Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2006 Issue

Rare and Unusual Americana from Michael Ginsberg Books

Gs150

Michael Ginsberg's latest catalogue of Rare and Unusual Americana.


By Michael Stillman

We have received our first catalogue from Americana bookseller Michael Ginsberg Books, of Sharon, Massachusetts. This is Ginsburg catalogue 150 of Rare and Unusual Americana. Both of those terms apply well to Ginsburg's collection, which is filled with the unexpected and unusual. For example, how did a collection of 1870s Alabama state documents end up in Massachusetts of all places? It includes everything from reports of the Governor, Treasurer, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, to those of the Inspectors of the Alabama Penitentiary, Officers of the Freedmen's Hospital, Officers for the Alabama Institution For the Deaf and Dumb and Blind, and the Officers of the Alabama Insane Hospital. You can even read about pardons issued by the Governor and his reasons for granting them. Item 3; priced at $1,000. Here are a few more of the items in Ginsburg's latest catalogue.

This is one more interesting southern item: The Interest in Slavery of the Southern Non-Slaveholder. The Right of Peaceful Secession. Slavery in the Bible. This 1860 Charleston item, by James DeBow, touches on one issue that had the potential to divide the South, and make secession, as well as the long-term prospects for the continuation of slavery, untenable. The issue was that most southerners were not themselves slaveholders, and had little personal interest in the institution that they would be called upon to make great sacrifices to defend. A few southerners even argued that slavery was bad for most small white farmers, who were forced to compete against large plantations which had the benefit of unpaid labor. It was essential to the secessionist cause that those who did not own slaves believe they had an interest in maintaining slavery. Item 65. $500.

The last item was an argument to poorer southerners, attempting to convince them that something not apparently in their interest really was. Item 159 is a northern attempt at a similar argument directed toward the South. Item 159 is Profits On Manufactures at Lowell. Letter from the Treasurer of a Corporation to John S. Pendleton, Esq. Virginia, by Thomas G. Cary, published in Boston in 1845. At that time, there was much resentment in the South toward tariffs designed to protect American manufacturers, who were overwhelmingly located in the North. The tariffs raised prices on goods needed in the South, while inviting retaliatory tariffs on southern cotton shipped to foreign lands. In this pamphlet, Cary argues that the tariffs, by protecting American textile manufacturers, who used southern cotton, had the effect of protecting their southern cotton suppliers as well. Cary also claimed that the images of great wealth possessed by northern manufacturers were greatly exaggerated. This is a presentation copy from the author to "Hon. John Quincy Adams," a former president serving in Congress at the time. $475.

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 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, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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