Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2007 Issue

Clark Rare Books is Back with more Western Americana

After over a century of bookselling, Clark Rare Books is back.


By Michael Stillman

After almost a year's absence we welcome back the new, yet very old, Clark Rare Books to the realm of book cataloguers. Clark Rare Books is the successor to the Arthur H. Clark Company, which sold and published books for over a century. Last year, the two businesses were divided, the publishing arm being taken over by the University of Oklahoma Press. They will continue publishing books under the Arthur H. Clark name. Meanwhile, the bookselling arm, which also moved from Spokane, Washington, to Norman, Oklahoma, has resumed business under the Clark Rare Books name. Both businesses will be managed by the Clarks. Despite the slight name change, the numbering sequence will remain the same, so this latest edition is numbered Catalog 930. Perhaps in another century, they will change their name yet again.

The subject of this catalogue, as with previous ones, is Americana, The West, and General. I think perhaps there is a slight shift in the ratio of titles from the Northwest to the Southwest, but Clark remains a repository of books from throughout the American West. Here are a few of the titles available in the first catalogue of 2007 from the new Clark Rare Books.

Elizabeth Custer outlived her husband George, of Last Stand fame, by 57 years. She spent most of that time preserving (and, perhaps, enhancing) his legend. For whatever their shortcomings, the two were totally devoted to each other, and Libby never remarried, though she lived to be almost 92. Tenting on the Plains or General Custer in Kansas and Texas was one of the three books she wrote that helped build her husband's legacy. It served to raise his reputation from bumbling incompetence to that of a courageous leader, fighting to the last man. Item 95 is an 1889 second edition (after the first of 1887) of Elizabeth Custer's book. Priced at $135.

There aren't many inexpensive items of Texaiana from the Republic period, but here's one: Message from the President...upon the subject of relations between the United States and the Republic of Texas. This 1842 Tyler administration document concerns trade between the U.S. and the independent republic that would become a new state in 1845. Item 244. $45.

Item 253 is a western settlers' guide that includes Texas, but from its pre-republic days. In fact, it predates even an independent Mexico. The guide is entitled Geographical Sketches on the Western Country: designed for emigrants and settlers... by Edmund Dana. The year was 1819, but this guide managed to cover areas that were far west at the time -- Missouri, Louisiana, Arkansas, and even "the country watered by the Columbia and its tributary streams." Even Texas is covered, though at the time it was still a colony of Spain. $950.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.
  • Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: KUPKA, Frantisek (1871-1957) - Quatre histoires de blanc et noir. Paris: Marcel Baque, 1926. €5.000-€8.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: VASI, Giuseppe Agostino (1710-1782) - Raccolta delle più belle vedute antiche, e moderne di Roma disegnate ed incise secondo lo stato presente. Rome: A. Vasi, 1786. €4.000-€6.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: SALAMANCA, Antonio (1478-1562) - [First map depicting the bay of Naples]. [Rome: 1538]. €3.000-€5.000

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