Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2009 Issue

Literature, Science, Americana, Fine Books, Etc. from Thomas Goldwasser Rare Books


Catalogue 22 from Thomas Goldwasser Rare Books

By Michael Stillman

Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books is offering something on just about everything in their latest offering, Catalogue 22. It is divided into three main sections: Literature Before 1850, Literature After 1850, and Fine Printing. However, the term "literature" is rather broadly defined, as it includes such topics as science, travel, Americana, and even a few signed documents from U.S. presidents. In other words, you may find the unexpected in this wide and varied selection. These are a few of the items we found inside.

Item 26 is the third (and "best") octavo edition of Thomas McKenney and James Halls's History of the Indian Tribes of North America, published in 1855. McKenney had headed up the Office of Indian Affairs, but after the election of Andrew Jackson as president in 1828, he was dismissed from his post. He realized that Indian culture in the West was rapidly disappearing as white settlements inundated the land. The result was he set out to preserve what was there before it was too late. McKenney brought in writer James Hall, and painter Charles Bird King to describe and depict native life. King's colored portraits of various Indian chiefs are the highlight of these books. The originals were later destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian, but are preserved in the pages of this book. Priced at $35,000.

Item 3 is a 1791 first edition of James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson. This account of the humorous lexicographer's life contains the bookplate of William Strong, and comes with a letter to his father, Rev. Archdeacon Strong. The senior Strong was a contemporary of Boswell. The copy also includes a copy of the May 5, 1791, London Chronicle, which contained an advertisement for Boswell's book. $25,000.

Item 23 is George Mason's update on Johnson's work: A Supplement to Johnson's English Dictionary: of which the Palpable Errors are Attempted to be Rectified, and its Material Omissions Supplied. As Mason not too delicately notes in his preface, "Johnson's [dictionary] abounds with inaccuracies, as much as any English book whatsoever - written by a scholar." One imagines the irascible Johnson might not have appreciated Mason's comments, but by then he was far too dead to object. $950.

Item 137 is the not very successful first effort of a writer who would not be recognized until several years later. In 1950, Jack Kerouac published The Town and the City. The stated author of this first work is "John Kerouac." It uses fictionalized names for real people in his early "beat" life, but the writing style is more conventional than his follow-up, On The Road. The latter was ready in 1951, but no publisher could be found for his second work until 1957. This first edition of The Town and the City is inscribed by Kerouac to "Arni," the photographer who took his picture for the dust jacket. $9,000.

Item 179 is a circa 1927 letter from Gertrude Stein to Georgette Magritte, wife of artist Rene Magritte. Stein comments, "...we are pleased with the photos and either you have grown tall or the horses have grown small." Magritte was 27 years old at the time so it was odd that she would still be growing, but it made for a great line. Stein otherwise writes of mutual acquaintances. $3,750.

Item 11 is a copy of the Speeches on the Passage of the Bill for the Removal of Indians delivered in Congress in 1830. One of those who spoke, and bitterly denounced the treatment of America's natives, was Edward Everett, then a Massachusetts congressman. Everett would go on to serve as governor, senator, and secretary of state. He also delivered the lead lecture at Gettysburg the day Lincoln delivered his brief, but better remembered speech. This copy is inscribed by Everett to Lemuel Shattuck, a leader in reforming health care in Massachusetts (and a bookseller). $750.

Thomas A Goldwasser Rare Books may be reached at 415-292-4698 or mail@goldwasserbooks.com. The website is found at www.goldwasserbooks.com.

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