Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2012 Issue

Rare and Unexpected Items from Extant Americana

John Heath and George Armstrong Custer each met an untimely demise.

Speaking of New Orleans during the Civil War, item 28 is a Proclamation, issued by General Benjamin Butler shortly after Union forces seized the city in 1862. Martial law was declared, and the proclamation requires the surrender of arms, no flags other than that of the U.S. be flown, oaths of allegiance be given, and so on. Butler established a no-nonsense rule, at times harsh, leaving him an unpopular man in the South. That did not bother him. $7,500.

We usually expect to find attractive or important scenery on postcards, the Grand Canyon or the Washington Monument. This postcard instead features a picture of a hanging. The man dangling from the rope is John Heath, a one-time Deputy Sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona (Tombstone), who was not unwilling to ply the other side of the law. He moved to Bisbee, south of Tombstone, and opened a saloon. It was there he was alleged to have conspired with, most likely directed, five other men in what would be a robbery of a local store. It was expected there would be a payroll for a local mine at the store. There wasn't, but the five men stole other money they found, as well as robbing some customers. Then, something went awry, shooting started, and by the time it was over, four citizens of Bisbee lay dead. Heath did not participate in the crime. He said he was hiding behind his bar when the shooting broke out. The five were all convicted of murder and hanged for their crime. Heath was convicted of second degree murder for his involvement and sentenced to life in prison. That was not sufficient for the good folks of Bisbee. They dragged him from his cell and strung him up from a telegraph pole. Someone had a camera and caught the dangling Heath surrounded by a group of participants and spectators of the lynching. Another enterprising person turned the photograph into a postcard. Having fun, wish you were here. The lynching took place in 1884, while the postcard is dated 1885. Item 68. $2,250.

Item 39 is a photograph of General George Armstrong Custer, taken by Mora of New York in 1876. That was the year of a major life changing event for General Custer. We need say no more. This was taken at the last formal photography session for the Civil War General and Indian fighter. In his profession, you cannot afford to make even one mistake. Armstrong is dressed in his military uniform, looking as much debonair as military. $2,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • 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: 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

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