Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2004 Issue

All Kinds of Americana <br>From Almagre Books

R2a

Americana from Almagre Books


By Michael Stillman

Almagre Books has issued its 21st catalogue, "Americana." This is a large and far-ranging collection, 476 items in all. It starts with a book of Ansel Adams photographs and ends with a report on some meteorites found in the Yukon. Just about everything else pertaining to America, primarily America of the North, is in between. Included are many obscure and forgotten titles, just the type collectors love. Here are some.

Most of what you read about American history tends to be focused on those people who arrived earliest, either colonial or at least pre-Civil War times, from Europe, and to a lesser extent, on those who arrived involuntarily on slave ships. The second wave of immigrants, who arrived around the turn of the century, more often from eastern and southern Europe, don't get as much press. For those with ancestors who came in that second wave, Quarantine. Glimpses of America's Threshold, will be an interesting book. Published in 1906, it describes and documents with photography the immigration processes at Ellis Island in New York. Immigrants were quarantined, disinfected, and those deemed undesirable rejected for admittance. Almagre notes that they were treated like cattle, and that the writers of this book were approving of the process. Item 193. Priced at $275.

If New York amazed these new residents, here's something that must have left them speechless: Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. From 1883 until 1917, William "Buffalo Bill" Cody toured the country showing incredulous Easterners what the West was no longer like, nor ever was, for that matter. It was an exaggerated characterization of the Old West, but the audiences loved it, and it helped shaped the image future generations would have of that time and place. Item 115 is a collection of eight programs from these shows, ranging from 1885 until the final year of 1917. Venues included New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Hartford. Most of the programs contain many pictures of the show. The final program was issued shortly after Cody's death. His reputed last words were "Let my show go on." It didn't. $3,500.

Here is another example of what the West was never like: Captured and Branded by the Comanche Indians in the Year 1860: A True Narrative, by Edwin Eastman. Evidently, this pamphlet was not written to tell the truth about anything. It was designed to sell a patent medicine of the day, supposedly learned by this captive from an Indian medicine man. This pamphlet promotes the author's separate book which Almagre, quoting from G.P. Garrison, describes as "a revolting fictitious story written to advertise Dr. Clark Johnson's Indian blood syrup." Let this be a warning the next time you see a book with the word "true" in the title. Item 148. $150.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>The Railroad,</i> etching, 1922. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Sheet of Studies with Men in Hats and a Saloon Keeper,</i> pen, ink & pencil, circa 1900-05. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Night Shadows,</i> etching, 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> John Marin, <i>Woolworth Building, No. 2,</i> etching & drypoint, 1913. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Charles Demuth, <i>Tulips,</i> watercolor & pencil, 1924. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Under Control,</i> gouache, ink & wash, circa 1907-10. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JESSE JAMES. Autograph Letter Signed on the attack at his home which maimed his mother and killed his nephew Archie, 6 pp, March 23, 1875. THE MOST IMPORTANT JESSE JAMES LETTER EXTANT. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> THE LETTER THAT ARRIVED TOO LATE: An important letter from Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant across the battlefield at Cold Harbor, June 6, 1864. $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> DAVY CROCKETT. Autograph Letter Signed on his political philosophy and his dispute with Andrew Jackson, "at home Weakley County," August 18, 1831. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> GEORGE WASHINGTON. Letter Signed to Colonel Richard Gridley, the first engineer of the American Army, Morris Town, January 9, 1777. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> SCOTT FITZGERALD. <i>Tender is the Night.</i> FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED to H.A. Swanseid. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS. <i>Tarzan of the Apes.</i> FIRST EDITION. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> J.R.R. TOLKIEN. <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again.</i> FIRST EDITION. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NATHANAEL WEST. <i>The Day of the Locust.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed to director Richard Wallace in the year of publication. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> FRANCIS PICABIA. Archive of 17 Autograph Letters signed to Jennie Thiersch on art and life, 1948-1951. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JOHN HANCOCK. Autograph Letter Signed to his wife Dolly from the Continental Congress, 4 pp, Philadelphia, March 10-11, 1777. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NIGHTGOWN WORN BY CHARLOTTE CARDEZA DURING THE TITANIC DISASTER AND RESCUE. $40,000 to $60,000

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