Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2003 Issue

July Catalogue Review

July3

Book offered from Almagre Books


By Bruce McKinney

Almagre Books
Americana
Catalogue Nineteen

This is the first time I’m reviewing an Almagre Books catalogue and a few notes are in order. This is a substantial catalogue, substantial both for the number of items offered – 829 – and for depth of the descriptions. The listed categories in this catalogue are Books, Maps, Manuscripts, Pamphlets, Prints and Photographs. First and early editions and reprints are found unselfconsciously on the same page. Virtually the entire catalogue is interesting and buyable. Almagre issues one of these major catalogues a year and “lists” at regular intervals.

Fifty of the items are bibliography. Here is one:

[Billy The Kid]. Dykes, J. C. Billy The Kid: The Bibliography of a Legend. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1952. First edition, second printing. 186 pp. Inscribed and signed by Jeff Dykes. $150. If you are thinking about outlaws this is a nice place to start. You can build a collection about specific characters or gather the underlying reference material. Fair warning: Billy may be dead but the market in his and outlaw material generally is very strong.

California has thirty-one items. Here is one:

[California]. The New Almaden Mine. A Letter to the Attorney General on his Report to the President on the Resolution of the Legislature of California, from a California Pioneer. New York: Baker & Godwin, printers, 1860. 23 page pamphlet. This piece contains an excoriation of Attorney General Black and his handling of the California land claims. The author writes, “My method of stating the case, for the information of the President, differs somewhat from yours, in that mine, is a mere statement of facts without comments; yours of comments without facts.” It’s early and it’s interesting. $300. New Almaden finds 42 records in the Americana Exchange Database(Æ Database) while the Civil War era ephemera printers of this piece, Baker & Godwin, find 135.

The Civil War has thirteen items. Following the Civil War many accounts were published of personal hardship and bravery. It’s an interesting category. Here is one:

Harrold, John. The Capture, Imprisonment, Escape and Rescue of John Harrold, A Union Soldier in the War of the Rebellion, with a Description of Prison Life Among the Rebels – The Treatment of the Union Prisoners – Their Privations and Sufferings. Phila.: Wm. B. Selheimer, 1870. First edition. A very nice copy. $175. There are 73 source records in the ÆD that include Andersonville.

There are eight items on the Gold Rush. This account, published in London in 1851, suggests that news of Sutter’s Mills was of interest to worldwide.

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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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