Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2014 Issue

Books and Manuscripts from James Cummins Bookseller

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Fine books and manuscripts.

James Cummins Bookseller has released Catalogue 121. It contains a mix of books and manuscripts, covering a variety of subjects. Cummins features material that is important, rare, and in top condition. It is designed for those who collect at the highest level. Here are a few of these very interesting items now offered.

 

For those still fascinated by railroads, once the gateway to travel and adventure for regular folks, here is an outstanding book from England: Drawings of the London and Birmingham Railway, by John C. Bourne, with an Historical and Descriptive Account, by John Britton F.S.A. Bourne provided the illustrations, Britton the text. Published in 1839, The 34 lithographs display construction of the railway line from London to Birmingham at the dawn of railroading. It was a spectacular feat of construction, and the quality of this book matches the construction work. It was produced by Ackerman & Co., noted for the high quality of their printing. Item 6. Priced at $9,000.

 

Item 18 is a late in life letter from Mark Twain, but we will call him Samuel Clemens because this story begins before he adopted that pseudonym for his writings. At the age of 22, Clemens, still working on a steamboat, spied a young lady named Laura Wright. She was quite young – 14. Twain was evidently smitten, and the two spent three days together, evidently fond of each other without being terribly romantic. They shared some correspondence for several years, but other than a reported meeting when Sam was seriously discouraged by Laura's mother, they never met again. Nonetheless, Laura remained in Clemens' consciousness the rest of his life, and he had a recurring dream of an unidentified woman seemingly based on Laura. He never forgot her. Item 18 is a letter the now 70-year-old Clemens wrote in 1906 to his sister-in-law, Susan Crane. Crane was the younger sister of Clemens' wife, Olivia, and she remained close to her sister and brother-in-law all of their lives. Olivia died in 1904, but Sam and Susan remained in regular contact. In this letter, Clemens writes of that old romance, perhaps surprising since it is to the sister of his late wife. Writes Clemens, “Here's a romance for you! Forty-eight years, 2 months & 1 day ago I parted from a sweetheart who was 14 years old, & since then I have never seen her nor exchanged a word with her - & today I got a letter from her! (I remembered her hand.) She is poor, is a widow, in debt, & in desperate need of a thousand dollars. I sent it. Still, I am not bankrupt yet...” Clemens reveals something about himself, and to his wife's sister no less, in remembering the exact number of days since he had last seen Laura Wright, and the fact that he sent her $1,000, a very large sum of money in 1906. However, it appears that he had not been fully honest with his sister-in-law since they apparently did meet once again two years later, and they did exchange letters for some number of years afterwards. $4,500.

 

We can all sympathize with Charles Dickens when it comes to this problem. Item 25 is a letter Dickens wrote in 1869 to Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Le Fanu was an Irish writer most known for his gothic, mystery, and ghostly tales. Le Fanu had submitted an article for Dickens' periodical, All The Year Round. It was for Green Tea, a short work about spiritualism that Cummins describes as arguably his greatest work of short fiction. However, Dickens had a problem reading it, for reasons we can all understand. He writes to Le Fanu, “...I have safely received your MS and have sent it to the printer. I tried to read it in your writing, but could not succeed without devoting more time to the task than I could spare.” $7,500.

 

Item 31 is a collection of correspondence, primarily to James McLaughlin in 1890, though as late as 1898, during the time of the Ghost Dance. The Ghost Dance movement was a native spiritual revival, an Indian prophet preaching that taking part in the dance would revive the natives' good fortune. White settlers were afraid. They feared part of the Indians' hopes for a revival of their culture meant getting rid of them. McLaughlin was the Indian Agent for the Sioux Reservation in Dakota, and while he saw himself as sympathetic to the Indian, he still decided to bring in troops and clamp down on Sitting Bull and the Sioux. Perhaps some of these letters led him to act this way. One woman wrote, “...we are living in mortal fear at the present time of being surprised by the bloody Sioux.” A man says, “...there is quite a big excitement here over the Indian scare and my family has gone to safety...” Another says an Indian who went to Nevada to learn about the dance (that is where it started) had returned to start a Ghost Dance in McLaughlin's area. The rest is history – an army confrontation with the Indians, a misunderstanding, and then the slaughter at Wounded Knee, including the killing of Sitting Bull. $15,000.

 

James Cummins Bookseller may be reached at 212-688-6441 or info@jamescumminsbookseller.com. The website is www.jamescumminsbookseller.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>Timed auction, April 29</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1032. RATZER, BERNARD. Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1011. [BROADSIDE]. Life, Last Words and Dying Confession, of Rachel Wall... $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1055. BEATON, CECIL. Scrapbook prepared by Cecil Beaton over the period 1935-1944, with some later inclusions. $800 to $1,200.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>Timed auction, April 29</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1051. ADDAMS, CHARLES. Original drawing "I hope the power doesn't go out until after Masterpiece Theatre." $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1037. The Campaign Speeches of Nixon of Kennedy, inscribed to William Safire by Richard Nixon and secretarially for John Kennedy. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1036. Celebration of the Commencement of Work on Rapid Transit Railroad. March 24th 1900, one o'clock, City Hall Park, New York. $200 to $300.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 1005. 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers signed baseball including Jackie Robinson. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 12. OKLAHOMA! Celeste Holm's vocal score for Oklahoma! inscribed by Richard Rodgers. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 20. WILSON, DOOLEY. Fine inscribed photograph to Celeste Holm with Casablanca reference. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 79. Original production script of the Broadway musical CATS with notes written by Claude Tessier. $600 to $900.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 139. STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Autographed musical manuscript signed for "Broadway Baby" from Follies. $500 to $800.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 180.<br>Cecil Beaton. Headdress for Liza at the Ball, from My Fair Lady, circa 1962. $700 to $900.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 177.<br>Cecil Beaton. Set Design for The Gainsborough Girls, 1951. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000

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