Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2017 Issue

Updating a Personal Collection

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Images bring the collection to life.

I write from time to time about my collection relating to the Hudson Valley of the State of New York.  I’ve been collecting for sixty years and continue to be surprised by my changing interaction with this subject.  I could say “evolving” but this seems to understate the speed with which my options for collecting change.

 

A book collector from an early age I soon learned about some forty-plus titles I should focus on.  That a collection might include more than books was dismissed as requiring the complex alchemy of knowledge and opportunity.  As to opportunity it was suggested I offer to clean out attics and garages as well as plan each year to get to the annual library fair early because sometimes interesting material might be sitting on the five-cent table but would quickly disappear.  I would do all these things but found the occasional auction more interesting and profitable.

 

As to resources I was ordered to buy a copy of Howes’ Usiana and did so.  The cost, $6.00, would turn out to be an investment that separated the 10 year old that I was from the hoi polloi.  Knowledge was for the collector of books, it turned out, the friend of intuition for the material found rarely exactly lined up with the descriptions in reference books.  You could think but you also had to feel.

 

In time ephemera began to emerge as the glue between the bricks.  Paintings were also occasionally available but were difficult to acquire because often a bidder or two might decide to buy them no matter what and my budget through high school was limited to what I could earn.

 

With a job during and after college I began to have some cash and in the late 1960’s bought a framed portrait for $40 that, even today, faces our grand piano.  It has aged well and come to anchor the collection I started then that has gradually broadened from books to manuscripts, maps, ephemera, money, furniture, objects and paintings.  A collecting focus that began as a list of 44 titles has become an intensely focused view of Ulster County that today includes roughly 5,000 items.  Go figure.

 

Collecting today of course is not the collecting it was when I was a kid.  All collectors of a certain age see the world as “before” and “after” the Internet.  With the Internet came the dawn of a new world, albeit one that, for years, clung stubbornly to the old model, mimicking bookshops even as they began to fold.

 

In that time I came to understand that I was collecting books because they were the closest I could get to collecting what I really wanted, which was to intensely collect the history of Ulster County.  So, for the past ten years that’s what I have focused on – and learned that the internet has permitted obscure fields to be aggregated into very larger and consistent searches.

 

As to what this changing perspective has translated into here are some purchases I made over the past year.  The material is eclectic and yet also precisely within the field I now pursue, a New York State county that most would pass by:  Ulster and nearby places.

 

1. Poughkeepsie.  A large lithograph I wrote about in February, 2017.  It’s by Edwin Whitefield and dated 1852.  It’s a minor gem.  It was advertised in the Newtown Bee.

 

2. An Auction Poster.  Beautifully printed, 20" w x 28" h.  Announcing the postponement of an auction on the road between High Falls and Mohonk.  Visually appealing. 

 

3. The Toll Roads of Ulster County in 1824.  An absolute gem.  Roads would become public but were often private in the early 19th century. 

 

4. A Map of the then border between Ulster and Albany Counties in 1765.  Unique.

 

5. Early Stickley Furniture.  A trestle desk, a sideboard, and a table and chairs.

 

Altogether, very special.


Posted On: 2017-12-12 00:25
User Name: CRMaps

Did you ever expect to see an Ulster County landmark on a c1858 map of North Carolina?
http://blog.ncmaps.org/index.php/pearce-mockup-map-of-nc/


Posted On: 2017-12-18 02:59
User Name: adminb

Thank you for the link. It's very strong/ Bruce


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.
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    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
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    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
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