Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2006 Issue

Books and Manuscripts from John Waite Rare Books

Waite

Autumn 2006 from John Waite Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

From John Waite Rare Books we have received their Autumn 2006 Catalogue. Waite offers a wide variety of books and manuscripts, along with some photography. A few items reflect their northern New England location, in Ascutney, Vermont. However, most owe no such allegiance, and could as easily be found in a California bookshop. There is history, literature, poetry, "medicine," photography, art, first editions, politics, slavery and abolition, computers, and religion. And there is more. Here are a few samples.

Item 164 is a remarkable collection of sixteen signed letters from Theodore Roosevelt to social reformer Louisa Lee Schuyler. Schuyler was a great-granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton and Revolutionary War General Philip Schuyler, a woman of social status and friend of Roosevelt's father who dedicated much of her life to public causes. A progressive like Roosevelt, she was a volunteer with the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the Civil War and did much with the training of nurses. These letters run through four years of Roosevelt's presidency and the first four years after he left office. Some of the most interesting come from 1912 when Roosevelt was contemplating another run for the presidency against his hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft. They provide an insight into Roosevelt's feelings about Taft. Schuyler cautioned against the run, encouraging Roosevelt to wait until 1916, fearing (correctly) that 1912 would be a Democratic year. The former President explains that he has two choices, to declare he would accept the nomination of the Republican Party, or refuse it. He chooses to announce he would accept, not for his own interests, but because he feels it would be in those of the country. Writes Roosevelt on February 20, 1912, "Under no circumstances would I be for Taft's re-nomination. He is a reactionary, not primarily by preference, but simply because he does not understand the great questions that are up, and has no real convictions on them. He was an admirable lieutenant, but as a general he is utterly incompetent. If he should be nominated and elected, it would merely make the Republican Party a reactionary party, and not a particle more useful to the country than the Whig Party under Millard Fillmore. Under such circumstances I cannot support him for the nomination, even though as a choice of two evils it may be and doubtless will be necessary to support him against the Democrats if nominated…"

Of course what happened was that the Republicans nominated Taft anyway, but rather than accept the lesser of two evils, Roosevelt attempted a third party candidacy, beating out Taft, but losing to Democrat Woodrow Wilson. But, perhaps Roosevelt's unkindest cut at Taft was comparing him to Millard Fillmore. Ouch! In a letter on December 31, after the election was over, Roosevelt looks back on the election, and then comments, "Indeed I did not mind being shot a bit." Only T.R. could make such a statement. On October 14, a deranged gunman fired a shot at Roosevelt while traveling to a speech. The bullet struck him in the chest, but its full force was slowed by the thick manuscript of the speech in his pocket. Despite the injury, Roosevelt insisted on going ahead with the talk, and waved the speech with its bullet hole in front of the audience. Despite his attempt to avoid medical attention, he was finally forced to undergo hospitalization the next day. Doctors decided not to remove the bullet, and Roosevelt carried it within him the rest of his life. The sixteen letters are priced at $27,500.

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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