Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2014 Issue

Variety from James Cummins Bookseller

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French Egyptologist Ludovic Lepic graces the cover of James Cummins' latest catalogue.

James Cummins Bookseller has published their Catalogue 122. This is a typical Cummins catalogue – filled with outstanding material, but otherwise hard to peg. You really have to see one of these catalogues to know what is inside. Nonetheless, we will describe a few items that hopefully provide a feel for what you will find.

 

Anyone care to guess the nature of dress of that gentleman making a fashion statement on the cover? I thought maybe some Arctic explorer dressing for dinner, but that is about as far off as it gets. The man is a French Egyptologist, which just goes to show French and Egyptian fashions don't mesh. To be precise, the gentleman is Count Ludovic Lepic. Lepic was an artist, a close friend of the better known painter Edgar Degas. Lepic can be seen in several of Degas' paintings. In the 1870's, Lepic developed another great interest – archeology. He was one of the founders of the Societe d'etudes du Nil, a group of archeologists, scientists, engineers and artists who traveled to Egypt in 1882 to promote the building of dams on the Nile River to control the annual flooding. In 1884, Lepic published a memoir of the expedition. This item is a collection of 8 large photographs in an album with the manuscript title Societe d'etudes du Nil, the photos taken by Antonio Beato. Beato was a noted photographer of Egyptian scenes and others along the Mediterranean. Along with Lepic's portrait in a strange combination of French and Arab dress, there are six more of expedition members plus one of Philae, then an island in the Nile, now an island in a dammed lake. Item 22. Priced at $9,500.

 

Here is an edition that contains many “firsts,” though it is hardly a first edition of the book itself. Item 7 is The Holy Bible, thousands of years in the making, though this edition is from 1790. It is most notable as the first Catholic Bible printed in the United States. This Bible was first printed in England in 1609, but this was the first edition published by the important American printer Mathew Carey. Carey saw a need for an American printing though Catholics were a fairly small minority at the time. He obtained 475 subscribers, and it is believed he limited the run to 500 copies. $12,500.

 

This is another notable bible, though for different reasons. This one is The English Bible, and it is celebrated not for its denominational connections but for its artistic qualities. It was published from 1903-1905 by the Doves Press, and is still considered not only Doves' finest work, but one of the greatest private press printings ever. Its distinguishing features are the large red initials and red “in the beginning” in the beginning of Genesis. $15,000.

 

Item 52 is an archive of 11 letters plus one quite interesting document that tie together some of America's important literary and political figures of the 19th century. The document is a lease for the home of Henry David Thoreau and the Thoreau family. No, it's not for the cabin on Walden Pond, but his residence in Concord. It is a 3-year lease, with an option for another year, dated May 1873. Thoreau died in 1862, so he was not renting out his house. The lease is signed by his last surviving sibling, Sophia Thoreau. The lessee was F. B. Sanborn. Sanborn was a devoted follower of Thoreau and was friendly with those in a circle of transcendentalists, including Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott. When the lease was up, Sanborn moved to his own house and Alcott purchased the Thoreau homestead. The transcendentalists believed in the essential goodness of man and self reliance. They were also abolitionists, Sanborn being so ardent in his beliefs that he was arrested for aiding John Brown, only to be freed as a result of strong objections from the people of Concord. This archive also contains 11 letters written to Francis Henry Underwood. Underwood was the founder of The Atlantic Monthly (still published today as The Atlantic) in 1857. Emerson, Harriett Beecher Stowe, and others supported the endeavor, and not surprisingly, the magazine was pro-abolition in its early days. It is not all that surprising that the Thoreau-Sanborn lease found its way to Underwood's possession. Among Underwood's letter writers were Edward Everett, the great orator, Secretary of State, Governor and Senator for Massachusetts, who gave the main, two-hour speech at Gettysburg (Lincoln's brief address was something of an afterthought at the time); diplomat Charles Francis Adams Sr., son and grandson of Presidents; and historian and Oregon Trail traveler Francis Parkman. $4,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.

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