Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2005 Issue

Western Books and More from Johns' Western Gallery

Latest catalogue from Johns' Western Gallery.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from John's Western Gallery. Johns, of San Francisco, is probably best known as one of the foremost Western Americana auction houses. For Western collectors not familiar with their auctions, we recommend you check the auction calendar on this website for their upcoming auctions (next one scheduled for October 28, 2005). Their auctions are filled with the familiar and obscure memorabilia of the Old West, and you are likely to find items for your collection at reasonable prices. However, Johns' also publishes catalogues of books and ephemera, and today we take a look at number 16.

Item 68 is a signed document pertaining to the earliest days of California statehood. It is a request for the Public Printer to print copies of certain bills that had been introduced before the U.S. Senate. The date is September 16, 1850, just one week after California's September 9th admission. It is signed by both of the state's senators, John C. Fremont and William M. Gwin. The handwriting and dating is evidently in Gwin's hand, while both senators added their signatures. The admission of California to the Union as a free state was part of the Compromise of 1850, an admission favored by the North that was balanced by the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Laws favored by the South. Senator Fremont, an opponent of slavery, would go on to be the first presidential nominee of the as yet unformed Republican Party six years later in the election of 1856. Gwin, on the other hand, was a supporter of slavery, who was arrested during the Civil War for disloyalty. Priced at $750.

Item 505 is another reminder of those tense years before the Civil War. It is a copy of the Political Debates between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, In the Celebrated Campaign of 1858... The book also includes two later speeches of Lincoln. These were probably the most famous of all American political debates, as Lincoln tried to finesse his antislavery beliefs into positions acceptable to audiences which did not fully share them, while Douglas attempted to paint him as an abolitionist. Ultimately, Douglas prevailed in the 1858 senate election, though Lincoln would win the more important one two years later. The copy here offered is the third edition, fifth state, which is important because it includes Douglas' objection that some of his words had been altered in a manner "designed to do me injustice, by placing me in a false position." The publisher's response in this 1860 edition is also included. $200.

Item 470 carries the interesting title Grandpa was a Polygamist. The explanation for this 1960 title is that author Paul Bailey grew up in a Mormon family in Utah shortly after the turn of the century. This sometime humorous account retells life in the community at the time. Bailey would grow up to be a newspaper reporter and later western book publisher, publishing this and many other books he wrote plus the works of numerous others. All of this leaves me curious as to what Bailey's relationship was to the other grandmas. Are they step-grandmothers when they and your grandmother are married to your grandfather at the same time? $50.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] DAVID BURLIUK WITH ORIGINAL DRAWING and Signed twice. David Burliuk Rare ACA Gallery exhibition catalogue, undated. CA$400 – 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS. Text by Margaret Atwood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2019. $CA400 - 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] LAWRENCE WEINER: POSTERS. Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada,1987. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: WILBUR SMITH: THE DARK OF THE SUN. Heinemann, UK, 1965. Signed First edition. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: ROBERTSON DAVIES: LEAVEN OF MALICE. SIGNED Clark, Irwin, & Co., Canada. 1954. 1st edition. CA$400 – 600
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [THE NOTABLE TRAILS LIBRARY]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: THE TRIAL OF DR. X; ROE V. WADE; THE GALILEO AFFAIR; THE TRIAL OF BERNHARD GOETZ… CA$300 – 500
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [MILITARY FICTION]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: Canada's Royal Military College. REVIEW, THE STONE FRIGATE, A HISTORY OF THE RMC… CA$300 – 400
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [WW1] CANADIAN (C.S.E.F.) SIBERIA 1918-1919 PHOTO ALBUM. With approximately 303 original official war photographs, postcards, and personal photographs. CA$8,000 – 10,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: HANS BELLMER: THE DOLL. 1995, 1st Ed. CA$150 – 300.
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: FAN HO; HONG KONG YESTERDAY. ModernBooks edition, 2006. First edition. 4to. CA$300 – 600.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: TARYN SIMON: AN AMERICAN INDEX OF THE HIDDEN AND UNFAMILIAR. Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2012. Third edition. CA$600 – 1,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: BARBARA KRUGER PICTURE/READINGS. [Self-Published], 1978 First edition. CA$800 – 1,200.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.

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