Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2005 Issue

South America From William Reese

Reese242

South America from the William Reese Co.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from the William Reese Company, number 242, has just arrived. It is titled South America, and covers works from four centuries pertaining to that continent (with an occasional spillover to Central or North America). Works can be found in numerous languages, Spanish, English, French, German, even an occasional Italian and Latin. Topics include exploration, colonization, native Indians, slavery, revolution, religion, and lots of politics. This is a most interesting catalogue for collectors of this continent to the south of the equator.

Item 39 is an unusual discourse on slavery from around 1601. It is Tratado de la Importancia y Utildad que ay en dar por esclavos a los Indios Rebelados de Chile by Melchor Calderon. Calderon was a church official who, in this treatise, attempts to objectively consider whether the Indians of Chile should be enslaved. He gives both sides of the debate. Among the justifications for enslavement was providing spoils for the military victors who were not otherwise rewarded, punishment for transgressions of the Indians, and that, as slaves, they could be instructed in the Christian faith. Among the arguments against enslavement was the difficulty in determining which Indians had fought the Spanish and which did not, that many were obedient to crown and church, and many had suffered as a result of the conflict. Ultimately, the ayes carried the day in Spain. Priced at $22,500.

Of course, a clergyman would not want to get too close to the slaves. Rev. John Smith could attest to this. Smith maintained friendly relations with slave leaders in British Guyana, many of whom attended his church. As the slaves rallied for their emancipation, rebellion began to develop. Smith heard of this and discouraged violence, but that was not sufficient. He was charged with not informing the authorities of plans for rebellion. Item 153 is The London Missionary Society's Report of the Proceedings against the Late Rev. J. Smith, of Demerara, Minister of the Gospel, who was Tried under Martial Law, and Condemned to Death, on a Charge of Aiding and Assisting in a Rebellion of the Negro Slaves... The British government later commuted Smith's death sentence, but it made no difference. The good reverend died in prison of pneumonia. He came to be known as the "Demerara Martyr." Item 153, published in 1824. $1,750.

Item 99 is a major manuscript from 16th century La Plata. In mid-century, the province was effectively ruled by Domingo Martinez de Irala. However, Irala was not officially recognized as governor by the Spanish crown, having taken power without its official sanction. Irala understood the precariousness of his position, and despite controlling the area for most of two decades, tried very hard to obtain that sanction. This 1555 manuscript from Irala provided Spanish authorities an explanation for his actions and a request for appointment. Irala finally received the appointment he so long sought the following year, but he died only a few weeks later. $115,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>The Railroad,</i> etching, 1922. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Sheet of Studies with Men in Hats and a Saloon Keeper,</i> pen, ink & pencil, circa 1900-05. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Night Shadows,</i> etching, 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> John Marin, <i>Woolworth Building, No. 2,</i> etching & drypoint, 1913. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Charles Demuth, <i>Tulips,</i> watercolor & pencil, 1924. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Under Control,</i> gouache, ink & wash, circa 1907-10. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JESSE JAMES. Autograph Letter Signed on the attack at his home which maimed his mother and killed his nephew Archie, 6 pp, March 23, 1875. THE MOST IMPORTANT JESSE JAMES LETTER EXTANT. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> THE LETTER THAT ARRIVED TOO LATE: An important letter from Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant across the battlefield at Cold Harbor, June 6, 1864. $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> DAVY CROCKETT. Autograph Letter Signed on his political philosophy and his dispute with Andrew Jackson, "at home Weakley County," August 18, 1831. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> GEORGE WASHINGTON. Letter Signed to Colonel Richard Gridley, the first engineer of the American Army, Morris Town, January 9, 1777. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> SCOTT FITZGERALD. <i>Tender is the Night.</i> FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED to H.A. Swanseid. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS. <i>Tarzan of the Apes.</i> FIRST EDITION. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> J.R.R. TOLKIEN. <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again.</i> FIRST EDITION. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NATHANAEL WEST. <i>The Day of the Locust.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed to director Richard Wallace in the year of publication. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> FRANCIS PICABIA. Archive of 17 Autograph Letters signed to Jennie Thiersch on art and life, 1948-1951. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JOHN HANCOCK. Autograph Letter Signed to his wife Dolly from the Continental Congress, 4 pp, Philadelphia, March 10-11, 1777. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NIGHTGOWN WORN BY CHARLOTTE CARDEZA DURING THE TITANIC DISASTER AND RESCUE. $40,000 to $60,000

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