Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2020 Issue

Broadsides & Broadsheets from the William Reese Co.


Broadsides & Broadsheets.

The William Reese Company has issued a catalogue of Broadsides & Broadsheets. These are single sheet printed items, such as posters and handbills. Most were printed on paper but a few are on linen. Most modern broadsides tend to be posters announcing events or advertising handouts promoting sales. Going back to the 19th century, they were often used to disseminate news. Today, the internet, radio and television, transmit news almost instantaneously, so printed sheets are rarely used. In earlier times, the single sheet was often the fastest way to get out breaking news, quicker than printing entire newspapers and magazines. Still, the uses we see today were also common in earlier times. While the majority of these sheets are American in origin, there are also many from England, Europe, Mexico and South America to be found. Here are a few of the old ones Reese has gathered up for this catalogue.


The Declaration of Independence was still two months away when people in Massachusetts were already pledging their support for the revolution. Item 70 is a broadside from early May 1776, beginning: Colony of Massachusetts-Bay, 1776. We the subscribers, do each of us severally for ourselves, profess, testify and declare before God and the world, that we verily believe that the war, resistance and opposition in which the United American Colonies are now engaged against the fleets and armies of Great-Britain, is on the part of the said Colonies, just and necessary. Citizens are called on not to “aid, abet, or assist” the King's navy or land forces, nor supply them with any sort of provisions. They are also not to provide any intelligence, recruit forces on their behalf, or take up arms against the United Colonies. This oath was printed after the Massachusetts legislature voted to sever ties with Great Britain on May 1. The sheet was intended to be signed, though this copy has not been. Item 70. Priced at $13,500.


This is the oldest broadside in the catalogue. It is undated, but circa 1581. It features a full length portrait of Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to sail around the world. It celebrates his circumnavigation. In Latin, it is headed Franciscus Draeck Nobilissimus Eques Angliae is est Qui Toto T Terrarum Orbe Circumducto... This portrait has appeared elsewhere, but is rare and is one of only a few lifetime portraits of Drake. What is surprising is its place of printing – Nuremberg. It contains some poetry in German, again a surprise. Why were Germans celebrating this Englishman who was a privateer, essentially little more than a pirate? Queen Elizabeth and the British loved him because he stole from their rivals, the Spanish, and the Queen received a portion of his booty for her protection, but the Germans? The answer seems to be that it depicts him as going off to fight for Christendom. The broadside warns soldiers not to act as mercenaries for non-Christians. It appears that the broadside's creator was using Drake's reputation as a fighter for the British to encourage others to fight the Turks on behalf of Christendom. Of course, Drake never did that himself. The only nations he ever fought were also Christian nations. He was in it for the money and prestige. Perhaps the average German in 1581 was not aware of this detail. Item 44. $120,000.


The Hamptons on the eastern end of New York's Long Island are among the most exclusive addresses in America. Evidently, it was always so. Even in 1858, Bridgehampton had a “Committee of Prosecution” to keep the the riffraff off the streets. A broadside, boldly headed NOTICE announces, “At a public hearing of those opposed to the running of large CATTLE, SHEEP & HORSES on the highways and unenclosed Wood-Land, the undersigned were appointed a committee to prosecute the owners of such Cattle, Sheep and Horses, so tresspassing [sic]. Notice and fair warning therefore hereby given to that effect.” It does not specify the penalty, but it must have been effective as, to the best of my knowledge, there are no cows wandering the streets of Bridgehamption today. Item 15. $600.


Item 65 is a rare first printing of two of President Abraham Lincoln's last three presidential proclamations, issued on April 11, 1865. Three days later, he was shot at Ford's Theatre and died the following day. Lincoln issued one more proclamation later on the day of April 11. The first of the two proclamations announces the closing of a large number of Confederate ports to vessels from outside the U. S. or carrying goods subject to duties. The ports were to remain closed until reopened by the President. Lee's surrender at Appomattox had occurred just two days earlier, but not all Confederate forces had yet surrendered. The second proclamation is a correction to the first, stating the the Port of Key West would remain open. Both of these proclamations are headed, simply, A Proclamation. They are signed in type by Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward. $10,000.


Next is an illustrated poster presenting W. I. Swain's Western Spectacular Production Jesse James. It was printed circa 1920, about 40 years after James passed on to his final reward or punishment. The caption says “Hands Up Sheriff? The prison is not built that will hold Jesse James.” James has his pistol pointed at four men, probably lawmen, one of whom drops his gun, the others raise their hands. James is not alone. A blond woman, one foot on a chair, the other on a table, also points her pistol at the four men. An African American man, from outside, points his gun through an open window at the four. James has allies. This may not be an accurate depiction of history. I am not aware of a blond woman who rode with Jesse James and participated in any of his gunfights. As for the African American ally, James cut his teeth working for Confederate irregulars who participated in gruesome killings of northern sympathizers. This all seems a bit of a stretch. Item 121. $2,000.


The William Reese Company may be reached at 203-789-8081 or amorder@reeseco.com. Their website is www.williamreesecompany.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.
  • <b><center>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 31</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> Aristoteles, <i>Logica vetus,</i> Manuscript, around 1250. Est: € 60,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>L. Pacioli, <i>Divina proportione,</i> 1509<br>Est: € 80,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> A. Jorn, Fin de Copenhague, 1957.<br>Est: € 10,000
    <b><center>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 31</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> Gospel of Mark, Manuscript, around 1180.<br>Est: € 30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>J. de Theramo, <i>Consolatio peccatorum,</i> 1481. Est: € 25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>G. Braques in G. Apollinaire, <i>Si je mourais là-bas,</i> 1962. Est: € 6,000
    <b><center>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 31</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> Latin Choral manuscript, around 1500.<br>Est: € 25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>P. J. Redouté, <i>Choix des plus belles fleurs,</i> 1827-33. Est: € 25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>S. Delaunay, <i>27 tableaux vivants,</i> 1969. Est: € 3,000
    <b><center>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 31</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1450-70. Est: € 30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>L. Moholy-Nagy, Bauhaus postcard, 1923. Est: € 5,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>K. Price in Ch. Bukowski, <i>Heat wave,</i> 1995. Est: € 2,500.

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