Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2015 Issue

American Pamphlets and Broadsides from David M. Lesser Antiquarian Books

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Rare Americana from David Lesser.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has released their No. 144 Rare Americana, or A Catalogue of Significant and Unusual Imprints Relating to America. These are primarily pamphlets, broadsides, and other shorter form material. They relate to current events in the land a century, or two, or three, ago. Here are some new ones Lesser has to offer.

 

This first item intrigued me as I had no idea what it was about: Proceedings of the First American Whist Congress, Held at the City of Milwaukee, April 14 to 17, 1891. What is whist? Turns out it's a card game. It was very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, and reportedly is still played in Britain. In the 20th century in America, it was replaced by bridge among serious, tournament-type card players. Various whist clubs, spearheaded by the one from Milwaukee, arranged for a national annual tournament, and these were obviously quite popular in the 1890's. Reports were published during this period, but the last such record of one I could find came from a St. Paul newspaper describing the 1900 tournament. At that time, the paper noted that attendance was falling off and I do not know whether any such national meetings were held thereafter. Item 7. Priced at $375.

 

What was the most important American inaugural speech? Perhaps what immediately comes to mind is John F. Kennedy's “Ask not” speech, but this next one may be the most significant, at least for its legend. Item 66 is a broadside printed on silk of President Harrison's Inaugural Address. This is the first President Harrison, William Henry, and the speech was delivered on March 4, 1841. It was the longest inaugural address in American history, but Harrison's presidency was the shortest. A month later, Harrison was dead. Legend long blamed his demise on giving this long-winded address without hat or coat on a cold and rainy day, though the illness did not arise until several weeks later, the cause more likely being poor sanitation or some other unrelated event. Nevertheless, the traditional account makes a great story. In his speech, Harrison attacked the Spoils System raised to the highest level by his predecessors, Presidents Jackson and Van Buren. Harrison handily defeated the unpopular Van Buren's attempt at reelection, but when the popular new president died, his replacement, John Tyler, would prove to be even more disliked than Van Buren. Item 66. $175.

 

Next up, from the early days of the labor movement, is a previously unknown broadside that reflected government interaction with labor for a long time. Government did not like labor at all. Item 111 is headed Proclamation! by the Sheriff of Schuylkill Co. In it, the Sheriff of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, proclaims that all assemblies and other activities that interfere with anyone wishing to work under the terms of his choosing are unlawful, and commands justices of the peace to arrest such persons. What the Sheriff is talking about here is strikebreakers. The year was 1868, and coal miners worked long hours under dangerous and deplorable conditions. They were attempting to organize to demand better working conditions, but government was there to assist the mine operators in breaking union activities. $3,500.

 

Item 42 is an 1864 campaign pamphlet headed Miscegenation Indorsed by the Republican Party. That's an odd platform on which to run a campaign! Oh wait... this was not published by the Republicans. It was published by the Democrats. Miscegenation was not a popular concept in the 19th century, though plantation owners made wide use of the practice with their slaves. For the electorate, however, the claim was that advocating freedom for the slaves was advocating miscegenation. “The Abolition party now in power,” claimed the Democrats, favors “abolition and amalgamation, and their object is to unite in marriage the laboring white man and the black woman, and to reduce the white laboring man to the despised and degraded condition of the black slave.” $350.

 

Item 24 is an almanac and a little more: John Bull's Sarsaparilla Almanac for the Year of our Lord 1852... While containing much of the information needed for an almanac, particularly one for Louisville where it was published, its main purpose was to promote Mr. Bull's (if that was really his name) sarsaparilla. It was a cure-all. It cured everything from cancer and syphilis to diarrhea and “eruptions of the face.” Medicine was so much simpler, and more effective, then. $350.

 

Back in the 19th century, public schools did not always treat all religions equally. In 1881, Catholic residents of Philadelphia were upset about teachings at one such school, as preserved in this Petition, Proceedings and Testimony in the Matter of the Petition of Kelly et Al., in Relation to Teachings in the Hunter Girls' Grammar School. Apparently, Anna Scull, who was the principal as well as a teacher, was editorializing a bit in her teachings. She claimed Pope Leo X had sold indulgences. Pope Leo was Pope at the time of Luther's 95 Theses and he sold a lot of things. Some, Luther included, believed indulgences were among the items he sold. Leo engaged in a lot of public works and other expenditures, outpacing the Vatican budget, leading to some creative financing methods by the Pope. Nonetheless, Philadelphia Catholics had a good point in wondering what any of this had to do with spelling. The Board of Education upheld Ms. Scull's teaching methods, whereupon many Catholic parents, with Church support, withdrew their children from the public schools. Item 70. $250.

