Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2007 Issue

The Latest Acquisitions at John Michael Lang Fine Books

Lang23

List 23 of John Michael Lang's latest acquisitions.


By Michael Stillman

John Michael Lang Fine Books
has issued their latest catalogue, Recent Acquisitions List 23. Offered are 31 new-old items, around for a long time though not seen in a Lang catalogue before. Available are items from the 18th and 20th centuries, along with all centuries in between. There are several items from Lang's home in the Pacific Northwest, but others are from as far away as Tokyo, St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida), London and Paris. In other words, while we can give you a few examples, you will need to see the entire list to understand what is offered, as the subjects are quite diverse. Now here are a few of those examples.

Item 3 is an interesting history concerning land titles in the West during the early days of the Republic. It comes with a fascinating provenance. The book is Account of the Proceedings of the Ilinois [sic] and Ouabache Land Companies, In Pursuance of their Purchases Made of the Independent Natives, July 5th, 1773, and 18th October, 1775 by William Smith. It is bound together with several other appeals to Congress made in 1796 and thereafter concerning lands purchased by predecessors of the Illinois and Wabash Land Companies from various Indian tribes three decades earlier. The validity of these early land titles was subject to dispute, so the company sent Mr. Smith, its agent, to Washington to make its claims. Despite repeated attempts over the next decade and a half, he was not successful. This copy can be traced back to the collection of George Brinley, perhaps the leading Americana collector of the 19th century. It was sold at his auction in 1881 for $23, serious money at the time. We next see it on the market in 1935, when it was sold as part of the collection of Ogden Goelet. Goelet died in 1897, but it took almost 40 years to get around to selling his books. The price was $55. It next went to Walter Hill, and two years later, it was purchased by perhaps the most important Americana collector of the 20th century, Thomas Streeter. It was sold in the Streeter sale of 1969 for $625. Now you can add your name to this illustrious provenance. Currently priced at $5,000.

Item 11 offers a fine press edition of some classic sea charts by one of the greatest of all explorers. Captain James Cook was sent to the Canadian Atlantic coast to chart Newfoundland during the 1760s. He spent several years there compiling a detailed set of maps, which were reproduced in this 1965 edition entitled James Cook Surveyor of Newfoundland, Being a Collection of Charts of the Coasts of Newfoundland and Labradore. This limited edition (365 copies) booklet, including ten separate charts, was produced by the Grabhorn Press of San Francisco. Cook, of course, would go on to conduct his three famous voyages to the South Pacific in the following decade, discovering much about Australia and Hawaii, and putting to rest the long-held theory that there existed a massive southern continent. $600.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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