Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2011 Issue

The First Catalogue from Yesterday's Muse Books

Yesterdaysmuse1

The first catalogue from Yesterday's Muse Books.

This month we have the opportunity to review the first catalogue from Yesterday's Muse Books. While this is the first catalogue for the upstate New York bookseller, the firm has been in business since 2003. In 2008, founder Jonathan Smalter opened a shop to go along with the online business. That bookstore may be found in Webster, New York, just outside of Rochester.

This first catalogue has the simple, descriptive title, Catalog 1. That title comes with a bit more explanation - An Eclectic Assortment of Decorative and Collectible Literature, History, and Curiosities, with emphasis on Castles, Utopian Fiction, and Winston Churchill. Certainly, a catalogue that combines utopian fiction with Winston Churchill is eclectic. Perhaps opposites attract. However, there is much more in this catalogue than even that title implies. Among the many other fields well represented are Americana, children's books, literature, Charles Dickens, architecture, very early books, and art. And, there is more. Here are a few selections from the first catalogue for Yesterday's Muse.

Item 11 is a look at Oregon in the days just before settlers began traveling the famed trail. The title is Ten Years in Oregon, written by Daniel Lee and Joseph Frost and published in 1844. They did not go there to settle the area, nor trade in furs. They were missionaries. Lee and his missionaries accompanied the Wyeth expedition of 1834, otherwise consisting of traders and trappers. Their aim was to convert the natives of the Northwest. Their account covers their journey and mission, and discusses their primary financier, the wealthy John Jacob Astor. Priced at $225.

F. Scott Fitzgerald published his first novel (This Side of Paradise) in 1920, and it was an immediate success. Less well known is that in the same year, he also published a collection of short stories. Item 80 is that collection of stories, Flappers and Philosophers, a third printing of the first edition. $300. A fifth printing of the first edition of This Side of Paradise is also offered (item 79. $500) as is a first edition, first state of The Great Gatsby (item 81. $2,500). The Fitzgerald items do not have dust jackets.

If you are looking for wisdom, at least in regards to political and governmental affairs, a great place for Americans to start is with the father of their country. Fortunately, George Washington wrote a lot over the course of his life. From 1834-1837, historian, scholar, Unitarian minister, and Harvard President Jared Sparks compiled 12 volumes of the first President's manuscripts, including letters, documents, messages and other written material. It was the most thorough look at Washington's writings up to that time. Sparks did receive some criticism for occasionally fixing up Washington's grammar and spelling, but the meanings were true. Item 7 is The Writings of George Washington. $850.

Who was the Portuguese Cicero? Stumped? Of course you are. His name was Jeronimo Osorio, and his name would not have been pronounced like the famous Indian Chief, since this “J” would be pronounced like an “H.” Osorio was a learned scholar, historian, churchman, and part of the court. In 1560, he was appointed Bishop of Silves, a position he held until his death in 1580. As for being the Portuguese Cicero, Osorio obtained that moniker as a result of his great fluency in Latin. Item 66 is one of those early books in this catalogue, Hieronymi Osorii Lusitani, Episcopi Silvensis, Paraphrasis in Isaiam, an edition published in 1584 (it was first published in 1579). $1,750.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <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.

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