Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2017 Issue

Rare Americana from David M. Lesser Antiquarian Books

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Rare Americana.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has released a new catalogue of Rare American, number 156 in their ongoing series. It follows the usual mold, some books, but more ephemeral sorts of paper, such as pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, brochures, photographs and other types of images. With a focus on historic Americana, material comes from the 18th, and more so, the 19th century. The variety of material offered makes this a sure source of interesting items for any collection of Americana. Here are a few samples.

 

This is a reminder of what was not one of America's better hours, and a stain on John Adams' mostly outstanding legacy. Item 34 is An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper, of Northumberland [Pennsylvania], on a Charge of Libel Against the President of the United States. That President was John Adams, and the statute under which Cooper was charged was the notorious Sedition Act. Cooper had emigrated to the United States from England in 1794, choosing to live near his friend, Joseph Priestley. Cooper was an anti-Federalist and supporter of Thomas Jefferson. He made his views known, resulting in the trial in 1800 described in this account (it was published for Cooper in 1800). Cooper's comments were within what today is normal political discourse, but Adams wished to silence serious criticism of his policies and activities. The trial was held in front of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, a vehement Federalist supporter, not a good omen for Cooper. He demonstrated hostility toward the defendant. Chase would later be impeached by Jeffersonians in Congress but was not convicted in the Senate and so survived in office. Cooper, however, was convicted in his trial and sentenced to six months in prison. Nevertheless, that did not silence his continued criticism of Adams. Priced at $1,250.

 

Here is another unpleasant moment from American history. The South had much to be embarrassed about during the Civil War. It was not the bravery of Confederate soldiers that was bad, but the ugliness of the cause in which they had been enlisted – the preservation of slavery. That does not mean the North was all pure and good. Item 41 is the Report of the Committee of Merchants for the Relief of Colored People, Suffering from the Late Riots in the City of New York, published in 1863. These merchants were good people, but the same cannot be said for the rioters. They were displeased with new draft quotas issued in July 1863 for service in the Civil War. They took out their anger on the city's black population. This report notes that they were forcibly driven from their homes "by an infuriated mob, without cause or provocation." Many were murdered, "hanging on trees and lamp posts, and cruelly beaten and robbed." Names and manner of death are given for victims. The Colored Orphan Asylum was burned down. President Lincoln was forced to divert some troops from the war effort. Four days later, state and federal troops finally restored order. $850.

 

Enough for the bad and the ugly. Let's get to the good. Item 75 is likely one of the most notable eulogies ever given in American history: A Funeral Oration, on the Death of General Washington, Delivered in Philadelphia, at the Request of Congress. By Major General Henry Lee... published in 1800. Henry Lee, better known as "Light-Horse Harry," was a Revolutionary War comrade-in-arms of Washington and one of the men he trusted and respected most. During the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, it was Lee that Washington assigned the task of quelling the rebellion. Congress unanimously selected Lee, who by then was a congressman from Virginia, to offer the eulogy. It was during this oration that Lee uttered the words about Washington still remembered today – "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Ironically, it was Light-Horse Harry's son, Robert, who led Confederate troops in the attempt to tear apart the nation Washington built six decades later. $3,000.

 

Here is an account of some intrigue, likely from 1812, along with some "fake news" that had a gullible President Madison fooled. Sometimes you believe what you want to believe. Item 60 is Facts Relative to John Henry and his Negociation. Henry was a U.S. Army officer who hired himself out as an agent to the Canadian Governor. The Governor wished to find out whether New England might secede. Federalists in New England were resentful of southern power in the United States, with some of the more radical among them interested in secession and possible reunion with Britain. There was correspondence between Henry and the Governor concerning his mission. Unfortunately for Henry, the Governor died before he was paid, and the British (who appointed the Canadian Governor at this time) refused to pay. At the suggestion of a Frenchman, Henry decided to sell the correspondence to President Madison. Madison was ready for war with Britain, and such a mission by Britain through its Canadian colony to split the nation played into his beliefs about their trickery. Madison payed $50,000 for the papers. However, the letters Henry sold Madison were fake. The President, in his desire for an excuse for war, was tricked into paying a large sum of money for the fakes. Henry took the money and ran... off to France. This pamphlet explains the story in greater detail. $850.

 

Item 97 is a circa 1880's broadside advertising "The Kaatsberg," Robert Elliott, Proprietor. Hunter, Greene Co. N. Y. It is an "attractive and well-arranged summer resort" near a railroad terminus. That would evidently require a transfer since it was necessary to cross the Hudson River by ferry at Rhinebeck. The Kaatsberg was one of many resorts that opened in the area in 1882 when the railroad line was completed. It offered a bathing house and accommodations for 100. However, Elliott does make one stipulation about his visitors – "NO JEWS." Leaving aside the ethical considerations, one wonders about the business acumen of a proprietor opening a resort in the Catskills and saying "no Jews." $375.

 

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>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.
  • <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.

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