Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2013 Issue

Early Western Americana from Old West Books

Oldwest36

Books from the Old West.

Old West Books has just released their Catalogue 36 August 2013. It is filled with material from the 19th and early 20th century. Naturally, it relates to the western half of America, which when combined with the date range, equals the “Old West.” These were mostly written by people who lived in the time and place, contemporary accounts by those who experienced the West when it was still new (which is now “old”). Their accounts are always fascinating. Here are a few of them.

Item 34 is General George Armstrong Custer's biographical account of My Life on the Plains or Personal Experiences with Indians. Of course, we all know from hindsight that Custer had some most unpleasant personal experiences with the Indians. However, at the time he published this book – 1874 – things were still, for the most part, going well. Custer was not shy about self-promotion, and wanted the world to know about his exploits fighting in Indian lands. The book may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is entertaining and provides a good look at his years on the plains. Two years later, it all ended quite abruptly. $1,750.

While Custer was fighting the Indians John Wesley Powell was undertaking his own dangerous journey, riding the rapids down the Colorado River to explore a mostly uncharted territory. While the terminus of his journey, the Grand Canyon, had been discovered by non-natives a decade earlier, most of the river route to it was unknown. In 1869, Powell and his men set off on the Green River in Wyoming, following it to its confluence with the Colorado and on to the Grand Canyon. While he wrote a report in 1875, Powell did not get around to publishing a full account until 1895. Item 75 is a first edition of that full account, Canyons of the Colorado By J. W. Powell, PH.D, LL.D, With Many Illustrations. It was published in a small run, believed to be only 100 copies. It includes Powell's personal narrative, ten folded panoramic views of the Grand Canyon, and many other illustrations. $6,500.

Here is an account of another man who served in the West, and various other places as well: Reminiscences of Winfield Scott Hancock. Hancock was named for the long-time military commander Winfield Scott when he was born in 1824. That was a prescient naming, as he would go on to be a military leader as well, serving under Scott during the Mexican War (and during the early days of the Civil War before Scott retired). Hancock had two tours of duty interacting with the Indians in the West, in Missouri before the war, in Dakota after. Much of this book, however, focuses on his service during the Civil War, where Hancock earned great respect for his defenses at Gettysburg. After the war, he was placed in charge of military Reconstruction in New Orleans under President Andrew Johnson. Hancock, like Johnson, was more sympathetic to southerners than most Republicans, promising noninterference with elections and local conduct so long as residents remained peaceful. It made him one of the more popular Union commanders in the South. He was a bit too moderate for President Grant, who transferred Hancock to Dakota after he took office, but his combination as determined Union supporter and Reconstruction moderate made him a logical choice for the Democratic presidential nomination. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Hancock succeeded in obtaining that nomination in 1880, only to lose a close election to James Garfield. Hancock died in 1886, and his reminiscences were published the following year by his wife, Almira Hancock. Item 44. $875.

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 Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <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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