Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2009 Issue

New and On Sale Americana from Clark Rare Books

Clark940

New acquisitions and sale items from Clark Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman


Clark Rare Books has issued its 940th catalogue, New Acquisitions and Inventory Clearance Sale. As the title suggests, this is a two-part catalogue. The first 80 items are all new to Clark's inventory, and there are some very special works in the field of rare Americana in this section. The remaining 200-plus items are ones Clark has catalogued before, but as they try to free up a bit more shelf space for incoming books, they have reduced the price on these by 30%. There are items here priced as low as $5, so take 30% off of that and you will find books that are not going to break your bank. However, for this review, we will focus on the new material, including some very important books.

Item 39 is the first insider's look at the most famous of all American expeditions, that of Lewis and Clark to the new lands obtained through the Louisiana Purchase. Though the journey ran from 1804-1806, the captains did not publish their official account until 1814. Several others jumped the gun and published earlier, but the first book published by a participant in the journey came out in 1807. The author was Patrick Gass, an enlisted man who was promoted to an officer during the journey. Though not as thorough a report as the official version years later, it was the first account of Lewis and Clark's visit to this new territory by an eyewitness. The book is titled A Journal of the Voyages and Travels of a Corps of Discovery, under the Command of Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clark...During the Years 1804, 1805 & 1806. Priced at $15,400.

Item 1 is the first American edition of a major American work, Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia. Jefferson originally wrote the book to provide an account of the colony-now-state to a foreigner and published it in Paris in 1782. After a second edition in London, the first American was published in Philadelphia in 1788. It was the only book-length publication by Jefferson during his lifetime. $7,695.

Item 19 is an account of the deepest inland exploration of the American continent by an Englishman prior to the Revolution. Jonathan Carver set out to find a water passage across the continent in 1766. It brought him up through the Great Lakes to the head of the Mississippi, the old Northwest. That was as far as he got, though he speculated, correctly, on a great range of mountains from which rivers flowed to both seas. His book tells much about forts and Indian tribes he encountered along the way. The book is Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America in the years 1766, 1767, and 1768, and this is a 1779 second edition, published a year after the first. $2,850.

Item 3 is a look at Picturesque Canada, the country as it was and is, edited by George Munro Grant. Actually, you can leave off the "as it is" part now since this book was published in 1882. It contains over 500 wood engravings of scenes, activities, and places in 19th century Canada. $275.

Item 15 is George Armstrong Custer's My Life on the Plains. Of course, Custer is better known for his death on the plains, but before he made his unsuccessful last stand, he participated in various military campaigns in the West. This is an 1874 first edition that contains the 1874 signature of Joseph Warren Keifer, who served with Custer in the Civil War and went on to be a congressman from Ohio. $1,475.

Captains George Dixon and Nathaniel Portlock both served on Cook's last voyage, which took them to America's Northwest coast. A few years later, they commanded their own expedition, and while also unsuccessful in finding a Northwest Passage, they did participate in opening the fur trade and expanded the mapping and knowledge of the coast. They each wrote accounts of their voyage on returning. Item 20 is Dixon's account, A Voyage Round the World; But More Particularly to the North-West Coast of America: Performed in 1785...1788... published in 1789. $5,200.

You may reach Clark Rare Books at 405-307-0088 or info@clarkrarebooks.com.

You will find many of Clark's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site. Click here.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions