Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2003 Issue

May Catalogue Reviews

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By Bruce McKinney

This month we review the catalogues of three well established dealers: Howard Mott of Sheffield, Massachusetts, David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books of Woodbridge, Connecticut and Hordern House of New South Wales, Australia.

Recent catalogues from Howard S. Mott Inc.

I recently received and read four catalogues from this long established Sheffield, Massachusetts antiquarian book dealer. Mr. Donald N. Mott, the proprietor, is a skilled bibliographer and also the son of Howard S. Mott, who was a highly important dealer in New York during its golden age of bookselling and collecting.

I started by reading Catalogue 241. It is Rare Books and Publishers’ Trade Bindings 18th – 20th Century. It is 185 items, in a 60 page presentation, that suggest Mr. Mott’s perspective is broad. This catalogue includes ephemera, books across three centuries, fiction, signed copies, copies with provenance and non-fiction. The descriptions are meticulous and extensive. While booksellers’ catalogues often rely on a few basic references, these entries are a textbook course in bibliographical completeness. For collectors and librarians who use bookseller’s descriptions as a first step to understand a book before purchasing, you start two rungs up the ladder with his presentations.

Catalogue 240 is Rare Books, Broadsides, Pamphlets and Manuscripts. It is an interesting mixture of complex material and prices from about $100 to the price of a one carat engagement ring. There is simply no predictability to the material. This is for the most part not what you are expecting and that is a good thing. Mr. Mott ranges the countryside, bypassing the interstates and collectors will find this type of material very interesting.

Here are a few examples. 240:105 is an 1807 Broadside [9.75 x 7.75”] of New York Jurors, which includes James Swords, Bookseller, Alexander Ming, Printer and Anthony Boyer, Morocco Leather Manufacturer. It’s a vignette of life in New York during the presidency of Jefferson. Lewis and Clarke are charting the west. Order is coming out of chaos. A jury sits to hear testimony.

Then there is 240:82, An Account of the Yellow Fever, which occurred in the City of New-York, in the Year 1822.... written by James A. M. Hardie and printed by Samuel Marks. Life was much less certain then and somehow not so different after all.

Then in catalogue 238, on page 29 (these lots are not numbered) is John James DuFour’s The American Vine-Dresser’s Guide,..printed in Cincinnati in 1826. This is a very early American book on wine. Then, while drinking champagne, visit Mr. Mott’s website for a complete reading of his recent catalogues. They are a main course, not an appetizer.
www.worldbookdealers.com/dealers/howardsmott/index.asp
They are located at 170 South Main Street, Sheffield, Massachusetts 01257. Tel: (413) 229-2019.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Frederick Douglass, ALS recruiting help for his paper after schism with Garrison, Rochester, 1851. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> James Dean, photograph by Sanford H. Roth, signed & inscribed by Dean. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Richard Wagner, ALS requesting confirmation that the Grand Duke received his letter, 1863. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Benjamin Rush, ALS, doctor’s note for a Revolutionary soldier, 1780. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Lord Byron, ALS to Cambridge classmate, “your friendship is of more account to me than all these absurd vanities,” c. 1812. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author’s first book, Paris, 1923. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Ralph Ellison, <i>Invisible Man,</i> first English edition of the author’s first novel, signed, London, 1953. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Margery Lawrence, <i>The Madonna of Seven Moons,</i> first edition in unrestored dust jacket, Indianapolis, 1933. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Joseph Albers, <i>Interaction of Color,</i> 80 color screenprints, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1963. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Albert Einstein, autograph manuscript, unsigned, likely a draft discarded while working toward a unified field theory. $10,000 to $20,000.
  • <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Verlag, Luzern, Publishers: <i>The Book of Kells,</i> the most precious illuminated manuscript of the early Middle Ages, now reproduced, the FIRST AND ONLY COMPLETE FINE ART FACSIMILE EDITION. €5,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone,</i> 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1997, First Deluxe Edn., Signed by the Author on title page. €4,000 to €5,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Gilbert (John T.) Account of Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland, from the earliest extant specimens to A.D. 719. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> <i>The Georgian Society Records of Eighteenth-Century Domestic Architecture in Dublin [-Ireland],</i> 5 vols. lg. 4to D. 1909 - 1913. Limited Editions. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Yeats (W.B.) <i>The Poems of W.B. Yeats,</i> 2 vols., roy 8vo, L. (MacMillan & Co.) 1949, Limited Edn., No. 185 (of 375 copies). Signed. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Crone (John S.)ed. <i>The Irish Book Lover, A Monthly Review of Irish Literature and Bibliography.</i> Vol. I No 1 August 1909 - Vol. XXXII No. 6, September 1957. €1,250 to €2,000.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Yeats (John Butler) <i>An original self-portrait Sketch,</i> Signed and dated April 1919, N[ew] York. €1,200 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Photograph Album. Entitled ''A Souvenir of the Visit to Jeypore Samasthanam of His Excellency the Right Hon'ble Viscount Goschen of Hawkhurst… 14th December 1927''. €1,000 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Pistolesi (Erasmo) <i>Il Vaticano,</i> 8vols. large atlas, folio Rome (Tipografia della Societa..) 1829. €500 to €600.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Chagall (Marc)illus., Legmarie (Jean) comp., <i>The Jerusalem Windows,</i> folio N.Y. (George Braziller) 1962. €400 to €500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Bullitt (Thos. W.) <i>My Life at Oxmoor,</i> Life on a Farm in Kentucky before the War. Roy 8vo Louisville, Kentucky, 1911. Privately Printed No. 86 of 100 Copies Only. €300 to €400.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Popish Plot: Oates (Titus) <i>The Popes Whore House or The Merchandise of The Whore of Rome,</i> folio L. 1679. First Edn. €100 to €150.

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