• <center> <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana<br>November 6, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> RATZER, Bernard. <i>Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767.</i> London: Jefferys and Faden, “Jan.y” 12, 1776. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. COCKERELL, Sydney C. <i>Some German Woodcuts of the Fifteenth Century.</i> Hammersmith: The Kelmscott Press, 1897 [issued 1898]. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> [GOLDEN COCKEREL PRESS]. KEATS, John. <i>Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of Saint Agnes and Other Poems.</i> Waltham Saint Lawrence, Berkshire: The Golden Cockerel Press, 1928. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center> <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana<br>November 6, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> [GRANT, Ulysses S.— GRANT, Julia, First Lady]. Carved Applewood and 18-karat Gold Jewelry Suite, Browne & Spaulding, Jewelers, New York City, 1865. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> [LINCOLN ASSASSINATION]. GARDNER, Alexander. <i>Incidents of the War |Sic Semper Sicariis</i> [caption title]. Washington, D. C.: Philip & Solomons, 1865. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> A COMPLETE COLLECTION of 115 titles published in R. R. Donnelley's Lakeside Classics series. Chicago, 1903-2017. COMPLETE RUN OF THE LONGEST-RUNNING CONTINUOUS SERIES OF BOOKS IN THE WORLD. $5,000 to $7,000
    <center> <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana<br>November 6, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> GLEIZES, Albert. METZINGER, Jean. <i>Du Cubisme.</i> Paris, 1947. LIMITED EDITION, number 19 of 20 copies on papier d'Auvergne. $3,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> [THE LITTLE REVIEW]. ANDERSON, Margaret, ed. POUND, Ezra, ed. HEAP, Jane, ed. <i>The Little Review.</i> Vol. I, No. 1 through Vol. XII, No. 2. 1914-1929. $3,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> [MOUNTENEY, Leonard, binder]. LOUŸS, Pierre. <i>Songs of Bilitis.</i> Chicago: Argus Books, 1931. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 6:</b> [HANCOCK, John]. Partly-printed U.S. Loan-Office Transfer Certificate issued on behalf of Hancock. Sgn’d on recto by William Imlay, as Commissioner of Loans of Connecticut. 28 February 1793. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <center><b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers<br>Library of a Midwestern Collector<br>November 5, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> DARWIN, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> London John Murray, 1859. FIRST EDITION. THE VERY FINE MELLON-GARDEN COPY. $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> ECKERT, J. P, H. H. GOLDSTINE, and J. G. BRAINERD. <i>Description of the ENIAC and comments on electronic digital computing machines.</i> N.p., 1945. FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED BY GOLDSTINE. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> EUCLID. <i>Elementa geometriae.</i> Translated from the Arabic by Adelard of Bath. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 25 May 1482. FIRST EDITION. $60,000 to $80,000
    <center><b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers<br>Library of a Midwestern Collector<br>November 5, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> [HAMILTON, Alexander, James MADISON and John JAY]. <i>The Federalist: A Collection of Essays…</i> New York: John and Andrew M'Lean, 1788. FIRST EDITION. $60,000 to $80,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> GALILEI, Galileo. <i>Dialogo...Dove ne i congressi di quattro giornate si discorre sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano.</i> Florence, 1632. FIRST EDITION. $30,000 to $40,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> JOYCE, James. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922. FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 100 COPIES SIGNED BY JOYCE. $120,000 to $180,000
    <center><b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers<br>Library of a Midwestern Collector<br>November 5, 2019</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> KEYNES, John Maynard. <i>The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money.</i> London: Macmillan, 1936. FIRST EDITION. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> NEWTON, Isaac, Sir. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> London: Joseph Streater for the Royal Society, 1687. FIRST EDITION. $150,000 to $250,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> ROWLING, J. K. <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.</i> London: Bloomsbury, 1997. FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY ROWLING. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> SMITH, Adam. <i>An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.</i> London: for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776. FIRST EDITION. $70,000 to $90,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Sir Isaac Newton, <i>Opticks,</i> first edition, first issue, London, 1704. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Johannes Jacobus Canis, <i>De modo studendi in utroque iure,</i> first edition, Padua, 1476. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Pope Clemens V, <i>Constitutiones,</i> Nuremberg, 1482. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Nicolaus Panormitanus de Tudeschis, <i>Lectura super V libris Decretalium,</i> Basel, 1480-81. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Michael Faraday, <i>Experimental Researches in Electricity,</i> complete set, first editions, London, 1832-56. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> William Gilbert, <i>Tractatus sive physiologia nova de magnete,</i> Sedini, 1628. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> John Bulwer, <i>Philocophus,</i> first edition of the first book in English on the deaf, London, 1648. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> James Cook, complete set, 9 volumes, London, 1773-84. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Nicolaus Bertrand, <i>Opus de Tholosano[rum] Gestis ab Urbe Condita,</i> with the earliest known view of the city of Toulouse, 1515. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions:<br>Books, Manuscripts & Fine Art<br>October 18, 2019</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Ernest Hemingway. <i>The Spanish Earth.</i> First Edition. Cleveland, 1938. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Toni Morrison. <i>The Bluest Eye.</i> First Edition. New York, 1970. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Charles Etienne Briseux. <i>L’Art de Batir des Maisons de Campagn.</i> Paris, 1743. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions:<br>Books, Manuscripts & Fine Art<br>October 18, 2019</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Sadajiro Yamanaka. <i>To-so Seikwa: Select Relics of the T’ang and the Sung Dynasties from the Collections in Europe and America</i>. Osaka, 1928. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Charles Dickens. <i>Bleak House.</i> First Edition. 20 parts bound in 19 issues. London, 1852-3. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Frederic Thrasher. <i>Chicago’s Gangland Prepared by Frederic M. Thrasher 1923-26.</i> Chicago, 1926. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions:<br>Books, Manuscripts & Fine Art<br>October 18, 2019</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> <i>Father Abraham’s Almanack, For the Year of Our Lord 1776; Fitted to the Latitude of Forty Degrees....</i> Philadelphia: Printed and sold by John Dunlap, [1775]. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Francesco Lana Terzi. <i>Magisterium naturae, et artis. Opus physico-mathematicum.</i> Brescia, 1684/1692. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Eglomise Silhouette Profile Portrait of George Washington on Glass. American, ca. 1790s/1800s. 15" x 13" $5,000 to $7,000.
    <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions:<br>Books, Manuscripts & Fine Art<br>October 18, 2019</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> William James. <i>The Principles of Psychology.</i> New York, 1890. Two volumes, First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Roland Clark (1874–1957). <i>Roland Clark’s Etchings.</i> New York: The Derrydale Press, 1938. $3,500 to $4,500.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Oct. 18:</b> Mexican-American War Recruiting Broadside. Akron, Ohio: ca. 1846/48. $1,000 to $2,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2004 Issue

