Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2018 Issue

The American West and More from Back of Beyond Books

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The American Southwest and more.

Back of Beyond Books has published their Rare Book Catalogue No. 20. Back of Beyond is noted as a specialist in books about the American Southwest, but their coverage has expanded substantially in more recent issues. This catalogue is divided into 12 sections as follows: Western Exploration and the Colorado River, Western Americana, Native Americana, Mormon History, Photography, Art, Literature and Poetry, the Natural World and its Defenders, Americana, Promotionals, Trade Catalogues, and Last Minute Acquisitions. Here are a few of their latest selections.

 

Americans awaited news from the most important internal exploration of the country when its leaders, Captains Merriwether Lewis and William Clark, returned in 1806. They had to wait a long time to receive the captains' official report. A number of delays held it up from publication until 1814. However, one of the members of their team, Patrick Gass, did provide a much quicker account, publishing his in 1807. Item 17 is Gass' Journal of the Voyages and Travels of a Corps of Discovery, Under the Command of Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clarke... Gass got a lot right, but not the spelling of Clark's name. His report was printed by Zadock Cramer, the frontier publisher (Pittsburgh was then on the frontier) who published books to help those seeking their fortunes in the West. Streeter considered Gass' account "one of the essential books for an Americana collection." Priced at $7,500.

 

Here is another early explorer, though not quite as early as Lewis and Clark. John Wesley Powell led two expeditions down the Green and Colorado Rivers. It was not an easy journey through the canyons as there are numerous rapids, with the last part being particularly treacherous. Their journey would be the first water trip into the Grand Canyon. The first journey was primarily to discover what was there, the second to gather more detailed scientific information. Powell concluded that the land was too arid to support large scale farming. Item 23 is Powell's Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and its Tributaries. Explored in 1869, 1870, 1871, and 1872... It was published in 1875. $625. Two decades later, Powell wrote a more detailed report that was published in a limited edition, Canyons of the Colorado. Back of Beyond also has this 1895 account in a copy signed and annotated by University of Utah professor and contemporary geologist William Neal. Item 22. $11,000.

 

If you are an aficionado of mushrooms, here is the ultimate book. Actually, it is more than a book. Item 179 is Mushrooms in Their Natural Habitats, by Alexander H. Smith, published in 1949. This is 626 pages worth of information about mushrooms from a leading expert in the field. The book comes with a View-Master viewer and 33 reels for the viewer housed in a separate false book box. The View-Master is one of those devices that you insert the round card with images along its edge and when you look in the viewer, they take on a 3-dimensional appearance. William Gruber, the inventor of the View-Master and owner of the company that produced them, also was a mushroom aficionado as he not only published this set, he took the photographs of the mushrooms himself. $1,600.

 

Here is a book that you are unlikely to be able to read. That is ironic, because the idea was to make reading easier. Brigham Young may have been able to lead his followers into the desert near a huge lake of undrinkable water, but he could not lead them into using a new alphabet. For 15 years, though, he tried. English spelling has always been a confounding, ridiculous exercise, filled with letter combinations that don't sound anything like they look. Young's idea was to create a new alphabet that would spell English words phonetically. He developed an entirely new alphabet that consisted of 38 letters. They do not look like Latin letters. The idea may have sounded good, but other than four books published by the Mormon Church, there was nothing else to be read in this language. It was essentially useless. After the four books were published, the exercise was abandoned. Here is one of those books, Selections from the Book of Mormon in the Deseret Alphabet, published in 1869. The other three books published in Deseret were a complete Book of Mormon, and two school primers. Item 99. $300.

 

Here is another, more logical but equally failed attempt to make English easier to read and spell. Item 196 is an issue of a newspaper published in Cincinnati in 1850 and its method of making English more readable will be evident from its title, Fonetic Advocat Volyum II, Numbur 22 Sinsinati, 15 Jun, 1850. There have been many attempts to create phonetic English spelling, but for all its logic, none have ever caught on. $85.

 

Item 111 is a photograph of an organization whose existence was already doomed by the advance of technology. Taken between 1900-1910, it is a photograph of the Anti Horse Thief Association. This group was located in Springfield, Missouri, but there were anti horse thief associations all over the country. Stealing horses was a major concern in those days. Horses were the major means of transportation at the time, and were expensive to purchase. It was a capital crime in many jurisdictions in the 19th century, with horse thieves being hanged for their crime. The Anti Horse Thief Association had a large number of followers in Springfield and they can be seen in this photograph, mounted on their horses. Several Springfield businesses can also be seen, along with one lone automobile. That would be their demise, horse theft to be replaced by automobile theft, a scourge with which we still have to deal today. $750.

 

Back of Beyond Books may be reached at 435-259-5154 or andy@backofbeyondbooks.com. Their website is www.backofbeyondbooks.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>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest Hemingway's Typewriter Used to Write "A Moveable Feast", Impeccable Provenance From His Biographer A. E. Hotchner. $50,000 to $100,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Samuel Colt, "The Gun that Won the West": 3 Signed Patent Items for "Revolving Cylinder Guns". $40,000 to $50,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Jack Kerouac's Own Typewriter From His Estate Used to Write His Very Last Book. $18,000 to $20,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Rare Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence Printed in 1848. $15,000 to $18,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Superb Tchaikovsky ALS to Napravnik, 4pp on "Mazeppa". $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Wounded Knee Massacre Same Day Eyewitness Account by Participant, "the 7th needn't be ashamed of today's record". $10,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> F. Scott Fitzgerald Signed Gordon Bryant Portrait -- Finest Known. $8,000 to $9,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Neil Armstrong ALS on NASA Letterhead Regarding His X-15 Flights. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> M. Gandhi Letter: "the life span of human beings is preordained..." -- Fantastic Spiritual Content. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> "Damn the torpedoes!" Riveting 24pp ALS of Admiral Farragut's Steward Describing the "Battle of Mobile Bay”. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Abraham Lincoln Signed Order to Suspend Execution. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Napoleon DS Featuring Imperial Eagle and Enormous Great Seal Appointing Norman Politician Baron of the Empire. $4,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <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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