Tag Archives: select acquisitions

Unique? A List for June

Unique.

A compelling word, and one that certainly can, and should, stand on its own, though frequently we find unnecessary modifiers employed to make the unique even more so, if such is at all possible…  more unique, highly unique, uniquely unique….  you get the drift.

So with this in mind then, and without modifying hyperbole, we issue this list for June, wherein each of the 60 items displays an aspect of uniqueness… whether by definition, inscription or perhaps being the only copy on the market.  As is our practice, the list is eclectic in nature-  from air to water, original art to original mss, from Nevada to Massachusetts.  Temporally, the items reach back to the 1770s, and continue on until the mid-20th C.  Prices range from $75 to $7500.

Winning Independence: An Illustrated Address Describing the “Parlor Profession”

Bryant_Winning_ProfessionNiles Bryant, the President & Founder of the Niles Bryant School of Piano Tuning, and enjoys some recognition in the music world for his 1906 publication, Tuning, Care and Repair of Reed and Pipe Organs, which was reissued in 1968 by Vestal Press. “Through the profession of piano tuning, I offer you indestructible resources, good fortune and permanent independence.” So Bryant opens this publication, which is a promotional piece for the profession of piano tuning, and even more specifically, the advantages of attending his school to learn the profession, as well as to puff his invention, “The Tune-a-Phone”. This publication is tot located on OCLC, nor found in the NUC. Details>>

Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Yates, and the Garrick Club Affair

Yates_Thackeray_Garrick_Club_AffairThe notorious quarrel between two of England’s most popular authors began with Yates’ critical review, in Town Talk, of Thackeray’s English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century. Thackeray, as might be expected, was a bit affronted at what he viewed as a slanderous insult by this fellow member of the Garrick Club; believing much of Yates’ information came from club meetings, he took his grievance to the club committee. The committee sided with Thackeray and instructed Yates to apologize. Yates refused and was forcibly barred from club premises, subsequently bringing charges against the club Secretary.

Charles Dickens, absent from London as this brouhaha was brewing, returned to find all in full force. He offered to mediate, though primarily siding with Yates, which Thackeray viewed as treachery. The ill feelings between the two did not abate for years, until shortly before Thackeray’s death in 1863. (More about the Garrick Club Affair>>)

Herein Yates recounts the history and evidence of the disagreement, with, not unexpectedly, a bias to his own case. This copy was presented to Edward Bradley, presumed to be the Victorian novelist, who wrote under the pen name Cuthbert M. Bede. Known in Wise facsimiles (cf Todd 425c), the first edition, as here, has been just twice at auction in the last 30+ years, the last being 1977. It’s a rare piece of Dickensiana; this is the first time we’ve ever been able to offer the item. Details>>

Willow Park Water Cure, and Hygienic Institute

On March 1, 1853, John Henry Hero established the Willow Park Water Cure, with himself as proprietor and attending physician, for the treatment of chronic diseases through the “water cure.” Treatments of Swedish movements, light gymnastics, Turkish baths, and inhalations were also employed, to considerable success–though this success did not come without a personal price; as Hero writes in this circular “Friends, it is no small matter, to be thirteen years, day and night, surrounded by sick, nervous, irritable people, demanding our care and sympathies.” Hero seeks a change, and it is to this latter Hero addresses himself in this circular’s holograph letter: “I intend to convert / my Institution into a School / for young Ladies.” Later in the year, Dr. Hero did found the Willow Park Seminary for young women “where the Physical as well as the Intellectual facilities [were] faithfully and equally attended to.” OCLC does not record this particular broadside, though two others are found, each in one copy only. Details>>

Hero_Willow_Park_Water_Cure

BF Keith’s Grand Educational Demonstration

BF_Keith_Grand_Educational_DemonstrationClaude Grahame-White was the Glamour Boy of early aviation, somewhat of a playboy, with no engineering background whatsoever, Grahame-White became enamored of flying when, in 1908, he saw the Wright’s demonstrate their invention to the French crowds at Camp d’Auvours. Within a relatively short time, self-taught, Grahame-White soloed without a formal lesson. He quickly made a name for himself as a dashing aviator. In 1910, JV Martin of the Harvard Aeronautical Society, invited him to compete in the first Boston-Harvard Meet. With the promise of a $50,000 retainer & expenses, Grahame-White accepted. Grahame-White won that one, and others, as he thrilled spectators with his races & aerial exhibitions such as that announced in this “One-man Show” program.

