Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2007 Issue

A Variety from Patrick King Rare Books

King

Bulletin 43 from Patrick King Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from Patrick King Rare Books of Stony Stratford, UK. It is titled merely Bulletin 43, but that is sufficient since this catalogue is not targeted to a particular subject. The material is generally British in origin, though much of it extends far beyond those shores. For example, collectors of Americana will find this catalogue of great interest as many of the works touch on the area which was, after all, once a British colony. Sometimes items related to America that are hard to find in America can show up continents away. Here are a few of the titles offered within these pages.

Here is an 1829 Liverpool annual with an article by one of the most collectible of Americans, John James Audubon. The publication is The Winter's Wreath, a Collection of Original Contributions in Prose and Verse. It is composed mainly of works by local writers and artists. However, Audubon was in Liverpool during 1827, and spent Christmas at the home of the brother of this publication's editor. This probably led to the not-yet famous ornithologist being persuaded to contribute a piece. Audubon's article in entitled Journey up the Mississippi, and it recalls a trip he made on the river in 1810, culminating in a swan hunt (Audubon hunted swans?) with local Indians. Item 4. £350 (British pounds, or roughly US $676).

Speaking of Liverpool, it was probably a fairly calm place when Audubon visited it, but that would not be the case on January 6 and 7 of 1839. On the night of January 6, Liverpool was hit by a terrible storm, called a "hurricane," though the odds of what we today consider a "hurricane," a storm arising in the tropics, hitting as far north as Liverpool, and in January no less, seem highly remote. Still, it was a horrible storm that was described in the Narrative of the Dreadful Disasters occasioned by the Hurricane, which visited Liverpool... Roofs were torn off of homes, trees uprooted, houses encrusted in salt spray, and 100 people on ships in the harbor lost their lives. This report, compiled just a week after the storm, provides a detailed account of the devastation. Item 66. £165 (US $319).

Item 150 concerns the discoverer of America, and no, he did not sail in 1492, and his name is not Columbus. Actually, he preceded that usurper by three centuries. The book is An Enquiry into the Truth of the Tradition, Concerning the Discovery of America, by Prince Madog ab Owen Gwynedd, about the Year, 1170... The author of this 1791 polemic is John Williams, a believer in the Madog, or Madoc tale. Madoc was supposedly a prince, son of the King of Wales. During battles over who would succeed his father when the latter died, Madoc decided to lead a group of sailors to sea. They discovered something of a utopian new world, some say in Florida, others the Gulf Coast. Madoc returned to Wales and rounded up more settlers and returned to America, or whatever it was called at the time. They were never heard from again. Supposedly they eventually moved up the Mississippi and mingled with various Indian tribes. No one knows exactly where the story began, but it started appearing in the 16th century, and Welsh pride, and English interests in showing a pre-existing claim to North America, spurred it on. Many early Americans tried to figure out which Indians were partly Welsh, with legends arising of natives who spoke Welsh. Perhaps the last notable supporter of this theory was famed Indian artist George Catlin, who believed the Mandans partly descended from the Welsh settlers. However, the lack of substantial evidence of any such visiting, nor that Madoc ever made such a journey, has left most historians to conclude the tale is a myth. Perhaps this book will help you decide. £450 (US $870).

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

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions