Here are some of our most RECENT ACQUISITIONS available for purchase:
A Complete Set in Parts
U. Piper. The Trees of America (Boston: Piper/Williams, 1855/1858). Quartos. Four parts (all published) in tinted wrappers. Wrappers good with edge wear and spotting, except for back wrapper of part four, which is well tattered. Wrapper for part two lacking, provided in facsimile. Contents near fine, with occasional foxing and ghosting. All fourteen plates present (thirteen trees and a full-page frontis). SOLD
U. Piper, M.D., of Woburn, Massachusetts, was a medical man with pronounced artistic abilities. Previously to his Trees of America project, he was known for his “exquisitely colored“ illustrations in Joseph Maclise’s Surgical Anatomy (1853), as well as his tinted transfers of the frost-work on windows. For his magnum opus, he intended to issue a work of incalculable value to arborists, horticulturists, naturalist, and historians — a massive compendium of engravings and essays on distinctive American trees. In the prospectus he wrote: “The subscriber proposes to publish a work on trees of this country, accompanied with steel engravings of such trees as are of interest, on account of their size and history. Like their compatriots, the Soldiers of the Revolution, many of these venerable trees will soon have passed away, and it seems an object of much interest to preserve their memory for the future.“ The work was projected to be issued in quarterly parts, each part containing at least three plates. The first part, self-published in 1855, contained descriptions and engravings of the so-named Great Redwood, California; the Assabet Oak, Stowe, Mass.; and the Avery Elm, Stratham, N.H. The New England Farmer’s reaction to the new work was typical: “Dr. R. U. Piper, of Woburn, Mass., has issued the first number of a work of surpassing interest and beauty. It is in quarto form, printed on fine, heavy paper, with large and handsome type, and illustrated with beautiful vignettes …. Dr. Piper is a genius.“ In addition to recording what “will soon have passed away,“ Piper was among the earliest voices for conservation, using the work to make an extended appeal for forest protection and for the planting of trees. He wrote: “In our enjoyment of the present we are apt to forget that we cannot without sin neglect to provide for those who are to come after us.“ Unfortunately, the interest generated could not sustain the project. After two parts were issued in 1855, the project languished for two years. Then the publisher, A. Williams of Boston, expressed interest and Piper issued two more parts in the same format as the first two. Still, support proved meager and the project was finally abandoned. Complete sets are rare, none appearing on the auction market since 1929.
A Playful Scrapbook by a Youthful Berryman
Clifford Berryman. A 30-page 1890s sketchbook (a repurposed autograph book) (along with) a cabinet card photograph of Berryman’s sister-in-law, for whom the sketchbook was drawn. Oblong 12mo. Covers well worn. Contents VG+, stains, toning. $1,250
Berryman married Kate Geddes Durfee in 1893 and presented this sketchbook to Kate’s sister Hallie in late 1894. It opens with a drawing of Hallie herself and closes with one of her sister Kate holding a rolling pin and labeled “Dear Hallie – This page is respectfully dedicated to my wife. C.K.B.” The other sketches are of comic types, folks and places in Virginia, where the Berrymans and Durfees vacationed, one of Cleveland and Senator David Hill (fictitiously autographed), one of an artist drawing a landscape with a bespectacled bear looking over his shoulder, etc. Berryman went on to a distinguished career, first at the Washington Post and then at the Washington Star, where he won a Pulitzer prize. He also created the image of the bear cub that served as the inspiration for the Teddy Bear. Unique.
Two Bird’s Eyes by the Great O. H. Bailey
H. Bailey (1843-1947) was one of the most prolific of the bird’s eye view artists. Reps said of him: “During a career that spanned fifty-six years, Oakley Hoopes Bailey produced about 375 recorded city views, an achievement surpassed only by his longtime friend and sometime associate, Thaddeus M. Fowler.” Bailey began his career in the midwest in 1871 and moved to Boston in 1875. Reps says from 1874 to 1877, “Bailey’s name appears on prints, with only a few exceptions, as both artist and publisher.” These two prints are such exceptions. He continued producing bird’s eye views until 1926, long after all of his competitors had vacated the field. In 1930, at the age of 87, he dispelled the notion that bird’s eye artists used hot air balloons. He said in a published interview that each drawing “involved a vast amount of painstaking detail hand work, as each job required…going along every street and sketching in the buildings, trees and other objects so as to make a complete and accurate view.” The heyday of the bird’s eye view was the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They are remarkable documents of an America on the cusp of extraordinary change.
