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>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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