Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2008 Issue

Texas and the West from Kenston Rare Books

Kensum08

Books from Texas and the West from Kenston Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Kenston Rare Books of Dallas recently issued their Summer 2008 Catalog. Kenston's specialty is Fine Books on Texas and the American West. That is a concise description of the 400+ items you will find in this catalogue. The topics covered are what you would expect from this region: cowboys and cattle, ranches, gunslingers and lawmen, and life on the frontier. While there are titles from all over the West, the concentration is definitely on Texas, and so there are books pertaining to its distinctive history, notably the Texas Revolution, and many histories and guides for specific towns and counties in the Lone Star State. This catalogue is filled with interesting reading and many collectors' items. Here is a look inside.

To be contrary, we'll start with a last. Bill Carlisle was the last of the lone train robbers. He favored (or disliked, depending on how you look at it) the Union Pacific. A Wyoming boy, he began jumping trains in the Cowboy State. He would go down the aisles, demanding money from the passengers, and leap away into the brush, where he was hard to find. He worked his trade successfully several times before one of his leaps led to a sprained ankle. The posse was able catch up. He was tried, convicted, and imprisoned. Bill promptly escaped, and went back to his business. However, in his next attempt, he encountered some soldiers (this was during World War I) and in a scuffle, Bill was shot in the hand. He still jumped, but was soon surrounded. He planned to fight to the death, but Bill was not a killer, so instead he returned to prison. During the 20 years he had to reconsider the path he had chosen, Bill changed his ways, and eventually ended up running a gas station and motel in the western Wyoming town of Kemmerer. Item 74 is his story, Bill Carlisle: Lone Bandit: An Autobiography, published in 1953. Priced at $45.

Andrew L. George was another man who knew prison life from the inside, and he wrote about it in A Texas Prisoner: Sketches of the Penitentiary, Convict Farms and Railroads Together with Poems and Illustrations. The author mentions John Wesley Hardin, Texas' most notorious outlaw, who served time with him. George was convicted of murder in 1884 and sentenced to be hanged. Fortunately, that sentence was commuted by the Governor to life. In a problem that plagues Texas justice still today, they got the wrong man. George was fully pardoned when the actual killer confessed in prison. He hoped that his description of conditions on the inside would discourage others from behaving in ways that would land them behind the gate. Item 150, published in 1895. $450.

7 Years in Texas Prisons is another horror story of Texas prison life. Author Beacher Deason was not so innocent. He was convicted five times for burglary, forgery, theft and bootlegging. He describes work gangs, bad food, inmates being killed by guards, and other pleasantries of prison life. Along the way, he got religion and wrote this book to save others from his fate. The book is undated, but the price tag of 15 cents indicates it is not recent. Item 107. $85.

Amos A. Parker visited Texas at a critical juncture in its history, and at a time when very little was being written about the land, especially in English. Parker had made the long journey from New England across the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi, finally arriving in Texas in the days before the revolution, when it was still indisputably Mexican territory. He describes the settlements and people, physical aspects of the land, and writes about the cultural conflicts between Mexico and the settlers. Not long after his visit, Texas would be engulfed in full-scale revolt. Parker's book, A Trip to the West and Texas, was published in 1835. Item 281. $750.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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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