Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2019 Issue

Works on Display at the New York Fair from the Lawbook Exchange

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Items from the fair.

The Lawbook Exchange recently created a catalogue of Selected Items on Display at the 2019 New York Antiquarian Book Fair. The items are no longer on display as the fair has passed, but the material is as good as ever. Most attendees at a book fair, it is safe to say, are not lawyers, so this selection has fewer technical legal tracts than most Lawbook Exchange catalogues. This one includes some works notable for their age, others more accessible legal works, and some salacious material anyone can enjoy. There was no television to bring us up to date on the latest scandals in those days, but there were broadsheets and such with the latest news. Here are a few samples from these 100 items.

 

We begin with an item that looks really stupid in hindsight: Louisiana, Or the Bubble Upon the Constitutional Anvil, Fifteen Millions for the Purchase. No. V. This is a broadsheet newspaper from the United States Chronicle dated October 6, 1803. The number 5 implies there were earlier such articles though we have not been able to find any. There are a few other articles within this Federalist leaning paper. This article, highly critical of the Louisiana Purchase, is something of a case of sour grapes as President Jefferson had signed the purchase several months earlier, with all but the actual transfer of the land already completed. So for nothing, this newspaper made a complete fool of itself for history. The Louisiana Purchase must be the greatest land deal ever made. The U. S. purchased enough land overnight to double its size, containing all or parts of 15 current states ranging all the way from Louisiana in the southeast to Montana in the northwest, 530 million acres for $15 million, or 3 cents an acre. Item 53. Priced at $500.

 

Next is an engraving by Georg Keller, dated 1606, captioned Rechtfertigung der Vornehmsten Verrather In Engellandt. Keller was a German artist and engraver, and his subject is the execution of Guy Fawkes and others in 1605 for the Gunpowder Plot. The plotters were English Catholics unhappy with their treatment by King James I. Their plan was to blow up the House of Lords, which they hoped would lead to an uprising and the overthrow of James. They had 36 barrels of gunpowder hidden beneath the House of Lords when authorities received a tip. They discovered Guy Fawkes, the explosives expert, guarding the gunpowder. He and other plotters were captured, convicted, sentenced to death, and gruesomely drawn and quartered as well as hanged (except for Fawkes who fell off the scaffold and broke his neck). Ever since, Guy Fawkes Day has been celebrated in England to mark the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot. The picture displays various of the prisoner being drawn toward the scaffold as a crowd watches on. Item 28. $1,500.

 

No one is going to accuse James Gilbert Jenkins of being too nice a guy. The reason can be seen in the title of this book: Life and Confessions of James Gilbert Jenkins: The Murderer of Eighteen Men. Containing an Account of the Murder of Eight White Men and Ten Indians; Together with the Particulars of Highway Robberies, the Stealing of Several Horses, And Numerous Other Crimes as Narrated by Himself to Col. C.H. Allen, Sheriff of Napa County, While in Jail Under Sentence of Death for the Murder of Patrick O'Brien, published in 1864, the year Jenkins passed on. Jenkins was born in North Carolina, working his way across the country, evidently killing lots of people as he went, before picking up some jobs around Napa City, California. His last such job was being a helping hand for Patrick O'Brien. It was there that Jenkins got too personally involved and as a result became careless. I'm not sure with whom he became involved. One story you can find online is that he was involved with O'Brien's wife, who encouraged him to do away with her husband. The other is that Jenkins wanted to marry O'Brien's 14-year-old daughter but Patrick would not allow it. Whichever, it appears that Jenkins needed little impetus to murder someone, so O'Brien became victim #18. While awaiting his execution, Jenkins told his story to Sheriff Allen, and his only remorse was for being careless and getting caught. Item 68. $500.

