Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2015 Issue

Scarce and Interesting Books from Patrick McGahern Books


Rare and interesting books.

Patrick McGahern Books has released their Catalogue 236 Rare, Scarce, and Interesting Books. In other words, we have a variety of uncommon, intriguing books here. McGahern is located in Ottawa, so there is more Canadian material than in most catalogues, but hardly dominating. There is much from south of the border and across the ocean. We even find an item of incunabula, which obviously is not going to be Canadian in origin. Here are a few of the items you will find in this interesting catalogue.


Item 32 is an item from that most difficult period in relations between Britain and the United States after the Revolution. The U.S. found itself close to war at times with both sides in the Napoleonic conflicts. Both England and France interfered with American shipping, trying to prevent the other from conducting trade. Americans believed they should be free to trade with whomever they wished. However, the British had one additional annoyance. They impressed American seamen into the Royal Navy, contending they were born British citizens and therefore were eligible to be drafted. In 1807, this situation was ratcheted up when supposedly British seamen deserted and later sailed on American ships. The British got wind that some deserters were sailing on the American ship Chesapeake. When the Chesapeake, sailing off the coast of Virginia, did not comply with British orders, the HMS Leopard fired upon her. The Chesapeake was not prepared. Three of its crew were killed, many more injured, and Commodore James Barron quickly surrendered. The aftermath was four deserters were captured. Three, American citizens, were ultimately returned, but the one who was a British citizen was hanged. Commodore Barron was court-martialed and suspended for five years. Meanwhile, the American public was angered. It was one more humiliation that would eventually lead to the War of 1812. Item 32 is Papers Presented to the House of Commons, Relating to the Encounter Between His Majesty's Ship Leopard, and the American Frigate Chesapeake, published in 1809. Priced at CN$350 (Canadian dollars, or approximately $285 in U.S. dollars).


Here is an unusual employment opportunity for British young men in 1836. Item 13 is a broadside headed Notice. About Twenty Young Able Bodied Farm Laboring Servants, newly married, (or with not exceeding one child each) are required to go to North America, in the month of May, next. The term is stated as five years with pay at £17 per annum. At the end of the five years the not quite so young any longer men and their brides get a choice. If they wish to return to England, free passage will be provided. If they would rather stay, they may, if their employers were satisfied with their performance, receive a grant of free land. CN $1,000 (US $815, or 30 years worth of labor at £17 per annum).


Did you know T. S. Eliot's mother was also a poet? I didn't either. She was, and here is proof – Savonarola, A Dramatic Poem. With an Introduction by T. S. Eliot, published in 1926. Even with a six-page introduction by her famous son, this first edition was only printed in 300 copies. Charlotte Eliot had been writing poems long before her son, but they mostly appeared in religious periodicals. Her celebrity was quite limited. Still, her influence on at least one notable poet was great. Savonarola was a typical subject for Mrs. Eliot. He was a religious leader in late 15th century Florence. He combined reform and vigorous attacks against corruption in the Church with an extreme rejection of worldly goods and pleasures worthy of the purist of the Puritans. Eventually, his extreme positions and attacks on the Church led to his downfall. He was excommunicated and shortly thereafter hanged, his body burned. Item 24. CN $350 (US $285).


Next is the report of the first thorough geological survey of Newfoundland. It took place in 1839-1840 and was undertaken by the preparer of this report, Joseph Beete Jukes. The interior of the then British colony was virtually uncharted at the time. Item 56 is the General Report of the Geological Survey of Newfoundland...During the Year 1839 and 1840, published in 1843. The report was first published the previous year as part of a separate publication, but this issue contains the first comprehensive map of the interior of Newfoundland. CN $1,500 (US $1,222).


Item 20 is an autograph letter from George Ramsay, Ninth Earl of Dalhousie, or simply Lord Dalhousie. Dalhousie served as Governor General of Canada from 1820-1828, along with numerous other posts throughout his career. Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, along with many other things Dalhousie in Canada are named for him. He tried to bring order and progress to Canada, but it was a tough battle between competing British and French populations and other divisions. It was trying for Dalhousie, who was rather aristocratic and not very tolerant of disobedience. In 1828, the British deemed it best to transfer him to India. In this letter, Dalhousie orders two pipes of wine and a half a cask of sweet malmsey, a sweet wine. I am not sure what these old English measurements come to – perhaps 250 gallons of wine – but whatever it is is not small. It should be noted that this was intended to last for a substantial amount of time, it having to be shipped from England. Dalhousie does, in his polite aristocratic manner, point out his supplier's previous shortcoming, writing, "I am sorry to say that my last wine by the Phaeton was by no means so great as what you formerly sent me." CN $1,200 (US $978).


Patrick McGahern Books may be reached at 613-230-2277 or books@mcgahernbooks.ca. Their website is www.mcgahernbooks.ca

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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