Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2017 Issue

American Scenes and Views from the William Reese Company

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American Scenes and Views.

The William Reese Company has released their Bulletin 48: American Scenes and Views. This is a collection that lets the pictures do the talking. The items presented range from single prints to books notable for their scenic views to portraits of people or groups of people. Sometimes the images are beautiful, America's spectacular natural wonders, other times gruesome, such as battle photographs from the Civil War. Such is the world. Here are a few examples.

 

The 1830's brought the realization that the customs and traditions of America's natives in their original state would soon disappear due to the overpowering advance west of settlers and others from the east. Three notable books filled with illustrations of that fading history were generated from travels west by artists during that period. Reese has two of them. Perhaps the best illustrations of all came from Karl Bodmer, a German artist. He accompanied Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuweid on a journey that lasted from 1832-1834. They traveled up the Missouri River as far as present-day Montana, visiting the Sioux, Mandan, Crow, Cree, and Blackfoot tribes. They spent the long North Dakota winter with the Mandan, not exactly typical living arrangements for a German prince. The visitors also stopped at other sites in America so there are illustrations from places such as Boston and New York, Lake Erie and Niagara Falls. Maximilian published his account of the journey in 1839-1841, with his text and Bodmer's numerous illustrations. The title is Reise in das Innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832 bis 1834. Item 33. Priced at $450,000.

 

The second of these early western Indian accounts came from American artist George Catlin. Catlin set out west during the 1830's with the purpose of preserving the last remnants of traditional Indian life in illustrations. He too made a journey up the Missouri and came back with the illustrations that would come to be the focus of his life. He went on tour, including off to Europe, to display his drawings and describe what he saw to attentive audiences. Catlin described the Indian as an "honest, hospitable, faithful, brave, warlike, cruel, revengeful, relentless, - yet honourable, contemplative and religious being." He even brought a few natives along on some of his European tours for an even closer look at these people who must have appeared quite unusual to 19th century European eyes. It was during a tour of Europe that Catlin had this collection of illustrations published in London in 1844: Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio... It contains 25 hand-colored plates of Catlin's drawings. Item 9. $110,000.

 

One of the earliest looks at American Indians, back in the day when Virginia was as far west as anyone ventured, came from Theodor De Bry. Item 24 is the first German edition of De Bry's work on travels, this being the American part of his series, published in 1590: Wunderbarliche, Doch Warhafftige Erklarvng, Von der Gelegenheit vnd Sitten der Wilden in Virginia. De Bry did not visit America. The account came from Thomas Hariot's visit to the Roanoke Colony in 1585. The illustrations were taken from those of John White, who was Lieutenant Governor of the colony. This is likely the best illustrated look at America's natives until Maximilian and Bodmer's visit over two centuries later. This is a very rare copy in that it features contemporary hand coloring. $400,000.

 

Next up is a finely illustrated account of a journey to the American West in the middle of the 19th century. The title is Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley... edited by James Linforth. However, it is not an account of Linforth's journey. The book covers a trip, but also contains information about Utah and the immigration of Mormons from Europe to Utah. This particular journey was that of Frederick Piercy, who beautifully drew images of various places he saw. He set out in 1853, arriving at New Orleans. He drew pictures on his arrival in New Orleans, Natchez, and then went up the Mississippi to draw the ruins of the earlier temple in Nauvoo, Illinois, and the jail in which Joseph Smith was killed. Other images include Council Bluffs, Fort Bridger, Laramie, Scotts Bluff, and scenes at his ultimate destination, Salt Lake. Piercy returned to Liverpool in 1855, the year in which this book was published. Item 31. $27,500.

 

Item 21 is the second volume (only) of the two-volume set regarded as the greatest photographic account of the Civil War – Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War, published in 1865. Gardner, who trained under Matthew Brady, compiled this account of scenes from the war, from those of soldiers and equipment in the ready, to ruins and horrific outcome scenes of battle. These shots come from the latter part of the war, so we see Appomattox, a Confederate prison, and lastly a monument dedication at Bull Run. Gardner was a Union man, so Confederate scenes were depicted after the territory was taken by Union forces. $50,000.

 

The William Reese Company may be reached at 203-789-8081 or amorder@reeseco.com. Their website is www.williamreesecompany.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <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>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

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