On February 2, Freeman’s will present Books and Manuscripts, a nearly 150-lot sale that will be of great interest to collectors of Presidential, Countercultural, Americana, Literature, and Civil Rights-era material.
The auction is led by two extraordinary pieces: a rare leaf from the most famous book printed in the West, Johannes Gutenberg’s Bible (Lot 75), from a collection assembled by paper and printing historian Dard Hunter. Also Ernest Hemingway’s presentation copy to his future editor, Maxwell Perkins, of the rare 1924 limited edition of his short story collection In Our Time (Lot 94), marking the beginning of one of the 20th century’s most important and legendary literary relationships.
Books and Manuscripts kick off Black History Month with a selection of important African-Americana, including books and documents by and related to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the modern civil rights movement. Among these is a first edition of …more
Hindman has announced the opening of a new Miami office. With more than a decade of establishing a strong presence in Florida, this expansion now gives Hindman representation in three cities in Florida and 16 cities throughout the United States.
With additional locations in Palm Beach and Naples, the opening of Hindman Miami underscores the firm’s presence throughout the state. This new regional representation will enhance Hindman’s dedication to providing exceptional service to clients in several locations, that focuses on the foundation of the auction market: core collectible property at a range of estimates. Located at 275 Alhambra Circle in the historic Coral Gables neighborhood, Hindman Miami is ideally located in a prominent location near important galleries, financial institutions and businesses.
Elizabeth Rader, the Director of Business Development, Trusts, Estates & Private Clients, will oversee the new Miami office, working with Hindman’s Palm Beach saleroom as well as four additional salerooms throughout the United States. As the former head of Hindman’s Naples office, Rader brings extensive experience in developing relationships with private collectors, financial institutions, trust and estate firms, insurers and museums in Florida. She has handled several prominent Florida estate collections. Prior to joining Hindman, she worked for the London based Art Loss Register as their Development Director for the Americas. Responsible for managing clients in the American, Canadian and Latin American markets, Rader executed strategies to develop relationships with private collectors and the trade to include dealers, appraisers, museums, and art fair organizers at TEFAF and Art Basel Miami. Rader received her PhD in the History of Art and Theory from the University of Essex in 2012, with a concentration on the art and imagery from Colonial Latin America and Habsburg Spain. Rader is bilingual in Spanish and English.
The village in which I live (Cazenovia in central New York) has a college, which traces its roots to 1824, that is about to close at end of the current semester. For most of its life it was a secondary school or seminary run by the Methodist Church. At some point it cut its religious ties and became a two-year college for young women. The first time it closed was in May of 1974 - I remember it well because we heard the news on the radio as we were driving down I-81, having just returned from a year in Spain (Granada) by way of the Stefan Batory, sailing from London to Montreal.
The college was rescued thanks mainly to the support of local friends and business people. Also, long-term debt was not a major factor at that time. The new administration made some major changes - admitting young men and then expanding to a four-year program, while taking on a lot of long-term debt to fund ambitious building projects. Even though Pell grants brought in a lot of money that colleges were allowed to keep even when academically-unqualified students dropped out part way through Freshman year, this did not help build a deep or loyal alumni base. Also, with almost free tuition at NYS public colleges available to NYS residents, enrollment at many expensive private colleges has declined throughout the region.
N.B. The college (I did my undergraduate & graduate work elsewhere) that our family has contributed to significantly for some years (I've never even set foot on its campus) has been in existence since the 1840s and is in financially sound condition. It has a supportive alumni base, accepts no Pell Grant funding or any other form of government support (with accompanying constraints) and as a result remains one of the few oases of intellectual and academic freedom in the United States.
Blaise Cendrars: Poetry is Everything will be on exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum from May 26 through September 24, 2023
Blaise Cendrars (1887–1961) was a catalyzing force for new expressions in European art in the first part of the twentieth century. An intrepid spirit, he led an itinerant life, leaving behind his native Switzerland for St. Petersburg, New York, São Paulo, and Paris. Cendrars came to prominence in 1913 as the author of La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France—a freewheeling poem self-published as a colossal vertical arrangement of polychrome typography with imagery by Sonia Delaunay-Terk.
