Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2020 Issue

Antiquarian Books and Ephemera from Samuel Gedge Ltd.

Antiquarian Books and Ephemera.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. has issued their Catalogue XXIX. Gedge offers books and ephemera, though mostly ephemera. There are many documents, letters, handbills and such, all very old. “Remarkable survival” would probably apply to half the material herein. There is one type of book they always seem to find somewhere – turn of the 19th century novels, many if not most in the French language. These are mostly obscure and not often the greatest literary masterpieces, but “hard to find” undoubtedly applies. These are a few selections from this 29th catalogue.

 

George Catlin was one of a handful of artists who painted pictures of America's natives in the days before photography, and the days before their culture was inalterably changed by the arrival of Europeans. Catlin visited the West and began drawing his images in the 1830s. They are still regarded as among the best ever created. Rather than selling his artwork, Catlin went on the road to put it on display. People would come to learn about these natives with whom they were mostly unfamiliar. Catlin next went on the sea, taking his displays to England in 1840. A few years later, he bettered himself. He brought along several Native Americans who would perform some of their rituals for the public. Item 85 is a handbill for such a performance in 1844. The bold headline states The Fourteen Ioway Indians From the Rocky Mountains, in America, Vauxhaul Gardens. It noted they will participate in “Dances, Games, Ball Plays, Songs, Archery, and Equestrian Exercises.” A bit less tastefully it says, “Mr. Catlin...will turn the fourteen Ioway Indians loose for a few days, where they can be seen to great advantage, in all the freedom of savage, forest life; their tents (or wig-wams) brought with them from their country...” Priced at £1,950 (British pounds, or approximately $2,549 in U.S. currency).

 

Next we have a drawing of a creature that co-inhabited the American Plains with the Indians. It is an image created through pen lithography of an American bison. An ink annotation on the bottom is evidently that of the artist, as it names “Revd. Mr. Rackett.” Rev. Rackett was an English clergyman from Dorset who was also interested in the sciences. Gedge has not been able to locate any other copies of this lithograph and believes it was most likely created by Rev. Rackett for a small number of friends. Gedge estimates the likely date, and why an English clergyman came across a bison in the first place, to 1821. That year, there was an exhibition in London of “the Bonassus from the Apalachian Mountains of America.” Most of us just call them “buffalo.” Item 86. £750 (US $977).

 

You can't see the drawing of that buffalo, but if you could, you would notice his long beard. Here is someone else who had a long beard. Item 17 is a handbill headed Facts! Amazing Facts! Never Exhibited in England, Mademoiselle Lefort, A first rate Phenomenon of French Production, In whom the Sexes are so equally blended that it is impossible to say which has the Predominance... The text explains that her “hands, arms, feet and bust, possess perfect feminine beauty, likewise the upper part of the face...” However, it continues that “the lower part is also beautiful, but possessing the accompaniments of beard, mustachioes and whiskers.” It concludes, “the curious must be amply gratified by the contrasting beauties of her person...” She was appearing at Portland Place on Beaumont Street in 1818. £450 (US $585).

 

This lady had no beard, which was just a part of her appeal. Item 31 is a print of a fashionably attired young lady sitting on a park bench, relaxing with her feet up along the bench. She looks straight out at you. This was undoubtedly a provocative pose for its day, circa 1780. The caption says, A Man-Trap. Indeed. A sign in the background reads “Spring guns set here.” Spring guns were used at the time to trap poachers. Signage was required as a warning if these were employed. In this case, it is a warning about this “man trap.” The artist was Carington Bowles, who was noted for such humorous images. £450 (US $585).

 

Item 15 is a receipt from May of 1624 with diplomatic overtones. It certifies payment to French nobleman Jacques de Bonnevau for delivery of a gift. The gift came from French King Louis XIII to English King James I. Since it states it was for falconry, it is likely a gift recorded in English records for that year of 16 hawks. De Bonnevau had the job of delivering the gift to the English King. Both Louis and James were known as avid participants in the sport of falconry, so this was something they strongly had in common. The English record also notes that James went off to participate in the sport in the countryside against the advice of his physician. James was already suffering from ill health by then and died the following year. James, who reigned from 1603-1625, was not without his faults, but he was known as a peaceful king, bringing tranquility to his land. Considering how many wars European countries engaged in, and how many times England and France were at each others' throats, James' peace was welcome. This gift is evidence of the good relations the two often rivals had at this time. Item 15. £1,250 (US $1,627).

 

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)1263 768 471 or rarebooks@samuelgedge.com. Their website is www.samuelgedge.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 80: Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha), Madrid: Por Juan de la Cuesta, 1608. $80,000 to $120,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 239: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, First London Paperback Edition, London, 1997. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 221: Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, New York, 1985. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 281: Napoleon Bonaparte, Sloane, William Milligan, Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, New York, 1896. $25,000 to $35,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 147: Christoph Jacob Trew, Plantae Selectae quarum Imagines ad Exemplaria Naturalia, Nuremberg, 1750-73. $30,000 to $50,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 125: Guido de Monte Rochen, Manipulus Curatorum, London, 1509. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 197: William Faulkner, Turn About, Ottawa, 1939. $8,000 to $10,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 159: Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, London, 1844. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 119: Niccolo Machiavelli, The Works, London, 1675. $6,000 to $8,000.
    Swann, Apr. 11: Lot 45: Book of Hours in Latin, Use of Rome, illuminated with miniatures, Lyon, circa 1475-1500. $40,000 to $60,000.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.

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