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, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.

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