Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2009 Issue

More of the Unusual from Garrett Scott, Bookseller

Scott22

More of the unusual from Garrett Scott, Bookseller.


By Michael Stillman

Garrett Scott, Bookseller has issued Catalogue Twenty-Two (A miscellany). Scott's catalogues certainly are a miscellany, a group of interesting works, many of which are quite unusual, both in the sense of being uncommon and that of being odd. Scott's catalogues are always entertaining for their descriptions of works by authors whose minds, to put it gently, don't always function the same as those of others. Most of these items are pamphlets, primarily from the 19th century, and range from the well-reasoned and rational to flights of fantasy and the irrational. Here are a few.

Some folks may remember their parents recounting the evils of rock and roll. Good people stuck to proper dances like the waltz. It was not always so. Faulkner (Thomas, that is, not William) gives us the true lowdown on the waltz in The Gates of Hell or Eastern Ball Room, published in 1896. His thesis was that, for women, it was a short step from the waltz to the brothel, while men went straight to Hell. I never much cared for the waltz, for which I am now most grateful. Item 43. Priced at $85.

That item you see on the cover of this catalogue is a Gospel and Colportage Carriage, as described in Gospel Carriage Songs and Description of Gospel and Colportage Carriage. This was something of a trailer for itinerant preachers circa 1878 when this promotional was published. It had a platform on the back for open-air preaching, with all of the comforts of home on the inside. Item 26. $50.

Here is an item for women, finally invented in the year of 1915: Perfect Bust Development Now a Reality. The Olive Company explains that this is "the only real bust developer that merits scientific endorsement," and that with it, "any flat-chested woman may have a beautiful bust." The order form is still present if you would like to try it. However, the disappearance of this contraption can only lead me to believe it was a bust. Item 95. $85.

Women get a device to enlarge their busts, while all men get is something to warm their prostates. Item 40 is Why Many Men Are Old at Forty: A Study of Prostatology, the Science of Old Age Deferred. This brochure from around 1921 promotes the "Thermalaid," an electrical prostate warmer put out by the Electro Thermal Company of Steubenville, Ohio. Evidently the secret to youth is a warm prostate (meaning women are doomed to becoming old). Item 40. $25.

Item 21 is an 1878 book by Rev. David Riddle Breed on The Locust Scourge in Minnesota. In 1877, Minnesota's governor, John Pillsbury, was running out of ideas as to how to combat the critters when he called for a day of prayer, fasting and humiliation. Rev. Breed was all for the idea. "Gov. Pillsbury is, however, wise in exhausting all remedies to relieve the farmers of Minnesota, and if prayer will do it, it is the most economical of methods." Certainly it was an inexpensive means of insect eradication, and a snowstorm shortly after this day of prayer, April 26, 1877, did help some, although a later claim has been made that Pillsbury picked this day based on meteorological forecasts. $100.

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.
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    <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>
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  • <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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