Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2021 Issue

The Big Guns will be in the rooms: At Bonhams

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The gun used to shoot Billy The Kid

Books, manuscript, maps, and ephemera take you only so far.  It’s possible to disappear into a great story but it’s close to shocking to consider you can personally acquire objects mentioned, pictured and/or referenced in stories you learned by heart when you were a kid. I’m writing about this as Bonhams is soon to sell The Earle Collection of the Early West which is deep with history-laden objects.  It’s well worth a look.

 

Some collections are unintentional but the Earle Collection was not.  Mr. Earle’s collection was from the get-go heavy on guns with historical association.  A few years ago he described one example, the gun that killed Billy the Kid  as “This is not just a gun – it is the history of America.”  Such objects have been commanding auction house attention for decades and no doubt many will reappear in the years ahead.  Violence fascinates.

 

Depending whether your interest is about the good or bad guys you have many choices in this sale.  Mr. Earle collected both.  Lots 1- to 49 are weapons.  The bad guys’ weapons are often more valuable although Pat Garrett’s colt single action army revolver he used to kill Billy is estimated at $2,000,000-3,000,000 while a rifle that Mr. Bonney stole from the Lincoln County Courthouse to escape in 1876 is estimated $300,000-500,000.

 

While the collection includes objects relating both to famous desperados and lawmen, there are many opportunities to bid on weapons that will not require taking out second mortgages.   Twenty-two of the 49 weapons have low estimates beginning under $10,000.

 

And there is more - two other related sections:  Fine Art, Decorative Art and Western Collectibles, and Manuscripts and Memorabilia.  Such material has long been in Rare Book Hub’s Transactions+; 1,328 lots mention Billy the Kid while Pat Garret appears in 373.  In Bonhams’ new catalogue there are going to be many lots including letters, manuscripts, ephemera that are new to us.

 

The second section of the sale [lots 50-94] focuses on fine art, decorative art and western collectibles, comprising 45 lots including paintings, sculptures, objects including drums, strong boxes, a panoply of objects, as well as saddles and chaps.

 

Ephemera is included in the third section, Manuscripts and Memorabilia, lots 95 to 265.  Here are some examples:

 

Lot 103.  Samuel Colt’s Gold-Handled Ebonized Walking Cane. $3,000 -5,000

 

Lot 106.  Photographs and Books relating to the Fisk-Stokes-Mansfield Affair.  $800-1,200

 

Lot 108.  Last studio portrait of Custer.  $800-1,200

 

Lot 116.  Sitting Bull Cabinet Card.  $800-1,200

 

Lot 120.  Buffalo Bill Silver Coin Pocket Watch.  $8,000-12,000

 

Lot 122.  Calamity Jane Cabinet Card.  $2,000-3,000

 

Lot 127.  Portrait of Jesse James. $6,000-8,000

 

Lot 133.  The Death of Bob Ford.  Death was real.  $1,500-2,500

 

Lot 135.  Signed Copy of Cole Younger’s Autobiography.  $6,000-8,000

 

Lot 152.  Bat Masterson Presentation Pocket Watch and Fob.  $20,000-30,000

 

Lot 158.  The Dalton Gang in Photographs.  $3,000-5,000

 

Lot 165.  Early Wyatt Earp Warrant.  $10,000-15,000

 

Lot 174.  Rare Virgil Earp

 

Lot 232.  John Wesley Hardin in Death.  $4,000-6,000

 

As well, there is a tip of the hat to 20th century criminals.

 

Lot 256.  John Dillinger $800-1,200

 

Lot 257.  Gangsters including John Dillinger and Al Capone.

 

As a writer about books, manuscript, maps and ephemera, I’m taking a deep breath and state the obvious:  crime pays.

