Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2014 Issue

Fine and Artistic Western Americana from Johns' Western Gallery

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Western Americana from Johns' Western Gallery.

Johns' Western Gallery has issued their first catalogue in quite a while. It's been almost seven years since the last one, and that was sent from their location in San Francisco. They have since moved to Albuquerque, maybe not as far west geographically, but certainly at least as much western spiritually. San Francisco has changed more since the days of the Old West than has Albuquerque. While the location has changed, the material they offer has not. This renewed offering is titled Doug Johns Catalogue 27, a priced offering of... Fine Western Americana, Western art including paintings & sculpture, Western art reference and photographs. We will focus on the printed and written material in keeping with the nature of this website, though other art forms, as noted by the title, are to be found. While it has been almost seven years since their last catalogue, Johns informs us they plan to start issuing them now on a quarterly basis. Here are a few items to be found in the first one from this recent restart.

 

George Catlin was one of a very small number of Americans or Europeans who traveled into the American West to capture images and stories about America's natives in the days before their culture had been totally disrupted by invaders to their land. They came in the 1830's, that last moment when adaptation of culture had only just begun. Catlin is best known for his portfolio of hand-colored Indian drawings published in 1844 (an extremely expensive item today). However, he published a larger collection of images with text in 1841, two volumes entitled Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of the North American Indians. Written during eight years' travels amongst the wildest tribes of Indians in North America. It is one of the best sources of information on the Plains Indians in the days before they were overrun. Item 13. Priced at $2,000.

 

Next is a remarkable and unique item from the man known as the “cowboy artist,” C. M. (Charlie) Russell. Russell painted around 2,000 scenes of the Old West, cowboys, Indians, and scenery, in the decades surrounding the turn of the 20th century. He also wrote about his time and place. Item 69 is a letter he sent in 1910 to “Friend Bob,” Robert J. Benn of Kalispell, Montana. Benn was a successful businessman, being in the liquor distribution business, railways, and owning a saloon. He tragically died five years later in a quintessentially wild west manner – shot to death in a hold up in his saloon, apparently never solved. Written on Christmas Day, Russell pens his friend, “Friend Bob I got the buffalo all right and wish you and Mrs Benn a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.” Benn had sent Russell some buffalo meat. Russell has drawn a color picture of himself holding a miniature buffalo on the letter (see image on the next page of this review). Russell on occasion would illustrate letters he wrote to friends. The aforementioned Mrs. Benn would fare better than her slain husband, remarrying and living until 1958. Item 69. Price on request.

 

The late Mr. Benn was not the only person making his fortune in turn-of-the-century Montana. Most people were making their money off of mining, if not directly, then by serving the community, as did Mr. Benn. Item 43 is A Brief History of Butte, Montana, the World's Greatest Mining Camp, by Harry C. Freeman, published in 1900. Butte was one of the greatest, and longest lasting of mining boom towns. It started, as did most, with gold and silver, but what was notable about the area was the large amount of copper. With growing demand for newly needed copper transmission wires, the town continued to grow for another 20 years after this book was published. Mining continues to this day, but only at a small fraction of Butte's heyday. $200.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <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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