Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2006 Issue

Canadiana and Other Curious Things from David Ewens

Ewens

Canadiana and Curious Things from David Ewens.


By Michael Stillman

We have received our first catalogue from Canadian Bookseller David Ewens. His Catalogue 60 is headed Canadiana, Americana, Directories, Arctic, and Curious Things. That is exactly what is found in this catalogue. Most items have a Canadian connection, but not all. Not surprisingly, where there is Canadiana there is Americana. There is, naturally, a substantial amount of arctic material in a Canadian catalogue, since much of Canada is either in the arctic, or a lot closer to it than I would care to be. Ewens has a surprisingly large collection of old Canadian city directories. Finally, material that doesn't fit those categories includes some truly curious things. Here is a look inside the covers.

We cannot help but start with the curiouser of the curious. Ewens offers seven items related to Richard Brothers, and as an aside, Brothers was too daffy to be a sensible Canadian. So, as a young man, he moved from his birthplace in Placentia, Newfoundland, to Britain. Richard Brothers was a 30-something former sailor with the British Royal Navy when he began to receive revelations. He began as a healer in 1792, and his fame quickly spread. Over the next three years, he would reveal many things to the public, at least one of which was dead on (the killing of the King of France). Among other revelations were that many Englishmen were really descendants of the Hebrews, that he was Prince of the Hebrews, that he was a direct descendant of King David and of Jesus' brother James, which, he pointed out, made him God's nephew. However, when he started predicting the death of the English King, and that he was the rightful King of England, the authorities arrested him for treason. Rather than convicting him of this charge, the authorities found Brothers insane and locked him up.

Still, this did not stop Brothers from writing books and pamphlets, and he garnered a surprisingly large following for someone with such odd views. Among his followers was Nathaniel Halhed, a respected Orientalist and Member of Parliament, who spoke up in his defense. Brothers apparently even influenced some New England cults as his books were published in America. He went on to predict that late in 1795, he would be revealed as ruler of the world. As we now know from hindsight, this did not come to pass. Many of his embarrassed followers began to drift away, Halhed resigned from Parliament, and Brothers' day had passed. The last of his works was published in 1797, but his following disappeared. He was released from the asylum in 1806, and spent the rest of his life preparing for his move to the New Jerusalem, but he was by then a lonely, forgotten figure. He died still in London in 1824.

Item 36 is Brothers' A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies & Times. Book the First. Wrote Under the Direction of the Lord God...Containing, with Other Great and Remarkable Things, Not Revealed to any Other Person on Earth, the Restoration of the Hebrews to Jerusalem, by the Year 1798: Under their Revealed Prince and Prophet. Brothers was exactly one and one-half centuries early on his prediction of the restoration of the Hebrews to Jerusalem, and wrong about who would lead them. This was his first work, published in 1794. Priced at $850 Canadian (approximately US $739). Other Brothers related material offered include some of the "Prophet's" other works, as well as those of both his supporters and detractors. It is an interesting look at a late 18th century charismatic religious movement that suddenly burned brightly, and just as quickly, faded away.

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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