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

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.
  • <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 1805 TN Supreme Court Book, John Overton and Hugh White Opinions. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> TN Lunsford Bramlett Archive, incl. Polk White House Invitation, 8 Items. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Civil War Archive, incl. Gen. Bate on Death of Polk, Capture of Nashville. $2,000 to $2,400.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 5 Dickens 1st Ed. Books, incl. Edited by Author. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Charles Dickens, 5 Christmas Books, 1st Eds. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 2 Slave Documents, Nashville TN & North Carolina. $700 to $900.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 3 Maurice Sendak Signed Items, incl. Nutcracker, Pierre. $500 to $600.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 7 Phillip Roth Hardcover Books, incl. Author Signed, 1st Eds. $500 to $550.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 6 Kurt Vonnegut Hardcover Books, incl. Author Signed, 1st Eds. $400 to $500.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 3 Edward Gorey Items, incl. Print + 2 Books. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Josef Albers, INTERACTION OF COLOR, 1963. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Henri Matisse Jazz Portfolio for MOMA, 1st Ed., 1983. $600 to $800.

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