Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2006 Issue

Early American Broadsides from William Reese

Reese248

American Broadsides and Broadsheets from William Reese Co.


By Michael Stillman

The 248th catalogue from New Haven bookseller William Reese Company offers a collection of American Broadsides and Broadsheets (and a few British ones to boot). These single sheet printings, often intended to be tacked up as posters, are among the most interesting of printed collectibles. Often they contain more immediate news than could be printed in book form, they may cover issues not complicated enough to warrant a book, and frequently are very rare, either because few copies were printed, or few of these ephemeral papers were saved. Then there's one other great advantage to broadsides when it comes to collecting. Since many were meant to be posted, they are very suitable for display, much more so than books that may only reveal a spine, stacked in a bookshelf with dozens of others. For collectors with an interest in early America, Reese's collection of broadsides offers some outstanding opportunities for display and collection. For example...

Item 67 is one of the occasional British broadsheets in this catalogue, but it is so intriguing we just couldn't overlook it. This one carries an important personal message from one Mrs. L. Gibbons, likely of Bath, England, in the year 1813. It is headed simply Advertisement Extraordinary! That it is. Evidently Mrs. Gibbons was in the business of measuring women's waists and such so she could sell them corsets, underwear and the like. However, some questions must have arisen regarding Mrs. Gibbons' gender. As the lady, if she was a lady, explains, "Whereas some ill-disposed Persons have scandalously reported that I, Mrs. L. Gibbons, have lately been discovered to be a Man! -- This is to certify you, Ladies and Gentlemen in particular, that the Whole is a vile Fabrication." Then she reassures (?) her customers "that I shall continue in my profession of making geographical, anatomical, and systematical Survey's of Ladies' Waists..." Hm... Respectable businesswoman or vile pervert? Maybe someone should have asked Mr. Gibbons. Priced at $250.

Here's another interesting personal message. This broadside was printed for George Featherstonhaugh, a noted geologist, but perhaps not an entirely pleasant person. It is headed, Rufus P. Eaton of Pipe Village, Lake Winnebago, Wis. A Scoundrel! A Knave! A Liar! And A Coward! Featherstonhaugh lists a litany of wrongs, from slandering his child to attempting to have him murdered. Was this all true? Reese, quoting from the Dictionary of American Biography about Featherstonhaugh notes, "American scientists were reluctant to give him credit for his geological writings, however, because Featherstonhaugh frequently engaged in ad hominem attacks on his opponents..." Reese also noted Daniel Webster called him "shallow, conceited, with quite a lurch towards mischief." We have not been able to find anything more about this dispute, nor anything about Mr. Eaton other than an 1885 death notice (this broadside is dated 1853), but considering Featherstonhaugh's reputation, I'd like to hear Eaton's side before accepting these claims as undisputed truth. Tem 52. $1,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.

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