Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2009 Issue

Sporting Books from James Cummins Bookseller

Cumminssport04-09

Sporting Books from James Cummins Bookseller.


By Michael Stillman

James Cummins Bookseller has issued a new catalogue of Sporting Books. Sporting should be distinguished from sports. These books are about the more traditional pastimes of hunting and fishing. Actually, most are about "angling," fishing with a hook, though it seems most people today use the word "fishing" when they go out with hook and line. Mixed in are a few books that describe other games as played a couple of centuries ago, and some that are more focused on just being outdoors. Finally, there is an extensive selection of books from the Derrydale Press. This press was a fine printer of books primarily in the fields of sport and outdoors. Altogether, there are almost 500 books offered in this catalogue (499 to be exact). Here are a few.

The starting place for all reviews of sporting books is, of course, The Compleat Angler, by Izaac Walton and Charles Cotton. We will not be original, so here it is. Item 352 is the fifth edition of this book from 1676, the last published during Walton's lifetime. This edition was published as a compilation of three works, the others by Charles Cotton and Robert Venables, and bound together under the common title page of The Universal Angler. Made so by Three Books of Fishing. As with each edition of Walton's works, there were changes made from previous editions. Priced at $15,000.

Item 245 is an account of the first angling club in America, An Authentic Historical Memoir of the Schuylkill Fishing Company... Founded in 1732, author William Milnor Jr. later served as the organization's secretary. He was also a member of America's first hunting club, the Gloucester Fox Hunting Club. Milnor also managed to serve a couple of terms in Congress and a year as Mayor of Philadelphia along the way. His account of the fishing club was published in 1830. $1,250.

Zane Grey is remembered as one of the greatest writers of the American West. You expect to see him seated on a horse, but that was not always the case. It's hard to fish on horseback, particularly offshore, and Gray spent a lot of time with a fishing rod. He wrote a series of books about his fishing experiences. Item 123 is Tales of the Angler's Eldorado: New Zealand. This scarce 1926 book includes 100 of his photographs. $2,500. Several other Grey fishing books are also offered in this catalogue.

Item 345 is a remarkable account of hunting on the American frontier: Pioneer Life; or, Thirty Years a Hunter. Being Scenes and Adventures in the Life of Philip Tome, Fifteen Years Interpreter for Cornplanter and Gov. Blacksnake, Chiefs of the Allegheny River. This book was self-published by Tome in 1854, but his adventures took place from 1791-1825. The association with Cornplanter is particularly notable. He was a leader of the Senecas and the Iroquois Federation. Though, as his name suggests, a believer in peace, he served as a war chief during the American Revolution. Despite his wish for neutrality, the Iroquois chose to fight on the side of the British. After the war, he became friendly with the Americans, and signed treaties with them, though in time he would become disillusioned with the treatment of his people. Gov. Blacksnake was another Seneca Chief, nephew of Cornplanter. $3,000.

Item 113 is Willard Glazier's Headwaters of the Mississippi...and a full account of the discovery and location of the true source in a lake beyond Itasca, published in 1893. Glazier led an exploration to find a source beyond Lake Itasca for the Mississippi River. A few small tributaries lead into that lake, and Glazier discovered a lake that flowed to Itasca, Elk Lake, which he modestly renamed "Glazier Lake." It has since been returned to its original name, and most people still think of Itasca as the source of the great river. Nonetheless, Glazier's life was full of adventures, including prison escapes during the Civil War and a horseback ride from Boston to San Francisco. $250.

James Cummins Bookseller may be reached at 212-688-6441 or Cummins@panix.com. The website is www.jamescumminsbookseller.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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

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