 

Here's a link to the complete sale.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Athanasius. <i>Illustrium Virorum Opuscula,</i> Paris, 1500. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, Translated Faithfully into English,</i> Rheims, John Fogny, 1582. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Stith, William. <i>The First History of Virginia printed in America,</i> [Williamsburg, 1747]. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b><br>S. Bonaventure. <i>Commentarius in Secundum Librum Sententiarum Petri Lombardi,</i> Venice, 1477. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Juvenalis, Junii. <i>Satyrae,</i> with the commentary of Domitius Calderinus, Venice, 1475. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Horatius Flaccus, Quintus. <i>Opera.</i> Ed. with commentary of Christophorus Landinus, Florence, 1482. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Scotus, Duns. <i>Quaestiones in Quattuor Libros Sententiarum,</i> 1476-1477. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Polidori, John. <i>The Vampyre, A Tale,</i> Paris, 1819. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom's Cabin,</i> Vol. I and II, 1852, and a Later Edition, 1885. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Book of Hours, Illuminated Vellum, Calendar of Months, 15th century. $600 to $900.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> <i>Picturesque,</i> America, Europe, Palestine, and Russia, 1872-1885. $400 to $600.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> C.F. Payne, <i>Micawber—Imitating Norman Rockwell's "Triple self-portrait,"</i> acrylic, watercolor & colored pencil, 2002. Sold June 2021 for $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jane Russell, archive of letters written during a whaling voyage, 1840s. Sold July 2021 for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Guild of Women Binders, exhibition binding of A.F. Pollard’s <i>Henry VIII,</i> London, 1902. Sold July 2021 for $12,350.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Robert Frost, <i>Collected Poems,</i> author’s presentation copy, signed, with entirety of <i>Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening</i> inscribed, NY, 1930. Sold June 2021 for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> James Joyce, <i>Ulysses,</i> deluxe limited issue, signed, London, 1936. Sold June 2021 for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Mercator [family], <i>[World and Continents],</i> 5 double-page maps, Amsterdam, c. 1633. Sold June 2021 for $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Schlegel, <i>New York, Taken from Central Park,</i> hand-finished color-tinted lithograph, 1874. Sold June 2021 for $11,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolaus Copernicus, <i>De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium,</i> second edition, Basel, 1566. Sold April 2021 for $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Book of Hours, Use of Utrecht, illuminated manuscript, c. 1435-45. Sold April 2021 for $60,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Bible, English. The Holy Bible, Second Folio edition, the "Great She Bible", engraved More-Speed 1611 map of Canaan, Robert Barker, 1613-11. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Galilei (Galileo). <i>Opere,</i> 2 vol., first collected edition, Bologna, Heirs of Dozza for Carlo Manolessi, 1656-1655. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Venetian choirbook.- Single leaf from a 13th century Venetian antiphonal, with large decorated initial, manuscript on vellum, Venice, [c.1260]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Petrarca (Francesco). <i>Rerum vulrgarium fragmenta,</i> decorated manuscript on paper, Italy, [second half of the 15th century]. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> New York School of abstract expressionists.- Abbott (Mary Lee). [Sketch book of original artwork], [New York], 1945. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Contemporary colouring.- Nitzschewitz (Hermannus). <i>Novum beatae Mariaevirginis psalterium,</i> Zinna, Press of the Cistercian Monastery, 1493. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Shakespeare source book.- Montemayor (Jorge de). Diana of George of Montemayor: translated out of Spanish into English by Bartholomew Yong, first edition in English, B[ishop]., 1598. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Milton (John). Poems of Mr. John Milton, Both English and Latin, Compos'd at several times, first edition, state with "S" in "S. Pauls" in imprint, 1645. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Power and the Glory,</i> first edition, 1940. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Crowley (Aleister). View of the Tyrrhenian Sea, probably from the hill behind the abbey of Thelema, Cefalù, Sicily, charcoal, [1921]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, 1953. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> China.- Thomson (John). <i>Illustrations of China and Its People,</i> 4 vol., first edition, 96 photographic plates, 1873-74. £15,000 to £20,000.

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