Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2004 Issue

Americana From <br>William Reese

William Reese's listings from the New York Antiquarian Book Fair


By Michael Stillman

The William Reese Company recently issued a listing of books for sale in conjunction with their participation in the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. We hesitate to call this a “catalogue” since Reese catalogues are well-illustrated, bound, and highly descriptive presentations, undoubtedly destined to become collectible themselves. This piece is simply one of stapled pages, and yet it is far more than a group of listings, for it contains the thorough descriptions for which Reese is noted. In this case, there are 50 pages of small print used to describe 102 items. True to Reese’s focus, the subject of the listings is Americana, although there is an occasional item that strains to find ties to the New World.

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert Livingston to Paris on a mission to purchase land at the base of the Mississippi River (New Orleans) to assure the young nation free navigation of that waterway. To their surprise, Napoleon offered them the whole of Louisiana. In 1803, “Louisiana” included most of the land between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, running as far west as Montana and as far north as Canada. A surprised and jubilant Jefferson jumped at the offer, and despite some questions of constitutional authorization, the federal government went ahead with the $15 million land purchase. Overnight, the size of the United States doubled. Item 52 is the Message from the President…Inclosing a Treaty…Relative to the Cessation of Louisiana. This is a first printing of the treaty ratifying the Louisiana Purchase, printed in Washington in 1803. Priced at $30,000.

Item 7 is a very rare book describing the land and the Indian tribes of the southern United States. It’s called Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, The Cherokee Country… by William Bartram, and it was published in 1791. He describes the territory in great detail, including a chapter devoted to the customs and language of the Cherokee and Muscogulge Indians. $13,500.

Here’s another one of those extremely rare books about the Indians, but this belongs to that less reputable category known as “Indian Captivities.” This is Archibald Loudon’s A Selection, of Some of the Most Interesting Narratives, of Outrages, Committed by The Indians, in Their Wars, with The White People. We will not speculate on the accuracy of some of these gruesome tales, but should point out that the book does not focus on the atrocities committed against the Indians. Along with the ugliness, the book does also recount much about Indian customs, their food, medicines, clothing, songs and dances. Item 50. $27,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.

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