Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2012 Issue

Antiquarian Material from Samuel Gedge Ltd.

Gedge12

Catalogue XII from Samuel Gedge Ltd.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books has now published their Catalogue XII. Gedge's catalogue is hardly limited to books. It is filled primarily with manuscripts and ephemeral items. What is common to the material is age. This is antiquarian material, often very old. It ranges from the 19th century all the way back to before printing. This is definitely a catalogue for the antiquarian. Here are a few of the items offered.

Being an indentured apprentice was not quite the same as slavery. At least it had a time limit, and there were a few more standards of care due from the master. Still, for however many years the young person was placed under control, freedom was very limited. Item 38 is the indenture document for William Harrison, a young man made apprentice to John Sarran of London, a distiller, in 1707. Hopefully, the young man at least got some free drinks, as he didn't get much else. Harrison was bound to Sarran for seven years, “during which term the said apprentice his said master shall faithfully serve, his secrets keep, his lawful commandments every where gladly do...he shall not commit fornication, nor contract matrimony within the said term. He shall not play at cards, dice, tables, or any other unlawful games, whereby his said master may have any losse...he shall not haunt taverns or playhouses...” In return, the master was obligated to provide food, lodging, and instruction in the trade. Priced at £350 (approximately $552 in U.S. currency).

Item 62 is related to 19 people who were far worse off than young Master Harrison. This is a letter from Malcolm Laing, attorney, to wealthy plantation owner William Philip Perrin. Laing advises Perrin that he has purchased 19 slaves on his behalf for his Jamaican plantation. He provides a list of the value of each slave, with the total coming to £1,395. The transaction was completed in the year 1780. £450 (US $710).

Here, now, is a document of freedom. It is a deed of manumission for a “villein,” a tenant farmer legally bound to the land during medieval times. The man was one John de Newdyke, and he received his freedom on December 28, 1409, during the Feast of the Holy Innocents. De Newdyke was now free to become a rent-paying farmer. He, and his descendants, would have to pay 13s 4d to their landlord, the Convent at Revesby, Lincolnshire, but would no longer have to serve it. Item 79. £1,250 (US $1,970).


Item 47 is a funeral invitation, typical of its time (1798). It includes a woodcut illustration on a sheet, with a blank center, wherein is written the specific instructions for the funeral. In this case, it states, “You are desired to accompany the corps of Mrs Susan Barrow from her late dwelling house in Little Marlborough Street to the parish church of St. James's Westminster...” It all seems a little ghoulish today, but was standard in the 18th century. We would not invite someone to accompany a corpse anymore, nor would we have a funeral invitation depicting a skull and crossbones, the Grim Reaper (not so grim here – he is smiling), a skeleton, an emptied hourglass, several more skulls, and the wording “Remember to Die.” Could we forget, even if we wanted? Was this message added by the funeral director, fearful of losing business? £850 (US $1,340).

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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