Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2015 Issue

The Old West from Gene W. Baade


Western books.

Gene W. Baade Books on the West has issued their Catalogue 615. This catalogue will appeal to collectors of the West who never struck that vein during the Gold Rush. Nothing is priced in four digits, except when there is a decimal point in the middle, and only a few exceed double digits. Most books describe the West of the 19th century or early 20th, before old gave way to new. Once cars replaced horses, barbed wire replaced the open range, and guns became a recreation rather than a survival tool, the Old West was over. Still, it lives on in our memories and in these books. Here we go.


If we were responsible for our neighbors' behavior, Homer Croy would have been in deep trouble. Item 31 is a copy of his 1949 book, Jesse James Was My Neighbor. Well, sort of, but not really. James died the year before Croy was born. Nonetheless, Croy did grow up in the same part of Missouri where the James family lived, and as such, he spoke with many people who knew James personally. The result is that he does capture the essence of the man in this biography. The book comes with a humorous letter from Croy concerning its obtainability, and a news clipping on the death of 109-year-old James Russell Davis, a member of the James Gang. He had just testified at a 1950 hearing that youthful (102 years old) J. Frank Dalton was really Jesse James. Most believe James died after being shot in the back in 1882, but Dalton has his believers. Priced at $125.


Item 140 is a book by J. D. B. Stillman though it is the photographer's contribution that is notable: The Horse in Motion as shown by instantaneous photography with a Study on Animal Mechanics founded on the Anatomy and the Revelations of the Camera in which It is Demonstrated the Theory of Quadrupedal Locomotion, published in 1882. The photographer was Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge was a photographer of the West, who had photographed scenery, Indian battles, landmarks and the like. He was one of the best. However, his focus changed when Leland Stanford, a former California governor (for whom Stanford University is named) hired him to settle a bet. The issue was whether all four of a horse's feet are ever off the ground at the same time while trotting. There were debates over this issue (as well as while the horse is running), but the eye is not quite quick enough to determine the answer with certainty. Muybridge set up a series of cameras that would take numerous pictures at tiny intervals as the horse trotted by. Ultimately, he was able to establish through a specific frame that yes, indeed, the horse's feet were all off the ground at a particular moment. Stanford asked his friend J. D. B. Stillman to write the text to go with 100 of Muybridge's photographs. This ended in a split between Muybridge and Stanford as Muybridge felt he was given little credit in the book. However, he would then go on to focus his career on photographing animal locomotion, taking tens of thousands of photographs. He published several works on the subject after this book, some very well known and valuable today. He also produced a machine that could display the photographs in rapid succession. It created the impression of motion. Muybridge had developed a precursor of motion pictures. $650.


Item 3 is a newspaper with a contemporary account of the Battle of the Alamo. It is the April 16, 1836 edition of Atkinson's Saturday Evening Post, and if April 16 doesn't quite sound contemporary for a battle which ended on March 6, in those days, it took that long for information to wind its way back to Philadelphia. On the second page, the Post reports on Horrible Butchery. Highly Important from Texas. The article first covers the early slaughter of the Texians at Goliad, followed by the massacre at the Alamo. The newspaper's pro-Texian position is clear, claiming more than 1,000 Mexicans had died (an exaggeration though many did), while pointing out that Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and William Travis had all died. Only two people (it was actually a few more), were spared, a woman and Travis' Negro slave, who were sent to Sam Houston to encourage the Texians lay down their arms. The Post quotes Houston as responding to Santa Anna, "you have succeeded in killing some of our brave men, but the Texians are not yet conquered." Santa Anna believed the defeat would discourage the settlers and lead them to flee Texas, but the effect was the opposite. The Post correctly noted that it led more of them to take up arms to overthrow Mexican control. Just five days after this article was published, in a stunning reversal, the Texians thoroughly defeated Mexican troops at San Jacinto, captured Santa Anna, and forced him to grant independence to Texas. $200.


Next up is a printing of Four American Indian Songs from 1909 by a once popular American composer who seems to have vanished into time. Charles Wakefield Cadman was a prolific writer of songs, operas, and orchestral pieces during the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he avoided European influences, focusing on American sources, most notably those of the country's natives. He was closely associated with the musical "Indianist Movement." Cadman spent a substantial amount of time with the Omaha and other tribes listening to their music, which became a base for many of his works. Among these four songs is the one probably best remembered of the hundreds of works Cadman wrote – From the Land of the Sky-blue Water. Does that sound sort of familiar? Certainly, if you are from Minnesota or the upper Midwest that must ring a bell. It was for years the song/jingle used in the Hamm's Beer commercials. Hamm's rewrote the lyrics. It was a favorite of the Hamm's Bear. Sadly, Hamm's ceased to be an independent brewer in 1968, and has been passed around through numerous owners since, currently made by Miller. I don't know if they still use sky-blue Minnesota water, whether the song is still used, the bear still dances, or whether the beer tastes the same as it did in the 1960's (it was decent back then). It is now a regional brand sold only in someone else's region. It is more a memory, like Cadman's music. Item 18. $135.


Gene W. Baade Books on the West may be reached at 425-271-6481 or bookwest@q.com. The website is www.booksonthewest.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 12. OKLAHOMA! Celeste Holm's vocal score for Oklahoma! inscribed by Richard Rodgers. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 20. WILSON, DOOLEY. Fine inscribed photograph to Celeste Holm with Casablanca reference. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 79. Original production script of the Broadway musical CATS with notes written by Claude Tessier. $600 to $900.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 139. STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Autographed musical manuscript signed for "Broadway Baby" from Follies. $500 to $800.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 180.<br>Cecil Beaton. Headdress for Liza at the Ball, from My Fair Lady, circa 1962. $700 to $900.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 177.<br>Cecil Beaton. Set Design for The Gainsborough Girls, 1951. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.

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