Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2015 Issue

The Latest Variety from James Cummins Bookseller

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Catalogue 129.

James Cummins Bookseller has prepared the firm's Catalogue 129. Cummins offers a varied selection of fine material. Items range from books to documents, photographs, and archives. Subjects vary widely and include both fact and fiction. Here are a few samples.

 

First up is The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony... This is a two-volume set written by Ida Husted Harper published in 1898. Anthony had been at work pushing for women's rights and the right to vote for 50 years by that time, but she was still alive and well. In fact, she has inscribed both of these volumes to fellow suffragette Charlotte A. Thomas of Portland, Maine. One wishes a Happy New Year, the other expresses "love and admiration," from "her sincere friend and co-worker." A third volume was published after Anthony died which, not surprisingly, is not with these signed volumes. Charlotte Thomas came from a family that vigorously supported woman suffrage and abolition in Maine. Their home hosted women's advocates Susan Anthony and Lucy Stone, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, and was a stop along the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves. Item 2. Priced at $6,500.

 

Next we have another inscribed book, from a contemporary of Ms. Anthony, though his reputation came from fantasy, not cold reality. Item 25 is King George's Middy, by William Gilbert, published in 1871. The inscription comes not from Gilbert, but from the better known author Horatio Alger. Alger was a prolific writer, and his most successful novels followed a predictable path. A poor but hardworking boy does some wonderful deeds and ends up being recognized and rewarded, often by someone rich, and goes on to live a good middle class life. They are the classic rags to riches stories. Alger inscribed this copy to George Seligman in 1871. Alger was hired by young George's father to tutor his five sons. George and his brother Isaac were particularly fond of their instructor, as was their father, on whose recommendation Alger would later tutor future Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo. $2,500.

 

Item 66 is an unexpected item for 1796 Virginia, A Dissertation on Slavery: With a Proposal for the Gradual Abolition of it, in the State of Virginia. The author was St. George Tucker, a highly respected lawyer and judge in the state. Tucker thought slavery a blight on the state. It was inconsistent with the democratic and free ideals of the state. Europeans had come to America to enjoy these great rights, but Africans were denied them. Tucker consulted with leaders from the North to discuss how they dealt with slavery. Gradual emancipation was applied in some northern states, and Tucker came up with such a plan for Virginia. It had to do with gradual emancipation of the female children of slaves, which would eventually do away with slavery altogether. Tucker was not a racial egalitarian. He admitted to some prejudices, and the freed slaves would have had virtually no rights in Virginia. It was essentially a plan to free the slaves and encourage them to move elsewhere. Nonetheless, his plan was way too sympathetic to the slaves for the Virginia planters who owned slaves and controlled the legislature. It went nowhere. $2,000.

 

Item 75 consists of a scrapbook with 51 photographs, 15 other photographs, newspaper clippings, a menu, concert program, and other materials from the little-known Sosua community during World War II. In 1938, a conference – the Evian Conference – was held to deal with the plight of Jewish refugees escaping from Nazi controlled territory in Europe. Franklin Roosevelt called the conference in hopes of getting other nations to take in refugees, as the idea was not popular in the U. S. The conference proved a failure from an absence of takers. There was, however, one exception. Dominican Republic leader Rafael Trujillo agreed to take in 100,000 Jewish refugees and provide them with land to settle and farm. Trujillo, eventually overthrown and killed by his own people, was a dictator and generally not a notable humanitarian. Undoubtedly, he was to a large extent motivated by bringing in people he believed would help the island's economy. Nonetheless, it was a remarkable and otherwise solo gesture. Ultimately, only 800 Jewish refugees made it to Sosua, though they were able to operate a dairy and cheese factory. Germany shut off the flow of refugees out of Europe, preferring murder instead. The archive includes a typed signed letter from Trujillo promising more land if more refugees arrived and saying workers must have a place to rest and take holidays. $12,500.

 

Item 39 is a first English edition of To Kill A Mockingbird, published in 1960. It is in fine condition with an almost fine dust jacket. To those not familiar with the book, it is a prequel to author Harper Lee's recent best-seller, Go Set A Watchman. $1,200.

 

James Cummins Bookseller may be reached at 212-688-6441 or info@jamescumminsbookseller.com. The website is www.jamescumminsbookseller.com.

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>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Extremely Fine Copy of Fantasy Classic. Tolkien (J.R.R.) <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,</i> L. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Museum Street) 1937. €20,000 to €30,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Incunabula. [Sirectus, Antonius] O’Fihely (Maurice)Abp. <i>Formalitates de Mente Doctoris Subtilis Scoti Nec Non Stephai Burlifer cum novis additionibus…</i> Venice 14th December 1051 (ie. 1501). €3,000 to €4,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Original Book Illustrations by Pamela Leonard. Illustrations: Regan (Peter) Touchstone, 8vo D. (Mount Salas Press) 1989. €3,500 to €4,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> [Petit (Jean), Prevel (Jean) & Gregory (Pope)] [Gregorius]. <i>Compendium Textuale Compillationis decretalium Gregorri noni sine qua…</i>, Paris [Dec. 1524]. €350 to €500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Excessively Rare – V. Fine Copy. [Mac Mahon]. <i>Jus Primatiale Armacanum, In Omnes Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, et Universum Clerum</i>… [n.p.] 1728. €750 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Madden (R.R.). <i>Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia and Palestine in 1824, 1825, 1826 and 1827,</i> 2 vols. 1822. €500 to €700
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Early English Herbal. Gerarde (John). The Herball or General History of Plants, thick folio L. (John Norton) 1597. €700 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The Tehran World War 2 Conference Photograph: [Tehran Conference 1943] An important and iconic Group Photograph showing Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. €80 to €120
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Natural History Specimens from Jersey Jersey Islands: Westacton [Mrs Acton] Collection of 53 original dried examples of Seaweed collected in Jersey, c. 1860. €300 to €400
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Plyglot Bible: Hutteri (Eliae). <i>Biblia Sacra, Ebraice, Chaldaice, Graece, Latinae, Germanice, Sclavonice.</i> Lg. folio Nurimberg 1599. €250 to €350
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The American Invasion 1888: “First Ever G.A.A. Hurling Match in America” Medal: G.A.A., The Invaders, 1888. €2,000 to €3,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> “Babe” Ruth and the G.A.A. G.A.A. & Baseball: A unique and early Sporting Association. An original Spalding B12 Baseball Bat. €4,000 to €6,000

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