Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2013 Issue

Recent Acquisitions in Americana from the William Reese Company

Recent Acquisitions in Americana.

The William Reese Company has added to their long line of catalogues with 305 Recent Acquisitions in Americana. The items are within Reese's primary specialty – Americana – but it is all new material, not listed in any previous catalogues. As to be expected with Reese, this is important material, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Many items were the work of notable Americans, such as Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, or Franklin's famous almanacs. Others come from forgotten people describing memorable events, such as Civil War soldiers' letters back home from the battlefield. The participants may now be gone, but American history is still alive and well in this latest William Reese catalogue. Here are a few representatives of what is offered.

 

From the more things change the more they remain the same department, we start with The History of Pithole, by “Crocus” (Charles C. Leonard), published in 1867. Pithole was an oil boomtown in Pennsylvania, part of America's first oil boom. Located in northwestern Pennsylvania, where oil was first discovered in 1859, the first gusher near Pithole was discovered in early 1865. People flocked to the newly created town, it reaching a population of 20,000 by year's end. Reflecting the transient nature of many residents, there were 54 hotels, the third largest post office in Pennsylvania, a huge theater, newspaper, churches, and, naturally, brothels. However, a financial panic and several major fires struck the town. A year later, population declined to 2,000. The oil wells moved on, and by 1870, the census showed just 237 remained. A few years later, the community was unincorporated, and today there is no one left except for guides at a historic visitors' center. This book tells of the town while still in its better days, including information about the oil companies and wells operating in the community. This copy has been inscribed by “Crocus.” Item 113. Priced at $2,500.

 

Item 116 takes us back to one of the saddest moments in American history: Official Arrangements at Washington for the Funeral Solemnities of the Late Abraham Lincoln, President... Dated April 17, 1865, this official program issued by the War Department outlines the procession that brought Lincoln's body from the White House to the Capitol. There was an escort representing all branches of the military, along with numerous dignitaries, family members, representatives of various organizations, and finally, room for private citizens. This all happened almost 150 years ago, and no one on earth today was even close to having been alive at the time this tragedy unfolded, and yet somehow it is hard to read about it without feeling great sadness. Lincoln was a remarkable man. $6,000.

 

Item 9 is a broadside depicting Illustrations of the American Anti-Slavery Almanac for 1840. The abolition movement was fairly quiet through most of America's first four decades, but rapidly began to gain steam in the 1830s. The American Anti-Slavery Society, which produced the underlying almanac, was formed in 1834 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan, and the first anti-slavery candidate for President ran in 1840. This broadside contains 14 woodcuts depicting the horrors of slavery, such as a mother and child being separated at a slave auction, slaves chained together at work, being chased by dogs, and subjected to various other forms of physical abuse. $2,000.

 

Here is a book with more portraits, though of actual people rather than representatives of a type: Defenders and Offenders, published in 1888. It includes 210 chromolithographed portraits, some ten to a page, others four. Biographical sketches accompany the portraits. Two hundred of the portraits are of offenders, various criminals including murderers, con artists, counterfeiters, western robbers, burglars, pickpockets, and a woman convicted of selling obscene pictures. The other ten portraits are of good guys, police officers who protected the public from this nefarious lot. Item 62. $1,850.

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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