• <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Antiquarian Books and Manuscripts<br>Online Auction 5–15 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 5–15 June:</b> Machiavelli.<br><i>Il Principe,</i> Florence, 1532, later Danish half calf. £70,000 to £90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 5–15 June:</b> The Sundial of Ahaz, two diagrams on a leaf from Nicholas of Lyra's <i>Literal Commentary,</i> [France, c.1360-80]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 5–15 June:</b> Homer. <i>The whole works,</i> translated by Chapman, London, [1616?], calf. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 5–15 June:</b> Jonathan Swift. Autograph letter signed, to the Duke of Dorset, in support of his friend Thomas Sheridan, 22 March 1735. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> Pablo Neruda, <i>Canto General,</i> first edition, signed by Neruda, artists Rivera & Siquieros, CDMX, 1950. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> James Joyce, <i>Ulysses,</i> deluxe limited issue, signed, London, 1936. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> Sergei Rachmaninoff, Autograph Musical Quotation Signed, 3 bars from <i>Piano Concerto No. 2,</i> 1933. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> Thomas Edison, Typed Letter Signed, describing preparing first phonograph for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, 1922. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> Robert Frost, <i>Collected Poems,</i> author’s presentation copy, signed with <i>Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening</i> inscribed, NY, 1930. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> Thomas Mann, Autograph Letter Signed to his children, 3 pages on exiles, 1938. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> Alighiero Boetti & Anne-Marie Sauzeau-Boetti, <i>Classifying the thousand longest rivers in the world,</i> limited edition, 1977. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> Agnes Martin, <i>Paintings & Drawings,</i> complete set of 10 lithographs, 1990. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 17:</b> Abraham Lincoln, Autograph Letter Signed to Whig activist George W. Rives, Springfield, 1849. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <center><b>Aste Bolaffi<br>Rare Books and Autographs<br>June 22, 2021</b>
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Tolomeo, Claudio. <i>Cosmographia.</i> Ulma, Lienhart Holle, 16.07.1482.<br>€ 50.000+
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Hondius, Henricus, & Johannes Janssonius. <i>Atlas novus, sive descriptio geographica totius orbis terrarum.</i> Amsterdam, Hondius-Janssonius, 1638. €30.000+
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Castiglione, Baldassarre. <i>Il libro del cortegiano del conte Baldesar Castiglione.</i> Venice, eredi di Aldo, 1528. € 14.000+
    <center><b>Aste Bolaffi<br>Rare Books and Autographs<br>June 22, 2021</b>
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Bayer, Johann. <i>Uranometria, omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata, aereis laminis expressa.</i> Augusta, Christoph Mang, 1603.<br>€ 12.000+
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> [Astronomy]. <i>[Scriptores Astronomici veteres].</i> Venezia, Aldo Manuzio, 1499.<br> € 7.000+
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Aristophanes. <i>Aristofanous Komoidiai ennea. Aristophanis Comoediae novem.</i> Venice, Aldo Manuzio, 1498. € 7.000+
    <center><b>Aste Bolaffi<br>Rare Books and Autographs<br>June 22, 2021</b>
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Herodotus. <i>Hirodotou logoi ennea [...] Herodoti libri novem quibus musarum indita sunt nomina.</i> Venice, Aldo Manuzio, 1502. € 7.000+
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Tory, Geoffroy. <i>L’art & science de la vraye proportion des lettres attiques, ou antiques.</i> Paris, Vincent Gaultherot, 1549. € 5.000+
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Caterina da Siena. <i>Epistole devotissime de sancta Catharina da Siena.</i> Venice, Aldo Manuzio, 1500. € 4.500+
    <center><b>Aste Bolaffi<br>Rare Books and Autographs<br>June 22, 2021</b>
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> [Chess]. Gianuzio della Manzia, Orazio. <i>Libro nel quale si tratta della maniera di giuocar' a scacchi con alcuni sottilissimi partiti.</i> Torino, Antonio Bianchi, 1597. € 3.000+
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> Newton, Isaac. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> Amsterdam, Compagnie di Amsterdam, 1714. €2.500+
    <b>Aste Bolaffi, June 22:</b> [Turkish Empire]. Ramberti, Benedetto. <i>Libri tre delle cose de Turchi.</i> Venice, eredi di Aldo, 1539. €1.500+
  • <b><center>Doyle<br>Fine Literature<br>Online Auction<br>June 8 to June 22</b>
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> CALDWELL, ERSKINE. <i>Tobacco Road,</i> First Edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> ELIOT, GEORGE. <i>Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life.</i> Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1871-72. First edition in book form. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> BYRON, GEORGE GORDON NOEL, LORD. <i>Don Juan.</i> London: the Thomas Davison; John Hunt; John and H.L. Hunt, 1819-24. First edition. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> [BURNEY, FRANCES]. <i>Evelina, Or, A Young Lady's Entrance into the World.</i> London: T. Lowndes, 1778. First edition. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Fine Literature<br>Online Auction<br>June 8 to June 22</b>
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> SHEPARD, ERNEST H. Colored drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet, in an autograph letter signed by Shepard. Dated February 29th, 1932. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> CARROLL, LEWIS (CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON). <i>The Nursery "Alice".</i> London: MacMillan, 1890. Second (first published) edition. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> DANA, RICHARD HENRY, Jr. <i>Two Years Before the Mast.</i> New York, 1840. First edition with an autograph letter signed by Dana laid-in. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> FINE BINDING-RIVIERE] HAZLITT, WILLIAM. <i>Liber Amoris: or, the New Pygmalion.</i> London: John Hunt, 1823. First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2020 Issue