Cendrars formulated his poetics by adapting Delaunay-Terk’s beliefs and those of other artists in the possibilities of rhythm, motion, and depth in the simultaneous contrast of colors. He came to see not only their application to language but to his identity and life itself—everything from street media and the mechanization of modern life to his interpretation of non-European cultures and experience as a soldier in World War One. This approach Cendrars affirmed in a line of verse: The windows of my poetry are wide open...
Cendrars’s early career as a poet and publisher is the focus of the installation, radiating out from the monumental La Prose du Transsibérien to trace Cendrars’s formative interplay with the visual arts, music, ballet, film, and graphic design, featuring works by Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Cocteau, …more
Winter is here and for bookhunters in a part of the country where weather permits, the open road beckons. The "Open Shop Guide" or Booksellers' Gulch, has been an ongoing feature of this magazine since 1985. Booksellers who would like to be a part of this only need to call (315) 655-9654 for more information or a free listing. Hundreds of open shops are included, preceded by a more highly annotated sponsors' section which appears below.
Austin's Books. (Wilmington, VT ). American History, Teddy Roosevelt, Fly Fishing, Travel, Maps, Prints & Ephemera. Tel: (802) 464-8438
Back of Beyond Books. (83 North Main, Moab, UT). Rare Books, Americana, Books on the American West. Tel: 435-259-5154
Booked Up. (Archer City, TX). Founded by Larry McMurtry, Booked Up is a large general bookstore dealing mainly in the humanities. Tel: (940) 574-2511
D & D Galleries. (6 Ilene Ct., Bldg 9, Unit 1, Somerville, NJ). Founded in 1985, with specialties in British and American literature. Inventory (mostly English language), somewhat eclectic, ranges from the 15th through the 20th centuries with sub-specialties in Fine Bindings, S.T.C. and Wing books, Lewis Carroll (C. L. Dodgson), Charles Dickens, presentation and association material as well as 17th and 18th century British history. Members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, and the Provincial Bookfair Association of Great Britain. Tel: (908) 904-1314.
Gibson's Books. (3037 Old Highway 431, Owens Cross Roads, AL). Local and southern history, fiction, Civil War, ephemera, cookery. Tel: (256) 725-2558.
Hobart Book Village. (Hobart, NY). Six bookstores, general and antiquarian. Tel: (607) 538-908.
Junction Book Shop. (73 Conway Road, Llandudno Junction, Wales). Rare & out-of-print books, Victorian maps & prints. Open Wed. to Sat., 10am to 5pm.
Old Editions. (954 Oliver St., North Tonawanda, NY). Rare & Antiquarian Books, Ephemera, Prints, Posters & Original Art Works. Tel: (716) 842-1734; (716) 812-4937.
Quill & Brush. (Middletown, MD). Specialists in first edition literature, mysteries, poetry & collectible books in all fields. Authors of well-known books on book collecting & compilers of over 200 individual Author Price Guides. Visit us on the web, or in person by appointment. Tel: (301) 874-3200
(Country and state-by-state)
Acadia Art and Rare Books (232 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) Alphabet Bookshop (145 Main Street West, Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada) Baggins Book Bazaar. (19 High St., Rochester, Kent, England) …more
A noteworthy collection of letters by notorious American gangster Al Capone achieved exceptional prices in Hindman’s November 8th-9th Fine Books & Manuscripts auction. Books and manuscripts authored and signed by presidents and world leaders from the Patrick Atkinson Collection also attracted significant attention, with new auction records set for books signed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi. The total sale nearly doubled its estimate, and realized over $1.2 million, representing one of Hindman’s most successful various owner Books & Manuscripts auctions in recent years.
A group of three Al Capone letters saw incredibly competitive bidding, with two of the letters selling in the top five lots of the auction.