 

Here is a title that leaves little to the imagination. It is also extremely rude: The Trial of the Hon. Mrs. Catherine Newton, Wife of John Newton, Esq. and Daughter of the Right Honourable and Reverend Lord Francis Seymour; At the Consistory Court of Doctors Commons; Upon A Libel and Allegations, Charging Her with the Crime of Adultery with Mr. Isham Baggs, A Young Oxonian; Mr. Brett, A Player at Bath; Thomas Cope, Mrs. Newton's Coachman; Isaac Hatheway, Her Footman; John Ackland, Of Fairfield...And Divers Other Persons. With All the Interesting Scenes Fully, Minutely, And Circumstantially Displayed, published in 1782. I like the way they begin by calling her the "honorable" Mrs. Newton before launching into all of that. The frontispiece shows Mrs. Newton about to go bathing in a river "assisted by Mr. Baggs" who is holding her bare leg. This is a first edition, with two more being published the same year. It must have been quite popular, implying there were a lot of dedicated legal scholars in old England. The verdict in the trial was that John Newton should be divorced from his wife. As a follow-up, they did get divorced that year, and the following year, Catherine married one Jacob Constant. Hopefully, they lived happily ever after. Item 86. $2,500.

 

If this is an insufficient amount of adultery, here is another title that says it all: Trials for Adultery: Or, the History of Divorces. Being Select Trials at Doctors Commons, for Adultery, Fornication, Cruelty, Impotence, &c. From the Year 1760, to the Present Time. Including the whole of the Evidence on Each Cause. Together With the Letters, &c. That Have Been Intercepted Between the Amorous Parties. The Whole Forming a Complete History of the Private Life, Intrigues, and Amours of Many Characters in the Most Elevated Sphere: Every Scene and Transaction, However Ridiculous, Whimsical, or Extraordinary, Being Fairly Represented, as Becomes a Faithful Historian, Who is Fully Determined Not to Sacrifice Truth at the Shrine of Guilt and Folly. The "present time" in this case was 1760, so all of this happened in just 20 years. Nevertheless, it took seven volumes to present it all. This gem is attributed to "A Civilian," the "faithful historian" who took down notes at these trials. Item 88. $7,500.

 