 

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books may be reached at 203-389-8111 or dmlesser@lesserbooks.com. Their website is www.lesserbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. The Rocky Mountains. Emigrants Crossing the Plains, 1866. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in English]. <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English.</i> Rheims, 1582. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in Latin]. <i>Biblia latina.</i> Venice: Franz Renner of Hailbrun [Heilbrunn], 1483. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822). Autograph letter signed ("P. B. S."), to Charles Ollier. Florence, Italy, 15 December 1819. “MY PROMETHEUS IS THE BEST THING I EVER WROTE.” $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> RAMSAY, David (1749-1815). <i>The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina…</i> Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1785. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BINDINGS]. MUIR, John (1838-1914). <i>The Writings of John Muir.</i> Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916-1924. 10 vols. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [CHICAGO] -- <i>Park & Guide Map of Chicago.</i> Chicago: Jas. Van Vechten, 1873. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [ALLEN PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). <i>Romeo and Juliet.</i> Greenbrae: Allen Press, 1988. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BEMELMANS, Ludwig (1898-1962). Pencil drawing on paper. 247 x 198 mm, sight, matted and framed. Showing a child shooting at a baby's balloon. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [LOGAN ELM PRESS]. HARVEY, Rebecca. <i>Any Number of Things.</i> Ohio State University, 2013. Single sheet paper scroll. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BINYON, Laurence (1869-1943). A small archive of letters and pamphlets. $200 to $300.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Mariette (Pierre-Jean). <i>Traité des pierres gravées / Recueil des pierres gravées...,</i> 2 vols., 1750. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> [Bryant, Jacob & William Cole]. <i>Gemmarum Antiquarum Delectus, [Marlborough Gems],</i> 2 volumes, [privately printed, 1780-83], £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Caylus (Anne Claude Philippe, Comte de). <i>Recueil d'Antiquités Egyptiennes, Estrusques, Grecques et Romaines,</i> 7 volumes, Paris, 1756-67, £700 to £1,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Devonshire Gems. <i>Duke of Devonshire's Collection of Gems,</i> privately printed, c. 1790, [one of 8 copies], £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Goltz (Hubert). <i>Le Vive Imagini di tutti quasi gl'Imperatori,</i> Antwerp, 1557, £500 to £800.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Manuscript. <i>An Explanation of Dassier's Medals, by Charlotte Hanbury,</i> c. 1795-1800, £700 to £1,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Paoletti (Bartolomeo and Pietro). A collection of 300 plaster cameos presented in 7 leather-bound double-sided faux book boxes, Rome, c. 1820, £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Mayer (Luigi). <i>Views in Egypt, from the Original Drawings, in the Possession of Sir Robert Ainslie,</i> London: Thomas Bensley for R. Bowyer, 1805, £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Blaeu (Willem Janszoon & Johannes). <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Atlas novus, pars quarta</i> [England and Wales], Amsterdam: Johannem Blaeu, 1648, £6,000 to £8,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Reuter (O.M. & Mela, A.J.). <i>Finlands Fiskar. The Fishes of Finland,</i> 12 parts (complete), Helsingfors: G.W. Edlund, 1883-93, £500 to £800.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Lunardi (Vincenzo). <i>An Account of the First Aerial Voyage in England,</i> 2nd edition, London: Printed for the Author, 1784, £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> North America. Jansson (Jan). <i>Virginiae partis Australis et Floridae partis Orientalis,</i> circa 1641. £400 to £600.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Daniel Giraud Elliot. <i>A Monograph of the Phasianidae, or Family of the Pheasants,</i> 1870-1872, coloured plates. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Georg Braun und Franz Hogenberg. <i>Civitates orbis terrarum.</i> Cologne, 1597-c.1606, 5 volumes, hand-coloured, calf. £140,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Qianren Huang. "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Abraham Ortelius. <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum,</i> 1595. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Maxime Du Camp. <i>Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques.</i> Paris, 1852. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>China, Canton School. A superb album of 141 watercolours, c.1800. £70,000 to £100,000.

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