Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2007 Issue

Americana, Atlases, Directories and More from High Ridge Books

High56

Fine and Rare Books from High Ridge Books.

By Michael Stillman

We have received out first catalogue from High Ridge Books of Rye, New York: Catalogue 56. Fine and Rare Books. Americana, County and General Atlases, City Directories, Colorplate Books, Travel, etc. Offered are 250 collectible works in the field of Americana, primarily from the 19th century. Collectors of local areas will find a wealth of possibilities in the many atlases and directories of cities, counties and states. There is also a good selection of railroad items pertaining to regional railways. As these are targeted to very specific communities, we won't describe any of these in particular other than to note there are a great many available. We will look specifically at books that cover a wider physical territory, though they may still pertain to a particular collecting niche. Here are some examples of the types of books available from High Ridge Books.

For a look, quite literally, at America in 1840, Item 41 is N.P. Willis' American Scenery, a two-volume work published in London. There are 117 plates in this set along with a map, depicting America in the first half of the 19th century. Priced at $1,500.

Emeline Fuller got to see some fantastic American scenery on an overland trip from Wisconsin to Walla Walla in 1860. She didn't enjoy it. Her account is Left By The Indians, not published until 1892, and Howes describes the journey as, "Among overland disasters, equaled in horror only by that of the Donner party; cannibalism was resorted to in both cases." Of the 54 members of the Utter-Myers party who left Wisconsin, only 15 survived. Ms. Fuller recounts being forced to eat the flesh of even her own sisters after being attacked by Indians with the survivors left to starve. Item 126. $750.

Item 58 is a very early and very rare, perhaps only extent copy, of an important baseball book: The Base Ball Player's Pocket Companion: Containing Rules and Regulations for Forming Clubs...Third Edition. High Ridge describes this as "a previously unknown issue of the second edition (though styled Third Edition on the title page) of the first work dedicated to baseball outside of by-laws for baseball clubs." The first edition was published in 1859 in Boston (the standard second also bears a Boston imprint). However, this edition, dated 1860, carries a New York imprint and was issued by C.F.A. Hinrichs, a New York sporting goods seller at 150 Broadway at Liberty. It contains a leaf, unknown in other copies, of goods for sale by Hinrichs, primarily for cricket but including some baseball items. This book supplies rules for both the "Massachusetts Game" and "New York Game," and High Ridge notes that this makes this unique New York copy particularly interesting as the game evolved primarily following the New York rules. $20,000.

Item 225 is an early land grant in Texas made out to an American, one H.A. Green of New York. This document is headed Dominguez Grant and is dated November 11, 1831. John Dominguez was granted the right to bring in 200 settlers from America and Europe by Mexican authorities in 1829. However, his land was not located near the eventually rebellious Stephen Austin colony at San Antonio, but in northern Texas, in the area where the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and today's Colorado converge. It would not have been easy land to farm. Dominguez was unsuccessful in bringing in the requisite colonists and his grant to sell this land expired in 1835, just as the Texas settlers to the south were rebelling. This grant is for a labor of land, approximately 177 acres. $2,750.

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>

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