H. Bailey. Bird’s Eye View of Clinton, Mass. 1876 (Milwaukee: C. G. Vogt, 1876) Image: 18.5″ x 27″. Mat: 26.5″ x 33″. Multi-tinted lithograph. VG+ with a few repaired short tears. $1,250
H. Bailey. View of New Britain, Conn. 1875 (Milwaukee: C. G. Vogt, 1875) Image: 20″ x 25.75″. Mat: 26.5″ x 32″. Multi-tinted lithograph. VG- with a few repaired tears, a few light stains to the sky, and discoloration and wear to margins. $1,000
A Very Complete Run, from Preview Issue to Annual
Flair Magazine (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (February 1950) to Vol. 2, No. 6 (January 1951), comprising 12 issues, a complete run, in original wrappers. Small folios. Covers VG+ to near fine (four have chipping to spines and two of those have minor cover flaws). Contents near fine. Included with this set is a copy of the rare preview issue published in September 1949 (soiling and chipping to covers), two Flair publisher’s binders, a gift subscription acknowledgment greeting card, and a near fine copy of the Flair Annual 1953, a hardback successor to the monthly magazine, which was only published once. $500
In the introduction to her new magazine, editor Fleur Cowles (the wife of John Cowles, the publisher of Look) wrote, “I have longed to introduce a magazine daring enough…to combine, for the first time under one set of covers, the best in the arts: literature, fashion, humor, decoration, travel, and entertainment. [Flair] is proof that a magazine need not be stolidly frozen to a familiar format. Flair can, and will, vary from issue to issue…assuring you that most delicious of all rewards – a sense of surprise….” The first issue features fiction by Tennessee Williams and Angus Wilson, a “Letter to Americans” by Jean Cocteau, and appreciation of Cocteau by WH Auden, and more, all presented on a variety of paper stocks, with inserts, cut-outs, and foldouts throughout the magazine. Later issues include contributions by Margaret Mead, Salvador Dali, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, John O’Hara, Katherine Anne Porter, Theodore Roethke, Gypsy Rose Lee, Walker Evans, Mary Lee Settle, Clare Booth Luce, Eleanor Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, and others. Flair was one of the splashiest, most intriguing magazines of the post-War period. This is a nice set.
A Scarce Anti-Jackson Cartoon
Anon. The Golden Age or How to Restore Pub[l]ic Credit (probably New York: probably 1833-34). Image: 10″ x 17″. Mat: 15″ x 22″. Lithograph. VG+, evenly toned, tears and loss to edges not affecting image. $1,200
This cartoon depicts Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren trampling on the U.S. Constitution while walking beside a wagon full of money labeled “salary for foreign ministers” being pulled by administration men Roger Taney and Amos Kendall as oxen. They travel through a devastated landscape of collapsing houses and beggars. Weitenkampf dates this cartoon as being from 1837, the New York Historical Society dates it from 1836, and Harvard dates it from 1833. The Harvard date is the most likely, because Jackson is clearly the more dominant character here, with his vice president, Van Buren, in a subordinate role. And Jackson carries a quill labeled “veto”, which undoubtedly refers to his 1832 veto of the U. S. Bank recharter, which led to a tightened money supply and widespread financial distress. Also, Taney was Treasury Secretary in 1833-34, whereas in 1836-37 he was serving as chief justice on the Supreme Court. Oddly, in 1953 Weitenkampf listed five institutional holdings: the American Antiquarian Society, the Boston Public Library, the Harvard library, the New York Historical Society, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Checking their catalogues today, only the Library Company appears to have a copy.
A Complete Run Covering the 1840 Presidential Campaign
The Log Cabin (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (May 2, 1840) to NS. Vol. 1, No. 4 (December 26, 1840), comprising a total of 32 issues, a complete run for the year, housed in a custom-made portfolio. Folios. Portfolio as new. Contents VG, with occasional foxing, staining to some of the nameplates, a pinhole through the log cabin image and archival repairs to the spines. $1,800
The Log Cabin was Horace Greeley’s first entry into national politics, publishing what became acknowledged as the official organ of the 1840 Harrison presidential campaign. With Greeley as editor and publisher, it quickly established itself as the most influential of the campaign newspapers from that year, reaching an astounding national circulation of 80,000. It took its title and masthead imagery from the first comprehensively merchandised symbol in American politics. The paper contained reports on the speeches and policies of soon-to-be president William Henry Harrison, as well as entertaining campaign news from around the country. Greeley published the final number of the newspaper on November 9th, but then resurrected it in December to supply detailed information on how the nation voted, state by state. The newspaper lasted into 1841, but with the death of Harrison in April and Tyler’s ascendancy, it lacked a distinct purpose and was merged into his New York Tribune.
A Very Early Image of a Skier
Dan Smith. Christmas Herald Out Next Sunday (New York: New York Herald, 1899). 22.75″ x 15.5″. Broadsheet. Near fine, with light horizontal crease and minor chip to lower right margin. $100
Skiing was just gaining popularity in the United States when this beautiful full-page, full-color newspaper illustration was drawn by Dan Smith (1865-1934), the talented journeyman artist whose work appeared in numerous magazines and books around the turn of the century. The sport had been brought to this country by Scandinavians who settled in the upper midwest. Though the first ski jumping competition in America was held in 1888 (in Ishpeming, Michigan, Will Bradley’s hometown), the sport was slow to gain traction, unlike bicycling and golfing during the same period. The National Ski Association of America wasn’t even founded until 1904. This image is so scarce that it was unknown to Gary Schwartz when he published his valuable The Art of Skiing 1856-1936 (1989). Handsome.