Highlighting the group was a letter written by Capone two days after the January 1925 assassination attempt on his life, which soared past its $10,000-15,000 estimate to fetch $53,125. Another manuscript letter from Capone, written from Cicero in 1924, more than tripled its presale estimate to sell for …more
An exhibit entitled Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason will open at the Morgan Library & Museum on February 24, 2023 and will run through May 28, 2023. Around 1700, as an increasingly pious Louis XIV withdrew to Versailles, Paris flourished. The dynamic artistic scene included specialists such as Claude Gillot (1673–1722) who forged a career largely outside of the Royal Academy, designing everything from opera costumes to tapestries.
Known primarily as a draftsman, Gillot specialized in scenes of satire. He found his subjects among the irreverent commedia dell’arte performances at fairground theaters, in the writings of satirists who waged the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, and in the antics of vice-ridden satyrs whose bacchanals exposed human folly. Gillot’s amusing critiques and rational perspective heralded the advent of the Age of Reason while his innovative approach attracted the most talented artists of the next generation, Antoine Watteau and Nicolas Lancret, to his studio.
With over seventy drawings, prints, and paintings, including an exceptional contingent from the Louvre, Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason explores the artist’s inventive and highly original draftsmanship and places his work in the context of the artistic and intellectual activity in Paris at the dawn of a new century. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will provide the first comprehensive account of Gillot's career. For more information, call (917) 805-4128.
Potter & Potter Auctions has announced that James Gannon has joined the company as Senior Consultant to its Fine Books & Manuscripts Department. This department has experienced unprecedented growth over the past two years, regularly delivers seven figure results, and has established many new global sales records. With Gannon's appointment, the company intends to leverage that energy, further expand its offerings and expertise, and become the first choice for consignors looking to buy and sell world-class books, manuscripts, ephemera, and related materials.
Gannon began his association with books in 1990 as a specialist at the Heritage Book Shop in Los Angeles. He was named …more
Freeman’s November 15 Books and Manuscripts: Rare Americana auction featured the $2,389,500 sale (est. $1 - 1.5 million) of the letter George Washington sent to Thomas Jefferson announcing the Constitution’s completion, one day following its adoption by the Constitutional Convention.
“We’re thrilled by the sale of Washington’s letter to Jefferson, and so is the consignor,” says Darren Winston, Head of Freeman’s Books and Manuscripts department. “It’s always really exciting to bring rare documents like this to market, but especially—as in this case—when the letter is so deeply connected to the founding of the nation.”
At the time of the Constitution’s signing, Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence, was representing America in France. The Constitutional Convention was sworn to secrecy in the summer of 1787, but Washington was eager to pass the news along to Jefferson as soon as the landmark document was signed.
In this way, the letter not only reflects the high regard in which Washington held Jefferson, it also provides a critical link between two of the nation’s founders and offers a window into a world where breaking news could take weeks or months to arrive.
The remarkable sale, held in the midst of American election season, confirms Freeman’s pride of place in bringing foundational early American letters and documents to market. The $2.4M sale of this rare letter on Tuesday is one of a series of Freeman’s recent successes presenting such material at auction, including the $1.8M sale of a 1776 letter announcing America’s independence, to the state of Georgia, signed by John Hancock and the …more
Old Editions (954 Oliver St in North Tonawanda, NY (near Niagara Falls) is one of the country’s largest antiquarian bookstores—with 35,000 square feet of retail, gallery and warehouse space—there’s much more there than one might expect. In addition to a very large stock of antiquarian and rare books, they offer prints, posters, artwork, collectible magazines, comics, postcards, vinyl recordings, and memorabilia.
Ron Cozzi, the owner of Old Editions, started out in a second floor location he called the Buffalo Book Studio in late 1974. Within days of the opening a natural disaster in the form of a serious blizzard blanketed the area, the National Guard and Army Reserves were called in to rescue life, limb and property, and Ron was shut out of his newly-opened shop for 3 months. An unusual beginning for any business. They can be reached at (716) 842-1734 and a selection of recent acquistions or other noteworthy or outstanding items can be found on their e-Bay page.
