Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2014 Issue

Forty-Nine Years for The Pages of Yesteryear

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Catalogue #49.

The Pages of Yesteryear has issued their annual date-numbered catalogue. This one is number 49. It celebrates 49 years in the book business. This catalogue offers an eclectic mix of mainly shorter length material, much of it written by hand. There are diaries and such, one of a kind items primarily from the 19th century. They quickly display how much times have changed. The material here is rare if not unique, and generally quite fascinating. Here are some samples of what you will find.

 

Item 4 is an eight-panel promotional piece for Charles J. Strobel's lighter than air Strobel Airships, from 1908. That timing may make Strobel sound like something of an aviation pioneer, and to some extent he was, but he didn't fly his airships or airplanes. Strobel was a businessman, and evidently one of the best in Toledo at the time. Strobel had previously owned Toledo's professional baseball team, the legendary Toledo Mud Hens, still in business today with their quirky name (it was named for the mud hens that lived near the team's original ballpark). By 1904, Strobel was in the aviation business, but as a showman, not someone looking to advance transportation. In 1908, he was promoting shows featuring his dirigibles. Strobel's airships featured a large, balloon-like gas bag filled with hydrogen (like the Hindenburg) with a thin metal frame below, holding a propeller, engine to run it, a rudder, and a pilot. Sometimes it all worked well and other times it nipped buildings on the ground. This accordion-style fold-out announces “winning international contests at St. Louis, Mo. October 23, 1907.” This is true. Some 100,000 people reportedly attended the St. Louis show the previous year to watch competitions in heavier than air (airplanes) and lighter than air vehicles. The top two finishers in the lighter than air category both operated Strobel airships (only 3 of 8 contestants finished). Strobel would turn to airplanes a bit later with his Strobel International Aviation Company performing at shows in 1911. I have not been able to trace what happened to this business after 1911, but Strobel himself died in 1915. Priced at $350.

 

Most nations don't have a problem dealing with their flag, even if boundaries change, but the symbolism of the American flag led to a serious problem. It began with 13 stars and 13 stripes representing the 13 states. When Vermont and Kentucky were added in 1794, that was increased to 15 stars and 15 stripes. However, as the numbers continued to grow, a serious problem arose. The result was that Congress was forced to appoint a committee to come up with an answer to the issue, and on January 2, 1817, they came back with this: Report of the Select Committee appointed...to inquire into the expediency of altering the Flag of the United States. They determined that it would be inexpedient to increase the number of stripes because flags generally come in a fixed size, and adding more stripes “would necessarily decrease their magnitude, and render them proportionately less distinct to distant observation.” Therefore, they recommended returning the stripes to the original 13 but adding another star for each new state. Sounds like a good plan! It was adopted and we haven't looked back since. Item 18. $250.

 

Item 5 is a manuscript of ten pages in a composition book by schoolgirl Beatrice Bernardino from 1911. In it, she writes a brief history of the old Winthrop school, which closed that year. It had once been a girls school, but many years earlier merged with an associated boys school, and was now about to be subsumed into the new Abraham Lincoln School. Miss Bernardino discusses some of the famous graduates such as the children of William Lloyd Garrison. There are also separate essays including “A Vacation in Weston,” “Thanksgiving at Grandma's,” and “Christmas Shopping.” $75.

 

Here is a letter from another young lady, apparently in boarding school, to Mom, from January 28, 1824. Miss B.P. Howell writes from Philadelphia to her mother, Anna, at “Fancy Hill.” Fancy Hill was a magnificent estate across the Delaware River from Philadelphia in New Jersey belonging to the Howell family at the time, so this letter fits with the known history. The young lady was likely the daughter of Col. Joshua Howell and his wife Anna Blackwood Howell. She pleads for permission to take dancing lessons. She explains,”...for it is very unpleasant to see people all knowing how to dance.” She points out that a cousin is taking lessons. “If I begin the first of February I shall have a quarter but if you thing [sic] a quarter will cost to much permit me to go half a quarter.” We do not know whether Mama agreed to her request, but we can be confident that the cost was not too much for this family to bear. Item 14. $100.

 

Next is an item for those who enjoy Presbyterian cooking. Presbyterian cooking? Most Presbyterians probably don't even know what this is. Well, here it is: The Secrets of Mother's Pantry. Practical Receipts from the Tables of the Presbyterian Ladies. It was probably good hearty farm cooking since this booklet was prepared by the Ladies of the Presbyterian Church of St. Paul, Nebraska, in 1905. A terrible fire had destroyed their church in February and this was part of the effort to raise funds to replace it. Along with the recipes and local advertising are pictures of the church on fire and of the ruins that were left. Item 12. $95.

 

You probably think that being a litigious society is new, that something like suing your town because some boards on the street damaged your car is not something earlier generations would have done. Think again. Here is an example, although there were no automobiles in 1860. John H. White writes to the Selectmen of Strafford, New Hampshire, representing Joseph Drew. White claims, “his sleigh came in contact with two boards negligently left across the travelled part of the road,- that his horse was injured thereby and became unmanageable, injured Mr D & damaged the sleigh to the Amt of $10... Mr D wishes me to say to you that he shall look to the town of Strafford for compensation.” Item 28. $50.

 

The Pages of Yesteryear may be reached at 203-426-0864 or jrenjilian@hotmail.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.

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