Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2007 Issue

Western Americana from Thomas Goldwasser Rare Books

Western Americana from Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books
has issued a catalogue of Western Americana, Including Publications of the Book Club of California. We might add it also contains many printings from the famed Grabhorn Press (some overlapping with Book Club publications) and other limited editions. However, this catalogue is hardly limited to such special editions. It contains many other works from California and the West, including a few very rare and highly valuable works. In all there are 441 books being offered, so there must be something for every collector of the American West. Here are but a few.

Item 6 is one of those Book Club of California items printed by the Grabhorn Press, in a limited edition of 400 copies. Published in 1957, the title is The Drawings of John Woodhouse Audubon Illustrating his Adventures through Mexico and California, 1849-1850. If that name sounds familiar, yet not quite right, John Woodhouse was the son of famed painter of birds John James Audubon. John Woodhouse devoted much of his adult life to assisting his father in his work, and after the latter died, to publishing later editions of his works. John Woodhouse was intimately involved in producing the reduced images of his father's birds used in the octavo editions of "Birds of America," and drew half of the illustrations in John James' "Quadrupeds of America." In between, John Woodhouse Audubon managed to do some of his own painting, and undertook a few travel adventures. One of those is depicted in this work, a difficult journey in which disease and bandits forced many of the participants, including the leader, to turn back. Audubon led those who remained through the rest of the journey. Priced at $175.

Item 411 is an even scarcer travel story: Reminiscences of California Life, by R.N. Willcox. Willcox was a carpenter who made his way to California during the Gold Rush and found work as a miner and by employing his trade. He writes about his experiences in California, and notably San Francisco. Among his topics are the mines, San Francisco vigilance committee, Indians, Chinese laborers, opium smoking, the Donner party and outlaws. Willcox privately published his memories in 1897 in Avery, Ohio. It appears that only 75-100 copies were printed. $750.

Stephen J. Field also published his California memories in 1880 "for a few friends," Personal Reminiscences of California. Field first traveled to California in 1849, where he became deeply involved in local politics. He became Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court though he was not beloved by all. Specifically, he had a dispute with former fellow California Justice David Terry years later as a result of a case involving that judge's wife. When confronted in a dining car, Field's bodyguard shot and killed Terry. In 1863, Field was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by Abraham Lincoln. Field developed a reputation as a defender of powerful business interests, as well as being a personally vindictive man, and unlike Lincoln, no great friend of African Americans. However, what he lacked in quality he made up in quantity, serving longer on the Supreme Court than any other judge -- 34 years in all. Nevertheless, his rare description of the early years of Gold Rush California is said to be one of the best. Item 130. $500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • 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
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.

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