Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2006 Issue

Western Americana From William Reese Co.


Drawings from George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio.

Item 9 is one of the more remarkable Indian captivities, made even more remarkable by the fact that it is apparently essentially true. It was written by (or perhaps ghost written for) Matthew Brayton and published in 1860. The title is, The Indian Captive. A Narrative of Adventures and Sufferings of Matthew Brayton, in His Thirty-four Years of Captivity among the Indians of North-Western America. Brayton was captured at the age of seven from his Michigan home, and from then until 1860, was held by the Potawatomi, Winnebago, Chippewa, Sioux, and finally, the Snake Indians, who made him a member of their tribe. He eventually returned to "civilization" in 1860, joined the Army in 1861, and ironically enough, after surviving all of those years as a captive of Indians, died in 1862 during the Civil War. He never should have returned. $6,000.

Item 14 is En El Puerto de Monterrey de la Alta California... It is the California Declaration of Independence, and contains the printed signature of "Juan Albarado" (Alvarado). The document is dated November 3, 1836. These rebels were unhappy with attempts by Mexican authorities to centralize control over the nation. Alvarado appointed himself governor of Northern California, and Roman Catholicism was named as the only religion that could be publicly practiced (however, the Declaration notes that no one would be prosecuted for practicing other faiths in private). Two years later, Alvarado would be appointed as a legitimate provincial governor by Mexican authorities. He was removed in 1842, but fought his way back to power in 1844. However, he was not able to withstand the influx of Americans and the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846. He retired from politics, went into business and farming, and lived in northern California until his death in 1882. This is one of three known copies of this broadside declaration. $125,000.

Item 59 is a photo album containing 24 photographs of President Warren Harding's journey to Alaska in July 1923. It is accompanied by the Speeches and Addresses of Warren G. Harding...June 20 to August 2, 1923. This is certainly a melancholy collection. Harding was in the early stages of the Teapot Dome scandal, which would forever tar his presidency as one of the least competent and most corrupt. However, Harding had at one time been enormously popular, and the corruption took place without his knowledge. The trip to Alaska, the first by a U.S. president, was labeled a "Voyage of Understanding," as Harding went out to speak to the people. Reese notes that Harding looked well and in good spirits in the photographs. Unfortunately, he took ill on his return trip from Alaska to San Francisco, and suffered a fatal heart attack a few days later, dying on August 2. The photographer of this collection is unknown, though it was probably someone who accompanied Harding on his voyage, or an Alaskan who followed him around. $2,250.

The William Reese Company may be found online at www.reeseco.com or reached by phone at 203-789-8081.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <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.

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