Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2011 Issue

History, Literature, Manuscripts and More from James Cummins Bookseller

Thomas Nast's little White House with big people.

Item 110 is a circa 1864 drawing by the great political cartoonist Thomas Nast, captioned, No. 2. The Small White House for the Large Statesmen. It depicts the limbs of a couple of large people, possibly including President Abraham Lincoln, protruding from windows and doors of the White House. In front, a black lady cooks on a stove with a washboard and clothesline nearby. See the image on this page. Exactly what point Nast was making is not clear. Nast would later become famous for his biting cartoons of Boss Tweed that helped bring down New York's corrupt Tammany Hall. $6,500.

 

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is best known for the illogical logic of his "Alice" stories written under the penname Lewis Carroll, but Dodgson was actually a mathematician and logician. He tutored students (young girls) in logic, and wrote this book, Symbolic Logic Part I Elementary, published in 1896. This copy is inscribed, as typically, "from the Author," to Hilda Rowell. Hilda was the oldest of three sisters who were tutored by Dodgson, the younger ones sometimes considered among his "child friends." Item 50. $7,500.

 

Item 12 is the beginning of a eulogy that touched the heartstrings of America like few others. It is the autographed, draft manuscript opening of Secretary of State James G. Blaine's eulogy before the House of Representatives for fallen President James Garfield. You can find printed copies of Blaine's eulogy available online. Garfield has slipped somewhat into obscurity over the 120 years since he was assassinated, but he was immensely popular at the time he died, and the nation, not that far removed from Lincoln's assassination, was deeply hurt. Blaine's eulogy was flowery and emotional, well received by a grieving public. Blaine would go on to wrest the 1884 Republican presidential nomination from Garfield's vice-president and successor, Chester Arthur, but would unexpectedly be defeated in the general election. $1,000.

 

William Howard Taft served in the nation's top job in both the executive and judicial branches. He served as President from 1909-1913, and then was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1921. In 1927, he weighed in on the aftermath of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, and his observations would lead one to believe that Theodore Roosevelt was right - Taft was no progressive. In this letter to Connecticut Republican leader Ike Ullman, Taft uses a little red-baiting directed towards those unhappy with the two men's conviction for murder:  "The propaganda in this case has been world wide and promoted by the very extended contributions of people, many of whom are reds, some who are pinks, others who are hysterical and prone to think everything wrong, and by others with criminal instincts. It would seem that the rule toward which many people are working would result in immunity for anybody who said he was a communist…" Sacco and Vanzetti's guilt or innocence is debated to this day (some think Sacco was guilty; Vanzetti innocent). However, what is clear is that neither received a very fair trial, with anti-Italian prejudice flowing freely. Taft must have missed this. Item 162. $4,000.

 

James Cummins Bookseller may be reached at 212-688-6441 or cummins@panix.com. Their website is www.jamescumminsbookseller.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.

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