Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2011 Issue

Natural History from Raymond M. Sutton, Jr.

Sutton199

Natural History from Raymond Sutton.

Raymond M. Sutton, Jr., has just released his Catalog No. 199. Natural History. With a Large Selection of Horticultural Books. Actually, the over 400 items in this catalogue have been neatly divided into various classifications:  Fine & Illustrated Works; Botany including Orchids & Cryptogams; Horticulture; Birds; Fishes & Marine Biology; Insects & Other Invertebrates; Mammals, Reptiles & Other Zoology; Geology & Paleontology; and History, Travel & General Biology. The items presented run the gamut from well-known, major scientific works, to tightly woven niches like a particular species, or plant or animal type as found in a particular state or even around a specific community. There truly is something for everyone who collects in the natural history field. Here are some examples.

 

Lewis and Clark are the most famous explorers to cross the North American continent all the way to the Pacific, but they were not the first. That honor belongs to Canadian Alexander Mackenzie, the first to make it all the way from east to west north of Mexico. His account is entitled Voyages from Montreal, on the River St. Laurence, through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans:  in the Years 1789 and 1793. His explorations were undertaken on behalf of the Northwest Company, seeking to compete in the fur trade against the larger and more established Hudson's Bay Company. On his first journey, he followed the river which now bears his name attempting to reach the Pacific. Instead, he ended up along the Arctic (frozen) Ocean. Undaunted, Mackenzie set out again four years later, following a route that took him along various rivers as well as overland, finally reaching the Bella Coola, which drains into the Pacific from British Columbia. Item 31 is the 1802 first American edition of his account. Priced at $1,000.

 

Louis Agassiz was one of the great scientists of the 19th century, though the years have diminished and tarnished his reputation. Born in Switzerland in 1807, he studied first fishes and then glaciers. He later expanded to paleontology and other pursuits involving natural history. In the 1840s he came to America and became a professor at Harvard. It was from there he published Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America, four volumes published 1857-62. It was Darwin's publication of his theory of evolution that would start Agassiz's reputation on a decline. He was perhaps the last major scientist to categorically reject evolution, holding to a creationist theory that held that various species were all created separately. This belief would also lead him to conclude that various human races were created separately, and, as one might expect from a white man, that the Bible (Adam and Eve) was an account of white people, and other races were inferior. In recent years, some edifices named for him have had their names changed as a result of his more repugnant views. Nonetheless, Agassiz was honored in his time, and his friend, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote a piece in honor of his 50th birthday. Item 3 is Longfellow's personal copy of this work, signed twice by the poet. $1,200.

 

Speaking of Darwin, item 142 is a book by another Darwin, Erasmus. It is the first Dublin edition (1800) of Phytologia:  or the Philosophy of Agriculture and Gardening. It provides an early description of photosynthesis along with much practical advice on gardening. Erasmus Darwin was a physician and scientist who studied natural history and wrote poetry on the subject. This Darwin also developed a theory of evolution, although he believed that organisms somehow had the power to evolve themselves. It would be left to the other Darwin, his grandson Charles, to come up with natural selection as the modus operandi of evolution. $600.

 

Obtaining printed copies of John James Audubon's illustrations of American birds can be costly. A copy of the folio edition of his Birds of America sold at Sotheby's last December for over $11 million, the highest price ever paid for a printed book at auction. This price is out of reach for most of us. However, Sutton has an alternative that will provide you with the same illustrations. It is The Original Water-color Paintings by John James Audubon for the Birds of America. This is also a folio presentation, including 431 color drawings in two volumes. This edition was published in 1966 and comes at the far more affordable price of $70.

 

Here is a book about a creature for whom birds are a mortal enemy. We are on the birds' side of this epic battle. Item 282 is W.E. Dickinson's The Mosquitoes of Wisconsin. I'm not sure whether the mosquitoes of Wisconsin differ significantly from the mosquitoes of other regions, but you can be sure they have one miserable thing in common with all other types. $35.

 

I don't know whether the Crocodile Hunter, or Crocodile Dundee, attended this meeting, but item 322 is Crocodile:  Proceedings of the First Working Meeting of Crocodile Specialists…at the Bronx Zoo…1971. $85. Item 323 offers the proceedings of their second biennial meeting, this one held in Zululand. $40. The Crocodile Specialist Group is still in business, last meeting in Brazil, and is headed, quite naturally, by an Australian.

 

Raymond M. Sutton, Jr., may be reached at 606-549-3464 or suttonbks@2geton.net. The website is  www.suttonbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <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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