PRB&M (Phildadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts) is now entirely devoted to IRS qualified and other appraisals, collection building consultation, and to limited, private bookselling by direct offer only. Founded as a strictly antiquarian rare bookselling concern in 1984, PRB&M joined the Antiquarian Booksellers Association in 1985, executed its first major appraisals in 1991, established its website in 1997, created its range-expanding "Sessabks" in 2001, and welcomed visitors by appointment at The Arsenal between 2006 and 2021.
Since 1 January 2022, that long experience has been brought to bear in service of their clients' needs in newly focused & still evolving ways. For more information please call (215) 744-6734 or visit their website.
An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere... 1773, 1777, 1785. Ten volumes, (nine quarto volumes plus one folio atlas volume) all bound uniformly in contemporary tree calf with elaborately gilt-decorated spines with raised bands and red and green morocco spine labels interspersed with gilt stamped image of Cook's ship the Endeavour or Resolution. Volumes have been expertly re-backed... (continue reading)
Dollfus, Charles and Henri Bouche. Historie de L'Aeronautique. Paris, Societe Nationale des Entreprises de Presse, 1942. Large heavy folio (12 x 15"), 630 pages in six chapters (pre 1843, 1843-1900, 1900-1914, war 1914-1918, 1929-1932, 1932-1938), heavily illustrated with fantastic photos and illustrations, French text. Useful tables in the back including a chronology of aviation, 100 of the first deaths in aviation, Aero Club of France first brevets by name and number 1-100 (Bleriot #`1, Wright Bros #14 & 15). About good-very good, small cover rubs and bumps. $345.00 (continue reading...)
Hemingway, Ernest. The Nick Adams Stories. New York: Scribner's Sons, (1972). First edition. Twenty-four stories, including eight previously unpublished ones. (and) A Farewell to Arms. New York: Scribner's Sons, 1929. First edition. One of Hemingway's most influential works. First printing with publisher's seal and without the disclaimer. In dust jacket with "Katherine" for "Catherine" on front flap (as in the first five printings). 9vo black cloth boards with gold-foil printed labels. Very good with only light offsets along inner hinges and wear to cloth at base of spine but covers and labels clean and bright; in somewhat darkened, about very good dust jacket with shallow chipping and internal archival tape repairs to splits at spine folds...(continue reading)
Gibson's Books in Owens Cross Roads in northern Alabama offers a general stock of books and periodicals in a variety of subjects, especially books (and) magazines about books. They have an extensive stock of back issues of Book Source Monthly and Book Source Magazine, from the period before May/June 2013, when we discontinued printing this magazine in hard copy. (see more)
Freeman’s September 21 Books and Manuscripts auction inaugurated Freeman’s fall season with the remarkable $277,200 sale of New Englands First Fruits. The extremely rare first edition includes the first printed account of Harvard University—and garnered considerable interest in the September 21 auction, with competitive bidding driving the sale price more than nine times above its pre-sale high estimate of $30,000.
“We’re thrilled by the successful sale of New Englands First Fruits, and so is the consignor,” says Darren Winston, Head of Freeman’s Books and Manuscripts department. “This is the first copy to be offered at auction in over 20 years, and today’s result confirms the market demand for this material, setting a new world auction record for the title.”
In addition to New Englands First Fruits, a rare and beautiful first edition of L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—made famous by the 1939 classic film starring Judy Garland—achieved $37,800, more than tripling its pre-sale high estimate of $8,000-12,000.
“Several important Americana manuscripts and documents likewise commanded competitive bidding wars, resulting in sale prices that far exceeded estimates—including the Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a scarce copy that achieved $27,720 against the estimate of $1,500-2,500. A 1738 colonial treatise on paper money sold for $21,420 (estimate: $1,000-1,500), and a very rare 1683 document issued to the very first purchaser of Pennsylvania land sold for $20,160 (estimate: $5,000-8,000).
“We’re now turning our attention to our November 15 Books and Manuscripts: Rare Americana auction,” said Darren Winston, “which builds on the department’s recent successes in bringing rare, foundational items to market, including the $4.42 million sale of a …more
The Morgan Library & Museum presents She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400-2000 B.C opening October 14, 2022, and running through February 19, 2023. The exhibition brings together for the first time a comprehensive selection of artworks that capture the rich and shifting expressions of women’s lives in ancient Mesopotamia during the late fourth and third millennia BC. It centers on the high priestess and poet Enheduanna (ca. 2300 BC), the world’s first author known by name, who wielded considerable religious and political power.
