Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2006 Issue

American Travels and Explorations from George MacManus Co.

C397

American travels and explorations from George S. MacManus Co.


By Michael Stillman

Catalogue 397 from the George S. MacManus Company is titled Travels and Explorations with a Focus on American Travels. For those who collect American travels, overland in particular, this catalogue contains a wealth of material. From Lewis and Clark to the obscure foreign visitor, these books present a portrait of America in the 18th and 19th centuries (a couple go back even farther). There are travels to Ohio when that territory was part of the west, to explorations into the territory we now call the "West" when no one besides the Indians had any idea what was out there. Many of these are titles that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of American exploration will know; others will probably stump even the experts. Here is a sampling of the classic and little known offered within this catalogue.

Everyone knows of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. The famed patriot rode from Boston to Lexington, a dozen or so miles. His grandson, Joseph W. Revere, traveled from Boston around Cape Horn and all the way to California. The son of Paul Revere's 16th (and, thankfully, last) child, Joseph signed up with the Navy, where he was involved in seagoing missions during the Mexican War. After war's end, Revere published this book in 1849: A Tour of Duty in California; Including a Description of the Gold Region... He next purchased a ranch near Sonora, California, and settled down. He apparently was quite fond of California for a time, but then moved on to travel around Mexico, and finally return east to settle in Morristown, New Jersey. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Revere joined the Union Army, but after an unscheduled pullback of troops he ordered after his commanding officer was killed in combat, he was relieved of command. Revere returned to New Jersey where he remained until he died in 1880, having published one more book (his memoirs) in 1872. Item 36. $1,000.

What a difference time makes. When Susie Clark took The Round Trip from the Hub to the Golden Gate in 1890, she was not stuck on some cramped ship taking months to go around the Horn. Nor did she spend months dragging her possessions along the Oregon Trail. She took a tour aboard a luxury train, visiting several cities and scenic locations, and viewing the countryside through the window from her comfortable seat. There were no pirates or hostile Indians, no ice-capped mountains to climb, starvation or cannibalism on Susie's journey, but it should be an interesting story anyway. Item 52. $150.

Item 109 is one of the rarest and most important works of early explorations of the American West. Published in 1806, it is the Message of the President...Communicating Discoveries...by Captains Lewis and Clark, Doctor Sibley, and Mr. Dunbar. This is the earlier House of Representatives edition (there was also one published for the Senate) and contains the extremely rare map. It is "dd" rated in Howes' "USiana," the highest rating for value in that classic American bibliography. This was the first official publication to provide any information on Lewis and Clark's expedition into the Northwest, and also includes detailed descriptions of Texas and the Southwest provided by Sibley and Dunbar. Both natural history and information on the Indians, including their languages, are provided. $100,000.

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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