Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2016 Issue

A Miscellany from The Brick Row Book Shop

00731e66-4331-4b1b-9ef5-88778d3c9ed5

A miscellany from Brick Row.

The Brick Row Book Shop recently issued their Miscellany Sixty-Nine. Eighty-Five Distinctive Books, Manuscripts and Ephemeral Pieces. The catalogue may be new, but the book shop is one of the oldest in America, having just celebrated its 100th anniversary. It began in New Haven, founded by Yale students, but then began a long trek across country. It made stops in New York and Austin, Texas, before settling in its current home – San Francisco. This is probably as far west as it goes. Most of the books offered were already old when Brick Row was founded in 1915, though they could have purchased a few new. Topics are suitable for a miscellany. They vary. You have to look to know what is there. Still, we will present a few samples as a start.

 

George Luther Stearns lost his father at the age of nine, was forced to take work, and by 15 was supporting his family. He was an industrious young man, who would become a very successful merchant and industrialist. However, Stearns primary mission in life was not building wealth, but abolishing slavery. He became dedicated to the cause. He joined the Free Soil Party in the 1840's, his home served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. He was a major financier of the Emigrant Aid Company which settled opponents of slavery in Kansas when the battle raged as to whether that territory would become a free or slave state. He was also one of the "Secret Six" who financed John Brown. During the Civil War, he promoted the enlistment of African Americans, eventually recruiting thousands of black soldiers to aid the cause. He also established schools for their children and found jobs for family members. After the war, he helped found the Freedmen's Bureau to assist the recently freed slaves. In 1867, Stearns took ill and died, which takes us to this piece. Item 34 is Remarks on the Character of George L. Stearns. At Medford, April 14, 1867. The eulogist was Ralph Waldo Emerson, America's preeminent poet at the time and a great admirer of Stearns. Emerson also was an abolitionist, though it took him longer to fully develop his views, or to be as open and assertive about them. Priced at $650.

 

This was not America's most famous internal exploration, but it likely was the runner-up. Lewis and Clark take first prize for their journey through the northern part of the then newly acquired Louisiana Territory, but a few years later, Zebulon Pike led a mission to explore its southern reaches. Actually, Pike first attempted to find the headwaters of the Mississippi, so his account includes both that journey and the one that took him to what is now Colorado, and the discovery of Pike's Peak. Both trips are covered in his account, Exploratory Travels through the Western Territories of North America... Item 63 is the first English edition of 1811, following the Philadelphia edition of the year prior. Pike did not find the sources of the Red and Arkansas Rivers as hoped, but did get a first look at the newly acquired territory, and then sneaked across the border to do some spying in Spanish controlled New Mexico. He was captured and imprisoned, but later sent home. $7,500.

 

Next up is a promotion, of sorts, for Charles Grandison Finney, a lawyer turned preacher, whose powerful oratory drew thousands in the era of the Second Great Awakening. Operating in the Awakening's upstate New York birthplace, Finney would take his urgent message to the big city in 1832, preaching in the downtrodden Five Points Area of New York City, filled with lost souls. Finney combined fire and brimstone theology with radical social ideas, being a proponent of abolition and the rights of women and minorities. These latter views ended up drawing him to liberal Oberlin College in Ohio, where he became its second president. This undated broadside comes from the period of 1832-1835 when Finney preached at New York's Chatham Street Chapel. I am not sure whether this came from Finney's followers or his enemies. Finney saw himself battling the Devil, but in those days, people took their theological differences quite seriously, and his opponents thought of him as the voice of the Devil. The heading says, Sermon By The Green Mountain Devil, Now Preaching At The Chatham Street Chapel. A picture of a creepy looking Devil with a long tail, horns, and a bleeding finger, wearing a crown, is shown on the cover. "Oh Sinner! read and Repent, and escape the JAWS of the Devil! Item 7. $1,250.

 

For those who collect the poetry of Brooklyn, this next item is a must. Item 5 is Poems, on Various Subjects. The various subjects relate to Brooklyn, and the forgotten author was Joseph Hazard. Hazard was also a minister, indeed he undoubtedly was primarily a minister as his writings seem limited to this accumulation of local interest poetry and one of juvenile poetry published 25 years earlier. However, that earlier work was published in Litchfield, Connecticut, giving rise to the significance of this later compilation, published in 1814. It was the first book of poetry published in Brooklyn. Poetry must not have been that popular in Brooklyn at the time as Hazard had to publish his poems himself. This copy has a contemporary handwritten note saying it was received from the author. $950.

 

The Brick Row Book Shop may be reached at 415-398-0414 or books@brickrow.com. Their website is www.brickrow.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions