Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2011 Issue

Rare American Pamphlets from David M. Lesser Antiquarian Books

Rare Americana from David M. Lesser.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has issued their 117th catalogue of Rare Americana. Lesser's catalogues specialize in pamphlets and shorter form pieces pertaining to America, mostly from the 18th and 19th century. Much of the material relates to the difficult time leading up to the Civil War, when the issue of slavery began to divide the nation north vs. south, ultimately leading to the break only war could resolve. However, there is also material from the Revolutionary period and the years before the regional differences became irreconcilable. Here are some of the publications in this latest Lesser catalogue.

 

Item 11 is the Trial of John Y. Beall, as a Spy and Guerrillero, by Military Commission, published in 1864. Beall was a well-off, former University of Virginia student who took up the Confederate cause. However, rather than joining the army, he decided to pursue his own missions behind enemy lines. His plans involved disruption of Union commerce, spying, and freeing of Confederate prisoners. He operated under the semi-authority of the Confederacy, which allowed his actions but did not provide support. As such, he might be considered a Confederate privateer, but to the Union, he was simply a pirate. He captured a couple of boats on the Great Lakes, using Canada as a haven for escape. Eventually, he came back across the border and attempted to highjack a train near Buffalo to free some Confederate officers. Instead, he was captured near the suspension bridge over the Niagara River. This trial ensued. Beall argued that he was acting as a Confederate naval officer, and therefore should be treated as a prisoner of war. The military commission did not buy in, finding him a spy and criminal and sentenced him to death. Beall had many supporters for his position as 92 members of Congress wrote President Lincoln asking that he be pardoned. Lincoln, a sympathetic man who signed many a pardon for ordinary soldiers who faced harsh punishments, was not so inclined for a spy against the nation. He declined and Beall was hanged just a few weeks before Lee surrendered. Priced at $450.

 

Most Americans were preparing for the seeming inevitability of war in 1860. Theophilus Roessle had other issues on his mind, such as how to cultivate celery. Roessle was a German immigrant who came to America in 1825 with no money. He settled in Albany, New York. After working a variety of jobs, he gathered enough money to rent some land and began farming. In time, he became a major supplier of vegetables to various markets, hotels and such. His specialty was celery. Who knew you could become rich from celery? Along the way, one of his hotel customers was unable to pay his celery bill, so Roessle took an interest in the hotel. In time, he gained complete control, beginning a career as a major hotelier. Still, the cultivation and preservation of celery remained a challenge, which took Roessle years to perfect. Finally, he unveiled his secrets in this 1860 book:  Roessle's Gardiner's Hand-Books. No. 1. How to Cultivate and Preserve Celery. Though this is styled number one in a series, Roessle never got around to publishing any further titles. Item 117. $250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Keats, John] Spenser, Edmund: The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. $50,000 - $80,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: (Walton, Izaak): The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing. $30,000 - $50,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Thomas, Gabriel: An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pensilvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America. $25,000 - $35,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Carroll, Lewis]: The Game of Alice in Wonderland. $2,000 - $3,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Athias, Joseph, et al.: Biblia Hebraica. $7,000 - $10,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Warhol, Andy, and Jens Quistgaard] Dansk Designs Salesman's Presentation Catalogue. $2,500 - $3,500.
  • Sotheby’s, June 26: Poe, Edgar Allan. Tamerlane — the most poignant rarity in American literature. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." 2,500,000 - 5,000,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: William Blake. “Poems with very wild and interesting pictures” 1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: Thomas Taylor [artist]. The original cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
  • Bonhams, June 15-25: 18th Century American Sea Captain's Journals of Voyages to Hawaii, China, and South America. $35,000 - $45,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Admiral Richard E. Byrd's Autograph Diary from Bolling Advance Base, Winter 1934. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Thoreau, Henry David. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Cellarius, Andreas. Harmonia macrocosmica seu atlas universalis et novus, totius universi creati cosmographiam generalem, et novam exhibens. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Nobelist George Stigler's Copy of Ricardo's Classic on the Science of Economics. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris: F. L. Schmied, 1927. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Fine Copy of Walras's Classic on the Theory of Marginal Utility. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Arion Press Moby Dick. Melville, Herman. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Venegas, Miguel. Noticia de la California, y desu conquista temporal, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente. $7,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Carelton Watkins, Yosemite and the West. Portfolio of 21 imperial albumen prints. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: An Unpublished Archive of Thornton Wilder Correspondence to F.J. O'Neil. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. $100,000 - $150,000
  • Bonhams, June 25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. $200,000 - $300,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Gersdorff, Hans Von. 1455-1529. Feldtbuch der wundartzney. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Pare, Ambroise. C.1509-1590. La Methode Curative des Playes, et Fractures de la Teste humaine. Avec les pourtraits des Instruments necessaires pour la curation d'icelles. $25,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Reisch, Gregor. 1470-1525. Margarita Philosophica. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bright, Richard. 1789-1858. Reports of Medical Cases, Selected with a View of Illustrating the Symptoms and Cure of Diseases by a Reference to Morbid Anatomy. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Berengario da Carpi, Giacomo. C. 1460-1530. Tractatus de fractura calve sive cranei. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Vicq D'Azyr, Felix. 1748-1794. Traite d'antomie et de physiologie. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Croce, Giovanni Andrea Della. 1509?-1775. Chirurgia libri septem... $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bruno Da Longburgo. 1200-1286. La cyrogia di Maistro Bruno: Expertissimo in quella. Tradutta in vulgare. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Schwann, Theodor. 1810-1882. Mikroskopische Untersuchungen uber die Ubereinstimmung in der Struktur und dem Wachsthum der Thiere und Pflanzen. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Cowper, William. 1666-1709. The Anatomy of Humane Bodies, with Figures Drawn after the Life… $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bidloo, Govard. 1649-1713. Anatomia humani corporis, centum & quinque tabulis, per artificiossis. G. de Lairesse ad vivum delineatis. $6,000 - $9,000

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