The Old Booksellers of New York and other papers<br>By William Loring Andrews



In the year 1828 there came to this busy, bustling, aspiring town, from the wilds of Indiana, one William Gowans,* [NOTE.—The family emigrated to America from Lesmahagon, Scotland, in 1821. They settled for a while in Philadelphia, and then moved to Fredonia, Crawford County, Indiana, traveling by wagon via Pittsburgh.] in search of fame and fortune. He was a youth of twenty-five, a Scotchman by birth, and whilom farmer and flat-boatman on the Mississippi. His experience when "a youth navigating the wild Ohio and the wilder Mississippi" may be given best by the pen picture drawn by himself. "Then there were no byways for boats to escape the rugged falls of the Ohio as there now are. All had to pass through the roaring straits of Scylla and Charybdis. We had, therefore, to plunge over unhesitatingly. Swifter than an arrow from an Indian's bow, or thought, or lightning, or the soul's departure from the body. Not a house stood upon the point of land formed by the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, nor was the land even under cultivation, but in its primitive, wild, dreary solitude. I understand that it is now the site of a large, busy city (Cairo). Seventy miles below, on the west bank of the Mississippi, stood the deserted village of New Madrid, consisting of a few log houses, apparently empty, and the surrounding forest all dead, caused, as I learned, by an earthquake a few years ago. The land at this place sunk ten feet from the effects of the shock, and no doubt the concussion caused these monarchs of the forest to wither and die. Fifty miles still further down stood the [present] city of Memphis. The captain of our sluggish-moving boat landed at this place. I accompanied him up the bank, the river being low at the time, for the purpose of buying a supply of whiskey. The town, I remember, consisted of log houses inhabited by a very poor class of people. After falling down below this town about 50 miles, we met with no settlement until we reached the vicinity of Walnut Hill, now Vicksburgh, the distance being about 600 miles. The only music in the daytime which regaled our senses was the puffing and distressed moaning of the high-pressured steamers which occasionally passed up and down the river, as the case might be, and as an afterpiece, the wild screaming of the numerous flocks of paroquets which travel along the bank of the river after descending to a certain latitude; and in the night, the wolf's wild howl, not on Onolaska's shore, but the banks of the gloomy and solitary Mississippi. The only human beings we fell in with during this descent, which took six weeks, were certain roving, half-civilized whites who had pitched their tents at certain points for the purpose of cutting and preparing fuel for the steamboats passing up and down, and numbers of the native sons of the forest, who could be seen every now and then paddling their light canoes close in to the shore if ascending, and on the contrary, in the centre of the river if downward bound. At first these savage-faced, painted men somewhat alarmed me; but they frequently paid us a visit by coming alongside and on board of our own lazy craft. After becoming somewhat familiar with these grim, black-haired, half-naked fellow-beings, I began rather to like them, and wished for their frequent return to break up our monotony. They left the impression upon me that they were both generous and confiding. A party came on board one day; one of them could speak a little English. He informed us that one of their number was condemned to death for having murdered one of the tribe when intoxicated. We urged him to make his escape, as he appeared to be at liberty. We even offered to take him with us in our boat, but they all declared, as we could understand them, that that would be of no use, for in the event of his non-appearance for execution on the day appointed, his wife or one of his children would have to suffer in his stead. The three great rivers which discharge their heavy contents into the Mississippi—the Arkansas, the Yazoo and the Red rivers—at those points where they lost themselves in the great father of waters, were all solitary, heavy-timbered wildernesses. Not a human being appeared to have disturbed their native wild grandeur. Now I understand that at each and all of these points are busy towns, and likely to become large cities. At this time, according to his biographers, Abraham Lincoln must have been a fellow-boatman with me on these rivers, although I never saw him to my knowledge."

For a twelvemonth after his arrival in New York Mr. Gowans was engaged in a variety of occupations—namely, that of gardener, stevedore, stone-cutter, news-vender and "super" in the old Bowery Theatre. Evidently he was prepared to turn his hand to any honest means of livelihood. But it was not long before he entered on his vocation, for in Longworth's Directory of New York City, 1829 to 1830, we find the name of William Gowan, bookstall, 119 Chatham Street, house 750 Greenwich Street, so by that time he was established, in a humble way, in the business which was to be his lifelong pursuit. Trade in second-hand books, doubtless, was coy and hard to win, and at the outset of his career he was obliged to seek a market for his merchandise by carrying it in a basket to the doors of his customers. In one of his rounds he chanced upon a benevolent Quaker, named Blatchley, who, apparently unsolicited, loaned him the sum of twenty-five dollars. When some time later the young man came to return the money, the considerate old gentleman suggested that he might have further need of this special capital, and that he had better keep it a little longer. His benefactor lived to see him established in, and paid him frequent visits at, his Nassau Street store.

Mr. Gowans informs us that it was largely through the instrumentality of the father of Thomas Cole, the artist, who was a bookseller in a small way, that he himself adopted the profession. He it was who initiated him into the secrets of the secondhand book trade, disclosing his manner and mode of purchase, and the profit he made upon his literary wares.

The bookstall at 119 Chatham Street was simply a row of shelves, protected at night and in the owner's absence during the day on his book-selling peregrinations with wooden shutters, an iron bar and a padlock. It was shortly succeeded by a store at 121 Chatham Street, corner of Pearl. In 1830 he occupied the "Arcade," between John Street and Maiden Lane.

His business ventures must have been attended with a moderate degree of success, for in 1840-41 Mr. Gowans made a visit to Europe, probably not so much on pleasure bent as with an eye to business. He did not find London as attractive as has Mr. Elias Dexter, the old and well-known print and picture dealer, who never has returned to these shores since he left them, twenty years or more ago, on a flying visit to the British metropolis. In a letter from London during his sojourn there Mr. Gowans writes: "All my wanderings and all that I have seen since I left New York have had a tendency to raise America and its institutions in my estimation. I will feel happier in America, should I ever be so fortunate as to return, than ever I have been heretofore. America is the country for a man making his way in the world. In this country, so far as I can see, if you happen to be born among the mud you must remain there."

On his return Mr. Gowans devoted his attention for a time to the book auction business, at a place called the Long Room, at 169 Broadway, but soon resumed his second-hand book trade, for in 1842 he was established at 204 Broadway, opposite St. Paul's Chapel, up-stairs. His subsequent locations, as given on the covers of his catalogues, are as follows:

1844--63 Liberty Street, up-stairs.
1848--178 Fulton Street, opposite St. Paul's Churchyard.
1856--81 to 85 Centre Street (Caxton Building).
1863--115 Nassau Street.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DE CORDOBA, JACOB. <i>Map of the State of Texas.</i> New York, 1866. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ARNOLD, BENEDICT. Autograph bookseller's receipt for Dr. John Dickinson, Signed ("B. Arnold"), February 1767. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. 4 Typed Letters Signed ("A Einstein") to Cleveland E. Dodge offering early reports on the meetings of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D. Typed Letter Signed ("Dwight D. Eisenhower") to General Henri Giraud written from a secret bunker in Gibraltar on the eve of Operation Torch, November 4 [but 6], 1942. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> Early Broadside Printing of the GADSDEN PURCHASE, Puebla, August 16, 1854. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ALLEN, ETHAN. Autograph Letter Signed to Crevecouer during the Constitutional Debates in Congress, 2 pp, August 29, 1787. $30,000 to $50,000.

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