Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2003 Issue

Sold! Upcoming Auctions: The Volkmann Sale


Lot 23, Bibliography

The stream of emigrants who left the East to obey Horace Greeley’s famous 1853 dictum also gave rise to a significant and interesting body of literature. No overland travelers suffered a more pathetic but lurid fate than the Donner Party, who had the misfortune to trust Lansford Hastings’ The Emigrant’s Guide (1845), here in lot 41, with an estimate of $50,000-100,000. His guide has been condemned as recommending the fatal desert route that so delayed the Donner Party that they were caught in the snow in 1846. Although it was frequently reprinted, it ironically did not contain a map. The copy offered here is unusual because it is sophisticated by an authentic upper wrapper obtained later by Warren Howell. The Party’s misfortunes were supposedly first documented by J. Quinn Thornton’s Oregon and California in 1848 (1849), here in lot 74, with an estimate of $1500-3000. The Zamorano 80 said this book contains the first printed account of the Donner Party. That honor, however, would seem to belong to Edwin Bryant’s What I Saw in California (1848), here in lot 12, with an estimate of $1000-1500. Also containing an account of the Donner Party, as was duly noted in The Zamorano 80, the book not only was published a year earlier than Thornton’s account, but also the Clifford copy had a contemporary manuscript provenance dated July 1, 1848. A more extensive examination of the disaster was provided by C. F. McGlashan’s History of the Donner Party (1879), here in lot 53, with an estimate of $600-1200. Although often criticized, this work remains the starting point for any study of the tragedy. A reminder that cold is not the emigrant’s only enemy is contained in William Lewis Manly’s Death Valley in ’49 (1894), here in lot 51, with an estimate of $200-400. Although not as well known as the Donner story, Manly’s description of his efforts to rescue his comrades lost and starving in Death Valley serves as a reminder that unfortunate emigrants were just as dead from heat as from cold.

Finally The Zamorano Club did not concentrate exclusively on works of fiction, history, and exploration. The compilers recognized that historical eras and events need guidance and interpretation from more modern, recent scholars. To that end, the Club included several more modern works that guide readers through the literature of California. The basic guide is, of course, H. H. Bancroft’s Works (1882-1890), here in lot 3, with an estimate of $3000-6000. His sections on California remain a starting point for historians. Robert Ernest Cowan’s elegant A Bibliography of the History of California and the Pacific West, 1510-1906 (1914), here in lot 23, with an estimate of $300-600, is as prized for its reading value as it is for its scholarship. It is the work that launched the Book Club of California’s publications. Encompassing a 1000 titles that Cowan thought the most significant to his subject, it has been surpassed only by its metamorphosed self. Feeling the need to flesh out the California materials, Cowan in 1933 published his A Bibliography of the History of California, 1510-1930 (1933), here in lot 23A, with an estimate of $250-500. Not a Zamorano 80 title, this book is nevertheless a necessary supplement to his original work. A literary, critical work is Ella Sterling Cummins’ The Story of the Files (1893), here in lot 24, with an estimate of $100-200. A book that records much information about California authors that might otherwise have been lost, it is also important for the emphasis it places on women writers and for the fact it was written by a woman.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>Including Autographs & Memorabilia<br>31 March 2020</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Rackham (Arthur). The Old Hag Standing Outside a Cottage, original drawing, signed by the artist, [c.1909]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first printing, signed by the author, original pictorial wrappers, 1997. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Castiglione (Giuseppe, after). Twelve plates from <i>Twenty views of the European Palaces of the Yuanming yuan,</i> 1783-1786. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>Including Autographs & Memorabilia<br>31 March 2020</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Spanish Antiphonal.- Antiphonal manuscript, [Spain], ca. 1650. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Almanach de Gotha.- Almost complete run 1769 to 1945, 12mo & 8vo, Gotha, C.W. Ettinger [- Justus Perthes]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Bible, Greek.- New Testament [Greek], Novum Iesu Christi D.N. testamentum, ex bibliotheca regia, 2 parts in one, Robert Estienne, Paris, 1550. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>Including Autographs & Memorabilia<br>31 March 2020</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Lithgow (William). <i>The Total Discourse of the rare Adventures… from Scotland, to the most famous kingdoms in Europe, Asia, and Affrica…,</i> woodcut illustrations, 4to, I. Oakes, 1640. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Spanish Interest.-16th -18th Century. Large collection of letters related to prominent members of the Spanish court and clergymen,; v.s., late 16th-mid 18th century. £1,800 to £2,200.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Darwin (Charles). <i>The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex,</i> 2 vol., FIRST EDITION, first issue8vo, John Murray, 1871. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>Including Autographs & Memorabilia<br>31 March 2020</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Loewy (Raymond) ARR. Mickey Mouse, original gouache and air brush illustration of Mickey Mouse, signed by artist., n.p. [1946]. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Potter (Beatrix) & Sendak (Maurice). <i>The Tale of Peter Rabbit,</i> NUMBER 2 OF 250 SIGNED COPIES, WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING BY SENDAK, New York, 1995. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Wolstenholm (Jonathan) ARR. Books on Books, original watercolor, signed and dated by the artist, 2005.

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