Displaying a spectacular collection of her texts alongside other works made circa 3400–2000 BC, She Who Wrote celebrates Enheduanna’s poetry and her legacy as an author, priestess, and woman while bearing testament to women’s roles in religious, social, economic, and political contexts—as goddesses, priestesses, worshippers, mothers, workers, and rulers.
Enheduanna received her name, which means in Sumerian “high priestess, ornament of heaven”, upon her appointment to the temple of the moon god in Ur, a city in southern Mesopotamia, in present-day Iraq. The daughter of the Akkadian king Sargon (ca. 2334–2279 BC), Enheduanna left an indelible mark on the world of literature by composing extraordinary works in Sumerian. Her poetry reflected her devotion to the goddess of sexual love and warfare—Inanna in Sumerian, Ishtar in Akkadian. Whereas much of ancient Mesopotamian literature is unattributed, Enheduanna introduced herself by name and included autobiographical details in several poems. Her passionate voice had a lasting impact in Mesopotamia, as her writings continued to be copied in scribal schools for centuries after she died.
In addition to texts by Enheduanna, She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400- 2000 B.C includes works referring to …more
Same goes for any war. When Gilbert a'Beckett was writing his comic histories (England, Rome, etc.) one has to wonder what was going through his mind. In a comic history of anything, most writers and readers understand it involves a lot of selective historical amnesia, mood-altering tricks and other forms of cover-up. But passage of time softens a lot of things – we remember getting mail from Hastings (Sussex) years ago, with part of the postmark reading “Hastings – popular with tourists since 1066”. Although I could imagine a'Beckett writing that, I doubt if he would have wanted to handle the circumstances surrounding the death of Edward II (father of the great Edward III) whose general ineptitude and poor judgment, unduly influenced by his preoccupation and infatuation with Hugh Despenser (the younger), ultimately led to his execution. In those days …more
The U.S. Election of 2016 was a game-changer for all sorts of reasons. To say the populist revolt came as a surprise to party regulars across the political spectrum is an obvious understatement, but the resulting emotional meltdown by people still in shock over the shifting loyalty and unexpected response of traditional working class voters (many of whom had supported Democrats since the Great Depression of the 1930s), only shows that it pays to do your homework. People who follow this column will recall that in July of 2016 we explained some of the reasons why Trump would perform bigly¹ in the 2016 general election. What follows is some observation and analysis that may contribute towards an understanding of recent trends. Or maybe not.
Party labels are just that – labels and nothing more. People who make a living seeking and trying to hold on to public office sometimes learn, to their annoyance, that …more
(Review of "Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice")
[Ed. Note - This review was first published here in Book Source Magazine several years ago. In light of recent events, I think we can agree that plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.]
According to the experience of most booksellers I know, Amazon and the internet have nearly trashed the antiquarian book trade – and in order to survive many independent booksellers have become data-entry catalogers for the online giants. I think it was at least twelve years ago when I first heard someone's opinion that antiquarian book-selling had become a rat race to the bottom.
And then there's the crazy pricing. Many of us have seen identical copies of the same title offered on-line for anywhere from 99¢ to $100,000, so when recently published books, especially good ones, become remaindered for whatever reason there are often incredible bargains to be had.
Once in a fit of temporary madness I bought a case or two of Geoffrey Wawro's Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East (New York, Penguin, 2010) on the internet (Biblio). Written by a professor of military history at the University of North Texas and published at $37.95, the three or four dollars a copy I paid was actually cheaper than the paperback version, and missionary-like I offered to sell them at cost to anyone interested in the the Middle East. I had already read the book and naïvely thought others would jump at the chance – I thought wrong and except for the two copies I sold and three others given away to friends, I still have most of the shipment.
