Bloomsbury Offers Mid-Range Americana on March 5th
53. BOXING - Broadside. Come & See all the New Arrivals at Owen Geoghegan's Old House at Home ... Decoration Day Monday, May 30, 1881. A Grand Testimonial Benefit (In which all the Champions of the English and American Prize Ring will appear). New York: Cameron & Co., 1881. Broadside (700x260 mm). Printed on yellow newspaper stock. Illustrated with a woodcut of two men with gloved hands facing off in a ring. Condition: Few short splits to edges and folds, few small holes in text, a few tears repaired on verso.
While Jimmy Highland ("of Birmingham, England") and Harry Evans (alias "Thumby") were the featured fighters, the card also featured local and travelling boxers such as Charley Norton, Jack Turner and "Jno. Sullivan of Boston" -- almost certainly the John L. Sullivan who became the first heavyweight champion of the world just a few years after this fight. Geoghegan's was a noted (and notorious) bar located at 105 Bowery.
$400 – $600
67. BURTON, Sir Richard Francis. The City of the Saints, and Across the Rocky Mountains to California. London: Longman, Green, Longman & Roberts, 1861. 8vo (222x142 mm). Half-title. Wood-engraved frontispiece, 1 folding engraved map (route marked by hand in red), 1 folding engraved town plan, 7 wood-engraved plates, occasional wood-engraved illustrations. Original green cloth, blocked in gilt and blind, brown glazed endpapers. Condition: some light browning or soiling to margins. Provenance: author's presentation inscription in purple ink on half-title "With the best regards of / the Author" and with Burton’s signature in Arabic script (loosely inserted note from Quentin Keynes confirming the attribution of the inscription). Signed presentation copy of the first edition. Penzer pp.68-69; Sabin 9497.
$2000 – $3000
118. FRENCH & INDIAN WAR - WOLFE, James. Autograph letter signed "Jam: Wolfe" to an unnamed recipient [but Viscount Sidney] recommending works on military tactics. Devises: 18 July 1756. 3 pp, on a folded sheet but since separated (230x185 mm). Docketed on the blank page in an early hand "Original letter from General Wolfe to Lord Sydney." Condition: some browning, separated along the vertical fold, other separations crudely repaired on the blank page.
an important letter by wolfe on the art of war, written at the beginning of the french & indian war and just three years before his death.
Wolfe writes: "You cannot find me a more agreable Employment than to serve or oblige you, & I wish with all my heart that my inclination & abilities were of equal force. I do not recollect what it was that I recommended to Mr. Cornwallis & newphew, it might be the Comet de Turpin’s Book, which is certainly worth looking into, as it contains a good deal of plain Practice. Your Brother, no doubt, is Master of the Latin & French Languages & has some knowledge of the Mathematicks; without this last he can never become acquainted with one considerable Branch of our Business, the construction of Fortifications & the attack & defense of places." This comment on the importance of understanding fortifications would prove prophetic, considering his hero's death at the 1759 assault on Quebec.
The letter continues over the next two pages with reviews of specific works. Wolfe then continues: "In these days of scarcity & in these unlucky Times it were much to be wished that all our young soldiers of Birth & Education would follow your Brother's steps & [as] they will have their turn to command, that they would try to make themselves fit for that important Trust: without it we must sink under the superior ability & indefatigable Industry or our restless neighbour." After this reference to France, Wolfe concludes by commenting, "In what a strange manner have we conducted our affairs in the Mediterranean?"
An early copy of this letter is located at the Houghton Library.
$4000 – $6000