This rare survivor lists the diverse aerial stunts to be performed by Grahame-White during the day… “With the Bleriot Monoplane” includes a dive from 4000 feet “with engine stopped.” “With the Farman Biplane,” the twelve planned events include “Aerial switchback flying”; “The corkscrew glide [spin?] from a high altitude”; and  “Knocking down ninepins placed on the ground, without alighting.” With this sort of exhibition, and his dashing and flamboyant personality, the handsome Grahame-White gave the new aviation field, previously dominated by engineers, something that had been lacking to date: a ‘sexy’ nature. Details>>

Salesman’s Album with Sixty Photographic Images of Indian Motorcycles

This a presumed company-issued production, no doubt targeted for those who already owned an Indian Motorcycle franchise, or generated for traveling company reps, allowing prospective buyers, such as police departments, to view the entire product line. We find no bibliographical record of another such album being offered, and believe the album to have been produced in limited numbers. 

Salesmans_Album_Indian_Motorcycles

 In 1940, Indian sold nearly as many motorcycles as its major rival, Harley-Davidson. At the time, Indian represented the only true American-made heavyweight cruiser alternative to Harley-Davidson. Indian’s most popular models were the Scout, made from 1920 to 1946, and the Chief, made from 1922 to 1953. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt in 1953. Today, the vintage cycle enjoys much popularity amongst enthusiasts, with models from the era displayed herein being offered for five-figure sums. A fascinating and well-preserved original photograph album, which visually documents the late ’30s and early ’40s Indian Motorcycle company, and its impressive product line, as existed during the company’s heyday. Details>>

Correspondence, Including LaGuardia’s Wedding Invitation

Correspondence_Fiorello_LaGuardiaFiorello LaGuardia, or “Little Flower,” is widely regarded as one of the best mayors in New York City history, whose tenure redefined the office. He was the 99th mayor of the “Big Apple”, serving his populace from 1934 to 1945. For those twelve years, the 5’2″, sometimes belligerent, chief executive dominated life in New York City as if he was 7″2′. Unlike many politicians today, he fulfilled many of his pledges, especially the ferreting out of corruption in the city’s government. Such earned him a reputation for placing the city’s interests ahead of political considerations, and in the same vein, although technically a Republican, he worked closely with the New Deal administration of President Franklin Roosevelt to secure funding for large public works projects. These federal subsidies enabled New York City to create a transportation network the envy of the world, and to build parks, low-income housing, bridges, schools, & hospitals. Furthermore, he achieved the unification of the city’s rapid transit system, a goal that had long eluded his predecessors, and he reformed the structure of city government by pushing for a new City Charter. LaGuardia presided over construction of New York City’s first municipal airport on Flushing Bay, later to become his namesake. As a result of all his efforts, LaGuardia’s psychological effect on New York City was nothing short of profound, restoring faith in city government by demanding excellence from civil servants. Details>>

The Life of The Right Honourable Arimanes, Typhon, Thammuz, Beelzebub, Ashmodaus, Sammael, Daemon, Lucifer the Great, of the Dark Infernal Empire Count of Sheol and Gehenna, Baron of Hades &c., &c., &c

Life-Right_Honourable_Beezlebub_LuciferThis eighteenth-century codex is an entirely holograph history of Lucifer, wherein the anonymous author tells us in his Preface, “Lucifer … is a spiritual being. That is true; but far from being considered here in that light, he is represented plainly terrestrial. He is not the Lucifer as Vondel, Milton and Klopstock described him, but exactly as he is shown in magick lanthorns for the amusement of the spectators. … My Lucifer is of Ethereal breed and Ether is and remains material. …. mine is of a persian and chaldean race.”

Though the volume bears no date, it bears the Pro Patria “Maid of Dort” watermark, circa 1760′s. Affixed under the holograph title is an extracted woodcut image [ca 1550, cf. Sebastian MŸnster's "Cosmographia" (1544)] of the ‘God Deumo (Demus or Deumus) of Calicut.’ The volume has a full vellum binding and yapp edges. Details>>

 

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Californiana: A List for April

The 1848 California Gold Rush represented one of the largest migrations in the history of the Americas. Over 300,000 people flocked to the state, both from elsewhere in North America and from overseas. The population swelled; San Francisco, for example, went from a sleepy town of 200 in 1846, to a bustling port city of over 30,000 in 1852. Meanwhile California would not officially become a state until September 9, 1850, following much heated debate from Congress.

