Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2024 Issue

From Riot to Revolution, a Catalogue from Boston Rare Maps

From Riot to Revolution.

Boston Rare Maps has issued a catalogue titled From Riot to Revolution. This is the American Revolution so the items are mostly 1760s-1780s. It was a period where Americans' feelings toward the British went from happy to displeased, disillusioned, angry and finally revolution. At the end, a new nation emerges and once again Americans are happy. As you might expect, Boston Rare Maps offers many related maps, but there is also significant textual material here. You don't need to be a cartographer to appreciate what you will find in this selection. These are a few examples.

 

The signal event that started the American colonists on the road to revolution was the Stamp Act. Passed by Parliament in 1765, the Stamp Act placed a tax on practically all printed material. They had to be printed on special paper produced in Britain on which a tax was placed. Britain had run up a large deficit during the French and Indian War and felt the colonists should pay their share of it along with the cost of further protection. The colonists did not agree. It was an economic hardship which led to the call against “taxation without representation.” The colonies had no representation in Parliament. Colonists petitioned the British government for repeal. Citizens conducted public protests, at times turning violent, and boycotted British goods. Tax collectors feared for their safety and many resigned. Parliament was forced to repeal the act, but never really understood the sentiments in the colonies so the British government continued to antagonize the colonists to the point that they declared independence a decade later. Offered is the official printing of the Stamp act's repeal, Anno sexto Georgii III. Regis. An Act to repeal an Act made in the last session of Parliament, intuited, An Act for granting and applying certain Stamp Duties, and other Duties, in the British Colonies and Plantations in America, towards further defraying the Expences of defending, protecting, and securing the same... published in 1766. Priced at $3,500.

 

The repeal of the Stamp Act was a matter of expediency for Parliament, but they did not want it to appear that they had any less authority over the colonies than before. So, they also adopted the Declaratory Act at the same time. It asserts that the King and Parliament “had, hath, and of Right ought to have, full Power and authority to make Laws and Statutes of sufficient Force and Validity to Bind the Colonies and People of America, Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, in all Cases whatsoever.” It was a clear rejection of the colonists position against taxation without representation, but since the colonists had succeeded in forcing Parliament to effectively cede their full power and authority to make laws in the colonies, it was largely ignored by the Americans. This is a 1766 printing of the Declaratory Act, Anno sexto Georgii. Regis. Cap. XII. An act for the better securing the Dependency of His Majesty's Dominions in America upon the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain. $3,500.

 

The British government could not leave well enough alone, so in 1773 they adopted the Tea Act which placed a new tax upon the restive colonists. It required they purchase English tea on which there was a tax. The colonists were not fooled and objected strenuously, culminating in the Boston Tea Party. Britain retaliated by passing the Intolerable Acts. Among other things, it closed Boston Harbor with a blockade until Massachusetts paid for the tea lost by the East India Company and the Crown for lost tax revenue. The situation was depicted in a cartoon first published in The London Magazine of April 1774, captioned The Able Doctor, or America Swallowing the Bitter Draught. A couple of months later, it was picked up by the Royal American Magazine. This pirated version was engraved by Paul Revere, whose hostility toward the British is encapsulated in his midnight ride. It depicts America as an Indian maiden, a kettle of tea forcibly poured in her mouth by the British Prime Minister. $7,500.

 

Revealing that America won its revolution would not be disclosing an ending to the tale you don't already know, but it was not smooth sailing for rebellious Americans the whole way. There were some defeats and disasters, such as this one. In 1779, Massachusetts forces attacked Fort George along the central Maine coast. At the time, Maine was part of Massachusetts. A flotilla was sent up the coast with around 1,000 men, including 100 artillerymen under the command of the aforementioned Paul Revere. They were somewhat tentative in their attack, allowing time for the British to send naval forces from New York. When they arrived, it was a rout. The Americans were forced to move their ships up the Penobscot River. Those ships were either lost to the British, or burned by the Americans before they could be taken. The Americans were then forced to retreat on foot back to Boston. Offered is an account and a map of the Penobscot Expedition, The Siege of Penobscot by the Rebels; Containing a Journal of the Proceedings of His Majesty's Forces... published in 1781. The eyewitness account was written by Loyalist John Calef. $45,000.

 

This is a 1781 cartoon depicting America Triumphant and Britannia in Distress. It shows America as a woman, French, Spanish and Dutch ships entering her harbors while a defeated Britannia weeps. In the background, “trator” Benedict Arnold is hanged. The unknown artist must have been prescient. While it was published in the year of the British defeat, it was released prior to the Americans' victory at Yorktown that ended the war. $12,500.

 

Boston Rare Maps can be reached at 413-813-8323 or info@bostonraremaps.com. Their website is found at www.bostonraremaps.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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