Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2009 Issue

Interesting Books and Manuscripts from Thomas Cullen Rockland Bookman

Cullen47

Something for everyone from Thomas Cullen.


By Michael Stillman

Thomas Cullen Rockland Bookman has issued his Catalog #47 - Books & Manuscripts. We will make no attempt to suggest a title more specific than this. There is no thread we can decipher beyond being a book or a manuscript that binds these items together. You may find anything here - from a 15th century religious manuscript to a 19th century support bond for bastard children to a series on Buffalo Bill in French, they are all here. We will describe a few of these fascinating items, but with the caution that there are plenty of things to be found in this catalogue with no resemblance to the ones we select.

Item 31 is the Civil War diary of Sgt. Johnson Miller of the 14th Ohio volunteers. War is always Hell, but this war was particularly hellish. Casualties were unimaginably high. The diary begins on January 1, 1864. Miller has already been wounded, but is looking forward to rejoining his regiment. "I do not want to leave my comrades until this bloody struggle is closed," he writes. Miller did make it back to action, but on June 21, he was injured again. He is sent to a hospital in Nashville where he writes of the horrible injuries he sees. From there, he is also able to witness the build up of Confederate forces around the city in December of 1864, and finally the Battle of Nashville, when the second largest Confederate force was routed and effectively eliminated from further participation in the war. Priced at $1,400.

Times were difficult during the Civil War, particularly in the South, but life went on. Even during the midst of terrible war, children had to learn arithmetic. Item 54 is a Confederate textbook: Our Own School Arithmetic, published in 1863. It is the first arithmetic authored and published exclusively in the Confederate states. Hopefully, the children learned arithmetic better than their parents, because if the Confederates had done their math a little better, they might have realized the number of forces they had compared to the North did not add up to victory. $275.

There is a bit of irony in this Alabama manuscript legal claim from December 1865. It is a claim by one W.E. Murphey on the estate of L.J. Watkins for $48 for 15 trips between 1862 and 1865 to provide medical treatment to his slaves. There was a day when doctors made house calls even to slaves. The irony, of course, is by the time this claim was made they were slaves no more, having been freed with the end of the war. Nonetheless, the estate was liable for the charges. Hopefully, the former slaves were enjoying good health in their newly won freedom. Item 1. $125.

Item 72 consists of six letters from Midshipman Cyrus Adolphus Branch from Virginia. These letters to his mother and sister date from 1817 to 1820 and come from places such as Boston and New York as well as in preparation for a trip to Africa. However, Branch evidently got into some sort of dispute in Cuba in 1821 and engaged in a duel. He lost. Branch was just 24 at the time. Branch must have been a bit of a complainer as Cullen observes, "Reading his complaining, demanding letters to his relatives makes one glad someone shot him." In fairness to Branch, his brother named his first son after him the following year, so he must have appreciated Cyrus Adolphus (perhaps he didn't receive any letters from him). $300.

Item 94 is a most interesting letter from "Douglas" of South Carolina to William Walker of the same state. It is dated July 30, 1849, and the writer describes an incident reflective of fears many in the South held of a slave insurrection. He writes about a "...violent outbreak that took place in work house by a few rebellious negroes - that attempted the lives of the keepers...three of the principle fellows were immediately arrested, tried and hanged after some others escaped from the city...they were to be tried today and I have very little doubt at least four more will be hanged." $250.

Item 85 is a Pennsylvania German broadside circa 1810. It is an incantation against fire and pestilence with an account of a Gypsy who extinguished a fire in Prussia by reciting it. You may try it too in case of fire, but I'll call the fire department. $350.

You may reach Thomas Cullen, Rockland Bookman, at 716-662-2082 or tomcatt@roadrunner.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.

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