The Lawbook Exchange may be reached at 732-382-1800 or law@lawbookexchange.com. Their website is www.lawbookexchange.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Sir Isaac Newton, <i>Opticks,</i> first edition, first issue, London, 1704. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Johannes Jacobus Canis, <i>De modo studendi in utroque iure,</i> first edition, Padua, 1476. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Pope Clemens V, <i>Constitutiones,</i> Nuremberg, 1482. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Nicolaus Panormitanus de Tudeschis, <i>Lectura super V libris Decretalium,</i> Basel, 1480-81. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Michael Faraday, <i>Experimental Researches in Electricity,</i> complete set, first editions, London, 1832-56. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> William Gilbert, <i>Tractatus sive physiologia nova de magnete,</i> Sedini, 1628. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> John Bulwer, <i>Philocophus,</i> first edition of the first book in English on the deaf, London, 1648. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> James Cook, complete set, 9 volumes, London, 1773-84. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 24:</b> Nicolaus Bertrand, <i>Opus de Tholosano[rum] Gestis ab Urbe Condita,</i> with the earliest known view of the city of Toulouse, 1515. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana<br>November 6, 2019</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> RATZER, Bernard. <i>Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767.</i> London: Jefferys and Faden, “Jan.y” 12, 1776. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. COCKERELL, Sydney C. <i>Some German Woodcuts of the Fifteenth Century.</i> Hammersmith: The Kelmscott Press, 1897 [issued 1898]. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> [GOLDEN COCKEREL PRESS]. KEATS, John. <i>Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of Saint Agnes and Other Poems.</i> Waltham Saint Lawrence, Berkshire: The Golden Cockerel Press, 1928. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center> <b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana<br>November 6, 2019</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> [GRANT, Ulysses S.— GRANT, Julia, First Lady]. Carved Applewood and 18-karat Gold Jewelry Suite, Browne & Spaulding, Jewelers, New York City, 1865. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> [LINCOLN ASSASSINATION]. GARDNER, Alexander. <i>Incidents of the War |Sic Semper Sicariis</i> [caption title]. Washington, D. C.: Philip & Solomons, 1865. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> A COMPLETE COLLECTION of 115 titles published in R. R. Donnelley's Lakeside Classics series. Chicago, 1903-2017. COMPLETE RUN OF THE LONGEST-RUNNING CONTINUOUS SERIES OF BOOKS IN THE WORLD. $5,000 to $7,000
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana<br>November 6, 2019</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> GLEIZES, Albert. METZINGER, Jean. <i>Du Cubisme.</i> Paris, 1947. LIMITED EDITION, number 19 of 20 copies on papier d'Auvergne. $3,000 to $4,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> [THE LITTLE REVIEW]. ANDERSON, Margaret, ed. POUND, Ezra, ed. HEAP, Jane, ed. <i>The Little Review.</i> Vol. I, No. 1 through Vol. XII, No. 2. 1914-1929. $3,000 to $4,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> [MOUNTENEY, Leonard, binder]. LOUŸS, Pierre. <i>Songs of Bilitis.</i> Chicago: Argus Books, 1931. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 6:</b> [HANCOCK, John]. Partly-printed U.S. Loan-Office Transfer Certificate issued on behalf of Hancock. Sgn’d on recto by William Imlay, as Commissioner of Loans of Connecticut. 28 February 1793. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DE CORDOBA, JACOB. <i>Map of the State of Texas.</i> New York, 1866. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ARNOLD, BENEDICT. Autograph bookseller's receipt for Dr. John Dickinson, Signed ("B. Arnold"), February 1767. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. 4 Typed Letters Signed ("A Einstein") to Cleveland E. Dodge offering early reports on the meetings of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D. Typed Letter Signed ("Dwight D. Eisenhower") to General Henri Giraud written from a secret bunker in Gibraltar on the eve of Operation Torch, November 4 [but 6], 1942. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> Early Broadside Printing of the GADSDEN PURCHASE, Puebla, August 16, 1854. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ALLEN, ETHAN. Autograph Letter Signed to Crevecouer during the Constitutional Debates in Congress, 2 pp, August 29, 1787. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Library of a Midwestern Collector<br>November 5, 2019</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> DARWIN, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> London John Murray, 1859. FIRST EDITION. THE VERY FINE MELLON-GARDEN COPY. $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions Auctioneers, Nov. 5:</b> ECKERT, J. P, H. H. GOLDSTINE, and J. G. BRAINERD. <i>Description of the ENIAC and comments on electronic digital computing machines.</i> N.p., 1945. FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED BY GOLDSTINE. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> EUCLID. <i>Elementa geometriae.</i> Translated from the Arabic by Adelard of Bath. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 25 May 1482. FIRST EDITION. $60,000 to $80,000
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Library of a Midwestern Collector<br>November 5, 2019</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> [HAMILTON, Alexander, James MADISON and John JAY]. <i>The Federalist: A Collection of Essays…</i> New York: John and Andrew M'Lean, 1788. FIRST EDITION. $60,000 to $80,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> GALILEI, Galileo. <i>Dialogo...Dove ne i congressi di quattro giornate si discorre sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano.</i> Florence, 1632. FIRST EDITION. $30,000 to $40,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> JOYCE, James. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922. FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 100 COPIES SIGNED BY JOYCE. $120,000 to $180,000
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Library of a Midwestern Collector<br>November 5, 2019</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> KEYNES, John Maynard. <i>The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money.</i> London: Macmillan, 1936. FIRST EDITION. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> NEWTON, Isaac, Sir. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> London: Joseph Streater for the Royal Society, 1687. FIRST EDITION. $150,000 to $250,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> ROWLING, J. K. <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.</i> London: Bloomsbury, 1997. FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY ROWLING. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 5:</b> SMITH, Adam. <i>An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.</i> London: for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776. FIRST EDITION. $70,000 to $90,000

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