• <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE GUTENBERG BIBLE, MAINZ. Price realized: $5,390,000. Oct 1987, NY.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> LEONARDO DA VINCI, Codex Hammer. Price realized: $30,802,500. Nov 1994 NY
    <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE FORBES COLLECTION, Price realized: $40,900,000. Mar 2002, New York.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> ANDRE FRANQUIN, SPIROU ET FANTASIO. Price realized: €157,500. Apr 2014, Paris, France.
    <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE GREAT HOURS OF GALEAZZO MARIA SFORZA. Price realized: £1,217,250. Jul 2011, London.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE ROTHSCHILD PRAYERBOOK. A Book of Hours, use of Rome, in Latin. Price realized: $13,605,000.
  • <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> THE <br>QUILL. <i>A Magazine of Greenwich Village</i>. 30 issues, 1918-1925 Estimate: $1,000-2,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> VIEW:<br>The Modern Magazine. Marcel Duchamp number. March, 1945. Estimate: 400-600
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Ortelius, Abraham. Maris Pacifici. [Antwerp], 1589.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Melville, Herman. <i>Moby Dick; or, The Whale</i>. New York, 1851. First American edition, first issue.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts, May 7, 2015.</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. <i>Works </i>. Garden City, 1930. 24 vols. Signed. 
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Pockocke, Richard. <i>A Description of the East,</i> and Some Other Countries.London, 1743-1745. First edition.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Audubon, John James, after. <i>American Elk - Apiti Deer, Cervus Canadensus</i>, plate LXII, no. 13.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix. Autographed letter signed, July 20, 1832. To Aloys Fuchs.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: Fine Books and Manuscripts, May 7, 2015.</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Lee, Robert E. Autographed letter signed, to Ulysses S. Grant. February 21, 1865.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Campbell, Colin. <i>Vitruvius Britannicus</i>. London, 1715-125, 1767, 1771. 5 vols. First edition
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Autographed letter signed, 1p., to Judge W.A. Minshall. September 6, 1849.
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> A Century <br>of Progress International Exposition. Chicago, 1933-1934. Chicago,<br>(c. 1934). Mayor Cermak copy.).
    <b>Leslie Hindman May 7th:</b> The Nonesuch Dickens. Bloomsbury, 1937-1938. 22 volumes, limited.
  • <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Latest catalogue: 50 Fine Books 2015
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> M. Catesby,<br>The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1729-77).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (London, 1811). First edition of the Austen’s first published novel.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Koronatsionniy sbornik [Album of Nicholas II's coronation] (St. Petersburg, 1899): preferred deluxe version in Russian.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> A complete set of John Gould's magnificent bird books in attractive contemporary bindings (1831-88).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Andy Warhol, Bald Eagle from Endangered Species. Screenprint in colours, 1983, signed in pencil.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: The story of Shackleton’s last expedition 1914-1917 (London, 1919).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> J.J. Audubon, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (NY, 1845-54): The largest successful colour plate book of 19th-century America.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, The Works (Kelmscott Press, 1896). One of the finest illustrated books ever produced.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Moscow, 1879):<br>first edition in book form of the celebrated novel.
  • <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Manuscripts
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Miniatures
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Early Printed Books
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Jason Master, Haarlem, c. 1475-80
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Boucicaut Master, Paris, c. 1415
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Rohan Master, probably Troyes, c. 1415-20
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Julius Caesar, De bello Gallico, manuscript on vellum, Milan, c. 1450-75
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Biblia Latina, Paris, 1476-77, first edition of the Vulgate printed in France
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Ludolph of Saxony, Vie du Christ, illuminated by the Master of the Chronique Scandaleuse, 1506-08
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b><br>King David, miniature on vellum, Bologna, c. 1470
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Christ calling St. Peter, miniature on vellum, by Pellegrino di Mariano Rossini, Siena, 1471
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Presentation in Temple, miniature on vellum, Nuremberg, c. 1490-1500
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Bible, illuminated in the <i>primo stile</i>, Bologna, c. 1250-70
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Valturio, De re militari, Verona 1483, first edition in Italian
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Celestial vision at Constantinople, single-leaf woodcut, Nuremberg,<br>c. 1490-91

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2008 Issue

A.E. Crowell Decoys offered by Stephen O'Brien Fine Arts

Obrien

A.E. Crowell carvings from Stephen O'Brien.


By Michael Stillman

Here is a catalogue uncommon for our reviews. It is certainly not of books, and only tangentially might be called “ephemeral." However, one of the favorite subjects for book collectors is sports and sportsmen, and in the days before baseball and football were massively popular, sports hunting was of keen interest, particularly for those of means. This brings us to the latest catalogue of Stephen O'Brien Jr. Fine Arts. It is entitled Select Carvings by A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952) . Crowell was both a master sportsman and artist, and those who collect in the field of hunting, particularly of waterfowl, will certainly appreciate these fine carvings.

Crowell grew up on a cranberry farm in East Harwich (Cape Cod), Massachusetts. Though not a hunter, his father gave young Crowell a shotgun when he was twelve. Crowell took to hunting like...well...a duck to water. He began devising ways to get waterfowl to stop at the lake near his home on their migrations. Although he carved some decoys early on, Elmer's preferred means was live decoys. He would train tethered ducks and geese to lure wild ones their way. He became something of a legend, and hunters sought his help.

Around 1900, Dr. John C. Phillips, sportsman, author, and Associate Curator of Birds at the zoological library at Harvard, hired Crowell, who would remain in his employ for ten years. Along with building better blinds and training his live decoys, Crowell began carving more. He carved both decoys and simply decorative works. However, this would remain a secondary activity until 1912 when Massachusetts passed a law outlawing the sale of migratory birds. Depletion of these bird species by clever techniques such as those employed by Crowell alarmed conservationists, who won their battle with the hunters in the state legislature. Unable to trade in live decoys any longer, Crowell turned to his carving skills to fashion wooden decoys and decorative carvings. This he would do for most of the remainder of his long life.

It is impossible to describe Crowell's carvings with words, other than to note that his great familiarity with the species he carved enabled him to achieve exceptional reality in his works. He carved and painted with meticulous attention to detail. His works are prized by collectors, the best having reached prices in excess of $1 million. Of course, not all are quite so pricey, but you probably would not want to use one of Crowell's carvings as an active decoy today. However, one would look spectacular on the shelf next to your antiquarian hunting books.

Stephen O'Brien may be reached at 617-536-0536 or visited online at www.americansportingart.com. The gallery is located on Newbury Street in Boston.

Rare Book Monthly


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