Given the state’s rich history, it’s no wonder that California invites so much fascination from book collectors. The Book Club of California, founded in 1912, published over 100 works, most with some collection to the state. Its first publication was indeed California-centric: Robert Cowan’s A Bibliography of the History of California and the Pacific West (1914, with a second edition in 1933). Robert Greenwood was integral to the publication of two other bibliographies, California Imprints, 1833-1862 and An Annotated Bibliography of California Fictions, 1664-1970, published in 1961 and 1971 respectively. Numerous others come to mind, but we’d be remiss not to mention Gary Kurutz’ The California Gold Rush: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1848-1953. Published in 1997, this is a work of truly enviable scholarship. No other state seems to have garnered so much bibliographic attention.

With this in mind, Tavistock Books presents a list of Californiana, with 100 items related to this state anchoring the “left coast.” While the list has many titles that will cite the bibliographies noted above, this isn’t the list focus. Rather, the list offers printed and visual evidence that California is indeed a state that has long fascinated not only book collectors, but the American populace in general.

Items on the list range from the eighteenth to the 21st century. While many are historical in nature, you’ll also find original art, promotional travel pieces, the first California-published miniature, California fiction, and even on of the first California cookbooks. Prices range from $15 to $3,250.

We invite you to browse the entire list! Should you have queries regarding any of the listings, or other offerings you may find on our site, please contact us.

Selected Californiana

Discovery of California and Northwest America
Cabrillo_First_Voyage_Coasts_CaliforniaJuan Rodriguez Cabrillo and his pilot, Bartolome Ferrelo reached what is now San Diego in September, 1540. Cabrillo explored the entire outer coast of the peninsula before heading north to the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, and Point Reyes. Published in San Francisco in 1853, Discovery of California and Northwest America was the first true work of California history to be published in California. This volume has early marbled paper wrappers (recently added) with a printed title label affixed to the front wrapper. It’s chemised and housed in a custom quarter-leather slipcase. Details>>

A Trans-Continental Newspaper
Trans-Continental_PullmanTranscontinental was “Published Daily in the Pullman Hotel Express between Boston and San Francisco.” The twelve issues of Volume I were printed over six weeks, from May 24 to July 4, 1870, while the Boston Board of Trade made the 3,000-mile trek to meet with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. They were printed on a Gordon Press in the baggage car, while the newspaper office was in the second car. The paper reported the normal business of the train, along with tidbits such as the Philadelphia Athletics’ victory over the Harvard Baseball Club. The Trans-Continental is generally regarded as the first newspaper printed on a moving train. Details>>

Business Directory of Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley
Directory_Oakland_Alameda_BerkeleyPublished in Oakland in 1877, Business Directory of Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley is not listed in either Norris or Welsh. Extremely rare, this California miniature has the distinction of being the “only known California directory in this format, the first East Bay directory, and the first Berkeley directory of any kind,” according to Quebedeaux, who calls this volume the “first California volume of any kind.” Bradbury refutes this claim, pointing out that Diamond History was also published in 1877 and comprises the latter portion of this volume. OCLC records only three institutional holdings, and there is only one sale record for this item, from PBA earlier this year, of an imperfect copy missing its title page. Details>>

California Recipe Book by Ladies of California
California_Recipe_BookThe first edition thus and the fourth edition overall, this copy of California Recipe Book was published in San Francisco in 1879. It was first issued in 1872. The fourth edition bears a note that the “compiler has added largely to the original edition, and our patrons will find many new and choice recipes.” Indeed, the fourth edition includes sixty recipes not found in the first. OCLC records only three institutional holdings, making this a very scarce edition of a seminal California cookery book. California Recipe Book is regarded as the second cookbook written by Californians and published in the state, vying for the title with How to Keep a Husband; Or, Culinary Tactics, also published in San Francisco in 1872. Details>>