America’s Great Sporting and Tall Tales Newspaper
The Spirit of the Times (New York)
The Spirit of the Times was the premiere American sporting journal of the 19th century. It was so good, in fact, that there were three distinct publications bearing the name “Spirit of the Times.” The original Spirit of the Times was founded in 1831 and edited for twenty-five years by William T Porter. Porter was a fine editor, who worked hard to gather sporting news from around the nation, particularly from the South, where horseracing was a way of life. The Spirit also did a creditable job covering the New York theater. Jacksonian era entertainment was stratifying by class, however, and the Spirit eventually discontinued its coverage of Bowery and Chatham Garden theatres regarding their offerings as “illegitimate drama.” When the bottom fell out of high-stakes horse-breeding in the late thirties, Porter expanded the literary contents of the Spirit and made it known that tales of sporting and adventure were welcome in its pages. As a consequence, the Spirit became the home of tall-tale humor epitomized by the classic story “The Big Bear of Arkansas.” No other periodical of the 1840s was known for native American humor as much as was the Spirit of the Times. It might even be said that its reputation as a sporting magazine was eclipsed by its reputation as a repository of tall-tale humor. Spirit of the Times fiction was so popular that it prompted Porter to edit two anthologies of stories from its pages, The Big Bear of Arkansas (1845) and A Quarter Race in Kentucky (1847). Whichever you prefer, sporting news or American humor, the title is loaded with both. Porter, who had lost financial control of the paper in 1843, decided in 1856 to join with George Wilkes to found Porter’s Spirit of the Times. When Porter died in 1858, his shares in the second Spirit fell into the hands of a New York lawyer. In very short time, Wilkes was quarrelling with his new partner. So in 1859 he established his own journal Wilkes’ Spirit of the Times, making three Spirits being published simultaneously. Both the original Spirit and Porter’s Spirit were, by this time, limping along. Because the majority of their subscribers were Southerners, the outbreak of the Civil War — which made it treasonous to trade with the enemy — sealed their fates. By the end of 1861, Wilkes’ Spirit absorbed his two older competitors and galloped along at a fair clip until 1903. Pre-War volumes of any of the Spirits are scarce.
The Spirit of the Times. Vol. XI, No. 1 (March 6, 1841) to No. 52 (February 26, 1842), comprising 52 issues, a full year, bound in leather and marbled boards. Folio. Index in rear. Binding VG+, edge wear. Contents near fine, white and fresh. SOLD
The Spirit of the Times. Vol. XII, No. 1 (March 5, 1842) to No. 52 (February 25, 1843), comprising 52 issues, a full year, bound in leather and marbled boards. Folio. Index in rear. Binding VG, scuffed, edge wear. Leather gone from bottom 2” of spine. Contents near fine, white and fresh. SOLD
The Spirit of the Times. Vol. XIII, No. 1 (March 4, 1843) to No. 52 (February 24, 1844), comprising 52 issues, a full year, bound in leather and marbled boards. Folio. Index in rear. Binding VG, scuffed, edge wear. Contents near fine, white and fresh. SOLD
The Spirit of the Times. Vol. XIV, No. 1 (March 2, 1844) to No. 52 (February 22, 1845), comprising 51 issues (June 8 issue never bound in), a near-full year, bound in leather and marbled boards. Folio. Index in rear. Binding VG, scuffed, edge wear. Repairs to top and bottom of spine. Contents near fine, white and fresh. SOLD
A Majestic View of the Senate in 1850
James M. Edney. Daniel Webster Addressing the United States Senate, in the Great Debate of the Constitution and the Union 1850 (New York: James M. Edney, 1860). Lithograph. Image: 22″ x 29.75″. Sheet: 28″ x 33.25″. Near fine, backed with archival paper. $800
This impressively large engraving depicts Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster speaking in the Old Senate Chamber on the Compromise of 1850. Webster was known as one of the greatest orators of the Senate and this speech was regarded as his last important one. In an effort to save the Union, in his view, he lent support to a package of bills that included the Fugitive Slave Law. He could not have anticipated the angry backlash this prompted. For many in Massachusetts, his support for the law was unforgivable. The print features a full view of the U.S. Senate chamber in session. At lower right, Daniel Webster stands with raised right hand addressing the Senate. Each senator in attendance is carefully depicted, including Stephen Douglas (to the right of Webster), John C. Calhoun, Vice President Millard Fillmore (presiding at center), and Jefferson Davis. The visitors’ galleries above are full of men and women. The coffered, domed ceiling arches over a portrait of George Washington, an eagle, and the United States shield. A facsimile key to the portraits accompanies the engraving. OCLC locates no copies, but the American Antiquarian Society and the Library of Congress each hold one.