Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

The American West and Much More from Back of Beyond Books


Back of Beyond Books Catalogue 17.

Back of Beyond Books has published their Rare Book Catalogue 17. Back of Beyond is noted for their concentration on the American West, the Southwest in particular, the Four Corners region in even more particular. However, this catalogue stretches way beyond those borders, and not just geographically. Yes, they have material that goes east, but also books unrelated to any specific geographical area, unless places like the Hundred Acre Wood are considered geographical locations. The catalogue is divided into categories, which should be helpful in gauging what you might find (except for the last category): National Parks, Western Americana, Mormon History, Classic Literature, Native Americana, Trade Catalogues, Natural History, Mining, Maps, Pocket Maps, and Miscellaneous. That last category means anything else you can imagine may be here. It's where you will find the 24-piece Charles Dickens plate set. Here are a few items on which to feast your eyes, rather than your palate.


General George Armstrong Custer couldn't have appreciated the irony of the title of his book when it was published in 1874: My Life on the Plains. Or, Personal Experiences with Indians. Custer will forever be remembered for his unfortunate final personal experience with Indians two years later. Up until that time, following his service during the Civil War, Custer spent most of his time in the West, pacifying Indians. Herein he tells about those times. The Indians got their revenge. Item 44. Priced at $950.


Probably the event San Francisco is most known for was its worst one. That always seems to be the case. Item 106 consists of two broadsides issued just after the disastrous earthquake of 1906. These are two slightly different versions of the "Shoot to Kill" broadside warning would-be looters to beware. It was issued by the Mayor, federal troops, and the police. It warns that all of these forces "have been authorized to KILL any and all persons found engaged in looting or in the commission of other crimes." Having to drag offenders off from the burning ruins to court was not a distraction they felt they could afford in this situation. One of the broadsides is dated April 18, 1906, the other April 13. Since the earthquake struck in the early morning hours of April 18, we can presume the latter date was in error. $1,950.


Item 152 is a boudoir card (large mounted photograph) of ten Indian prisoners taken in 1889, printed circa 1890. One of them is the Apache Kid. The Apache Kid had been captured by a rival tribe while a boy, but was freed by the U. S. Army. With no place else to go, he hung around army camps, becoming a scout, and because he was so good at it, rose to the rank of sergeant. However, after a drunken brawl with other scouts in which some were killed, he was court-martialed and sentenced to death. That sentence was reduced to life, then ten years, and then overturned. Unfortunately, some locals pushed for his rearrest. This time, he was sentenced to seven years. Several Indians escaped, but a couple of guards were killed. The Kid was on the run. Most of the Indians did not survive long thereafter, but what happened to the Apache Kid is uncertain. The most common theory is he lived thereafter rustling horses and was killed by a posse four years later, but others claimed he was still stealing horses decades later. No one knows for sure. $4,000.


What happened to Apache leader Geronimo is known. After a long and determined resistance to Mexican and American forces, he was finally subdued, the rest of his life spent as a prisoner, but also a celebrity, permitted to attend fairs and sign autographs, even invited to participate in President Theodore Roosevelt's inauguration parade. Item 158 is a photograph of Geronimo and three other adult Indians, one being Geronimo's son holding a baby. It was a posed photograph by Tombstone photographer Camillus Sydney Fly, taken in 1886, before his surrender. $5,200.


Item 285 is a stock certificate for a company whose name is still well-known today, even though they have been out of business for 90 years. The Stanley Motor Company, and its Stanley Steamer car, was one of the best in the early days of automobiles. The steam car competed well against the internal combustion engine cars for awhile, but as those became cheaper and easier to use, the steam cars lost their competitive advantages. Instead, they became weaker performers for more money. F. O. Stanley sold the declining company to Prescott Warren, who sold stock in the company. This 1917 stock certificate is signed by Warren. It comes with a couple of related documents, including a 1923 announcement the company was in receivership, and one from a stock broker in 1924 stating the stock was worthless. Not quite. The company was worthless, but today, the stock certificate is worth $600.


You may think you have the most thorough collection of maps imaginable, yet here is one you probably don't have. How about a map of potato rot? Item 219 is Map Showing the Distribution and Severity of Potato Rot in the United States in 1885, and Also Approximately the Distribution of the Potato Itself, by Erwin F. Smith. It likely comes from some forgotten Department of Agriculture publication. Now, your collection can be complete. $125.


Denver has lots of enormous snowstorms, so it takes something special to hold that city's record. That occurred on December 4-5, 1913, when 45.7 inches fell. Item 66 is a booklet entitled That Snow Storm: Its Flakes Its Flurries Its Freaks, by W. E. Heatley, published in 1914. It includes many pictures of people, buried automobiles, horse teams and more in the piles of snow. $250. If you prefer Colorado rain, there is Pueblo Flood in Word and Picture, by John A. Martin. It depicts the flooding and devastation wrought by the June 3, 1921 flood in Pueblo, Colorado. Item 82. $75.


Here is one more collection of pictures, a personal photograph album of illustrious doors in Providence, Rhode Island, circa 1910's. They were taken by the "locally renowned photographer of doors and door hardware Harold Mason." If you don't know him, you must not be from Providence. Back of Beyond explains that "Mason was known for his obsession with doors." If you share Mason's door fetish, you will cherish his album. Item 273. $425.


Back of Beyond Books may be reached at 435-259-5154 or andy@backofbeyondbooks.com. Their website is www.backofbeyondbooks.com.

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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