Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2006 Issue

Dawson Ephemera Auction September 29th

Jwg.111

An early map with a Bancroft connection.


By Bruce McKinney

Glen Dawson, the consummate bookman and bibliophile, has sent Part II of his collection of early Californiana and Los Angeles ephemera to auction to be parsed, savored and sold by Johns' Western Gallery on September 29th. The sale includes 99 items from the 1874-1879 period. Part I, comprising 100 lots brought $152,000 on December 2, 2005. The first sale was successful both for buyers and the seller as Mr. Dawson's decades long commitment to the collection of obscure early local materials was welcomed by a new generation of collectors who appreciated the rarity of both the material and the opportunity to acquire it. Lots in the first sale had low estimates and no reserves leaving bidders from around the state and across the country to fight it out for the privilege of taking home a prize. Most lots fell to a Southern Californian passing bids by phone to his attractive representative who systematically decapitated hopefuls with an upraised paddle that refused to fall.

In that sale Doug Johns, the proprietor and auctioneer, was content to let prices find their natural perches after starting at levels that let everyone present believe they would be carrying home boxes of gems for the price of a Big Mac. Alas it didn't work out that way as one buyer ate all the lunch.

This sale, the second of four projected, continues the deaccessioning in date order. The first sale included imprints issued between 1843 and 1873. This sale covers 1874 to 1879. The collection is the lifelong avocation of Glen Dawson and his connection adds significant cachet to the material. For collectors, who may not otherwise covet the material, the acquisition of one or two items for their Dawson provenance may prove irresistible. The numbering of the lots conforms to the yet-to-be published Bibliography of Southern California Imprints being prepared by Dr. Stuart Robinson. Thus there are occasional blanks.

Here then a few examples from the sale.

Lot 111. Diagram of the Scene of the Capture of Vasquez. Typographical map composed entirely of printers' ornaments, 24.6 x 33.9 cm. Supplement to the Los Angeles Star, Vol. XI, No. 21 (May 23, 1874). Est. $1,500/2,500

Lot 114. Tiburcio Vasquez, the Notorious Bandit. 9 x 6 cm, albumen-print carte de visite with 42 lines of printed text on verso. [Los Angeles, 1874.] Est. $500/800

Lot 138. By-laws of the California Wine-Growers' Association of Los Angeles, Incorporated March 20, 1875. 14 pp., 21.5 cm, printed wrappers, in cloth & leather case, fold-out photograph tipped in facing title page. Los Angeles: "Mirror" Book and Job Printing Establishment, Downey Block, Temple and Main Streets, 1875. Est. $1,000/1,500

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>The Railroad,</i> etching, 1922. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Sheet of Studies with Men in Hats and a Saloon Keeper,</i> pen, ink & pencil, circa 1900-05. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Night Shadows,</i> etching, 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> John Marin, <i>Woolworth Building, No. 2,</i> etching & drypoint, 1913. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Charles Demuth, <i>Tulips,</i> watercolor & pencil, 1924. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Under Control,</i> gouache, ink & wash, circa 1907-10. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JESSE JAMES. Autograph Letter Signed on the attack at his home which maimed his mother and killed his nephew Archie, 6 pp, March 23, 1875. THE MOST IMPORTANT JESSE JAMES LETTER EXTANT. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> THE LETTER THAT ARRIVED TOO LATE: An important letter from Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant across the battlefield at Cold Harbor, June 6, 1864. $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> DAVY CROCKETT. Autograph Letter Signed on his political philosophy and his dispute with Andrew Jackson, "at home Weakley County," August 18, 1831. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> GEORGE WASHINGTON. Letter Signed to Colonel Richard Gridley, the first engineer of the American Army, Morris Town, January 9, 1777. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> SCOTT FITZGERALD. <i>Tender is the Night.</i> FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED to H.A. Swanseid. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS. <i>Tarzan of the Apes.</i> FIRST EDITION. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> J.R.R. TOLKIEN. <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again.</i> FIRST EDITION. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NATHANAEL WEST. <i>The Day of the Locust.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed to director Richard Wallace in the year of publication. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> FRANCIS PICABIA. Archive of 17 Autograph Letters signed to Jennie Thiersch on art and life, 1948-1951. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JOHN HANCOCK. Autograph Letter Signed to his wife Dolly from the Continental Congress, 4 pp, Philadelphia, March 10-11, 1777. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NIGHTGOWN WORN BY CHARLOTTE CARDEZA DURING THE TITANIC DISASTER AND RESCUE. $40,000 to $60,000

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