Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

A Miscellany from Maine by J & J Hanrahan

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A Miscellany.

J & J Hanrahan of Wells, Maine has released their List 63 – Miscellany - 2016. Being a miscellany, it's impossible to pinpoint what you may find here. Naturally, there are items from the booksellers' native Maine, but also from places far away, like New Hampshire. But then again, you can find Chicago, California, England, Germany, so the range is wide. There is a goodly number of New Hampshire selections as there is a lengthy section of White Mountain items. The White Mountains cross the northern half of New Hampshire. During the 19th century in particular, it was a favorite getaway spot for wealthy residents of Boston, New York, and other eastern cities. In the summer, it is hot and humid in those cities, and in the 19th century there was no air conditioning, and in those homes, often little air circulation either. Trips to the mountains were impossibly difficult during the beginning of the 19th century, but the railroads made it feasible, though the lack of direct routes still made it a lengthy, complicated journey. Now, we will take off on a journey through the pages of this fascinating catalogue.

 

While no one person started the American Revolution, perhaps the closest to its father was James Otis. John Adams later described a speech made by Otis in 1761 as the moment "the child of independence was born." Relations between Britain and their American colonists broke down quickly after the French and Indian War ended in 1763. However, Otis was agitating even earlier. He was upset by the writs of assistance England adopted in 1760, which allowed Boston's customs officials to enter anyone's home whenever they pleased to search for contraband. Otis, in a powerful speech, delivered a long, stirring call against the practice. Then, in 1764, Otis published this pamphlet, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved. Otis was responding to the Sugar Tax, the first of a series of taxes imposed upon the colonies without their approval. It was Otis to whom the phrase "taxation without representation is tyranny" is attributed. Otis believed people were entitled to freedoms under natural law. Unusual even among revolutionaries, he believed that natural law extended to black people as well. After this pamphlet was published, Otis would continue to agitate against British actions, including the even more hated Stamp Act. Unfortunately, Otis suffered from a deteriorating mental state, aggravated by a blow to the head by a customs official in 1769, so he faded from leadership in the cause as the Revolution grew near. He died in 1783 after being struck by lightening. Item 47. Priced at $1,500.

 

In 1831, John Quincy Adams delivered a eulogy in Boston to his predecessor as President, An Eulogy: On the Life and Character of James Monroe, Fifth President of the United States. Adams had served as Monroe's Secretary of State for eight years at a time when that position, more so than even vice-president, served as a stepping stone to the presidency. It was Adams who wrote the Monroe Doctrine and was involved in obtaining Florida while serving as Monroe's Secretary of State. This copy is inscribed by Adams to Edward Everett. Everett was a congressman at the time, later served briefly as Secretary of State himself, and was known as one of the greatest orators of his time. It was Everett who delivered the Gettysburg Address – no, not the brief one given by Abraham Lincoln that day on the battlefield. Everett gave the longer, featured address, which was soon forgotten behind Lincoln's stirring words. Item 1. $2,500.

 

Next up is another presidential presentation copy. Though not highly popular in his time, Adams is well regarded by most historians today. This next President is not. The book is An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, by Howard Stansbury, published in 1852. This was a scientific mission, though Brigham Young at first feared that the purpose was to push out the recently arrived Mormon settlers. Stansbury was evaluating trails to the west coast, scouting out possible routes for a transcontinental railway. This copy of his book was inscribed to a Dartmouth professor by Franklin Pierce, not yet but soon to be President of The United States. In fact, it is dated November 2, 1852, which was the day before Pierce was elected to the presidency. Item 22. $1,250.

 

Here is one of those White Mountains items, one designed to bring out their spectacular beauty. Item 66 is Gems of American Scenery Consisting of Stereoscopic Views Among the White Mountains. With a Descriptive Text. It contains 24 views and a double-page map of the White Mountains. Stereoscopic images are where they have two almost identical, but slightly shifted images side by side. You look through the viewer and it creates an illusion of three dimensions, like 3-D glasses. You can even view these images steroscopically today as the viewer is still attached to the book, but can be extended so as to look through it at the pictures. This was a patented addition by publisher and photographer Edward Bierstadt, lesser known brother of artist Albert Bierstadt. This book was published in 1878. $1,000.

 

The tallest of all of New Hampshire's White Mountains, and the highest of any in the northeastern United States, is Mt. Washington. It stands 6,288 feet tall, which may not sound like much to those living in the West, but it starts almost from sea level. The weather on Mt. Washington would make even the Rockies feel like Florida. It is cool in summer, but tolerable. Many take the railroad to the summit during the season. In the winter it is regularly below zero, with the lowest ever around -50 degrees. Still, this is not the worst part of the weather. Its relative height and location can make for fierce winds. The gales reach hurricane force 110 days a year, and it holds the record for highest wind speed ever recorded in the northern hemisphere – 231 mph. Wind chills can exceed -100 degrees. Long before official records were kept, Nathaniel Noyes made the trek up the mountain and recorded conditions for 100 consecutive days, June 8 – September 16, 1854. During that period, temperatures ranged from 24° – 66°. It must have been a warm summer, as it reached 60° 17 times, compared to a normal of 13-14. However, by September 11, signs of winter appeared, temperatures below freezing all day, winds reaching hurricane force, and snow covering the ground. Noyes was ready to go five days later when his 100 days on the mountain were up. His account is entitled Temperature of the Weather at the Summit of Mount Washington New Hampshire, published in 1854. Item 93. $1,500.

 

J & J Hanrahan may be reached at 207-646-1811 or hanrahan@maine.rr.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>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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