• Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 70 - Warner (Robert). The Orchid Album, 11 volumes, 1882-1897. £5,000 to £8,000
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 151 - United States. Melish (John), Map of the United States with..., British & Spanish Possessions, 1816. £40,000 to £60,000
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 159 - World. Speed (John), A New and Accurat Map of the World, 1676. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 503 - American Civil War playing cards. Union Cards, New York: American Card Co., 1862. £500 to £800
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 573 - Shepard (Ernest Howard), 'The Hour is Come’, original watercolour, [1959]. £10,000 to £15,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 922 - Wilde (Oscar). An Ideal Husband, large paper limited issue, 1899. £4,000 to £6,000
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 744 - Disney (Walt). “Sketch Book” [of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs], 1938. £700 to £1,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 771 - Auden (Wystan Hugh). Portrait of the head of W. H. Auden, 1970. £1,000 to £1,500
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 822 - Fleming (Ian). Goldfinger, 1st edition, signed by the author, 1959. £6,000 to £8,000
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 895 - Rowling (J. K.). A complete inscribed set of Harry Potter books plus ephemera. £8,000 to £12,0000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 883 - Orwell (George). Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1st edition, London: Secker & Warburg, 1949. £3,000 to £5,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 700 - Ashendene Press. T. Lucreti Cari De Rerium Natura Libri Sex, Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1913. £4,000 to £6,000
  • Heritage Auctions, June 27
    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The Great Gatsby
    New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Mary Shelley
    Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus
    London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, 1818
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again
    London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1937
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Jane Austen
    Emma: A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the Author of "Pride and Prejudice," &c. &c.
    London: Printed for John Murray, 1816
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Robert Louis Stevenson
    An Inland Voyage
    London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1878
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Ernest Hemingway
    Three Stories & Ten Poems
    Paris: Contact Publishing Co., 1923
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
    History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark
    Philadelphia, 1814
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Emily Dickinson
    Autograph letter signed ("Emily and Vinnie"), to Mary Adelaide Hills
    Amherst, MA, Late April, 1880
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    John Keats
    Autograph letter signed ("John Keats"), to Mrs. Jeffrey
    Honiton 4 or 5 May 1818
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Samuel Johnson
    A Dictionary of the English Language: In which the Words are deduced from their Originals…
    London, 1765
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    H. P. Lovecraft
    Small archive of nine lengthy autograph letters signed variously over a period of six years to J. Vernon Shea.
    Various places, 1931-1937
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Izaak Walton
    The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man's Recreation…
    London: T. homas Maxey for Rich. ard Marriot, 1653
  • Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Keats, John] Spenser, Edmund: The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. $50,000 - $80,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: (Walton, Izaak): The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing. $30,000 - $50,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Thomas, Gabriel: An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pensilvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America. $25,000 - $35,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Carroll, Lewis]: The Game of Alice in Wonderland. $2,000 - $3,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Athias, Joseph, et al.: Biblia Hebraica. $7,000 - $10,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Warhol, Andy, and Jens Quistgaard] Dansk Designs Salesman's Presentation Catalogue. $2,500 - $3,500.
  • Sotheby’s, June 26: Poe, Edgar Allan. Tamerlane — the most poignant rarity in American literature. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." 2,500,000 - 5,000,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: William Blake. “Poems with very wild and interesting pictures” 1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: Thomas Taylor [artist]. The original cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 400,000 - 600,000 USD

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2021 Issue

Rare American from David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books

Rare Americana.

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books has published their Catalogue 184 of Rare Americana. Their catalogues feature Americana, usually less than full book length, from the 18th and 19th centuries. Naturally, material relating to the Civil War and abolition are often found, though there appears to be more political matter this time. The divisions and insults that appear in today's American political discourse, which so many of us find new and disturbing, are not so new (though still disturbing). In the 19th century, American politicians were not particularly reluctant to get down in the gutter. The high principles of George Washington were quickly forgotten after he left the scene, to some extent even before. These are a few selections from this latest Lesser catalogue.


Politics isn't the only ugly thing that isn't new. This is a case of child abuse so awful it is hard to imagine. The pamphlet is The Trial of Stephen Arnold, for the Murder of Betsey Van Amburgh, a Child of Six Years of Age, from 1805. Arnold was a schoolmaster in Cooperstown, New York. Betsey was not only his pupil but may have been his niece. The Judge tried to stay neutral, but that wasn't easy before this defendant. As he told the jury, “she died because she did not pronounce the word gig or jig, as he thought proper [apparently she pronounced “gig” as “jig”] – he had whipped her seven times, and was an hour and a half employed in the horrid transaction...” Arnold fled to Pittsburgh but was captured and returned. He was convicted. Item 5. Priced at $850.


