Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2006 Issue

More of The Unusual from Thomas Cullen

Cullen40

The latest from Buffalo area bookseller Thomas Cullen.


By Michael Stillman

We have received catalogue number 40 from Thomas Cullen, Rockland Bookman. Cullen offers an unusual collection of books and manuscripts, unusual but always interesting. His catalogues always leave you asking, "where did he find that?" Along with books, he manages to find diaries pushing two centuries old, old photo albums, autographs, letters, catalogues, and just about anything else that fits the books and ephemera category. You will be entertained just seeing what he has, and most of these items, unusual if not unique, are very reasonably priced. Thomas Cullen's catalogues are designed for almost anyone's budget. Here are a few of the items he has.

Here is a fascinating item for American history enthusiasts. Item 8 is The Annual Register Or A View of the History, Politics and Literature for the Year 1770. This London item includes an account of "the unhappy riot at Boston in New England." This would be none other than the Boston massacre, which so incensed residents of that city it would be a rallying cry for the revolution that would come a few years hence. The dead and wounded are listed, including "a mulatto man, named Crispus Attuck, born in Framingham, ...also killed instantly; two balls entering his breast..." Crispus Attucks is considered by many to be the first American to die in the revolution, and for all the discrimination that followed, it's hard not to appreciate the fact that the first American patriot to sacrifice his life for our freedom was a black man. Also recounted is the trial of the British commander, Thomas Preston, his defense by John Adams, and his ultimate acquittal. Priced at $325.

Do you remember the Studebaker? My father bought one shortly after the War. Their sleek styling was way ahead of its day. It would not be until the mid-1950s that other automakers would catch up. Unfortunately, Studebaker's costs were high and it did not have the means to compete with the Big Three in terms of pricing as auto sales ramped up. It merged with Packard, and after a brief run in the early 1960s based on its trendsetting compact "Lark," it was crushed when the Big Three introduced their own compacts. The last Studebaker rolled off the assembly line in 1966. However, Cullen takes us back to an earlier day, and a Studebaker that not even those of us who recall their cars still remember. Item 118 is Studebaker Vehicles, Trade Edition 1910. There are no automobiles in this catalogue. Though they did build electric cars earlier, the first gasoline powered Studebaker was produced in 1913. This is a catalogue of Studebaker wagons, buggies, and the like. Founded in the 1850s by the five Studebaker brothers, many of the wagons that carried settlers and their belongings into the West were Studebakers. Not Fords or Chevys, but Studebakers. Of course, most of these had just one horsepower. $325.

Are you a fan of illustrator Howard Pyle? He was a famed book illustrator at the turn of the last century, particularly of children's adventure tales. He also taught many other artists of his day, including N.C. Wyeth. Of course, an autographed Pyle book would be of special interest to anyone who collects him. How about 16 Pyle autographs? Seriously. Item 61 is a copy of Oliver Wendell Holmes' 1894 Houghton, Mifflin The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, illustrated by Pyle. This copy comes with an inscription to "my fellow artist, Kate Smalley." However, 15 of the plates are also signed, including comments on them, such as "I think this is one of the best of the set," and "This is Dr. Holmes favorite." $3,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions