Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2009 Issue

Rise To Globalism - The U.S. 1865-1941 from the William Reese Company

Rise to Globalism from the William Reese Company.


By Michael Stillman

The William Reese Company has issued a catalogue of American items from a period, though long, not often the subject of catalogues we see. The Revolution, antebellum period, and Civil War are frequent features, and the Second World War and all that went with it are the focus of many collections. This catalogue covers the period in between: Rise to Globalism: The United States, 1865-1941. It was the period when America rose from a second tier power to the strongest nation on Earth. Here are a few of the steps along the way, as presented by Reese.

This was the period in which the great American West was tamed and settled. Of course, America's Indians saw this transformation from a different perspective. It is of great irony that, in this period when the natives were routed from their historic lands, the best-remembered American military leader is the one who was soundly defeated. That, naturally, would be George Armstrong Custer, of Custer's Last Stand. Indian victories were few, but this was a thorough whipping. Item 32 is a photographic portrait of Custer, in military uniform, circa 1872. Priced at $900.

Item 19 is a wonderful catalogue unintentionally celebrating the end of an era. It is #22 from The Elkhart Carriage and Harness Manufacturing Co. The date was 1885, and carriages were at their zenith, carriage makers having no idea what was lurking just around the corner. This catalogue is filled with lithographs of their carriages, harnesses and related products, and contains a tipped-in leaf giving the names of important local people who had purchased an Elkhart carriage. When the automobile turned up a few years later, Elkhart was one of the few carriage makers that was able to make the transition. Their large manufacturing facilities were ideal to build first motor driven carriages, and by 1910, true automobiles. The Pratt-Elkhart was a very desirable car, but by 1915, its high price was out of step, so the renamed Elkhart Carriage and Motor Car Co. produced the more budget-minded Elcar. The Elcar also did fine until the Depression, which destroyed so many businesses. The company went bankrupt in 1931 and ceased all production in 1933. $1,000.

The availability of cheap gas that made development of a large auto industry in the U.S. possible probably never would have happened if John D. Rockefeller had been able to maintain his monopoly in the oil business. President Theodore Roosevelt's trust-busting tore down the giant monopolies that strangled competition. Item 62 is a printing of the first court case to begin dismantling the large trusts: Northern Securities v. The United States. Bound with it is Attorney General Philander Knox's argument before the Supreme Court. It was bound by the Attorney General, likely as a gift to friends. Northern Securities was a trust formed by railroad magnates J. Pierpont Morgan and James J Hill. The two had sought to dominate transportation from the Northwest to Chicago. In this landmark decision, the Court upheld the Sherman Antitrust Act, with the government prevailing in a 5-4 court decision. $450.

The end of the Civil War and the beginning of the era covered by this catalogue should have ushered in a positive time for race relations, slavery having just been abolished. Unfortunately, it was nothing of the sort, as America's black citizens continued to suffer all sorts of depredations. The treatment undoubtedly led to terrible damage to the self-esteem of African Americans, so on occasion a book would be published demonstrating the accomplishments of blacks despite the odds. One such book was published by Miles V. Lynk in 1899: The Black Troopers, or the Daring Heroism of the Negro Soldiers in the Spanish-American War. Lynk was a black physician stirring pride in other African-Americans by recounting the heroic actions at San Juan Hill of the black troopers. Were it not for the troopers' help, at a cost of heavy casualties, it is unlikely Roosevelt's charge could have succeeded. Item 71. $1,500.

The William Reese Company may be reached at 203-789-8081 or coreese@reeseco.com. Their website is www.reeseco.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LEBEDEV (VLADIMIR). Russian Placards - Placard Russe 1917-1922. Saint-Petersbourg, Sterletz, 1923. €1,000 to €1,200.
    ALDE, May 28: MARDRUS (JOSEPH-CHARLES). Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris, F.-L. Schmied, 1927. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: TABLEAUX DE PARIS. Paris, Émile-Paul Frères, 1927. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MAGNAN (JEAN-MARIE). Taureaux. Paris, Michèle Trinckvel, 1965. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.

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