Here is another form of child abuse, but was done in the open. Half a nation went to war to preserve the privilege of abusing children this way. Item 1 is a manuscript document recording a sale “to the highest bidder” of Amos, “a Negro boy slave...of dark complexion.” He was sold to one Thomas N. Gardner, agent of Emily Hantz, for $700. Amos was “about nine years of age.” A nine-year-old, separated from his mother and entire family, to become someone's slave? For this right the South went off to war where hundreds of thousands of people died to stop or to preserve this practice? Amos is worth remembering when you read apologists claiming slavery was humane and beneficial to the slaves. This sale took place in 1859, so hopefully Amos received his freedom five years later a result of Lincoln's Emancipation, and found his family again. $1,250.


Lucy did a little better. She had already reached the milestone age of ten when this bill of sale was recorded, intra-family from Moses Leslie to Alexander Leslie. Moses was Alexander's father. Alexander paid $500 to buy this “slave for life,” but he did not get the lifetime use he expected. It was already late 1861. Only a little over two years later, Lucy was freed. Item 2. $1,000.


Here is an example of twenty-first century politics in 1808. Item 65 is “The Republican Crisis: Or, the Exposition of the Political Jesuitism of James Madison, President of the United States of America. I'm not sure what “political Jesuitism” is, but surely it can't be good. The brave author, who hides behind the name “Observant Citizen of the District of Columbia,” attacks the “crooked and weak policy of Mr. Madison's administration,” his “weak and jealous disposition,” his “political turpitude and depravity,” “that he was never a sincere friend of the republican cause” (which he promoted from the nation's earliest days), “a bosom friend of Alexander Hamilton” (which would have surprised Hamilton), and that as Jefferson's Secretary of State, he retained key Federalists who “betrayed...the wise policy and plans of Mr. Jefferson” (with whom Madison was long a close friend and ally). “Observant Citizen” endorsed Madison's opponent for the presidency in 1812, of all things, the candidate of the Federalists. He even attacks Dolley Madison, saying “Mrs. Pain (actually Miss Payne was her birth name), a lady of tory principles,” has influenced Madison to no good, “such is the effect of female influence on men of weak minds!” Finally, Mr. Citizen informs us that Madison's “frensied ambitions” has caused him to resort to “pusillanimous subterfuges” such as “sickens the mind.” It was all to no avail. Madison defeated De Witt Clinton anyway. Item 65. $750.


This is another political attack, this time on Eben F. Pillsbury. Who? Pillsbury was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Maine shortly after the Civil War, and the New England states were not very hospitable to Democrats at the time. Pillsbury was no “doughboy” during the war, being a newspaper editor while his Republican opponent, Joshua Chamberlain, was a war hero, highly honored for his bravery and performance at Gettysburg. This four-page brochure is headed Eben F. Pillsbury's Record! As Written with His Own Pen. This piece claims Pillsbury's editorials expressed “disloyal sentiments during the very crisis of his country's fate.” It claims Pillsbury charged Lincoln with “deception and falsehood” and “encouraged the hosts of rebellion.” In contrast, the writer states that Chamberlain's words were “written with his own sword.” Chamberlain handily defeated Pillsbury this time and in two repeat match-ups. Item 67. $275.


If you have heard anything about New York Democratic politics in the two decades before the Civil War, you have undoubtedly heard the strange names of the “Hunkers” and “Barnburners,” not to mention the “softs” and “hards.” Here is a book that will tell you more about them, though from the point of view of a soft Hunker. The Hunkers were more for big government, public works and such. They were called “Hunkers” as their opponents thought they were hankering for government jobs. The Barnburners were opposed to public debt and state banks. However, as the years went forward, the two became even more divided on a different issue - slavery. The Barnburners were against it, the Hunkers could live with it. The Barnburners got their name over their perceived willingness to burn down the barn, that is destroy their own property for the sake of extreme positions. Among the Barnburners was former President Martin Van Buren, who became the 1848 presidential nominee of the anti-slavery Free Soil Party. While Van Buren later returned to the Democratic fold, some Barnburners went on to be founders of the Republican Party. The Hunkers included Horatio Seymour, later New York Governor, someone Republicans saw as too soft on the South, and the Democratic presidential nominee in 1868, given the honor of being walloped by U. S. Grant. He too was a “soft” Hunker. These were Hunkers who wanted to reach an agreement with the Barnburners, while the “hard” Hunkers wanted nothing to do with the other faction. Item 81. $500.


