Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2003 Issue

American Historical Novels:<br>Scribner&#146;s Catalogue 115 Revisited


Scribner's felt good about this catalogue and rightfully so.

The Hawthorne finds four matches ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 for copies that are not identical.? In looking at these choices it is useful to select the sort by "newest" to see who has been out there the longest. ?It turns out to be the highest priced copy suggesting that price may be holding that copy back.? The Legend of Black Rangers doesn't show up at all.

The Fifth highest is D. P. Thompson’s The Green Mountain Boys published in 1839 in two volumes.? Scribner says of this book, “Of the greatest rarity in any condition” and prices them at $165.? They must have known that a tough copy would be available in New England when I looked recently.? The condition of this set would not disappoint Scribner's opinion.? It’s now sitting next to me in a custom box that serves the purpose of the mask for the man in the iron mask.? At $335 net I have a fragile gem.

Sixth, Seventh and eighth are books at $150:? William A Carruthers' The Knights of the Horse-shoe, 1845; William Gilmore Simms" The Yemassee, 1835; and James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, 1826.

Mr. Carruthers"book is not available on ABE in the first edition though there are three copies found in a title search of "The Knights of the Golden Horse-shoe" for a 1970's reprint.? Mr. Simms" The Yamassee was available in a single copy of the first printing and I bought it for $255 delivered.? The seller indicated he had had the book for a while and had been asking $350.? The Philadelphia first edition of Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans is not available but a second edition is and it is $3,500.? Wow.? I live in fear that a first will show up.? It’s also quite possible this second edition is over-priced.

Ninth, tenth and eleventh belong to first editions priced at $125: Robert Montgomery Bird’s Nick of the Woods, 1837; Charles Brockden Brown's Arthur Mervyn, 1799; and Edward Everett Hale’s The Man without a Country, 1865.

There are three copies of Nick of the Woods ranging from $300 for a single volume of the two volume set to $1,650 for a copy with a “neat” repair. There are also three copies of Arthur Mervyn, an account of Philadelphia during the yellow fever plague of 1793 priced $500 to $1,800 and six copies of The Man without a Country priced between $950 and $1,500.

There are 217 other books in this catalogue, many of which are inexpensive. In fact ninety –eight of them are $10 or less in the original catalogue.

Within a day of starting work on this project I began to systematically look on line for most of the items. When an available copy appeared to be similar to the Scribner copy I then looked at the price difference. When this difference was small enough I tended to inquire further about the copy and the availability of a better price. In the course of a solid week I purchased about 40 of the 228 titles for about $3,000. A few of these books were among the great rarities in the Scribner catalogue and others were absolutely common but looked interesting to read. Most are of course in between. Click HERE To Access the American Historical Novels Collection No.1

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> MITCHELL, John (1711-1768). A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America. Copperplate engraving with original hand color. London, 1755. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Brown Pelican (Standing), Plate 251. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $175,000 to $225,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Fish Hawk or Osprey, Plate 81. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London: 1827-1838. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> GONZALES DE MENDOZA, Juan (1545 - 1618). <i>The Historie of the great and mightie kingdome of China…</i> London, 1588. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> VERBIEST, Ferdinand (1623-1688). [World Map] Kun-Yu Ch'uan-Tu. Engraved twelve sheet map with vertical sections joined to form six sheets. Korea, Seoul, c. 1860. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> SANGGI, Chong (1678-1752). Korean Atlas. Manuscript map on mulberry bark paper. C. 1750-1790. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>April Auction<br>April 4, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AUDUBON, John James (1785 - 1851). Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Plate 66. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London, 1827-1838. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Apr. 4:</b> AKERMAN, Anders (1721-1778). & AKREL, Frederik (1779-1868). Pair of Celestial and Terrestrial Globes. Stockholm, c. 1800. 23 inch diameter, each. $60,000 to $100,000.

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