Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2015 Issue

New Acquisitions in Americana from the William Reese Company

73c96997-376e-4c8b-9141-3b252319870a

For readers of all ages?

The William Reese Company has issued their catalogue 323. This one comes with the cover title For Readers of All Ages (complete with a picture of a young girl reading a Reese catalogue on the cover), while the name on the title page is Recent Acquisitions in Americana. I figured...American children's books? I'm still not sure, other than this targets children a bit more mature than most I know. Constitutional issues, Indian captivities, slave revolts and the infamous Mandan O-Kee-Pa ceremony for children? Oh well, might as well teach them early. Meanwhile, the older folks in the family will love this catalogue. Here are a few examples.

 

Copies of the double elephant folio first edition of John James Audubon's Birds of America have sold as high as over $10 million. So how is Reese selling a copy for under $10,000? It turns out that collectors like his illustrations a little more than his text. Audubon is famous for his drawings much more than his writing, but his book about American birds included descriptions as well. However, British law required that books be deposited with nine separate libraries to secure a copyright. The plates for his Birds were very expensive to produce, so to get around the problem, Audubon published the text in five separate volumes from 1831-1839. Item 4 is a set of those volumes, entitled Ornithological Biography, or an Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America. These volumes contain more than just descriptions of the birds Audubon found. He also describes his adventures and anecdotes searching for the birds. He traveled as far south as the Florida Keys and west to the southeastern and border states, and the Mississippi River. Audubon herein recounts his travels. Priced at $9,500.

 

At the time Audubon was traveling west to paint American birds, George Catlin went west to paint America's native peoples. His journeys took him even farther west, as he traveled into the heartland on the other side of the Mississippi. Catlin was one of a few people who realized western influence would soon change Indian culture forever, so he determined to capture as much as he still could through his paintings. Eventually, he would take his paintings on the road, including Europe, to display American native culture to a world that knew virtually nothing about it. However, in time the show ran its course, and after the U. S. Senate voted against a bill to purchase his paintings, Catlin needed to make a living. So instead, he went off on the road promoting Samuel Colt's firearms. He painted various images of Colt's guns in use, both in North and South America. Six of these paintings were turned into lithographs, though apparently very few were made. Item 25 is one of those lithographs, circa 1855-1860, titled Catlin the Celebrated Indian Traveller and Artist, Firing his Colt's Repeating Rifle Before a Tribe of Carib Indians in South America. $13,500.

 

This next item proves that it isn't necessary to say a lot of words to have a major impact (it also proves you can say a lot of words and still not have a major impact). Item 97 is the first printing in book form of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. It comes with the title An Oration Delivered on the Battlefield of Gettysburg (November 19, 1863). The major oration that day was not Lincoln's. It was delivered by Edward Everett, former Senator from Massachusetts who was renown as the greatest orator of the day. It lasted almost two hours, comparing Gettysburg to various battles ranging as far back as Antiquity. Lincoln followed with his brief comments. This first book with his speech, following only a pamphlet edition known in just three copies, features Everett's speech. Lincoln's begins on page 40. Everett realized immediately that Lincoln's concise address was far better than his own, but it took others a little while longer to realize that Lincoln's words were momentous. $32,500.

 

Item 162 was every white slave owner's nightmare, filled with drama to magnify those fears: Authentic and Impartial Narrative of the Tragical Scene which was Witnessed in Southampton County (Virginia) on Monday the 22nd of August Last, when Fifty-five of its Inhabitants were Inhumanly Massacred by the Blacks! Published in 1831, it is an account of the Nat Turner Slave Rebellion. Turner was a slave who had learned to read the Bible and became a preacher. He was evidently quite good at it. Turner believed he had been called to lead in the battle between good and evil, and slavery certainly was a great evil. He viewed an eclipse of the sun to be his calling from God, and led a group of slaves and some free blacks on a killing spree of whites in the area. He wanted slave owners to understand that there would be retribution for their sins if they did not stop. Within a few days, the insurrection was put down, and many blacks, including Turner, were put to death. The fearful white community was left with a decision of finding a way to gradually free the slaves, or dig in their heels and be even more intransigent. They chose the latter. This pamphlet, naturally, focuses on the horrors experienced by whites, not the horrors of slavery inflicted upon the blacks. $13,500.

 

Item 29 offers a contemporary look at the Great Chicago Fire: The Lakeside Memorial of the Burning of Chicago, A. D. 1871, published the following year. It contains essays about the fire that killed several hundred people and laid much of the city to ruin. It also contains photographs. Within the text, there are photographs of locations in the city before the fire. Then there are 12 mounted photographs, evidently taken shortly after the fire. They record the destruction in ways words cannot. $4,000.

 

The William Reese Company may be reached at 203-789-8081 or amorder@reeseco.com. Their website is www.williamreesecompany.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> John Muir. <i>My First Summer in the Sierra</i>, Boston, 1911.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ernest Hemingway. <i>For Whom the Bell Tolls</i>, New York, 1940. First edition later printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Upton Sinclair. <i>The Jungle</i>, New York, 1906. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> George Orwell. <i>Nineteen Eighty-Four</i>, 1949. First American edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Harper Lee. <i>To Kill a Mocking Bird</i>, 1960. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Richard Wright. <i>Native Son</i>, New York, 1940. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Dryden, Congreve, and others. <i>Ovid’s Art of Love</i>, London, 1764. English translation of Ovid’s work.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> S. E. Hinton. <i>The Outsiders</i>, New York, 1967. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> J. D. Salinger. <i>The Catcher in the Rye</i>, Boston, 1951. Book club edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ayn Rand. <i>Atlas Shrugged</i>, New York, 1957. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> J. D. Salinger. <i>Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters</i> and <i>Seymour: An Introduction</i>, Boston, 1963. First [book] edition, third state.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Tennessee Williams. <i>Sweet Bird of Youth</i>, 1959. First edition.
  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
  • <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>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

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