Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2008 Issue

Ten 19th Century American Paintings from William Reese

Reese14

American Paintings, with George Gibbs' Pacific Northwest scene on the cover.


By Michael Stillman

This month, the William Reese Company takes a brief timeout from its usual focus on books, but not from its concentration on Americana. Reese's Art Bulletin 14 is entitled American Paintings . Offered are ten paintings that hearken back to an earlier day in America -- not your youth, as they are too old for that, but perhaps of your grandparents or great-grandparents. What is offered is a series of paintings from the period of 1850-1900, and if your taste runs to older American scenes and scenery, you will enjoy this collection. Here is what is offered.

1. A pastel painting of a Pacific Northwest scene, perhaps on the Columbia River, featuring Indians landing their canoes on a riverbank. The painting is based on sketches made circa 1850-55, but painted somewhat later. Artist George Gibbs was also a customs official in Astoria, Oregon, where he probably painted this picture, as well as a geologist, expert in Indian languages, and took part in the boundary surveys between the United States and Canada. Priced at $75,000.

2. A circa 1900 New England winter scene, with horses and sledge drawing timber through the snow. The painter was George Hallowell, a Boston impressionist painter who was a craftsman, illustrator and architect as well. $25,000.

3. Alfred Murray (aka Lord Alfred Dunmore) painted this watercolor of British lords hunting buffalo around 1862. The hunt likely took place near Fort Ellice in Manitoba, Canada. Young Murray was a nobleman along for adventure on Viscount Milton's exploration of the Canadian West, and apparently something of a bother to the serious explorers. $19,500.

4. An oil painting by Alfred Agoust from 1893 depicting showman Buffalo Bill and two Londoners in what was known as the "Frenchman's Bottle Gag." $47,500.

5. An oil painting of Baltimore, circa 1840, based on a William Henry Bartlett engraving and signed "W.H. Bartlett." Baltimore appears as a shimmering city on a hill in this view. $18,500.

6. An 1850s oil painting of a Cuban sugar plantation, attributed to Charles DeWolf Brownell, a Hudson River School artist who spent his winters on the tropical island. $15,000.

7. "The Cliff Dwellers Daughter," a George Martin Ottinger circa 1900 painting of a young Anasazi woman, one of the Indians who lived among the caves of the Four Corners region a millennium ago. She balances a large bowl atop her head. This painting is of the Natural Bridges area of southern Utah. $5,000.

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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