Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2012 Issue

American Views from the William Reese Company


American Views.

The William Reese Company recently issued their Bulletin 26: American Views. These are printed, or occasionally original artworks of various scenic views in the Americas (North, South, and Central). Most are colored, often by hand. Many are individual images, others are books filled with color plates. All are artistic and interesting, with the individual images being appropriate for framing. Here are a few of these scenic views.

We start with Arnoldus Montanus' De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weerld. This is a book filled with information and illustrations of America, or the “New World.” It contains 32 double-page plates, seven portraits, 15 double-page maps and a large folding map. It covers both North and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Perhaps most notable is the very early view of New York, or “Novum Amsterodamum” as the Dutch preferred to call it. The “city” appears as no more than a country town at this date, 1671. Ironically enough, New Amsterdam would soon be turned over to the British, never to carry that name again. Item 2. Priced at $28,500.

In the 18th century, the most popular American waterfalls for visitors was not Niagara, but Cohoes Falls near Albany, New York. Niagara Falls was too far away for most to reach, but Cohoes Falls was possible to obtain. Though hardly a Niagara, it was still a spectacular sight, the second greatest falls east of the Rockies. Item 3 is A View of the Great Cohoes Falls on the Mohawk River, published in London in 1768. It was originally included with Scenographia Americana, 28 plates issued in parts during the 1760s (complete sets are extremely rare today). The artist was Thomas Pownall, better known as a colonial governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony in the late 1750s, when Americans and the British were still on the same page. $8,500.

Item 7 is a view of those even more impressive falls, A View of the Western Branch of the Falls of Niagara, Taken from the Table Rock... This is a striking image produced by the American artist John Vander Lyn. He had spent five years studying art in France, and had recently returned to America when he began painting pictures of the falls. This hand-colored print, issued in 1804, is of one of them. Vander Lyn believed that by creating views of American sights, he could attract American clients. $12,500.

Item 15 is Die Weissen Schlosser... The White Castels [sic] on the upper Missouri. The artist is Karl Bodmer. Bodmer was a German artist who accompanied Prince Maxmilian on his great tour to see the Plains Indians of America in the 1830s. The Prince wrote a book about these still mostly unknown to the western world Indians, an account highlighted by Bodmer's illustrations. This image, however, displays a scenic view with wildlife, rather than Indians. Reese notes that this particular copy is a “remarkable survival.” It is the press proof Bodmer signed to acknowledge his approval of the printing. In French, Bodmer has written that he is certifying that all impressions of the image should conform with this proof. He has then signed his marginal notation “C. Bodmer.” $15,000.

Item 17 is Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, published in 1844. It consists of 25 tinted plates by British artist and architect Frederick Catherwood of ancient Mayan ruins. Catherwood accompanied American explorer and writer John Lloyd Stephens on two trips to Central America in the late 1830s and early 1840s. They stumbled across the long forgotten Mayan ruins, bringing this ancient civilization back to the attention of the West. Catherwood had earlier visited ancient Egyptian and similar sites around the Mediterranean, concluding that these structures were so different that they must have been built by American natives, not earlier visitors from the Old World. Stephens earlier wrote two books about their discoveries, illustrated by Catherwood. However, this book just focuses on Catherwood's exceptional illustrations of what he saw. $75,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <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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