Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2018 Issue

Recent Acquisitions in Americana from the William Reese Company

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New acquisitions in Americana.

The William Reese Company has issued their 352nd catalogue, Recent Acquisitions in Americana. This is something of an American history lesson, covering a variety of issues, famous and obscure, from the 18th and 19th centuries. There are a few British items, but they relate to America, and while Frenchman Louis Daguerre's book on photography might be a bit of a stretch, Americans have been taking millions of pictures ever since. Here are a few samples.

 

Abraham Lincoln was an obscure, one-term congressman when he challenged Senator Stephen A. Douglas for the senate seat from Illinois in 1858. The debates from his unsuccessful campaign, and a notable speech in 1860, would lead to his election as President four years later. Item 96 is the Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, Delivered in Springfield, Saturday Evening, July 17,1858. Lincoln doesn't advocate abolition, but repeats his "house divided" warning and urges slavery be put on a path toward its "ultimate extinction." Lincoln goes on to say that while blacks are not equal to whites "in all respects," that the Declaration of Independence asserts they are in some, including "the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." To that, Lincoln adds "the right to put into his mouth the bread that his own hands have earned." It's no wonder he was not popular in the South. Item 96. Priced at $8,500.

 

Unfortunately, the enmity Lincoln aroused in the South would catch up with him seven years later when he was assassinated. Item 1 is a pamphlet, The Assassination and Death of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, at Washington, on the 14th of April, 1865. This appears to be the first separately published account of the Lincoln assassination. It covers the events at Ford's theater on the 14th through the next morning. It was likely published within a few days of the assassination, prior to the capture of those involved. The author was Abott A. Abott. Anyone care to guess what the middle initial "A" in Abott Abott's name stands for? Item 1. $2,250.

 

Next we have another American President and his inaugural address. It is perhaps the most famous of all inaugural addresses, though hardly the most memorable, and his presidency at best received a grade of "incomplete." Item 78 is the rare first printing of the Inaugural Address of President Harrison, National Intelligencer...Extra. Thursday, March 4, 1841. It was the longest inaugural address ever delivered, a litany of the mistakes of the Jacksonian era and promotes the agenda of the Whig party, which won just this and one other presidential election. The length of William Henry Harrison's address was particularly notable, around two hours, delivered in a cold rain in Washington while the new President stood bareheaded. The 68-year-old new President caught a bad cold and a month later he was dead. His death was long attributed to his becoming ill from standing for two hours in the cold rain, though others now believe it was more likely sanitary conditions near the White House that cost him his life. Whatever the cause, his address was for naught as his successor, John Tyler, was not a real Whig and promptly abandoned the party agenda. $7,500.

 

How about one more President? This concerns the Jacksonian era at its beginning rather than its end, but it was written by a man no more enthralled with Andrew Jackson's virtues than was William Henry Harrison. The writer of this 1828 campaign piece was Dr. James L. Armstrong, and its title tells you all you need to know about Armstrong's opinion of Jackson: Reminiscences; or an Abstract from the Catalogue of General Jackson's 'Juvenile Indiscretions,' Between the Ages of 23 and 60. The sarcasm was sharp, but it wasn't enough to slay Jackson, who won the election anyway. Armstrong fills his pamphlet with examples of Jackson's "intemperate life and character," including duels and other altercations. He states that Jackson had "nearly one hundred fights or violent and abusive quarrels." Item 6. $950.

 

Here is the book describing the development of photography. Louis-Jacques Daguerre was not the only person playing around with the idea of photographic reproduction of images at the time, but he was the first to develop a practical process that achieved widespread acceptance. Item 42 is Historique et Description des Procédés du Daguerréotype at du Diorama, par Daguerre. Published in 1839, this is the rare first edition, first issue, second imprint (the first imprint is known in only three copies and essentially unobtainable). It was timed to come out with the first commercial production of Daguerre's cameras. It describes the process of developing the photographs, including images to help users master the process. Daguerre's cameras were an enormous success. The first imprint sold out within a few hours, and by the end of 1840, 40 versions of this manual had been published in eight languages. Daguerre's photographic process would remain the most popular until replaced by new "technology" in the 1850s. $32,500.

 

Next is an account of a trial for a crime unique to women - voting. At least, that was the case in 1872. Susan B. Anthony voted in Rochester during that presidential election, selecting the winning candidate, Ulysses S. Grant. Anthony was not a winner in her trial. Also tried were the election workers who accepted Anthony's vote and those of 15 other women who also voted. Item 5 is An Account of the Trial of Susan B. Anthony on the Charge of Illegal Voting at the Presidential Election in Nov., 1872, and...the Inspectors of Election by Whom Her Vote Was Received. The trial was in 1873, this account published in 1874. Anthony argued that the 14th Amendment, which provided equal rights to former slaves, also applied to women. The court was having none of such nonsense and convicted her. Anthony refused to pay the fine assessed and the state decided it was better to let that slide than make a federal case out of it. $3,500.

 

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>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.

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