Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2017 Issue

July 6-17: Cowan's Online Sale of N. Flayderman & Co. Civil War material and more

Brevet Brigadier General William Miltimore McArthur Collection of Civil War Papers Incl. Letters with Heavy Battle Content

Cowan’s Auctions, based in Cincinnati and in business since 1995, has been an auction house always at the forefront of technological advances. One of the first houses to boast a website and to conduct online sales, they, along with five competitors, launched Bidsquare, a bidding platform focused on ensuring the highest levels of quality and honesty in auctions, in 2014. Cowan’s is renowned in the field for their sales of Civil War-era material, and this month, they’re hosting an online-only sale that will be conducted, of course, through Bidsquare, and of course, Civil War material is at the forefront.

Norm Flayderman of N. Flayderman & Co. passed away in May, 2013, and for over 50 years, he was known for vast expertise in the fields of antique firearms and militaria, having published 118 consecutive editions of his catalog and authored Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values. The Flayderman family ran the N. Flayderman & Co. business for several years following his death, but they have since decided to close shop and auction the remaining inventory. Significant offerings were sold by Cowan’s in February and June of this year, and this month, beginning July 6th, and ending July 16th, a timed online sale of Property from N. Flayderman & Co. will be taking bids on 300 items, the majority of which are Civil War lots.

Estimates for the sale are quite reasonable, topping out at just $1,500 and the large majority estimated under $1,000. A highlight lot from the sale includes over 1,000 papers of records relating to the 11th Massachusetts Infantry and 3rd Army Corps during the Civil War. The documents in the lot include (but are not limited to) autographed letters signed from various soldiers and officers, receipts for the 3rd Army Corps, 2nd Division 3rd Brigade, general orders, monthly reports for the sick and wounded of the 11th Massachusetts for April and June 1864, and a document recording payments for paroled prisoners in Camp Parole. All together the lot is a unique and detailed glimpse into the war-time experience of Union soldiers, and it is estimated $1,000 to $1,500.

Another lot offering as unique a view of the Civil War experience is a series of 79 papers written by or related to Brigadier General William M. McArthur of the 8th Maine Infantry—47 of which are letters written home to his father. Within these letters are descriptions of some of the most difficult times in the General’s career: the action before Petersburg and events at Bermuda Hundred and Dewry’s Bluff. In one of McArthur’s last war letters to his father, from Richmond in May, 1865, he provides perspective on the end: “The war is indeed over. How strange it seems here in the field—so quiet—no alarms—Only the soldier can appreciate peace.” The archive of McArthur papers is estimated $800 to $1,000 and is certain to please an avid collector of the war.

Collectors of American political autographs will be happy to learn of two specific lots: one being a large collection of autographs, including senators, representatives, and cabinet members, and the other a collection of U.S. Secretaries of State autographs. Both are estimated $500 to $1,000.

Cowan’s Auctions sale of Property from N. Flayderman & Co. is a timed online sale beginning at noon EDT on July 6th and closing at noon EDT on July 17th. Bidding will be done through Bidsquare. Logging in with an existing account or registration with Bidsquare is required. 

The sale can be viewed by appointment at Cowan’s Cincinnati sales room. To make an appointment or to request additional information and condition reports, please contact Katie Horstman: Katie@cowans.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.

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