Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2014 Issue

English Verse 1800-1810 from Antiquates Fine & Rare Books

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English Verse, 1800-1810.

Antiquates Fine & Rare Books has issued a catalogue with a very specific niche – English Verse, 1800-1810. I don't know whether the first decade of the 19th century was more notable than most for its English poetry, but it certainly was a prolific time. There is a lot of verse in this catalogue - 232 items to be exact – with the explanation perhaps being that most of these works come from the collection of James O. Edwards. Mr. Edwards was an even more prolific collector than these poets were writers.

 

Don't expect to know most of the poets who have contributed to this collection. There is an occasional name you will recognize, like Walter Scott, but these pages are filled with authors who are not exactly household names. One wonders if some were even names within their own households. Very few were full-time poets. Most had day jobs, but enjoyed expressing themselves in rhyme during their leisure time. Some were quite good at it, others mediocre to terrible. Edwards did not discriminate against the mediocre in his collecting. The result is this catalogue is filled with rare material, much, we are confident, not to be duplicated any time soon. This is likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snare some of these works.

 

Many of the poets were clergymen. Apparently, clergymen are frustrated poets, or just want a chance to express themselves on non-theological issues once in awhile. Their subjects are rarely the same as those of their day jobs. Issues of the day often arise, with much of it being mocked in satirical verse. In other cases, the poems are serious, such as several dealing with the enormous issue of that time – slavery. Here, now, are a few samples of that early 19th century English verse offered in the latest Antiquates catalogue.

 

We start with an author who was very popular at this time, though not for his writing or poetry. William Henry Bunbury was a caricaturist, whose gentle satire avoided controversial political subjects. Still, his drawings were entertaining and gained him a large following. In item 35, he takes a stab at poetry, though like his caricatures, it is in good fun: Tales of the Devil, from the Original Gibberish of Professor Lumpwitz, published in 1801. At the time, there was a fad for horror poetry, which Bunbury targets for his satire, both in sketches and in rhymes. Priced at £250 (British pounds, or about $396 in U.S. dollars).

 

Sometimes, satire can get you in trouble. Edward Goulbourn published such a piece in 1805: The Bluviad. A Satyrical Poem. Goulbourn was a cavalry officer with the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, also known as “The Blues” for their uniform colors (hence the name of this mock epic poem). His poem satirizes the character and actions of his fellow officers. While actual names were not used, it was evidently not that difficult to figure out whom the fictional characters represented. Goulbourn was sued for libel and forced to resign his commission. However, he would go on to have a long career as a lawyer and judge. Item 81. £125 (US $198).

 

This next poet is very well known, but for all the wrong reasons. William Henry Ireland wrote many poetical works in the early 19th century. Based on critical comments, it was mediocre at best. However Ireland's fame, or infamy, is attributable to the works he produced in the previous decade. Ireland was a master forger. His father, Samuel Ireland, was a major Shakespeare collector, and William may have started creating forgeries of minor documents to please his father. However, his creations expanded to manuscripts, plays with Shakespeare's forged annotations on them, and finally, to a new Shakesperean play which he created and had performed. It ran for one performance. The critics were unimpressed. Ireland's claims quickly unraveled and he was forced to admit it was all a ruse. A few years later, Ireland would try to redeem himself, as well as make a living, through his poetry. Item 117 is his Ballads in Imitation of the Antient, published in 1801 by the great imitator. This was his first post-scandal work, and unlike in most, Ireland used his actual name. £350 (US $555). Several more of Ireland's poetical efforts are also available in this catalogue for those who collect famous forgers or lousy poets.

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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Printed Books, Maps & Documents, The Library of Dawson Turner<br>4 March 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Beck (Henry). <i>London Underground Transport,</i> 1934. Iconic original poster. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Turner (Dawson, 1775-1858). ‘Journal of a Three Weeks' Tour, with Thos. Phillips’, 1815. Unpublished illustrated manuscript. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Sander (Frederick). <i>Reichenbachia,</i> 4 volumes, 1st edition, 1886-95. Ex libris Sir David Salomons (1797-1873). £3,000 to £5,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Printed Books, Maps & Documents, The Library of Dawson Turner<br>4 March 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Mary I, Queen of England (1516-1558). Illuminated grant of arms on vellum to John Hombreston, 1554. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Restoration London. Album of important autographs, c.1660-90. Including a letter from Sir William Petty to John Evelyn. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Levellers. <i>The Womens Petition to Over Cromwell,</i> 1651. Extremely rare broadside, 2 copies in libraries. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Printed Books, Maps & Documents, The Library of Dawson Turner<br>4 March 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Catherine of Siena. <i>Lettere devotissime,</i> Venice, 1562. Ex libris Giacomo Castelvetro (1546-1616), with marginalia. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Kane (Brig. Gen. Richard, 1666-1732). ‘A Plan of the Town, Mountain and Bay of Gibraltar’, 1712. Pen and ink and watercolour. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Costa (Emanuel Mendes da). <i>A Natural History of Fossils,</i> 1st edition, 1757. £600 to £800.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Printed Books, Maps & Documents, The Library of Dawson Turner<br>4 March 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Blaeu (Johannes). <i>Britannia Anglo-Saxonum,</i> c.1646. £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Donne (John). <i>Devotions,</i> 1st edition, 1624. Contemporary vellum gilt, £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, Mar. 4:</b> Baden-Powell (Robert). <i>Scouting for Boys,</i> 1st edition, 1908. £800 to £1,200.

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