prolific writer of songs, operas, and orchestral pieces during the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he avoided European influences, focusing on American sources, most notably those of the country's natives. He was closely associated with the musical "Indianist Movement." Cadman spent a substantial amount of time with the Omaha and other tribes listening to their music, which became a base for many of his works. Among these four songs is the one probably best remembered of the hundreds of works Cadman wrote – From the Land of the Sky-blue Water. Does that sound sort of familiar? Certainly, if you are from Minnesota or the upper Midwest that must ring a bell. It was for years the song/jingle used in the Hamm's Beer commercials. Hamm's rewrote the lyrics. It was a favorite of the Hamm's Bear. Sadly, Hamm's ceased to be an independent brewer in 1968, and has been passed around through numerous owners since, currently made by Miller. I don't know if they still use sky-blue Minnesota water, whether the song is still used, the bear still dances, or whether the beer tastes the same as it did in the 1960's (it was decent back then). It is now a regional brand sold only in someone else's region. It is more a memory, like Cadman's music. Item 18. $135.


Gene W. Baade Books on the West may be reached at 425-271-6481 or bookwest@q.com. The website is www.booksonthewest.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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