Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2007 Issue

Texas and the American West from Kenston Rare Books

Kenston

Texas and the American West from Kenston Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

This is our first catalogue from Kenston Rare Books of Dallas, Texas. It isn't hard to guess what type of books a Dallas bookseller would be likely to carry. This is their Spring 2007 catalogue, and the title is Fine Books on Texas and the American West. This is a catalogue that will excite any collector of Texiana or the West. It is filled with material you will want to read as well as collect, stories of cattlemen, rustlers, thieves, lawmen, Indians, settlers, and other extraordinary people. There are books on notable events in Texas history, from the Revolution to the Mexican War, to more recent times.

There are also many local, particularly county histories among the 322 items. We will describe a few of the books which likely have broader appeal, but if your collecting is focused on a particular corner of Texas, you should check out this catalogue. It may have you covered.

Item 203 is one of the earliest travel accounts of Texas written in English, Trip to the West and Texas... Amos Parker traveled from New England to Texas in the days before the Texas Revolution. He journeyed across the Great Lakes to Chicago, down the Mississippi, and then overland to the Colorado River in central Texas. He describes the land and its settlements, and the cultural conflicts with Mexico that would soon lead to the Revolution. He then retreated to New Orleans in early 1835, from which he returned to New England by steamer. His book was published later that year. Priced at $750.

Item 190 is another early book about Texas, although this one moves a few years forward to the republic period: History of the Revolution in Texas, Particularly of the War of 1835 & 36... by Chester Newell. This book is filled with historical information and physical descriptions and data about the area. Newell was not himself a Texan, but gathered his information through thorough research of books about Texas, official documents, and other information obtained from public officials such as Sam Houston. $2,000.

Here is a 1919 pamphlet concerning a technological problem that sounds odd today. The piece is Investigations in Adapting the Automobile to Accurate Soil Survey and Road Traverse Work, published by the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (today better known and Texas A&M). As Kenston explains the issue, in the old days, surveyors measured distances by placing counters on the axles of horse drawn buggies. The circumference of the wheel was such that 500 revolutions came to exactly one mile. However, in 1919, the bulletin points out, "field men have found it increasingly difficult to secure livery accommodations in all parts of the country, due to the fact that the automobile has so largely taken the place of the horse in local and short distance driving." Evidently those automobiles were not yet equipped with odometers. Item 42. $40.

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