Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2014 Issue

Early Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

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Early Americana.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has issued a new catalogue of Rare Americana. This one is No. 136. It is primarily filled with shorter form material from 18th and 19th century America. Many items pertain to the long running battle over slavery, or earlier skirmishes between North and South such as the nullification crisis. There are also numerous pieces which deal with disputes between the colonists and England in the days leading up to the Revolution, often sermons by ministers who mixed politics with religion. In all, these works provide a fascinating look at early American history. Here are a few.

 

Item 16 is one take on a terrible tale that tarnished several reputations in the U.S. military. Capt. Frederick Benteen did not quite emerge unscathed, though he did not take too much blame for General Custer's brave, but foolhardy attack on an Indian encampment much larger than he imagined. Benteen was searching for Indians on Custer's left flank when he received a message from his commander, saying that he had found a large Indian village, and that Benteen should come quickly with his pack mules carrying ammunition. Bringing pack mules would slow down his speed. Nevertheless, some question whether Benteen moved as quickly as he could have. He next met up with Marcus Reno's badly battered troops, and the two regrouped on a ridge. They continued to move slowly, though they could hear the battle in which Custer was engaged. Still, they had no idea what was happening, and it is dubious whether swift action would have made much of a difference. Item 16 is The Custer Fight. Capt. Benteen's Story of the Battle of Little Big Horn... It was published in 1933 and is signed by author E. A. Brinistool who sought “to correct many misleading and distorted stories dealing with the Battle of Little Big Horn.” Priced at $375.

 

Thomas Paine was a revolutionary, a defender of human rights whose disdain for organized religion would eventually make him something of a pariah in his homelands of America and England. He became a hero in America with his publication of Common Sense in 1776, a commanding argument for revolution. However, his popularity would later fade with his controversial religious views and support of the French Revolution. Still, he continued to expound his radical views, and some way ahead of its time are were expressed in item 103, Agrarian Justice, Opposed to Agrarian Law, and to Agrarian Monopoly. This book proposed a version of social security almost 140 years before Roosevelt. Paine called for a pension of £10 per year to be paid to every person over the age of 50. Fifty was the average adult life expectancy at the time, and £10 was a little under half of the wages of a typical laborer. Paine also proposed a one-time payment of £15 to every citizen on reaching the age of 21, to give them a start in life. That is an interesting twist on the debt many young people start out with today as a consequence of the cost of education. Paine proposed to pay for this and other assistance for the poor through a property tax and a 10% tax on inheritances. This pamphlet was published in Philadelphia in 1797. $750.

 

Here's something you may not have thought about before. What did they have before auto insurance? The answer is horse insurance. Item 73 is a broadside printed in 1866 by the Great Western Horse Insurance and Detective Company of Decatur, Illinois. It's headline blasts STOP THIEF!, followed by an image of a thief being chased on horseback and another bold headline, STOLEN!. It goes on to explain that a 6-year-old black horse had been stolen from a resident of Peoria County, and obviously, the insurance company wanted the horse back so it would not have to pay the claim. $650.

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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