Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2015 Issue

A Summer Miscellany from L & T Respess Books

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A miscellany.

L & T Respess Books has reached a large, round number with the issuance of their List 300: An Early Summer Miscellany. Early summer may have turned to late, but this is still a fine collection of varied and interesting works, including both books and more ephemeral items. Here is a sampling of what is available.

 

We begin with an inscribed pamphlet that marked a notable turning point in the career of perhaps the Senate's greatest orator ever, Daniel Webster. Webster was a man devoted to the preservation of the Union, and became a great hero in the North standing up to South Carolina during the nullification crisis of the early 1830's. However, as anti-slavery sentiments built in the North over the ensuing years, Webster was more willing to compromise on those sentiments to preserve the Union. Of course, the same could be said of Lincoln a decade later, but in 1850, Webster supported Henry Clay's Compromise of 1850. That compromise included heavy-handed support of the Fugitive Slave Law, a hated law in the North as it forced Northerners, against their principles, to participate in the capture and return of runaway slaves. Webster's support of the compromise put an end to his dream of ever becoming President. In this Speech of Hon. Daniel Webster, on Mr. Clay's Resolution...March 7, 1850, Webster labeled slavery an evil, but not as evil as disunion. He warned the South there would be no secession without war, but also said that the North had not lived up to its requirements under the Fugitive Slave Law. Webster has inscribed this copy to Moor Russell, the largest merchant in Plymouth, New Hampshire, with family ties to important state political figures. This pamphlet is bound together with 11 other period pamphlets. Item 133. Priced at $2,250.

 

Item 38 is a most unromantic romance, The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan, published in 1905. Thomas Dixon paints a chivalrous image of the KKK, aggrieved southern white people fending off the abuses of northern Reconstructionists and uncivilized freed black slaves. While the book itself was not a big seller, the resulting play would become very popular in the South, and ten years later, a major success when adapted by D. W. Griffith into the movie Birth of a Nation. It provided the spur that enabled a fading Klan to reach greater numbers than it had seen in its earlier, post-Civil War days. While Dixon disavowed Klan violence, his sympathetic portrayal enabled it to achieve the size and strength needed to perpetuate its violence against blacks and other minorities. This copy is marked as a souvenir edition of the New York Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha, a fraternity founded at Virginia's Washington University (later Washington and Lee) shortly after the Civil War, which long draped itself in Confederate symbolism. $1,250.

 

Item 12 takes a look at internal transportation in America just as it was about to undergo a major shift: A Connected View of the Whole Internal Navigation of the United States, Natural and Artificial; Present and Prospective. George Armroyd's work, which contains 10 folding maps, hand-colored in outline, takes a look at shipping along America's lakes, rivers, and canals as of its date of publication in 1826. It covers such factors as expenses, mileage, tonnage, and proposes renovations to improve shipping. The book was published in 1826, at the dawn of the building of railroads, which would soon do to water shipping in America what highways would do to railroads at the turn of the 20th century. $4,500.

 

Next we have Instructions for the Grand Harmonicon, a musical instrument designed by Francis H. Smith of Baltimore in the 1820's. These instructions were printed in Baltimore in 1828. The chances are you don't have a Grand Harmonicon, although a few dozen are believed to have survived. The harmonicon was based on an instrument designed by America's most notable colonial inventor and polymath, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin called his the "armonica." It consisted of 25 glasses in a wooden cabinet, which were played by moistening the fingers and rubbing the edges in a circular motion. It is the principle that creates those strange tones when you do the same with a wine glass. However, instead of filling the classes with different amounts of water to create different notes, Smith's glasses were each blown to produce the desired tone. The sound created by the glass, as it is with wine glasses, is an ethereal one, unlike any other musical instrument. Beethovan and Mozart used similar instruments in their music, and such glass instruments are still used today to create haunting sounds. Item 91. $1,500.

 

Item 136 is Hell on the Border; He Hanged Eighty-Eight Men, by S. W. Harman, published in 1898. It is an account of the court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, that dealt with crimes in Oklahoma and Indian Territory, and its legendary judge, the infamous "Hanging Judge," Isaac Parker. Parker issued no-nonsense justice from the bench, much of it coming at the end of a rope. Parker was extreme even by Wild West standards. He served from 1875-1896, but as time wore on, the Supreme Court reduced the territory covered by his court, and overturned many of his convictions. Parker was not pleased, but the time for his form of justice had passed when he took ill and died in 1896. $1,750.

 

L & T Respess Books may be reached at 413-727-3435 or respessbooks@cstone.net.

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

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