Annual Report of the Inspectors of the State Prison
San_Quentin_Annual_Report_Inspectors_State_PrisonMade to the legislature of California on February 15, 1855, this report offers an interesting look at the early days of San Quentin, when the prison was not quite impregnable. It includes sections entitled “Register and Descriptive List of Convicts Under Sentence” and “Transcript of Received, Escaped, and Returned Prisoners Since the Inspection of State Prison Books.” The previous year, 75 of the 250 prisoners in San Quentin had escaped without recapture. The statistic alarmed Governor John Bigler, to write in a letter to the prison staff, “These escapes, permit me to remark, give great force to allegations, daily and publicly made, that the prison building is insecure, and that its management is not such as to fully accomplish the object of its erection, in prevention and punishment of crime.” This work is rare, not being listed in Cowan, Greenwood, or the Library of Congress online catalogue. OCLC and Melvyl record only one copy, and no copies have come to auction in at least 25 years. Details>>

Twelve Years in the Mines of California
Patterson_Twelve_Years_Mines_CaliforniaLawson B Patterson arrived in California in 1849 during the Gold Rush and was one of the few who stuck around after the rush ended. Patterson stayed to work the mines for a total of twelve years. Kurutz tells us that in addition to recounting Patterson’s own experiences, “much of this book is devoted to the discovery of gold, the gold region, its geology, advice to new miners, and the weather in 1853. Wheat goes a step further, saying that Patterson’s book contains “observations of permanent import.” This volume’s previous owners include JR Knowland of Oakland Tribune fame, and the ffep bears his PO signature. The book itself is square and tight, with bright gilt. Details>>

Banquet in Honor of the Hotel Men’s Mutual Benefit Association
Banquet_HMMBAThis 1910 West Coast journey of HMMBA members was well documented by George Wharton James in his commissioned work, “The 1910 TRIP Of The H.M.M.B.A. To CALIFORNIA And The PACIFIC COAST.” Herein, he remarks this dinner at the Palace was “the most unique and costly dinner ever devised for the HMMBA.” The hotel’s banquet room was presented as a “Mandarin garden decorated with a wealth of Chinese articles of art [loaned by the Sing Chow Co. the menu informs us], and enlivened with … the only Chinese actress in America .. a Chinese theatre and thirty pretty Chinese children with their mothers, a full Chinese orchestra, and a bill of fare as distinctively Chinese as the rest of the function, all aided and abetted by the wealthy Chinese merchants of San Francisco.” As to this souvenir menu, James praises it as “the most elaborate affair ever devised fro the association.” No copy of this item is listed in OCLC; it’s certainly rare. Details>>

Album of Hotel Del Monte
Hotel_Del_MonteHotel Del Monte was part of a luxury 20,000-acre resort established by railroad magnate Charles Crocker. The first hotel was completed in 1880, with the entire resort including the hotel, polo grounds, race track, tennis courts, parkland and golf course. Immediately popular, the hotel had to deny 3,000 potential guests its first six weeks of operation. Falling on hard times after WWI, the grounds were eventually sold to Samuel Morse, who eventually led to the development of the present day Pebble Beach facility, among others. The hotel itself now serves as an administration building for the Naval Postgraduate School. This album offers a rare photo-view book depicting the original hotel structure (destroyed by fire in 1887) and diverse associated resort grounds and buildings. Details>>

Browny the Golden Beaver
Browny_Golden_BeaverA rare WPA production, Browny the Golden Beaver was published in San Diego in 1938. Belle Baranceanu, who created the cover art, was to achieve some fame as an artist; she painted murals in the La Jolla Post Office and Roosevelt Jr. High School as part of the Public Works of Art Project during the Depression. Baranceanu’s work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Denver Art Musuem, among other locations. The book was illustrated with drawings by Beatrice Buckley. Details>>

 

Related Posts:
The California Gold Rush, Slavery, and the Civil War
Elias Samuel Cooper: Renowned and Controversial Surgeon

 

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Announcing 100 for $100 (or Less!)

Fifty Romance Lyric Poems

The holidays are just around the corner. Santa is filling his bag, polishing his sleigh, and ensuring the reindeer are getting plenty of cardio in advance of the big night, December 24th. And perhaps that ‘big gift’ for your loved one(s) is already secreted away in the closet or a drawer, but stocking stuffers, accompaniments and remembrances for friends have yet to be secured.

Why not a book?

And in that vein, Tavistock Books offers our Holiday list, “A 100 for a $100 (or Beyond the Borderless!).” The one hundred books that comprise this list have been individually selected for their interesting & diverse nature, gift quality appearance, and modest price. You’ll find the entire list of select acquisitions online, and we invite you to peruse it. The list may be sorted by various means; just select your preferred option from the upper right.

Should you have queries regarding any of this material, or other listings you The Perfect Present-Haguemay find on our site, please contact usWe thank you for your attention, and we hope you find something of interest while browsing these offerings.

Happy Holidays to All!

Kind Regards,

13 Words-Lemony SnicketVic Zoschak
Principal

Margueritte Peterson
Aide-de-Camp

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Chapbooks: Short Books with Long History

Scholars debate over the etymology of the term “chapbook.” Some argue that “chap” is derived from “cheap,” surely an accurate description of chapbooks, since they were indeed cheap little publications. But the more widely accepted explanation is that “chap” comes from the Old English “céap,” meaning “barter” or “deal.” Peddlers came to be known as chaps, and they were the primary purveyors of chapbooks. Whatever the origin of their name, chapbooks became a vital tool for dissemination of information and promotion of literacy. As publishing and readers’ tastes evolved, chapbooks also provided an ideal means of addressing an increased demand for children’s literature.

Since the Middle Ages, traveling peddlers provided many necessary wares to rural communities–and that included the news. They would often regale their customers with the latest in politics, entertainment, and gossip. Then in 1693, England repealed the Act of 1662, which had limited the number of Master Printers allowed in the country. The number of printers exploded. Meanwhile, charity schools emerged, making education and literacy more accessible to the poor. The demand for cheaply printed reading materials drastically increased as a result, and all the new printers were happy to supply their needs.

By 1700, chapmen regularly carried small books–usually about the size of a waistcoat pocket–on virtually every topic imaginable. The books were generally coverless, and their illustrations were made of recycled (and irrelevant) woodcuts from other publications. In the absence of copyright laws, printers would steal illustrations or even large chunks of text from other chapbooks and reproduce them in their own editions. Early chapbooks weren’t even cut; the purchaser would cut apart the pages and either pin or stitch the book together to read.

Dr Watts-Divine SongsChapbooks grew into an incredibly powerful tool for disseminating new ideas. When Thomas Paine published The Rights of Man, he suggested that the second edition be made available in chapbook form. The book went on to sell over two million copies, an incredible feat in those days, when the average publishing run might be only a few hundred or thousand copies. Religious organizations used the form to publish religious tracts, nicknamed “godlinesses” or “Sunday schools.” There were even chapbooks for the chapmen themselves, containing information about different towns, dates for local fairs, and road maps.

The Industrial Revolution, however, brought a revolution in the printed word as well. People flocked to the cities, reducing chapbooks’ role in news delivery. Newspapers had also become cheaper to produce, so they were no longer relegated to the upper class. And chapbooks’ days seemed numbered when public solicitation was outlawed and peddlers could no longer distribute them. Meanwhile people’s tastes were changing. As the decades of the 1800′s passed, the novel was emerging as a new, preferred form, and in terms of “cheap” literature, chapbooks eventually gave way to “penny dreadfuls,” the dime novel, and other such low-brow forms.

But changing reading habits and higher literacy rates also meant an increased demand for children’s literature. From around 1780, most booksellers offered a variety of children’s chapbooks, which included ABC’s, jokes, riddles, stories, and religious materials like prayers and catechism. Thanks to improved printing techniques, this generation of chapbooks was printed with relevant illustrations and attached colored paper or card wrappers.

Juvenile-Pastimes-Baseball-Chapbook

Though we think of chapbooks as a distinctly British form, they emerged in various forms around the world. Harry B. Weiss writes in A Book about Chapbooks, “The contents of chapbooks, the world over, fall readily into certain classes and many were the borrowings, with of course, adaptations and changes to suit particular countries.” And despite their variant forms and culturally specific content, chapbooks consistently served as a democratizing force in the dissemination of ideas.

Collectors may build entire collections around chapbooks, or they may find that certain chapbooks fit in well with their collections. For example, the 1849 edition of Juvenile Pastimes includes a rare early pictorial depiction of baseball, making it an ideal addition to a collection of baseball books. Collectors of erotica may enjoy Dumb Dora: Rod Gets Taken Again, an adult chapbook with suggestive, but not pornographic, illustrations. The variety of chapbooks means there’s a little book for everyone!

This month’s select acquisitions are a short list of delightful chapbooks. Please peruse them and contact us if you have any inquiries. As cataloguing chapbooks is quite the endeavor, we’ve also put together an article about the resources used to catalogue the items on the list, which includes our bibliographic sources at the end.

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