Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2005 Issue

Architectural, Furniture, Art Books and More from Charles Wood Rare Books

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A Summer Miscellany from Charles Wood


By Michael Stillman

Charles Wood Rare Books
has issued "A Summer Miscellany" of sixty recent acquisitions. Wood specializes in fields such as books about architecture, book arts, furniture making, pattern books, and other artistic endeavors. Those who collect in these areas will be keenly interested in these new offerings. Ask for List 2005-1. Here are just a few samples.

Likely the most collectible of American architectural books is Asher Benjamin's The Country Builder's Assistant. This was the first original American architectural book and is quite difficult to find. Wood describes it as "an absolutely essential cornerstone of any collection of American architectural books..." While much of the content was based on English sources, the designs were Benjamin's own. Though complete, this copy has had some restoration, and therefore is priced accordingly. Item 6. $12,500.

Item 58 is a most interesting addition for collectors of American architects, Frank Lloyd Wright in particular. Wright is almost certainly the most famous of all American architects. His best-known work is New York's Guggenheim Museum, but some 300-plus houses and numerous other Wright structures survive. Item 58 is a collection of 16 photographs taken at Wright's Wisconsin home/studio "Taliesin." Actually, it's "Taliesin III," the first two "editions" having burned down. They show Wright and his third wife, Olgivanna, family and friends. Several shots show Olgivanna holding her baby daughter, Iovanna, which dates the photos to circa 1926. Along with the immediate family, the photographs show a young Japanese couple and some musicians. Based on identifications given a similar picture, it is possible that these photographs were taken by Wright's granddaughter Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, herself an architect, but perhaps not since she would only have been three or four years old at the time. If not, they certainly must have been taken by someone close to Wright's family. $3,000.

For firearms collectors, item 11 is, On the application of Machinery to the manufacture of Rotating Chambered-breech Fire-arms, and their peculiarities. This pamphlet is excerpted from the minutes of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. It was a lecture given them by American Samuel Colt. Colt had struggled to sell his pistol until the outbreak of the Mexican War brought him a large government order. That led to the building of his plant in Hartford, Connecticut, which still stands today. He expanded to London in the 1850s, where he struck up a friendship with Charles Manby, Secretary of the Institution, and editor of this pamphlet. $1,100.

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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