Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2022 Issue

An Americana Miscellany from the William Reese Company


Americana Miscellany.

The William Reese Company has issued a catalogue of An American Miscellany. It is number 376 in their long-running series. The Reese Company offers all types of material, but Americana has long been their specialty. This catalogue offers an appealing collection for those who share the same specialty in their collecting interests. Here are a few samples.


We will start with one of the earliest accounts of the Americas, and the first significant one based on personal observations by a non-Spaniard. The Spanish were not generally welcoming of outsiders, fearful they would steal their American colonies. While the motivation of author Girolamo Benzoni is unclear, he stayed for 14 years. Benzoni likely was involved in trade. He visited several countries in South and Central America, but cribs some of his material from others. He writes some about Florida. Benzoni offers information about the natives of the Americas, “Indians” if you will,” from a time before they were unalterably changed by western influences. Also provided is an early account of the use of tobacco. Benzoni is highly critical of the Spanish for their mistreatment of the Indians and for importing slaves into the land. While his work was well-read, it appears it was not allowed in Spain. Item 10 is Novae Novi Orbis Historiae, Id Est, Rerum An Hispanis In India Occidentali Hacvtenus Gestarum... This is the first Latin edition of 1578 of a book originally published in 1565 in Italian. Priced at $7,500.


Next is an account of a senseless American tragedy from an ironic source. Alexander Hamilton was one of the United States' most important political figures in the first two decades of its existence. Anyone who watches theater plays knows this. He managed the nation's precarious finances for President George Washington, his patron and great supporter. Unfortunately, he got into a dispute with the sleazy politician, Aaron Burr. You know the story. They had a duel and Hamilton came out on the short end. It would have been a less tragic event had it gone the other way. The New-York Herald reported the event in its issue of July 14, 1804. Oddly, the first page is devoted to standard news and notices of the day. Pages two and three cover the duel. The first dispatch printed is from July 12. It reports that at the time, Hamilton was still alive, though obviously in precarious condition. Later it headlines, “We stop the press to announce the melancholy tidings that GENERAL HAMILTON IS DEAD!” It recounts his final moments and describes the funeral procession. The irony is that the New-York Herald was an edition of the New York Evening Post, a newspaper founded in 1801 by Hamilton and others. Item 47. $8,500.


This is a story of a horrible journey by an American family living in Quebec back to America. The title is A Narrative of the Extraordinary Sufferings of Mr. Robert Forbes, His Wife, and Five Children during an Unfortunate Journey through the Wilderness from Canada to Kennebec River, in the year 1784: in Which Three of Their Children were Starved to Death, by Arthur Bradman. Anne-Marie Forbes was under suspicion of helping some Americans in Canada escape from prison, leading her and her husband to decide to return to America. They took on the arduous journey back through the Maine woods to a settlement along the Kennebec River. They knew they needed to be prepared and they were. They hired three Dutch guides and loaded up some sleds with supplies. Unfortunately, several days into the trip, the guides abandoned them, taking almost all of the supplies. Rather than returning, the couple and their five young children pushed on, thinking they were close to their goal. They quickly ran out of food, but got a reprieve when they met an Indian they knew. He gave them some moose meat and led them to a river from which to proceed. That led to another river where they built a raft, which lasted until breaking apart. Hunger set in and Anne-Marie and the younger children could go no farther. Robert and John, the thirteen-year-old oldest child, set out to get help. Eventually, they managed to find some hunters who went out to search but to no avail. A second search was launched and this time they found the family. Only the practically starved Anne-Marie and Peggy were still alive, but they were brought back and survived the ordeal. Item 15 is the 1792 Exeter edition of a book first published in 1791. Bradman interviewed Forbes and used his notes to create his account. $12,500.


This is the most famous Oregon Trail narrative although the writer never got past Fort Laramie in Wyoming. Item 84 is The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life, by Francis Parkman. This is a second printing of the first edition from 1849. Parkman was the well-bred Bostoner who took this on as an adventure since he had no financial need to move to Oregon. What he brought to his journey was insight and an ability to write that made his account so popular. There are only two known copies inscribed Parkman. He suffered from bad eyesight which may be an explanation. He dictated his account to his sister Caroline. This is the next best thing to a Francis Parkman inscription. It is inscribed by Caroline Parkman. This copy comes with a mounted cabinet card of Francis Parkman and a portrait of a seated woman, possibly Caroline. $7,500.