In 2014 another controversial book was published that explored corruption and obstruction of justice within the Department of Justice. The title, appropriately enough, is Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice (Dallas, Brown Publishing Group, 2014), by Sidney Powell. According to her bio “Sidney Powell served in the Department of Justice for ten years” and for twenty years has been a federal appeals attorney. Also, “She was the youngest Assistant United States Attorney in the country and the youngest elected fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, for which she also served as President”.
Much of the book explores in excruciating detail the Federal prosecutions that grew out of the Enron collapse in the early years of the new century (and) the 2008 prosecution, conviction, and ultimate acquittal and exoneration of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. (The Stevens case came at a politically convenient time that changed the balance of power in the Senate). In all high profile prosecutions, the cost of providing an adequate defense places an immense economic burden on the accused, and in a Gogolesque scenario, when threatened with financial ruin many defendants have struck immunity deals and have become witnesses for the prosecution, telling the court what they've been instructed to say, even if they absolutely know it to be untrue or misleading. …more
Back of Beyond Books (God’s Navel, Utah). Specializing in Western Americana and the human and natural history of the Colorado Plateau since 1990. Always discovering new rare finds. (Rare and Collectible Inventory)
D & D Galleries (P.O. Box 8413, Somerville, NJ). Founded in 1985, with specialties in British and American literature. Eclectic inventory (mostly English language) ranges from the 15th through the 20th centuries with sub-specialties in Fine Bindings, S.T.C. and Wing books, Lewis Carroll (C. L. Dodgson), Charles Dickens, presentation and association material as well as 17th and 18th century British history. Members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, and the Provincial Bookfair Association of Great Britain. Tel: (908) 904-1314.(Featured Selections)
Early Aeronautica (Midland, MI). Vintage books, documents & ephemera relating to early aviation. Tel: (989) 835-3908; (520) 373-2622 (Newest Arrivals)
Gibson's Books (3137 Old Highway 431, Owens Cross Roads, AL). Large stock, specializing in local and southern history, including Civil War, Southern fiction, cookery & ephemera. Also, back issues of Book Source Monthly/Book Source Magazine from 1985-2013. Tel: (256) 316-0054. (Newest Arrivals)
Old Editions (954 Oliver St., North Tonawanda, NY). Rare & Antiquarian Books, Paper & Ephemera/Prints, Posters & Original Art Works. One of the largest antiquarian bookstores in New York State. Tel: (716) 842-1734. (Featured Selections)
Quill & Brush (Middletown, MD). Specialists in first edition literature, mysteries, poetry & collectible books in all fields. Authors of well-known books on book collecting & compilers of over 200 individual Author Price Guides. Visit us on the web, or in person by appointment. Tel: (301) 874-3200. (Newest Arrivals)
R & A Petrilla, Booksellers. (P.O. Box 306, Roosevelt, NJ). Established 1970. Online since 1995. Trading in unusual books, documents, and manuscripts in various fields of interest, including farm life.(New Arrivals)
W.H. Adams, Antiquarian Books (Hobart, NY). General antiquarian with emphasis on England and early classics. Located in the Book Village of Hobart in the Catskills. Tel: (607) 538-9080. (Newest Arrivals or...)
On June 21 and 22, Hindman Auctions’ American Historical Ephemera & Photography sale realized $989,781. The Civil War and American Militaria Collection of Bruce B. Hermann was the focal point of the auction, with bidders eagerly competing. Rare military uniforms were among standout lots offered on the second day of the sale, while outstanding Civil War era and 19th century photographs highlighted the first day of the auction.
On June 22, Hindman presented the Civil War and American Militaria portion of the collection, which achieved an impressive sell-through rate of 96 percent. Hermann has an extensive background in American and Western European military history, with more than 30 years of experience collecting and dealing in 16th to 20th century militaria. Hermann also served as an appraiser on the PBS series The Antiques Roadshow for 11 seasons.
Standout lots included a Uniform of the "Cladek Zouaves," identified to Private Alfred T. Brophy, Co. K, 35th New Jersey Infantry (lot 370) which exceeded its estimate of $9,000-12,000 to sell for $20,000. The uniform highlighted a notable selection of lots related to the Zouave regiments.
