Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2013 Issue

New Arrivals at James Cummins Bookseller

Cummins119

Hank Williams meets James Cummins.

James Cummins Bookseller has issued his latest catalogue. Despite the cover, it is not titled “Hank Williams' Country Hit Parade,” though it is a hit parade of books. Hey, these are some good lookin' books. Williams' Hit Parade is just one of the many items offered. The real title is Catalogue 119 New Arrivals. Here are a few of those arrivals.

We will start with Mr. Williams, the southern country singer whose stardom was disrupted by alcohol and drugs, leading to his untimely death on New Year's day 1953 at the age of 29. No list of America's greatest songwriters is complete without his name, even if his musical genre doesn't always get enormous respect. Item 97 is Hank Williams' Country Hit Parade, a compilation of music for 20 of his songs. Williams has signed the cover. According to the previous owner, she obtained the music at a concert in Jennersville, Pennsylvania on July 13, 1952. There was a recording made of that concert, and at the end, Williams can be heard offering copies of the songbook and to autograph it for buyers. Priced at $3,500.

Item 1 is James Adair's The History of the American Indians. We don't know whether Kaw-Liga was among them, but perhaps, as this book is focused on the southern tribes. It was described by Sabin as the “best 18th century English source on the Southern tribes,” and as written by “one of the most colorful figures in Southern colonial history.” Adair traded with the Indians for 40 years, so he was quite familiar with their customs. He also believed they were descended from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, so much of his time is spent trying to prove this theory. If you move past that, there is much that is accurate to be learned. This first edition was published in 1775. $5,500.

Item 26 is an inscribed copy of William S. Burroughs' Ali's Smile Naked Scientology to his friend and fellow beat writer, Allen Ginsberg. It states “For Allen Love,” and is dated August 30, 1979, the year after it was published. Hugh Urban, who has written extensively about the church, describes Burroughs' book as a “nonscholarly popular exposé of Scientology.” $3,000.

Here is a letter that may lead you to question your belief in the objectivity of newspapers. It was written by the ultimate showman, P.T. Barnum, to Henry D. Beach of the New York Sun. In it, Barnum encourages Beach to write favorably about the planned wedding of two of his smallest performers, Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren. Writes Barnum, “If you will at the same time quietly suggest...that the elegant little woman Miss Warren...would make a brilliant match for the little General, the thing will be complete!” If that isn't enough, Barnum continues, “If I don't make it up to the Sun in the way of advertising two-fold, charge me what you please & I will pay it.” Barnum evidently didn't take a day off from promoting, not even Christmas, as this letter is dated December 25, 1862. The following February 10, Thumb and Warren were married. Item 4. $2,500.

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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