Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2010 Issue

Sporting Books from James Cummins Bookseller

Cummins106

Sporting books from James Cummins Bookseller.


By Michael Stillman

James Cummins Bookseller recently issued a catalogue of Sporting Books. There are lots of sporting books around, as attested by the over 800 items offered in this collection. Cummins has divided the catalogue into several sections: angling, hunting, Derrydale Press (a publisher of high quality mostly sporting books), and miscellaneous sports. The latter includes a few from sports with mass popularity such as baseball, basketball, golf and boxing, along with more niche events such as archery, polo, foxhunting, dueling, fencing and deer-stalking (a British form of deer hunting). Whatever your sport, Cummins probably has something for you. Here are a few examples.

Item 117 is a tale of fishing in a place far away from where most of us live: The "Fisherman" Under the Southern Cross: A Story of Adventure in New Zealand, published in 1930. Author Romer Grey is not exactly a household name, but his father was the very well known western writer Zane Grey. Zane Grey was the most popular writer of western novels, but not as well known is the fact that fishing was his other great love (along with his lady friends). He wrote several books on fishing. This was his copy of his son's book, as Romer has inscribed the copy, "To my Dad, Zane Grey, whose literary achievement has always aroused the greatest of admiration within me. I hope I shall not be a disappointment to him…" Priced at $7,500.

Item 119 is a return of the favor, Zane Gray's Robbers' Roost, published in 1937. It is inscribed by Gray "To Romer / The River Runner." $1,250.

Item 204 is another fishing story from an unexpected source: His Fish Story. Wherein is made abundantly clear for the first Time, the proper answer to that Antient & Confusing of Questions: What makes the fish bite? The author of this "fish story" was Cotton Mather, the turn of the 18th century New England Puritan minister, most remembered, unfortunately, for his involvement in the Salem witch trials. Despite his stern religion, Mather wrote on many subjects. This piece was taken from his Magnalia Christi Americana, and republished several centuries later (1934). $250.

Dogs play an important role in hunting, whether it be for chasing down foxes or picking up birds. However, once in a while a book comes along that treats dogs a bit more seriously. Such is the case with item 688: Where is My Dog? Or, Is Man Alone Immortal? The author of this 1892 work was Charles Josiah Adams. Adams was the rector of his church, and was suffering from the loss of his dog, Tip, at the time. Adams concludes that the afterlife is not reserved for humans alone. Indeed, he finds dogs often are more deserving of eternal rewards than humans. $300.

Ever see that program on the world's worst jobs? Here's a pamphlet from a man whose profession would qualify: L.V. Powers, Castrator. Powers was a traveling castrator based in New Hampshire, and you can bet the menfolk all went into hiding whenever he came to town. In this publication, he notes that he is about to start his annual trip, pointing out that he performed 250 castrations in 1891, 300 in 1892, and over 300 in 1893. It must have been a real conversation stopper at parties when people asked Mr. Powers what he did for a living. Incidentally, he performed his magic on horses. The horse-folk all went into hiding when he paid a visit to their town. Item 780. $350.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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