Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2007 Issue

How much Green is there in the White Mountains?

Neba.350

More than 30 White Mountain Items


By Bruce McKinney

Once in a while an auction provides an interesting test of strength. Such is the case at New England Book Auctions on April 10th when 210 lots of Americana including a collection on The White Mountains, as well as cartography, travel and nautical material goes under the hammer. Of particular interest is the concentration of White Mountain material: about 30 lots that's a mix of the simply interesting and the difficult to obtain. This material dates to the 19th century when the White Mountains of New Hampshire were a popular vacation area for the well-to-do of New England and New York. The area, always beautiful was also rich in history and attracted sufficient following to justify both bibliographies and book dealer specialization in the category. Goodspeeds, whose catalogues are included in the AED, was the largest of them. Alas, America moved west and interest in the White Mountains waned. This auction permits us to see if, as Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar, "the good is oft interred with the bones." What was once highly collectible about the White Mountains, and is now mostly overlooked and forgotten, will someday be collectible again. The question now is whether a collector or two will seize the opportunity in this area, while prices are low, to move valuations within this focus up a notch.

Certainly some of this material is available on line; in a few cases, many copies. What an auction of concentrated subject matter, such as this one, does is to bring out the collectors and the dealers who make markets in this material so that for a few hours there is visibility, a sense of the scale of interest and willingness to pay. For the White Mountains this is one of those moments. Bidding in this sale will be both dealers defending their turf, established collectors carefully acquiring, and new collectors venturing. Out of it may come one or two new collectors. For the White Mountains, New England Book Auctions offers a window on this forgotten area of collecting. It's an interesting place with a deep history, a subject worth collecting.

The 31 lots relating to the White Mountains, New Hampshire and Vermont have an aggregate low estimate of $4,990 and a high estimate of $7,610. These are not expensive items although many will be appealing. It should be noted that New England Book Auction has had the highest sell-through rate in the auction business the past few years selling 2,369 of 2,376 documented lots in 2006 and 2,781 of 2,799 in 2005. They sell through because NEBA insists on low estimates. If no one counters your bid you may buy a good book for a song. On the other hand there are usually others willing to bid against you. This said, if you seriously want to buy specific lots in this White Mountain group expect, in many cases, to go at least 50% over the high estimate to have a chance.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.
  • <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> George Washington ADS, One of the Earliest in His Hand, A Survey from 1752, the Same Year He Inherited Mount Vernon.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Rare JFK Signed Check & Transmittal Letter During Campaign for 1956 VP Nomination, Both BAS Slabbed; Possibly A Unique Combo!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Daniel Boone Signed Receipt as VA Delegate; During His 1st of 3 Terms, Boone Was Kidnapped by British Forces Gunning for Gov. T. Jefferson & Other Legislators.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Benjamin Franklin Signed Receipt for “Pennsylvania Gazette,” Important & Beautifully Displayed
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Lincoln & His Civil War Cabinet: 8 Signatures, Beautifully Presented!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> G.A. Custer ALS from Fort Lincoln, Dakota Territory to Capt. Yates, Who Also Died at Little Bighorn, Re: Acquiring “good horses” from Kentucky for 7th Cavalry.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Jefferson Davis ALS: “the negroes are humble and generally inclined to cling to their masters…neither crop or stock could be protected from their thieving” – Incredible!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Lee Harvey Oswald Signed Letter: “if we finally get back to the states…maybe we’ll…settle in Texas,” Warren Commission Exhibit.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Babe Ruth First Edition Biography Signed Just Months Before His Death, Excellent Signature!
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> “B Arnold” ANS on Pre-Revolutionary War Promissory Note Dating From His Days as a New Haven Merchant
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Bob Dylan Signed LP “Blonde on Blonde” with Jeff Rosen COA.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Marilyn Monroe & Joe DiMaggio Signed Checks, Handsomely Displayed.

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