Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2006 Issue

Unusual Memorabilia from the American West at Johns' Western Gallery

Johns20

Books and much more are offered by Johns' Western Gallery.


By Michael Stillman

We have just received Catalogue 20 from Johns' Western Gallery of San Francisco. Most folks probably know of Johns' Western Gallery for its auctions. They offer interesting and frequently very reasonably priced Western Americana at their auction sales. However, Johns' also publishes occasional catalogues of priced books and related ephemera, along with some works of art. These catalogues provide an eclectic collection of printed or manuscript ephemeral items along with books. They will be especially interesting to collectors who collect books in a particular field, but are not unwilling to expand their collections somewhat beyond traditional books.

Among the ephemeral items found in this catalogue are things such as letters, bills, stock certificates, postcards, bank drafts, broadsides, photographs, tax receipts, even oil paintings and artifacts. Of course, there are books too. If you are reading this review, you are most likely a collector of books, and we would agree that this should be the foundation of your collection. However, these related ephemeral items can add depth and interest to a book collection. Johns' catalogues are worth a look, particularly for those who collect within the field of Western Americana.

Most people don't associate Montana with earthquakes. Neither did most people in Helena in 1935, so not many were prepared for the earthquake of 1935. Actually, it wasn't an earthquake, but a series of them. None were of California size, but folks in Montana were not building to earthquake standards in the years before 1935, and smaller damage caused by the first shock was exacerbated by each succeeding one, spread over several weeks in October. Among the notable buildings severely damaged was the new high school, the National Biscuit Company bakery, the Kessler Brewery, and City Hall. High school students had to use railcars as classrooms for the next several months. Two people died and damage was estimated at $4 million. A reminder of what can happen in places other than America's Pacific coast is provided in Helena Earthquakes: A Story of the Earthquakes that Rocked Helena, Montana, and Vicinity, in the Fall of 1935... by C.R. Anderson and M.P. Martinson. Item 67, published in 1936. Priced at $15.

For those whose interest lies down the road at Butte, here is A Brief History of Butte, Montana, the World's Greatest Mining Camp, published in 1900. From the past, Harry Freeman's book gives a look at the community's even more distant past. Item 75. $300. One more from Big Sky Country: Montana: A State Guide. This is one of the Federal Writers' Project publications put out by the WPA (Work Progress Administration). The WPA provided work for all types of people, even writers, during the Great Depression. The project ended in the early 1940s when all resources, including human ones, were needed for the war effort. Item 75, published in 1939. $35.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000

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