Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2011 Issue

Major Outdoor Sports and Angling Collection Donated to Washington State University Library

Vernon and Joan Gallup.

A major gift of sporting books was recently made to the department of Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections at the library of Washington State University. The collection was donated by Joan and Vernon Gallup, residents of America's Northwest, with a longtime appreciation for the outdoors. The collection contains 15,000 books related to outdoor sports, primarily to angling, or what amateurs know as "fishing." The Gallup Collection is estimated to be worth $1.8 million, the largest gift or rare books ever made to the library's MASC department in its 120-year history.

The WSU library released a statement noting, "Assembled over decades from American and British dealers, the collection is three times the size of well known angling collections at Princeton University and the University of New Hampshire. It represents one of the largest of its kind ever donated to a public institution."

Washington State University is a bit out of the way, not necessarily where one might expect to find such a major collection. Located in Pullman, Washington, it is 300 miles from Seattle, but only 10 miles from Idaho. Come to think of it, that may be the ideal place in North America for a collection on angling, short of perhaps building a library on the banks of the Restigouche. It is located in an area of outstanding fishing, just a stone's throw from the Snake River. The library is situated at the heart of its audience.

Offering a hint at what is in the collection, MASC head Trevor James Bond said, "This collection is replete with amazing books, such as Sarah Bowdich's The Fresh Water Fishes of Great Britain. To vividly illustrate her book, Bowdich ground scales from fish and mixed them in her paints." Mrs. Bowdich's watercolors were issued in installments from 1828-36. The work is as rare as it is spectacular to view, having been issued in only 50 copies.

A complete set of Henry Abbott's "birch books" is also found in the collection. Abbott was an outdoorsman who would spend his summers in New York's Adirondack Mountains. He was something of an amateur naturalist who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and wandering the forests of northern New York. He was also something of an early preservationist of the forests when most saw them as valuable primarily as a source of timber. From 1914-1932, Abbott would write and self-publish his books, nineteen in all, and give them out as Christmas gifts to his friends. The moniker given them comes from Abbott making the covers look like birch bark. He only printed about 100 copies of each, so assembling a complete set is a major challenge.

No such collection would be "compleat" without the granddaddy of angling and sports books in general: The Compleat Angler, by Izaak Walton. While not the first fishing book, it is certainly the most famous. Walton evidently did well in his business, as he seems to have been able to spend most of the second half of his long life rod and hook in hand. His book is in the format of a dialogue, with the angler expressing both the joys of his pastime and providing practical guidance to fellow anglers. The Gallup Collection includes a copy of the 1653 first edition of this sportsman's classic.

Commenting on the value of the collection, Vice-Chairman of the Department of English Todd Butler said that it "will no doubt serve as the foundation for significant graduate work in humanities and related fields."

Rare Book Monthly

  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD

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