19th Century Shop Offers Selections<br>From New York Antiques Show
It’s unlikely you have ever heard of Alfonso Koels. Koels did a lot of writing, at least 441 pages worth, but was unpublished. This is a manuscript of his journeys to the American West in 1850 and Texas and Mexico in 1857-1858. Koels also produced 44 drawings (including the Alamo) plus charts and other material. This is an obscure first-hand account of the West and Mexico in this period, but you will need to know German to read the text. Not Priced.
A first edition of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is certainly a collectible item, but here’s a very personally inscribed copy. Lee writes “Maurice and A.L.: this is the charming result of your encouragement, faith and love – Nelle.” Maurice and A.L. were Nelle Harper Lee’s agents Maurice Crain and Annie Laurie Williams. $28,000.
Here’s an item that is decidedly not Americana. It is the first Italian and fourth overall edition of Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus. This monumental history of the Jews also contains the earliest non-scriptural (but disputed) references to Jesus. A first edition from 1470 recently was sold for over $300,000. The fourth was printed in 1480. $24,000.
Theodore Roosevelt was unable to attend a reunion of the Grand Army of The Republic in 1904, but sent a letter honoring its members. The Grand Army was a veteran’s group for Union soldiers from the Civil War, and it would become a potent political force in the late 19th century. “It is to you we owe the fact that we have a country at all…” Roosevelt wrote its members. “There have been other crises in the history of the government; but not since its foundation has there been any other in which the existence of the government itself was at stake.” Nor since then either. Once almost half a million strong, the Grand Army held its final Encampment in 1949, and its last member, drummer boy Albert Woolson, died in 1956 at the age of 109 (the last Union widow passed away only last year, having married an 81-year-old veteran in 1927 when she was 18. One Confederate widow still survives). $9,500.
Jean de Crevecoeur (or J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur) was born in France and served as a scout during the French and Indian War. He would work as a surveyor in Ohio and later purchased a farm in upstate New York. From here he would write his Letters from an American Farmer which gave Europeans a portrait of America at the time of the Revolution. Many settlers came to America based on his descriptions. After the Revolution he would serve as French Consul to America and become friends with many of the country’s earliest leaders. Other works would follow, including Journey into Northern Pennsylvania and the State of New York. What is here offered is a collection of Crevecoeur’s papers that until now had been held by his descendants. Included are several of Crevecoeur’s manuscripts plus a heavily annotated copy of his Journey, containing thousands of notations. Crevecoeur had done this in anticipation of publishing a revised second edition, but this project was never accomplished. Not priced.
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