American History: Up for Sale on the 10th

- by Bruce E. McKinney

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Opportunities on the 10th

Swann Galleries

New York

Sale 2324

 

There are auctions and there are auctions.  Some matter more than others.  Some matter more than most.  If you are an Americana collector Swann’s sale of printed and manuscript material is that rare sale that contains hundreds of obscure and interesting items with estimates that are modest.  They offer such sales periodically and consistently sell more than 80%.  This sale has the potential to reach 90%.  For Swann its good business, for the future of paper collectibles the opportunity for new collectors to join the fray, for emerging collectors to intensify their focuses, and for serious collectors to consider material they rarely see.  This sale will attract intense interest.

Part of the appeal is the array of formats.  Broadsides and wanted posters are as welcome as rare maps.  Manuscript accounts, many of them intensely interesting, are sprinkled throughout the 379 lots.  There are early children’s books and an 1814 broadside printing of the Star Spangled Banner.  There are murder accounts and a sammelband of 128 Lincoln’s speeches.  Buffalo, New York, that was once the thriving western entrance and outlet of the Erie Canal sees a search of its name yield a rare concentration of possibilities.

 

Here are some randomly selected items drawn from the entire sale:

 

Lot 204

Defence of fort M’Henry

EARLY BROADSIDE PRINTING OF THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER [KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT.] Defence of Fort M'Henry.Letterpress handbill, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches; three pieces of clear tape in margins; minor folds and foxing; untrimmed; two contemporary pencil signatures of "Sam Hays" in lower margin. Np: "For sale at the office of the Chronicle," [1814]

 

Lot 214a

POSSIBLY THE FIRST PAMPHLET PRINTING OF THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS [LINCOLN, ABRAHAM.] Everett, Edward. An Oration Delivered on the Battlefield of Gettysburg.Plan of the cemetery on page [32]. 48 pages. 8vo, publisher's limp cloth gilt, minor spotting and wear; hinges split, minor foxing, minimal dampstaining on top edge, 2 pencil corrections made to Everett's speech on page 24. New York: Baker & Godwin, 1863

Estimate $20,000 - 30,000 

 

Lot 215

VERY EARLY PRINTING OF THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. 2 printed pages, 13 x 8 1/4 inches, on one folding sheet; stab holes in margins, minor soiling and a spot of dampstaining along the lower margin; signed in type by Lincoln and William H. Seward, with a printed transmittal note on second page addressed in manuscript and signed by William H. Seward as Secretary of State. [Washington], 3 January 1863

Estimate $15,000 - 25,000 

 

Lot 219

LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. A bound compilation of political speeches and tracts, including Lincoln's inaugural and Cooper Union speeches. 128 pamphlets in one volume. 8vo, contemporary 1/2 calf, moderate wear; intermittent foxing; early Australian bookplate and later notes on front pastedown. Vp, 1856-61

Estimate $600 – 900

 

Lot 225

(MARITIME.) [Applebee, Mary.] A Narrative of the Wreck of the Schooner New Connecticut on Lake Erie. Illustrated title page. 14 pages. 8vo, stitched; dampstained, worn, crudely trimmed touching three letters; modern bookplate on verso of title page. Buffalo, NY: H.A. Salisbury, 1834

Estimate $300 - 400

 

Lot 231

(MARITIME.) Witted, James G. A Particular Account of the Loss of the Packet Ship L.Z. of New York. 48 pages. 8vo, original printed wrappers, moderate soiling and wear; foxing; early gift inscription on verso of title page, modern bookplate on inside front wrapper. Buffalo, NY: Jewett, Thomas & Co., 1850

Estimate $200 - 300 

 

Lot 247

(NATURAL HISTORY.) Hough, Romeyn Beck. The American Woods, Volumes I through XII (of 14), and The American Woods, Commercial Woods, Volumes I and II. Together, 14 slipcases, containing a total of 14 descriptive pamphlets and 1062 wood samples mounted in 354 cards. 8vo, publisher's cloth, moderate wear, the final 2 cases in 1/2 morocco as issued, upper backstrip worn on Volume X, lacking clasps on Volumes I and X; the sample cards generally quite well preserved, a few wood samples with minor splits or chips; the first 12 volumes with original owner's full or partial paper spine labels and bookplates. Lowville, NY, 1893-1916

Estimate $8,000 - 12,000 

 

Lot 248

(NATURAL HISTORY.) Peale, Rembrandt. Account of the Skeleton of the Mammoth, a Non-Descript Carnivorous Mammal of Immense Size found in America. 16mo, disbound and resewn; tightly trimmed, minimal dampstaining. London, 1802

Estimate $600 - 900 

 

Lot 257

(NEW YORK.) Hosack, David. Memoir of De Witt Clinton. Hand-colored map of the Erie Canal, 2 plates. 4to, contemporary 1/2 morocco, moderate wear; large-paper copy; foxing, redolent of fine cigars; signed gift inscription on half-title from the author to Secretary of the Treasury Richard Rush. Howes H654; Sabin 33088. New York, 1829

Estimate $300 - 400

 

Lot 258

(NEW YORK.) Colden, Cadwallader D. Memoir . . . of the Completion of the New York Canals, bound with the 1826 appendix as issued. 5 maps, 40 plates, 8 facsimile plates. 4to, 1/4 calf, attractively rebacked over early marbled boards; minor foxing, closed tears to both folding colored maps; inked owner's stamps on title page, page 101, and the verso of the first map. New York, 1825-26

Estimate $1,000 - 1,500 

This volume was issued to commemorate the opening of the canal. A grand celebration was held in which a bottle of water from Lake Erie was poured into the Atlantic. Among the facsimile letters are responses to the committee from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, just weeks before their deaths. Howes C562 ("aa"); Sabin 14279. with--engraved invitation to the Canal Celebration Ball, 7 November 1825, completed in manuscript.

 

Lot 304

(SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING.) Greatest Wonder of the Age! Prof. Morse's Electro Magnetic Telegraph!! Letterpress broadside, 8 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches; minor toning, laid down on later board; date completed in manuscript. Albany, NY, 6 February 1845

Estimate $500 - 750 

 

And there is more.  Bystanders who may wonder what is interesting about American history can, in this sale, see first hand why so many scholars, institutions, collectors and dealers find the material fascinating.

 

Flickering Images:

21.   Rinehart photograph

41.   Officer's diary and portrait

129.  Bottomly CW Archive

178.  India Ghristina

197.  1683 Hennepin

203.  Kennedy memoir

293.  Haymarket martyrs

327.  Sumner portrait

356.  Whaling log

383.  Gage Narrative 

 

Links:

 

To AE auction search

 

 

To the Swann Catalogue

 

 

Swann contact info:

Rick Statler

212 254-4710, Ext. 27

rstatler@swanngalleries.com