Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2007 Issue

Americana and the West from Clark Rare Books

Clark931

More Americana and the West from Clark Rare Books.

By Michael Stillman

Clark Rare Books
has issued a new catalogue of Americana, The West, and General. This is Clark's second catalogue since moving to Oklahoma, but number 931 in the bookseller's long history. This catalogue includes 244 items of mostly inexpensive material, some collectible, some items more for education and enjoyment. You will find explorers, cowboys, Indians, railroads, emigration, outlaws, prospectors...all of the usual cast of characters one would expect to find in the Old West. Of course there is General George Armstrong Custer, but his brother Tom is in here too. There are also once legendary Americans whose names have for the most part been lost to time, but are resurrected once more in the pages of this catalogue. Let's look inside.

Having noted that this material is not expensive, we will start with the exception to the rule. It is a piece worthy of being the exception -- a must classic for any collection of travels in the American West. Item 197 is a first edition of the Francis Parkman classic, The California and Oregon Trail, published in 1849. This travelogue on the Oregon Trail (Parkman did not reach Oregon or California, he stopped in present-day Wyoming) is one of the best descriptions of the trail and Indians along the way you will find, even if Parkman is a bit white-man-centric at times. Clark notes that this copy has all first edition points, but there are some binding differences that leads them to wonder if it might be one of the six prepublication copies publisher Putnam sent to Parkman for his personal use. Priced at $5,750.

It was California's second largest disaster of the 20th century, second only to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Item 115 is a thorough account of that tragedy: Man-Made Disaster: the story of St. Francis Dam, its place in Southern California's water system, its failure and the tragedy in the Santa Clara River Valley March 12 and 13, 1928, by Charles Outland. With water demand rising for the rapidly growing city of Los Angeles, the chief engineer for the city's water department, William Mulholland, set out to build a dam in San Francisquito Canyon, about 30 miles away. Construction began in 1924, and twice Mulholland changed plans to increase the height of the dam so it could hold more water. Through 1926 and 1927, as the water level was raised, cracks appeared in the dam, but Mulholland dismissed the small leaks as normal for a dam of this magnitude. The reservoir was finally filled on March 7, 1928, and more leaks appeared. On the morning of March 12, the dam keeper discovered a new leak and called Mulholland, who, after an inspection, again determined these were normal. However, shortly before midnight, the dam gave way, cascading some 12 billion gallons of water into the canyon below, a wall of water 125 feet high. Exact casualties will never be known, but at least 450 people, and possibly over 600, died in that wall of water. Later examination showed the land on which the dam was built was too unstable, and construction may have been short of accepted standards even for that time. Mulholland took full responsibility, commenting that he envied those who died. Offered is a 2002 second printing of the 1977 revised edition of Outland's work. $75.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts, 8 June 2016, New York
    Bonhams June 8: ARISTOTLE.<br>384-322 B.C.E. De animalibus <br>US$ 300,000-500,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Anne & Margot Frank's copy of <i>Grimm's Fairy Tales</i>, in which Anne wrote her own and Margot's name, circa 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Albert Einstein, group of 4 letters Signed to Helmut L. Bradt regarding Bradt's emigration to the U.S., one bearing Nazi censor ink stamps, 1939-40. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Archive of items from Ludwig Bemelmans to producer Mary K. Frank, concerning <i>The Street <br>Where the Heart Lies</i>, 1959-62. <br>$10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Archive of correspondence to<br>Edwin A. Van Valkenburg from President Theodore Roosevelt and members of his family, 1913-21. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Oscar Wilde, manuscript notes panning a book on book collecting, circa 1886. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b><br>John Hancock, partly-printed document Signed as Governor of Massachusetts, Boston, 1781.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Franz Liszt, Autograph Letter<br>Signed to Carl Gille, Rome, 1869. $4,00 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Joseph Conrad, photograph Signed and dated, 1918. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b><br>Two Guns White Calf, photograph postcard Signed with his pictogram, 1929. $800 to $1,200.
  • Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 18. Blaeu, <i>Nova et Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula</i>, 1660.<br>Est. $14000-$17000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 20. Pitt, <i>Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula</i>, 1680. Est. $9500-$11000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 65. Ortelius, <i>Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio</i>, 1571. <br>Est. $6000-$7000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 84. Bailleul, <i>L'Amerique Divisee en Ses Principales Parties</i>, 1752.<br>Est. $19000-$22000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 99. Sayer & Bennett, <i>The American Military Pocket Atlas</i>, 1776. <br>Est. $10000-$12000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 269. Reid, <i>Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia</i>, 1796. <br>Est. $2750-$3500
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 291. Carleton, <i>Map of Massachusetts Proper</i>, 1801. Est. $12000-$14000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 378. Keulen, <i>Pas Kaart vande Noord Oost Kust van Cuba en d'Oost Kust van Florida</i>, 1695. Est. $3250-$4000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 651. Ptolemy/Fries, <i>Tabula Superioris Indiae & Tartariae Maioris</i>, 1541.<br>Est. $3000-$4000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 688. Wit, <i>Nova Africa Descriptio</i>, 1660.<br>Est. $2750-$3500
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 706. Ortelius, <i>Maris Pacifici</i>, 1589.<br>Est. $8000-$9000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 727. Audubon, <i>Least Stormy-Petrel</i>, 1836. Est. $1400-$1700
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 741. Bordone, <i>Isolario</i>, 1547.<br>Est. $16000-$19000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 747. Teesdale, <i>A New General Atlas of the World</i>, 1835. Est. $2000-$2750
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 752. Colton, <i>Colton's Atlas of the World Volume I and II</i>, 1856.<br>Est. $2500-$3250
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 760. Prevost, <i>Histoire Generale des Voyages ... Tome Quatorzieme</i>, 1757. <br>Est. $2400-$3000
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. <i>A superb collection of manuscripts signed by Lincoln and relics related to Lincoln’s death</i>. Washington, 1864-1865
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Rare Relic of the Underground Railroad (1857). <i>$500 Reward Ran away ...</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> CARTER, SUSANNAH. <i>The Frugal Housewife,</i> (1772) the second American cookbook, plates by Paul Revere.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SCHIRRA, WALTER M.. Icon of the American Space Program. <i>A Complete Set of Schirra’s Flight Log Books (1947-69).</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> A fine pair of daguerreotypes, one a black nurse holding a white baby, the other the white parents. Maryland, c. 1853.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> The Internet. (COMPUTERS.) CERF, VINTON & KAHN, ROBERT. <i>"A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication" in IEEE Transactions on Communications.</i>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions