Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2005 Issue

Rare American Books and Manuscripts from The 19th Century Shop

R0508

American Books & Manuscripts from the 19th Century Shop.


By Michael Stillman

The 19th Century Shop
has published its 104th catalogue, American Books and Manuscripts. It offers an interesting mix of familiar and obscure material. Items are as diverse as a Washington letter and a photograph of the first Brooklyn fire station. What is common is that all is first-rate material appropriate to a quality collection. Now for a few items you will find.

That Washington letter was an introduction for Count Luigi Castiglioni, an Italian nobleman touring the United States in 1785. If you're looking for an "in" with people of the U.S., who better to provide such as introduction than General Washington? This letter was addressed to "Gov. Moutree" (actually, Governor William Moultrie) of South Carolina. In the letter, Washington explains that Castiglioni is on a tour and sends his good wishes to the Governor and his wife. The letter is dated January 27, 1785. Priced at $24,000.

Moving quickly from our most famous president to our most famous ballplayer, we have a signed photograph of Babe Ruth. Domenico Facci was an artist who had been commissioned to produce a statue of the Babe. Small reproductions of his statue were used to promote the film "The Babe Ruth Story." According to Facci, Ruth presented him with this photograph, inscribed to Dominic Facci, on a visit to his home. Evidently Ruth must have had some personal warmth toward Facci as it was signed on Christmas Day, 1947. It is unlikely just anybody would have been invited to Ruth's house on Christmas. The picture displays Ruth after a swing of his mighty bat, eyes lifted upwards, presumably watching the ball go into the stands. This was either a great home run or a foul ball. Facci said Ruth told him it was the famous "called shot." On a sad note, this would be the Babe's last Christmas. Less than eight months later Ruth died at the age of 53. $6,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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