Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2008 Issue

Miscellaneous Works from J & J Hanrahan

Hanrahan61

A miscellany from J & J Hanrahan.


By Michael Stillman

From J & J Hanrahan of Down East Maine we have received their List 61 Miscellany 2008. The Hanrahans describe themselves as "generalists," though we can say that most of what they offer can easily qualify as antiquarian. They do have a few particular areas of focus, such as Colonial America, the Civil War, New Hampshire's White Mountains, and Maurice Sendak (last month we reviewed a catalogue devoted entirely to Sendak), but while these topics are covered this time, so are others too numerous to mention. So, we will just pick a few random samples from what is offered here to describe.

We will start with the oldest book in the catalogue. Like most really old books, it is in Latin: Opus Ruralium Commodorum. Hanrahan describes this 1483 incunable as the "first book on farming." In an era when most books were theological, author Pietro de Crecenzi discusses the management of an estate, based on experiences at his own Villa d'Olmo near Bologna. Hunting, fishing, winemaking and diseases of animals are covered along with advice on the cultivation of various trees and other plants. Item 63. Priced at $12,500.

Item 9 is a sermon from Brookfield, Massachusetts, Pastor Nathan Fiske on then eve of the American Revolution. His December 31, 1775 (published in 1776) sermon is entitled, Remarkable Providences to Be Gratefully Recollected... Fiske relates the history of his town, from its founding in 1660, to its "desolation" during King Philip's War against the Indians in 1675, to its "improvements" up to the current time. However, Fiske also has some strong words for the British, in this period between the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Declaration of Independence. He asks, "Who are they that with cruel hands, have, the summer past, wantonly made such havoc in our land -- plundered and destroyed so many of our villages, and cast fire into so many of our cities?" The building anger is palpable in the words of this sermon. $750.

Here is a "book" that was undoubtedly the very favorite on some collector's shelf. It is the Histoire de France, an undated book by some unknown author. Actually, it doesn't say much of anything about the history of France, beyond perhaps implying that the French enjoy their drinks. Item 25 is in reality a book safe, one of those "books" that is hollow inside, creating a hiding space among the books on its owner's shelf. However, this one contains not just a hiding space, but a flask as well. One can picture an antiquarian of another day sneaking off to his library, his true intentions concealed from his wife. $250.

Item 102 is a first in the very collectible field of Mormon books, though it is not flattering. It was published in 1831, just a year after the first edition of the Book of Mormon itself. It was written by David Marks, an itinerant preacher not of the Mormon faith. It is The Life of David Marks, to the 26th year of his age. This was the first non-Mormon book to mention anything about the then new religion. Marks implies that Mormon founder Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, rather than receiving it from the Angel Moroni, by saying he first copyrighted it in his own name. However, despite skepticism bordering on contempt, Marks did meet with some of the earliest Mormons, and his writing does provide some insight into the beliefs of the earliest followers of the faith. $1,250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions