Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2013 Issue

New Arrivals at James Cummins Bookseller

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

  • 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: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $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
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.

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