Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2009 Issue

Common and Unusual Books On The West from Gene W. Baade

Baade309

Catalogue 309 from Gene Baade Books On The West.


By Michael Stillman

From Gene W. Baade Books On The West we have received Catalogue 309. Besides the obvious geographical link which connects these books, Baade describes them as "a nice mixture of welcome, if slightly commonplace, titles mixed with the unusual and hard-to-find." I would reckon, to use a commonplace western expression, that most of these fit the unusual and hard-to-find category. Even though most are unusual, they are not expensive, the typical book in this catalogue being priced in the low to mid double digits. Good choices for tough times. However, there are a few that are particularly special and run a bit higher, and we will start with one such book.

Item 23 is one of the rarest Buffalo Bill biographies, though it came from the man who was his promoter for 34 years. John M. Burke ("Arizona John") was a smalltime actor, theatrical manager and newspaperman who was managing Mlle. Morlacchi, the Italian ballerina who made her career touring America. She and a young, not yet a star Buffalo Bill appeared together in the early 1870s, and by 1873, Burke was managing Bill Cody as well. They would be close associates for decades, and in 1893 he published Buffalo Bill. From Prairie to Palace. An Authentic History of the Wild West. Despite their close association, this biography of Buffalo Bill is very rare and mostly forgotten. Offered is a first edition. Priced at $600. Item 22 is a reprint of this book with additional information about Cody published in 2005: From Prairie to Palace. The Lost Biography of Buffalo Bill. $37.50.

Item 119 is a guide that will help prepare you for a trip to the Pacific Northwest: The Northern Pacific Tour. From the Lakes & Mississippi River to the Pacific including Puget Sound & Alaska. This was published by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1888, when there wasn't any other way to reach this region unless you had a lot of spare time on your hands. It offers views of the trip from Minneapolis, through the Dakotas, Butte, Spokane Falls, the Columbia River, Portland, Rainier and Seattle. There also are views heading south to California and north to Alaska. Here is a chance to see the Northwest as it was when tourists to this region were still few. $185.

For a look at the bookseller and book collector's chase in the first half of the 20th century, item 45 is The Adventures of a Treasure Hunter. A Rare Bookman in Search of American History, by Charles P. Everitt. Everitt was one of the leading booksellers of the time, and in this work he recounts his searches in various venues for forgotten copies of great books, and the dealing in which he participated to stock his inventory. These were the days when booksellers would scout the back roads instead of the internet for the lost gems, and Everitt was evidently one of those individuals who thrived in this environment. $45.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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