Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2008 Issue

A Summer Miscellany from James Cummins Bookseller

Cumminssummer

Summer Miscellany from James Cummins Bookseller.


By Michael Stillman

James Cummins Bookseller has issued a Summer Miscellany, and a miscellany it is. You can find anything here, from exploration to film, literature, children's books, photographs, peep show freaks, ship logs, items from President Roosevelt's vacations, and even a Lincoln broadside. That's not all, but we will save the rest for those who read this catalogue. As a preview, however, here are a few of the items you will find.

Item 10 is a children's classic, Little Lord Fauntelroy, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is the tale of an ordinary American boy who discovers he is an heir to British aristocracy. Along the way, he teaches his noble grandfather a thing or two about manners. Cummins notes that "[Reginald] Birch's illustrations of Fauntleroy set the style of upscale boys' clothing for years - much to the distress of the boys." This is a first edition, first issue, published in 1886. Priced at $1,500.

Here is one more for the kids. Item 39 is the first appearance of "Mary Had A Little Lamb," or as it was known at the time, Mary's Lamb. It appeared in the September/October 1830 issue of The Juvenile Miscellany. The work is generally credited to Sarah Hale, though there have been claims that others may have written part of the nursery rhyme. $2,000.

Item 54 is a 20-page autographed manuscript sermon from the last in the line of America's most famous theological family. The Mathers are remembered as both leading theologians and historians in the early days of America. Starting with Richard, the succeeding generations became even more noteworthy, first Increase, and than Cotton. Cotton's reputation was permanently darkened by his association with the Salem witch trials, but he was still the leading theologian of his era. Both Increase and Cotton died in the 1720s, leaving the family legacy to Samuel Mather, the fourth generation. Unfortunately, the family legacy faded away long before Samuel passed on. He was not nearly so influential, and was discharged from is church in 1741 for "improper conduct." He formed another church in Boston where he preached for the remainder of his life. One of those sermons is the one here offered, entitled Union between Christ and the Saints, written in 1777. It must be noted of Samuel Mather that though not the most gifted of preachers, and despite being the brother-in-law of Massachusetts's last colonial governor, the rabidly pro-British Thomas Hutchinson, Mather was a vehement supporter of the American Revolution. He was one of the nation's early patriots. $2,500.

Item 86 is a copy of the Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley from 1909, but it is what is tipped into the famed explorer's biography that is interesting. It is a handwritten application by Stanley for a license to marry Dorothy Tennant, dated May 24, 1890. Tennant was a noted artist, while Stanley, almost 50 by the time, was past the era of his major explorations. Instead, he settled down and became a Member of Parliament, a role he apparently disliked. Cummins notes of the marriage, "Though Stanley writes in this letter to apply for a marriage, it was actually Miss Dorothy Tennant who wooed Stanley and insisted on the union. The explorer suffered under his wife; she forbade his traveling to Africa again, forced him to run for Parliament, and exiled him to an English country house and an early death at 63." Other than that, she was a charming wife. $5,000.

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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions