Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2016 Issue

Buying Every Day

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Chance encounters are an important aspect of collecting

On a recent day on eBay there was an interesting mix of Hudson River Valley material.

 

Post card of Zepf’s Hotel & Restaurant [near Poughkeepsie].  Buy it now $18.50

 

An engraving of Esopus Landing [1853].  Buy it now $39.99

 

Village of Newburgh, New York Bond for Sewer Work on Smith Street [1888].   Auction start:  $14.99

 

The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames [1862].  Buy it now $99.95

 

Antique Daguerreotype, D T Lawrence, Newburgh NY.   $14.95 Auction start:  $14.95

 

Native American Arrow/Point, Greene, Late Woodland Leaf, Ulster County, NY Auction start:  $10.29

 

Vintage St. John’s Costume Dance Photograph, Kingston, Ulster County.  Buy it now $34.95

 

The Beginnings of New York by Mary Isabella Forsyth [1909] Buy it now:  $49.95

 

Vintage 1930s Kingston NY Boxing Photo.  Buy it now:  $43.96

 

The material is interesting because it generally closely relates to what I collect, is random and continuing.  There is no particular holiday or event to prompt these listings.  They are simply, more or less, what regularly shows on eBay in searches relating to the Hudson River Valley.  I’m sure the same is true for the gamut of collecting possibilities.  The first time you look you’ll be quite impressed.   Over the next month you’ll see the possibilities slowly change and occasionally, perhaps once a month, see a few things that are remarkable.  And once a year you’ll make a spectacular find.

 

In time you’ll accumulate some categories that you had never thought about.  Post cards are sometimes interesting, particularly early photographic cards.  They tell a story that is otherwise difficult to know.

 

Broadsides are more difficult to find and when they come up they tend to come in groups.  Years ago I bought roughly a dozen broadsides advertising travelling shows in the 1850s and 1860s that decamped at Kingston, New York for a few days.  Kingston, then also known as Rondout, was one of the stops for itinerant acting companies who plied the towns and landings north and south on the Hudson. 

 

And then there are the once in a lifetime possibilities.  Perhaps ten years ago a group of early bound volumes of the Poughkeepsie Journal [1804-1820] were posted on eBay.  Some were bound expensively in the best bindings, individual issues placed between protective sheets.  Others were more conventionally bound.  These volumes, as I recall about eight of them, were stunning rarities in impossibly good condition.  Later, at a country a stack of bound 1820-1850 Poughkeepsie newspapers were offered.  They cost $90, the shipping two or three times that much.

 

The point here is that eBay searches are worthwhile.  They do not replace dealers or traditional auctions but if you are prepared to prowl the weeds you’ll sometimes find gems.

 

As to what such items cost they are sometimes unbearably cheap and other times expensive.  You have to know both what they are worth and what they are worth to you. 

 

At book fairs some of the most interesting booths have racks of ephemera and often long lines of the interested waiting their chance to look.  De Wolfe and Wood provide occasional emailed lists of premium ephemera.  Others do too.  The minutia of collecting is very desirable.   

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Antiquarian Books<br>Including a series of views of Milan<br>September 27 to October 4</b></center>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Livius, Historia Romanae decades, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1470, contemporary Morocco. €30,000 to €40,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Blaeu, Nieuw Stedeboeck van Italien (Piemont), The Hague, 1724-1725, 8 volumes, marbled calf gilt. €70,000 to €90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Baysio, Rosarium decretorum, Venice, 1481, later vellum. €10,000 to €15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> [Niccolò da Poggibonsi], Viaggio da Venetia al santo Sepulchro, Venice, 1529, later half calf. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Hieronymus, Epistole [Italian], Ferrara, 1497, blue crushed morocco with the Rocco di Torrepadula arms. €12,000 to €15,000.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Extensive archive of papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> George Catlin, <i>North American Indian Portfolio,</i> 1844. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> The Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures, Carefully Translated…after the Best Jewish Authorities, Philadelphia, 1853-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Wedding book of Eleanor Roosevelt’s bodyguard, Earl Miller, signed by the Roosevelts, 1932. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Textile titled <i>The Resignation of Pres’t Washington,</i> Scotland, circa 1800. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Gideon Welles, Pass for President Lincoln’s White House funeral, 1865. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Confirmation of arms and nobility in favor of the Diez y Mora family, Madrid, 1710. $2,500 to $3,500.
  • <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> JOYCE, James. <i>Ulysses.</i> London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1937. PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION PRINTED IN ENGLAND. $50,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [SHACKLETON, Ernest]. –– BROWNING, Robert. <i>Poetical Works of…</i> London: Smith and Elder, 1906. PRESENTED TO SHACKLETON AND THE OFFICERS OF THE NIMROD BY A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York: George R. Lockwood, [1870]. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> ARISTOTLE. Opera, in Greek, parts one and two only: Organon and Natural Philosophy I. Edited by Aldus and others. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1 November 1495–February 1498. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> COOK, James, Capt. [Collected Voyages]. First and Second Voyages: London: W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1773, 1777; Third Voyage: London: H. Hughes for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1785. $14,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne (“Mark Twain”). <i>The Writings of…</i> Hartford: American Publishing Co., 1899–1900. $12,000 to $16,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>The Poems of…</i> Edited by Frederick S. Ellis. Hammersmith: William Morris for the Kelmscott Press, 1893. $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> LONDON, Jack. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> New York: The Macmillan Company, 1905. PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY LONDON. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CROWLEY, Aleister (1875–1947). <i>The Winged Beetle.</i> London: privately printed, 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> WILDE, Oscar (“C.3.3.”). <i>The Ballad of Reading Gaol.</i> London: Leonard Smithers, January 1898. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> DRYDEN, John. <i>Fables Ancient and Modern; translated into verse from Homer, Ovid, Boccace, & Chaucer: with original poems.</i> London: John Tonson, 1700. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [MAP]. LINSCHOTEN, Jan Huygen van. <i>Delineatio Orarum Maritimarum…</i> London: John Wolfe, 1598. $3,000 to $4,000.

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