David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books may be reached at 203-389-8111 or dmlesser@lesserbooks.com. Their website is www.lesserbooks.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, June 25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. $200,000 - $300,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Gersdorff, Hans Von. 1455-1529. Feldtbuch der wundartzney. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Pare, Ambroise. C.1509-1590. La Methode Curative des Playes, et Fractures de la Teste humaine. Avec les pourtraits des Instruments necessaires pour la curation d'icelles. $25,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Reisch, Gregor. 1470-1525. Margarita Philosophica. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bright, Richard. 1789-1858. Reports of Medical Cases, Selected with a View of Illustrating the Symptoms and Cure of Diseases by a Reference to Morbid Anatomy. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Berengario da Carpi, Giacomo. C. 1460-1530. Tractatus de fractura calve sive cranei. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Vicq D'Azyr, Felix. 1748-1794. Traite d'antomie et de physiologie. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Croce, Giovanni Andrea Della. 1509?-1775. Chirurgia libri septem... $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bruno Da Longburgo. 1200-1286. La cyrogia di Maistro Bruno: Expertissimo in quella. Tradutta in vulgare. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Schwann, Theodor. 1810-1882. Mikroskopische Untersuchungen uber die Ubereinstimmung in der Struktur und dem Wachsthum der Thiere und Pflanzen. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Cowper, William. 1666-1709. The Anatomy of Humane Bodies, with Figures Drawn after the Life… $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bidloo, Govard. 1649-1713. Anatomia humani corporis, centum & quinque tabulis, per artificiossis. G. de Lairesse ad vivum delineatis. $6,000 - $9,000
  • Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 4. Blaeu's Magnificent Carte-a-Figures World Map in Full Contemporary Color (1642) Est. $12,000 - $15,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 125. 1775 Edition of the Landmark Fry-Jefferson Map of Virginia and Maryland (1775) Est. $15,000 - $18,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 673. Rare Frontispiece in Full Contemporary Color with Gilt Highlights (1662) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 717. Complete Tanner Atlas with Important Maps of Texas & Iowa (1845) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 3. Henricus Hondius' Baroque-Style World Map (1641) Est. $9,500 - $11,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 258. Complete Set of De Bry's Native Virginians & Picts from Part I of Grands Voyages (1608) Est. $2,750 - $3,500
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 608. Superb Work on 18th Century Russia with over 100 Maps and Plates (1788) Est. $3,500 - $4,250
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 49. One of the Most Important 16th Century Maps of the New World (1556) Est. $5,000 - $6,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 706. Superb Image of the Annunciation in Contemporary Hand Color (1518) Est. $900 - $1,100
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 123. One of the Earliest Maps to Show Philadelphia (1695) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 631. One of the Earliest Printed Maps of Afghanistan & Pakistan (1482) Est. $1,900 - $2,200
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 689. Proof Copy Engraving of the Senate Floor During the Compromise of 1850 (1855) Est. $1,500 - $1,800
  • Bonhams, June 15-25: 18th Century American Sea Captain's Journals of Voyages to Hawaii, China, and South America. $35,000 - $45,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Admiral Richard E. Byrd's Autograph Diary from Bolling Advance Base, Winter 1934. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Thoreau, Henry David. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Cellarius, Andreas. Harmonia macrocosmica seu atlas universalis et novus, totius universi creati cosmographiam generalem, et novam exhibens. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Nobelist George Stigler's Copy of Ricardo's Classic on the Science of Economics. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris: F. L. Schmied, 1927. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Fine Copy of Walras's Classic on the Theory of Marginal Utility. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Arion Press Moby Dick. Melville, Herman. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Venegas, Miguel. Noticia de la California, y desu conquista temporal, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente. $7,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Carelton Watkins, Yosemite and the West. Portfolio of 21 imperial albumen prints. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: An Unpublished Archive of Thornton Wilder Correspondence to F.J. O'Neil. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. $100,000 - $150,000

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