Item 11 is an album of autographs, but this isn't a typical such collection. These autographs come with portraits drawn by noted cartoonist Clifford Berryman. It includes that of President Grover Cleveland, and Garrett A. Hobart, Charles Fairbanks, James S. Sherman, and Thomas R. Marshall. Do you know who they are? They were all Vice-Presidents. They served under William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson. Others include Elihu Root, Secretary of War, John Hay, Secretary of State, former Confederate General Joseph Wheeler, Qing minister to the U. S. Wu Tingfang, and Clara Barton, humanitarian and founder of the American Red Cross. $9,250.


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><center>Sotheby’s<br> The Library of Henry Rogers<br>Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven<br>Part I<br>18 May 2022</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> John James Audubon and James Bachman. <i>The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.</i> New York: J.J. Audubon, 1845-1848. £150,000 to £250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Thomas and William Daniell. <i>Oriental Scenery,</i> London, 1795-1807 [but 1841], 6 parts in 3 volumes, folio. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Mark Catesby. <i>The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands...</i> London, 1731-1743, 2 volumes. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Gould and Lear. <i>A monograph of the Ramphastidae,</i> 1854; <i>Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae,</i> 1832. £60,000 to £90,000.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Graphic Design<br>May 19, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, <i>Triplex,</i> pencil maquette, 1930. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Claude Fayette Brandon, <i>The Chap Book,</i> circa 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Various Artists, a complete set of <i>Das Plakat,</i> set of 10 hardcover volumes, 1912-21. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Javier Gómez Acebo & Máximo Viejo Santamarta, <i>San Sebastian / XI Circuitto Automovilista,</i> 1935. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Ephraim Moses Lilien, <i>Berliner Tageblatt,</i> circa 1899. $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Birds.- Gould (John). <i>The Birds of Great Britain,</i> 5 vol., first edition, [1862-]1873. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Canadiana.- Cockburn (Maj. Gen. James Pattison, 1779-1847), After. [Six Landscape of Quebec City and Six Views of Niagara Falls], 2 suites in 1 vol., comprising 12 aquatints, 1833. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses,</i> number 218 of 150 copies on verge d'arches, Paris, Shakespeare & Company, 1922. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first paperback edition, signed by the author, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Du Maurier (Daphne). <i>Rebecca,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to her governess, 1938. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Magna Carta.- An exact copy of King John's Great Charter of 1215, transcribed from the fire damaged but legible manuscript in the Cottonian Library, British Library, J. Pine, 1733. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Woolf (Virginia). <i>Mrs Dalloway,</i> first edition, Hogarth Press, 1925. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Tudor exiles opposed to the Marian regime.- Mary I (Queen of England) Letter signed "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, signed at head, titled at head "By the King and Quene", 1556. £8,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> America.- Newfoundland.- Whitbourne (Sir Richard). <i>A discourse and discouery of Nevv-found-land…,</i> second edition, By Felix Kingston, 1622. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cervantès Saavedra (Miguel de). <i>El Ingenioso Hidalgo Do Quixote de la Mancha,</i> 4 vol., Madrid, Por Don Joaquin Ibarra, 1780. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Stubbs (George). <i>The Anatomy of the Horse,</i> first edition, first issue, Printed by J. Purser, for the Author, 1766. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cardiology.- Lower (Richard). <i>Tractatus de Corde item De Motu & Colore Sanguinus et Chyli in cum Transitu,</i> first edition, 1669. £5,000 to £7,000.
  • <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>Initial A on vellum, Cologne around 1300. Est: €25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Androuet du Cerceau, <i> Bastiments de France,</i> 1607. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Cerillo, <i>Dipinti murali di Pompei,</i> 1886. Est: €2,500
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>L. de Austria, <i>Compilatio de astrorum scientia,</i> 1489. Est: €9,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>B. Besler, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> around 1750. Est: €50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br><i>PAN,</i> 1895-1900. Est: €15,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Colonna, <i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,</i> 1545. Est: €40,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Schiller, <i>Die Räuber,</i> 1781. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Albers, <i>Formulation : Articulation,</i> 1972. Est: €18,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>G. B. Ramusio, <i>Delle navigationi e viaggi,</i> 1556-1613. Est: €14,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>M. Wied Neuwied, <i>Reise in das Innere Nord-America,</i> 1839-41. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Paolozzi, <i>Bunk,</i> 1972. Est: €25,000

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