Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2007 Issue

Literature and Book Arts from the William Reese Co.

Reese258

Literature and Book Arts from the William Reese Co.


By Michael Stillman

Every once in awhile, the William Reese Company diverts from its normal course of catalogues of Americana and other works of antiquarian nonfiction. Catalogue 258 is one such diversion: Literature and Book Arts. It is described as, "a varied selection from the 17th through 21st centuries, largely recent acquisitions, poetry and prose, manuscripts, fine printing, illustrated books, and bibliography." Offered are 727 items of the aforementioned sort, only a small number of which could be classified as "expensive." These are mostly egalitarian books, suitable for almost any budget. Here is a small scattering of examples.

Here is an outstanding "deal" for those who would really like a Shakespeare first folio but can't afford the $5-plus million they go for these days. Item 580 is a copy of The Norton Facsimile First Folio... printed in 1968. They drew on 30 different copies as the source for the facsimiles, so it undoubtedly is in better shape than any of the originals! And who knows what it too will be worth in another four centuries. Item 580. Priced now at $250.

James Boswell was a noted 18th century British writer, observer, traveler, and associate of leading figures, though he is most known as the biographer of Samuel Johnson. Late in his life, Boswell became very interested in the spirit world (perhaps because Johnson was no longer around to drive him back to earth). Item 81 is a signed Boswell letter from the final months of his life pertaining to this interest. It is an invitation dated February 25 (1795) from Boswell to Henry Winyard to join him, George Winyard, and others for dinner on March 4. Years earlier, George Winyard, while stationed in Nova Scotia, claimed to have seen an apparition of his brother, then back in England. Months later, he received a letter from home reporting that his brother had died at the moment he saw the apparition. The purpose of the dinner was to get the story on record in front of some others who were less credulous than Boswell. Two and one-half months later, Boswell himself would be an apparition, though it is not known whether anyone saw him go. Item 81. $4,750.

Item 82 is a rare 1802 first edition of the first book by Boswell's son, Alexander. Sir Alexander Boswell's verse in Songs, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, has been described as "full of Scotch humor, but coarse at times." Reese notes that this work is more often known from its scarce 1803 second edition than this very uncommon first. $8,500.

During the Great Depression, many writers and artists were supported in their work by the federal government, the market no longer able to provide them a living. Item 29 is one such example: "1935" Written by the Editorial Staff of the Living Newspaper... This is a script created for the Federal Theater Project, with Arthur Arent as editor (and likely major contributor). This script covers topics from the year 1935, including Huey Long, Dutch Schultz, and the trial of Bruno Hauptmann for the killing of the Lindberg baby. $150.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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