Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2011 Issue

Recent Acquisitions at the William Reese Company

Reese282

New acquisitions in Americana.

The William Reese Company has published a catalogue of Recent Acquisitions in Americana, their 282nd catalogue. This one contains a wide variety of material - 176 items in all - with the common thread being obvious. They all touch on America in some way. Most are deeply connected to America, being about events within the land. However, some are a bit less obvious, such as the painting of a new island that suddenly appeared in the Mediterranean. The connection? It was painted by an American seaman. Here are a few of these recent arrivals to Reese's stock of Americana.

 

Item 32 is an important book with the perfect provenance:  The Navigator:  Containing Directions for Navigating the Monongahela, Allegheny, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. This is an 1811 "improved and enlarged" seventh edition of a book first published in 1806. Zadoc Cramer's guide was the primary resource at the time for those who navigated the rivers in what was then the American West. The provenance is that of Samuel Clemens, who worked the Mississippi River as a pilot during his youth, taking the penname "Mark Twain," a nautical term. Many of his works were centered on the Mississippi. This copy was not used by Clemens in his piloting days. It was given to him by New York businessman Augustus G. Paine when Clemens was 74 years old, just a year before he died. He has signed the copy "S.L. Clemens 1909." Priced at $12,500.

 

Speaking of the sudden appearance in the Mediterranean, item 157 is a watercolor, in six panels, showing four views of Graham Island. Graham Island, the British name (the Sicilians call it Ferdinandea) appeared off the coast of Sicily in July of 1831. It wasn't a miraculous appearance, but simply the result of a large volcanic eruption under the sea. It wasn't the island's first appearance. It had arisen from the sea four or five times before dating back into antiquity. Each time it sank back into the sea, its surface subject to rapid erosion. This time there was a major eruption. The island reached a height of 200 feet and a circumference of almost three miles. It quickly resulted in an international dispute. Its strategic location in the Mediterranean made it a desirable possession for several nations. England laid its claim, but so did Sicily, France and Spain. As the nations argued, the island sank. It was no more durable this time than the others. By December of that year, with the nations still disputing its ownership, the last of Graham sank into the sea. It made another very brief appearance 30 years later, and volcanic rumblings a few years ago put people on watch again recently. Currently, it sits about 20 feet below the sea. Another rising will probably not lead to a similar international incident; its close proximity to Sicily likely will make it Italian property. Along with the illustrations this manuscript includes a small map and a description of the rise and fall of the little island. The unknown author was probably an officer onboard the American ship U.S.S. Boston. $2,500.

 

Item 4 is an odd piece headed Convict Catechism, from the 1880 Georgia gubernatorial election. This race pitted regular Democratic Governor Alfred H. Colquitt against former Senator Thomas Norwood. The Republicans nominated no candidate, leaving the still sizable black vote up for grabs. Neither Colquitt nor Norwood had any particular history of friendship toward blacks, and ultimately the vote was split, as blacks who supported each candidate hoped it might result in better treatment for them in a South that was rapidly turning more hostile. This campaign piece for Norwood was obviously intended to sway black voters by portraying Colquitt in the worst light possible. It claims that under Colquitt's administration, black male and female prisoners were chained together, with 25 illegitimate children "born of mothers lying chained promiscuously in bunks or on the ground among the male convicts." It also claims that Colquitt knowingly permitted black convicts to escape so that they could be tracked down and torn apart by bloodhounds, and that Colquitt supported the Ku Klux Klan. It's not clear whether this pamphlet helped Norwood with black voters (or helped Colquitt with whites), but Colquitt was reelected. $1,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.

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