Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2009 Issue

Rise To Globalism - The U.S. 1865-1941 from the William Reese Company

Reeseglobalism

Rise to Globalism from the William Reese Company.


By Michael Stillman

The William Reese Company has issued a catalogue of American items from a period, though long, not often the subject of catalogues we see. The Revolution, antebellum period, and Civil War are frequent features, and the Second World War and all that went with it are the focus of many collections. This catalogue covers the period in between: Rise to Globalism: The United States, 1865-1941. It was the period when America rose from a second tier power to the strongest nation on Earth. Here are a few of the steps along the way, as presented by Reese.

This was the period in which the great American West was tamed and settled. Of course, America's Indians saw this transformation from a different perspective. It is of great irony that, in this period when the natives were routed from their historic lands, the best-remembered American military leader is the one who was soundly defeated. That, naturally, would be George Armstrong Custer, of Custer's Last Stand. Indian victories were few, but this was a thorough whipping. Item 32 is a photographic portrait of Custer, in military uniform, circa 1872. Priced at $900.

Item 19 is a wonderful catalogue unintentionally celebrating the end of an era. It is #22 from The Elkhart Carriage and Harness Manufacturing Co. The date was 1885, and carriages were at their zenith, carriage makers having no idea what was lurking just around the corner. This catalogue is filled with lithographs of their carriages, harnesses and related products, and contains a tipped-in leaf giving the names of important local people who had purchased an Elkhart carriage. When the automobile turned up a few years later, Elkhart was one of the few carriage makers that was able to make the transition. Their large manufacturing facilities were ideal to build first motor driven carriages, and by 1910, true automobiles. The Pratt-Elkhart was a very desirable car, but by 1915, its high price was out of step, so the renamed Elkhart Carriage and Motor Car Co. produced the more budget-minded Elcar. The Elcar also did fine until the Depression, which destroyed so many businesses. The company went bankrupt in 1931 and ceased all production in 1933. $1,000.

The availability of cheap gas that made development of a large auto industry in the U.S. possible probably never would have happened if John D. Rockefeller had been able to maintain his monopoly in the oil business. President Theodore Roosevelt's trust-busting tore down the giant monopolies that strangled competition. Item 62 is a printing of the first court case to begin dismantling the large trusts: Northern Securities v. The United States. Bound with it is Attorney General Philander Knox's argument before the Supreme Court. It was bound by the Attorney General, likely as a gift to friends. Northern Securities was a trust formed by railroad magnates J. Pierpont Morgan and James J Hill. The two had sought to dominate transportation from the Northwest to Chicago. In this landmark decision, the Court upheld the Sherman Antitrust Act, with the government prevailing in a 5-4 court decision. $450.

The end of the Civil War and the beginning of the era covered by this catalogue should have ushered in a positive time for race relations, slavery having just been abolished. Unfortunately, it was nothing of the sort, as America's black citizens continued to suffer all sorts of depredations. The treatment undoubtedly led to terrible damage to the self-esteem of African Americans, so on occasion a book would be published demonstrating the accomplishments of blacks despite the odds. One such book was published by Miles V. Lynk in 1899: The Black Troopers, or the Daring Heroism of the Negro Soldiers in the Spanish-American War. Lynk was a black physician stirring pride in other African-Americans by recounting the heroic actions at San Juan Hill of the black troopers. Were it not for the troopers' help, at a cost of heavy casualties, it is unlikely Roosevelt's charge could have succeeded. Item 71. $1,500.

The William Reese Company may be reached at 203-789-8081 or coreese@reeseco.com. Their website is www.reeseco.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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