Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2008 Issue

Fine Books and Art from J.N. Bartfield

Bartfield

Books and art are offered by J.N. Bartfield.


By Michael Stillman

We recently received the latest catalogue from J.N. Bartfield Galleries and Fine Books. Bartfield's is one of the most venerable of booksellers, having been in business in Manhattan for over 70 years. However, the firm does not limit itself to printed or written material, hence the "galleries" in its name. They offer many beautiful paintings and bronze works to go along with the fine books they have offered for so many years. While a visit to their galleries would be exciting, the catalogue provides a reasonable facsimile for those unable to make the trip to New York. Here are some samples of what you might find.

We start with one of if not the first, and perhaps most important of Montana imprints: The Vigilantes of Montana, or Popular Justice in the Rocky Mountains..." Published in 1866, this is the account of Henry Plummer's notorious "road agents," who terrorized the population of that territory's mining towns. Plummer and his associates engaged in robberies and murder throughout the land before Plummer was finally captured. Author Thomas J. Dimsdale was the editor of Virginia City's (Montana) Montana Post, and was a crusader against the lawlessness. Nonetheless, he tried to be objective in recounting the story of Plummer and his gang. His neighbors were not so generous toward Plummer. The outlaw was convicted, but to the locals' dismay, was sentenced to banishment and confiscation of property. The townsfolk had other ideas. Plummer was taken from his home by the good citizens, who provided justice at the end of a rope. Priced at $15,000.

Here is a surprising work for its time (1822) by Mademoiselle St. Sernin: Healthful Sports for Young Ladies... Most young ladies were not engaging in sports at that time. Either they worked sun to sun and half the night too if they were poor, or lived in pampered luxury if they were rich. This book was evidently meant for the latter type, but promoted the value of exercise to the sedentary ladies at a time when doing nothing was an emblem of social status. The author understood that this was not a healthy lifestyle, so she presents various games, such as blind man's buff, shuttlecock and hoops (the old style, not basketball), in which young ladies can participate. The book includes some wonderful illustrations, having been printed by the great publisher of high quality illustrated books of the time, Rudolph Ackermann. $7,500.

Next is likely the most significant 18th century source of information on America's southeastern Indians. Author James Adair was an Irishman who, according to his own statement, spent 40 years trading among the natives of the South. He arrived around 1735 and in 1775 published History of the American Indians, Particularly those Nations adjoining to the Mississippi, East and West Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina and Virginia... Adair was a fur trader, and in his book, he tells of Indian customs, language, religion, diet, agriculture, tools and more. Sections are focused specifically on the Catawba, Cherokee, and Chickasaw tribes. Additionally, much of the work is focused on proving his belief that the American Indians were descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel, pointing out similarities between the Indians and the Jews. $9,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jean de Mandeville, <i>Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land,</i> Strassburg, 1488. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> José González Cabrera Bueno, <i>Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica,</i> Manila, 1734. Sold for $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. Sold for $65,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Louise Bourgeois, <i>He Disappeared Into Complete Silence,</i> portfolio with complete text & 9 engravings, 1947. Sold for $413,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Erich Maria Remarque, <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first American edition, Boston, 1929. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sir William Russell Flint, gouache & watercolor illustration for Homer's <i>Odyssey,</i> 1924. Sold for $22,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters, signed to his family, 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>Lady Windermere's Fan,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, London, 1893. Sold for $27,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Emil Cardinaux, <i>St. Moritz,</i> 1918. Sold for $17,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> R.J. Waters, 3 panoramas of the San Francisco earthquake & fire, 1906. Sold for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Album with 200 cartes-de-visite, including images by Felice Beato, John Thompson & F.W. Sutton, Japan & China, 1863-69. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. Sold for $40,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> KNIGHT, HILARY. The Original Portrait of Eloise that Hung at the Plaza Hotel. $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> WARHOL, ANDY. "Iced Lemon Delight," an Original Watercolor Presented to Hilary Knight's cat, Phoebe $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SENDAK, MAURICE. <i>Where the Wild Things Are.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED with drawing to Hilary Knight in the month following publication. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> NOLAND, KENNETH. Original circle painting, untitled, acrylic and ink on cloth, for cover of monograph $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> TOULOUSE-LAUTREC. <i>Histoires Naturelles,</i> 1899. With 22 original lithographs. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>A Collection of Poems,</i> [1711]. The first authoritative and complete collected Sonnets.$15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> LONDON, JACK. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> 1903. First edition, first state jacket. $2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> FROST, ROBERT. Autograph Manuscript of "Build Soil," 12 pp, 1932-1936. $15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> GOULD, GLENN. Glenn Gould's extensively annotated copy of Bach's Goldberg Variations $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> PLATH, SYLVIA. EARLY Autograph Letter Signed, about her beginnings as a writer, Northampton, MA, 1951. $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> HOUDINI, HARRY. A collection of 11 cast iron shackle and lock items from Houdini's personal collection. $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> M4 ENGIMA MACHINE, with very rare RARE HYDRA KEY ENVELOPE. $400,000 to 600,000

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