Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2017 Issue

A Miscellany of Unusual Material from The Brick Row Book Shop

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A miscellany.

The Brick Row Book Shop has issued Miscellany Seventy-Three: Recent Acquisitions for Winter 2017. What can you say about a miscellany that isn't already expressed in that one word? We can add one thing here. This is not a miscellany of common items, the well-known books, the famous authors. There is much that is obscure, undoubtedly quite rare. This catalogue is more a treasure hunt than simply a description of treasures. You will discover new and often fascinating material here. Something old is something new. Here are a few samples

 

We start with a 19th century gift book, and an unusual one at that. The artwork it features consists of images of snowflakes. The title is Cloud Crystals: A Snow Flake Album. Collected and Edited by a Lady. Snowflake collections don't last long, so the "Lady," Mrs. Frances Chickering of Maine, had to quickly create her own images before they melted. Over the course of Maine's long winters, Mrs. Chickering noticed the different shapes when they fell on her windowsill. To preserve their likenesses, she did what generations of children have been doing since. She allowed them to fall on a dark cloth and then placed a strong magnifying lens over them. She would then pull out a piece of folded white paper and scissors, and cut the flake's shape from memory. Finally, she would use the cut pattern to stencil the snowflake images. In her book, they are displayed on a dark background so as to stand out. There are 26 plates, each plate with several snowflakes. Along with Mrs. Chickering's images, there are various poems and prose writings pertaining to snow and snowflakes by notable writers within the album. Item 20. Priced at $375.

 

Next up we have a pair of unique, rather amazing books of art and poetry. However, these are not printed books, but two manuscript notebooks of original poetry by Joseph Ely of Bristol. So little is known of Mr. Ely that while it was generally believed he came from Bristol, Connecticut, the New York Public Library (which has some of his work) noted that the "Bally & Co., Bath" on the paper makes it more likely he was from Bristol, England. As intricate as his work was, Mr. Ely was still quite prolific. These two notebooks, dated 1816 and 1819, contain 11 and 13 leaves. On them, Mr. Ely has written original poems on various subjects, apparently less than memorable. However, he has employed his calligraphic talents in lettering the poems. What is even more impressive is each is contained within an intricate, ornate and unique circular frame, hand drawn in brown with pen and ink. It must have required some serious work, and yet a "Poetical Preface to the Reader" to the 1816 volume says he had written 229 compositions within 591 borders, contained in 23 books. He must have had the skill to do these with greater speed than seems imaginable to me. Those contained in libraries range from 1817-1823, so presumably those earlier ones he mentions here were lost. It seems he must have done this for his own amusement, or perhaps to give to friends, though none of the volumes known contains a presentation inscription. Item 28. $2,500.

 

William Prynne was a man of controversial opinions, intolerance of differing views, and a willingness to take whatever punishment his behavior incurred and come back for more. He was constantly writing attacks on others, either about specific individuals or types of people in general. His words were rarely kind. Prynne was a Puritan in early 17th century England, a pamphleteer and politician. Item 61 is one of those works: The Unlovelinesse, of Love-Lockes. Or, A Summarie Discourse, Prooving: The Wearing, and Nourishing of a Locke, or Love-Locke, to be Altogether Unseemely, and Unlawfull unto Christians, published in 1628. It is an attack on the then current fashion of men having one longer lock of hair, which he condemned as unnatural, odious, sinful, effeminate, unmanly, womanish, abominable, Satanic, and such. Prynne did not mince words. He also condemns women who wear their hair short for being mannish, unnatural, impudent and unchristian. However, he also condemns them if their hair is too long, or they wear make-up, and for their "inordinate affection of corporall beautie." Prynne wrote other such diatribes, and is particularly noted for one against the theater just as the Queen was sponsoring a play. It got him one of multiple life sentences in prison (he always got out in a few years) and his ears cropped off (the stubs were later removed after another such verdict). He regained influence during the revolution, but attacks against Cromwell had him back in prison again. He finally managed to stay out of trouble and regain some measure of respectability during the Restoration. Item 61. $1,500.

 

Here is another man of great principles, willing to put his reputation on the line for them, who also wrote a scathing attack, this one targeted at a specific individual. It was not good for one's popularity in America for that the person be, of all people, George Washington. Thomas Paine always spoke (or wrote) his mind. Paine was an American hero in 1776, his call for independence and freedom a rallying cry for the colonies. He returned to his native England after the Revolution, his advocacy for democratic causes, and support of the French Revolution, making him persona non grata there. He moved to France. Paine was elected to the National Assembly, but then the French Revolution turned bloody, he was imprisoned, and like so many others, would have had his head separated from his body save for a lucky miscommunication when he was supposed to be taken away. He managed to survive a little longer until Robespierre was overthrown and he was freed. Paine emerged from prison holding a grudge against some Americans for not making a greater effort to free him. One whom he believed conspired with Robespierre to imprison him was George Washington. Paine sent him a scathing letter, and when Washington failed to respond, he had the letter published. Item 54 is a copy of that Letter to George Washington, President of the United States of America, published in 1796. Like Prynne, Paine did not mince words, calling Washington a fraud, incompetent general, elitist, lacking in gratitude and humanity, and similar niceties. When he wore out his welcome in France and returned to America a few years later, his support of the French Revolution and attack on Washington made him a pariah in the land that once adored him. He did nothing to reestablish his good graces by following up with an attack on religion. Writing about his death in 1809, and a funeral attended by all of six people, Robert G. Ingersoll remarked, "Even those who loved their enemies hated him." $1,500.

 

Here is an item of obscure poetry: The Overland Route to California, and Other Poems, by John Ward. Had this been written a decade earlier, it would have represented the product of a difficult and dangerous Oregon Trail journey. However, it was published in 1874. Ward took the train. Still, what little I can find of him displays he was a brave man, serving nobly in the Civil War with a New York regiment. He had degrees as both a lawyer and medical doctor, but I have not ascertained which, if either, of these he used to earn a living. Along with the title poem, there are twenty others covering various subjects. Item 14. $200.

 

The Brick Row Book Shop may be reached at 415-398-0414 or books@brickrow.com. Their website is www.brickrow.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <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.

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