A collection of items attributed to Thomas W. Johnson, Co. K, 4th Delaware Infantry, including a frock coat, cap, belt rig, and cartridge box was another noteworthy lot, achieving $10,635. An archive identified to Brigadier General Lansing B. Swan, including a New York militia frock coat, belt, epaulettes, and daguerreotype exceeded its estimate, selling for $8,125 against a presale estimate of $4,000-6,000.
Military headgear was also among top performers from the Hermann Collection, including a 4th Rhode Island Infantry kepi identified to Captain Martin Page Buffum, POW at Petersburg which realized $7,500 and a Model 1832 U.S. Infantry Shako for enlisted soldier, which sold for $6,875.
Emerging as the top lot of the first day of the auction was the Rosborough family archive, which sold for $37,500 against a presale estimate of $15,000-25,000. The archive included letters relating to the California Gold Rush, the Modoc War, the Klondike Gold Rush, and early settlement and mining operations in Idaho Territory, Utah Territory, Nevada, and …more
[Ed. Note - The following is a book review and announcement of the last issue of Book Source Magazine that would appear in “print-on-paper” format (May/June, 2013). Parts of the magazine were ultimately sold off to another publication and we continue to publish on-line to the present day. A small stock of back issues were taken to the Cooperstown Antiquarian Book Fair the weekend of June 25th where they were available free of charge.]
I've been reading Robert Massie's Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War (New York: Random House, 1991) for much of the winter – it's not because I'm a slow reader, but Massie's ability to breathe so much life into the history he knows so intimately makes the reader want to take plenty of time to absorb and reflect on what's been read. I wouldn't rush through one of Massie's books any more than I'd down a glass of the best oloroso or cortado Spanish sherry as if it were a pint of draft Yuengling. Nothing against Yuengling – it's probably my favorite non-pretentious go-to lager.
The parallel narratives, from both the English and German perspectives, relying heavily on letters, journals, contemporary accounts and earlier histories, focus on the late Victorian and Edwardian periods when ship design and construction methods were changing radically, naval tactics were undergoing a major rethinking, and all of it happening in …more
The unfortunate legacy of the 2020 election and the way it was carrried out is the partisan divide that remains as bitter and uncompromising as I've ever seen it, even though a lot of folks declare themselves positioned somewhere between the angry rhetoric of the far right and the sanctimonious ignorance of the far left.
Many on the left seem to find it easier to participate in the empty ritual of “virtue" signalling, rather than spend time and effort sifting through information from a variety of sources, think deeply about matters of sound public policy, and then decide for themselves what is truly virtuous. And many on the right tend to share inflammatory memes that are tiresome and tedious, even when sometimes true. Add to this the continual stoking of group identity discontent and you have the dangerous stuff of which civil wars are made.
[Personal note: I have it on pretty good authority that civil war can be a rather nasty way to sort out political differences, except perhaps, for the policy-makers and planners who promote and profit from the exercise while making sure people other than themselves are the ones trying to survive on the battlefield. According to letters from one of my great grandfathers who in 1862 was a member of the 44th regiment (company B) of New York's Volunteer Infantry, the battle at Antietam on September 17, 1862, was not a pleasant day's outing. Older family members recalled he didn't talk about it much in later years.]
The nation's old melting pot theory, formalized in Latin as “e pluribus unum” by Adams, Jefferson et al. and expanded on based on the early observations of Crèvecoeur, Tocqueville and others, is now not only no longer fashionable, but often disparaged by political opportunists who discovered they can profit politically by dividing people according to ethnicity, race or national origin, often inventing and exaggerating distinctions where none had consciously existed before. Carried to the extreme, it has become formalized as group identity politics or critical race theory (a subset of critical theory) and is reflected in all areas and levels of government, school curricula, media, entertainment and public planning. It has been routinely exploited as a means to reinforce government control over peoples' lives.
About thirty years ago eminent mid-century American historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. had a lot to say on the subject in his The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society. In it he begins with …more