Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2004 Issue

Women, Country Houses, and Perspective<br>From Charles Wood


Books about women, country houses, and persective from Charles Wood

By Michael Stillman

What do women, country houses and perspective have in common? For one, they are all topics of Charles Wood's latest catalogue (I must admit that I'm stumped as to what the second connection might be). This is a three part catalogue with the following headings: Part I – Books By and About Women; Part II – English Country Houses; and Part III – Perspective. Parts II and III are clearly niche fields of collecting, while Part I will appeal to a broader audience.

Item 12 is a collection of works assembled for the Congress of Women held at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The compiler, Mary Kavanaugh Oldham Eagle was, like Hillary Clinton, a first lady...of Arkansas. Her husband had been elected under controversial circumstances, but this doesn't matter here. Mrs. Eagle put together this work of 220 papers by 180 women, covering topics such as "Complete Freedom for Women", "Economic Independence of Women", "Our Forgotten Foremothers", and "Changing Ideals in Southern Womanhood". Priced at $300.

Item 36 is the catalogue for the Portland Museum collection which had been owned by the Duchess Dowager of Portland. This auction began on April 24, 1786, and continued for 37 days. In all, 4,156 lots were offered for sale. It covered everything from furniture and coins and books to insect and birds’ eggs collections. The most noted item was the "Portland Vase", which sold for the then astonishing price of £1,029. Bound with this copy is a list of prices realized. $2,250.

Item 24 is Elizabeth B. Johnson's 1889 (sixteenth) edition of the Visitor’s Guide to Mount Vernon. This is a thorough guidebook to this historic site from a time closer to Washington's life than it is to today. Charles Wood notes that 19th century American guidebooks are rare books to find today. $100.

For collectors of Vermont as well as books by women is Abby Maria Hemenway's Poets and Poetry of Vermont. Published in Rutland in 1858, this decorative book on Vermont poets includes an inscription from the author. Item 21. $500. And while we're focused on poetry, here's The Poems of Maria Lowell, by, naturally, Maria Lowell. She was half of the poetic Lowells, her husband being James Russell Lowell, a well-regarded poet in his day who has not been as well remembered as contemporaries such as Longfellow and Whittier. While this 1855 book of Maria Lowell's poems was limited to 50 copies, not exactly an endorsement, it was later reprinted in 1907 and again in 1936 in larger editions. Item 29. $1,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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