Western Americana from Old West Books

91ef0ed6-ede2-43b5-850d-328a56e913c9

Catalog 50 from Old West Books.

Old West Books has issued their Catalog 50 of Rare, Out of Print Books on the American West. That is a milestone. Now located in Colorado Springs, they have been selling Western Americana since the 1990s and have seen just about everything available in the field over the years. If you have seen their catalogues, or our reviews over the years, you will recognize that photo on the cover, but most likely don't know who it is. I didn't. It turns out that is owner Tim Phelps' grandfather. I think that is some sort of animal calling horn pressed to his lips, rather than a flask. HWI doesn't sound like a particularly good idea. He was an avid hunter, though he looks like a soldier in that pose. The year was 1947, and I think that now qualifies as being the Old West, perhaps the more recent Old West. Here are a few selections from this latest catalogue of the American West.

 

One of the major genres of the Old West is that of crossings, overland trips by settlers into the undeveloped country west of the Rocky Mountains. Old West Books has numerous such accounts, and we will mention a few of them. First we have Crossing the Plains and Early Days in California. Memories of Girlhood Days in California's Golden Age, published in 1928. The author was Mary E. Ackley and she and her father, mother, and four siblings joined with a party of around 100 to make the trip west in 1852. They left Winchester, Missouri, and traveled for five months before reaching their destination of Sacramento. Mary was only ten years old at the time. They hunted buffalo, endured Indian attacks, and dealt with other issues. However, the worst part of a very difficult journey was disease. Cholera struck the wagon train along the Platte River. Mary's mother contracted it, died, and was buried along the trail. Mary settled in Sacramento and lived there for the next 15 years. That time is also covered in her book. This is a scarce book, with an “aa” rating from Howes' Usiana. Item 3. Priced at $2,750.

 

Next we have another account of a journey with many similarities to the last one, only this 9-page book is much rarer. The title is Crossing Over the Great Plains by Ox Wagons by Harriet Scott Palmer. It was published in 1931, the year after Mrs. Palmer died at age 88. Like Mary Ackley, she was about 10 years old (actually 11) when her family set out with others to the West in the same year of 1852. They left from Illinois and rather than heading for Gold Rush California, they went for free land in Oregon. Similarly, the Scott family endured numerous sufferings and tragedy. As with Ms. Ackley's family, they were visited by the cholera outbreak of 1852 along the Platte River. Once they reached Fort Laramie, Harriet's mother could hang on no longer and died. Later on, her four-year-old brother also died. They endured raging river crossings, burning heat, steep and dangerous mountain roads, and near starvation when they ran out of provisions. Many of the oxen succumbed to eating poisonous plants. Still, she, her father, and seven siblings made it to Oregon. Item 51. $7,500.

 

Here is one more travelogue, actually a collection of them. It is a more recent book, 11 volumes published 1983-1993. However, the stories are much older than that. The title is Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1890, edited by Kenneth L. Holmes. The volumes contain word-for-word reprinting of the material in these women's (and young girls') diaries, including spelling, grammar and punctuation (not many people had access to the best educations in those days). The editor has provided background information about the writers where available. There were also “keepsakes” included with each volume with this set still having ten of them. This is #12 of 33 copies of the “Collector's Edition,” which comes in full grained brown leather with the title in gilt. Item 34. $2,750.

 

Zane Grey is known as the greatest of the western novel writers. He practically invented the genre. Most of his work was fictional, but this book is based on a real character, Charles Jesse “Buffalo” Jones. The title is The Last Plainsmen with Illustrations from the Photographs by the Author. It was published in 1908. Buffalo Jones was a buffalo hunter of the Old West, hunting buffalo to feed caravans and railroad workers during the expansion of the railways. However, later in life, Jones realized the buffalo were disappearing and would soon become extinct. He made it his mission to preserve the species. He had a ranch on the north rim of the Grand Canyon and he captured some of the remaining animals, protected and raised them. He also tried breeding them with cattle, developing the “cattalo,” but these did not prove to be a good source of meat. This book is based on a trip Grey took to Jones' ranch in 1907 and days in the wilderness capturing mountain lions. It also includes stories of Jones' past adventures. Like his contemporary conservationist yet big game hunter, Theodore Roosevelt, his methods might be frowned upon today, and Native Americans were not treated respectfully, but this was 1908 and standards were different then. Jones, as much as anyone, was responsible for saving the American bison. Grey admired him. This copy has been signed by both Grey and Jones. Item 27. $625.

 

This is another account of a trip through the wilds of the West, though this one was strictly for hunting, not conservation: His Imperial Highness The Grand Duke Alexis In The United States Of America During the Winter Of 1871-72. The author was William W. Tucker, the account published in 1872. The Grand Duke came to America on a goodwill mission in 1871. As the fourth son of Tsar Alexander II, he was in the line of succession, but unlikely to ever reach the top. He did not, which was just as well. The regime's days were numbered. He arrived in New York on November 21, met a delegation that included Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (the future President's father), and a day later went to Washington to visit with President Grant. He returned to New York, met with many other notables, including aged inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, then traveled to Philadelphia, Boston, north to Canada, back through Niagara Falls and Buffalo, and then on to the Midwest. He went to Cleveland, Chicago, and... you must be wondering what all this has to do with the Old West. The answer is that it was from there that his hunting trip in the West began. As always, he would be hosted by some of most notable figures of the time. His host was the western scout Buffalo Bill. He would also be accompanied by Civil War military leader Gen. Philip Sheridan and the already famous, but not as famous as he would be a few years later, Gen. George Armstrong Custer. They would remain good friends for the rest of Custer's life, which was only four years. There were also a couple of Indian Chiefs along for the journey. There was not a lot of roughing it on the trail. There were luxury tents with oriental carpets on the floors. There was the best of foods and a couple of wagons brought fine champagne and other spirits. Entertainment was provided, including horsemanship displays by the Indians. And, there was a buffalo hunt, the Grand Duke nabbing a few, others dozens more. From there, Alexis went to the South, returning home from Pensacola after a stop in New Orleans. Item 73 is Tucker's personal copy of his book. It is one of 212 copies printed, mostly for people involved in Alexis' tour. Handwritten within is Tucker's list of people to whom he sent copies. This is considered one of the rarest of Custer books. $45,000.

 

Old West Books may be reached at 719-260-6030 or oldwestbooks@earthlink.net. Their website is www.oldwestbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, June 17:</b> AN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE COPY OF “GULLIVER’S TRAVELS.” SWIFT, JONATHAN. 1667-1745. London: Benj. Motte, 1726. US$ 80,000 - 120,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 17:</b> PALAFOX Y MENDOXA, JUAN DE. 1600-1659. <i>[Virtudes del Indio....]</i> US$ 80,000 - 120,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 17:</b> ORIGINAL HARRY HOUDINI TYPED MANUSCRIPT. <i>A Magician Among the Spirits.</i> Autograph corrections by Houdini throughout, c.1923-1926.<br>US$ 20,000 - 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 17:</b> FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE OF THE RARE HARDCOVER EDITION ROWLING, J.K. <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.</i> London: Bloomsbury, 1997. US$ 30,000 - 50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 17:</b> FIRST APPEARANCE IN AMERICA OF MUSIC FOR "(AMERICA) MY COUNTRY TIS OF THEE." LYON, JAMES. 1735–1794. <i>Urania.</i> Philadelphia: William Bradford, 1761. US$ 20,000 - 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). Cañon de Chelley, 1904. Oversized orotone, 17 x 22in in original Curtis Studio frame. US$ 30,000 - 50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). 26 cyanotypes, featuring images of Cheyenne tribes from Volume VI of <i>North American Indian,</i> c.1907, made by Curtis in the field. US$ 30,000 - 50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). The Vanishing Race, 1904. Oversized orotone, 18 x 24in in original Curtis Studio frame. US$ 20,000 - 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). Autograph Logs and Journals from his 1927 Alaska Expedition. US$ 7,000 - 9,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> A ONE SHEET POSTER OF <i>IN THE LAND OF THE HEAD HUNTERS.</i> World Film Corporation, 1914. US$ 4,000 - 6,000
  • <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [CIVIL WAR] -- [SHERIDAN, Philip Henry]. Personal headquarters flag of Philip Henry Sheridan used when he led the 2nd Michigan Cavalry. Spring - Summer 1862. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY]. Half plate daguerreotype of firefighter Walter Van Erven Dorens. [San Francisco]: n.p., [ca 1854-1856]. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [LINCOLNIANA]. Abraham Lincoln banner possibly made for the 1864 presidential campaign. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [REVOLUTIONARY WAR - CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. [HOLTEN, Dr. Samuel]. An archive of letters related to Danvers, Massachusetts, physician and statesman Dr. Samuel Holten. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD]. CARBUTT, John, photographer. Exceptional collection of 27 stereoviews from the series, "Excursion to the 100th Meridian, October 1866." Chicago, [1866]. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [ALASKAN GOLD RUSH]. William Steele West and family, extensive archive of photographs, diaries, correspondence, and personal items. [Ca 19th - 20th century]. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [TAYLOR, Zachary]. Quarter plate daguerreotype featuring the 12th President of the United States. N.p.: n.p., [ca 1845]. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [WASHINGTON, George]. Signed Society of the Cincinnati document. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed ("A. Lincoln"), as President. [Washington], 29 September 1862. 1 page, 4to, old creases. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> JEFFERSON, Thomas. Autograph letter signed ("Th. Jefferson"), as United States President, to Robert Patterson. Washington DC, 2 July 1805. 1 page, 4to, evenly toned, small tear from seal. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY] -- [ALCOTT, Elizabeth Sewall]. Ninth plate ruby ambrotype attributed to Elizabeth Sewall Alcott. N.p., [ca 1856-1857]. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [WESTERN AMERICANA]. RUSSELL, Andrew Joseph, photographer. <i>Salt Lake City, From the Top of the Tabernacle.</i> [1869]

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions