• <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Zang Tumb Tuuum:<br>la révolution futuriste<br>Online Auction<br>30 November – 7 December</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 18:</b> The "Official Edition" of the United States Constitution and the First Printing of the Final Text of the Constitution, 1787. $15,000,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. I Paroliberi Futuristi. 1914-1915. 8 p. Unique corrected proofs, for an anthology that remained unpublished. €40,000 to €60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Cangiullo, Francesco. Studenti in Lettere. Università. 1915. Seminal work, featured in 3 historical futurist exhibitions. €20,000 to €30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Cangiullo, Francesco. Chiaro di luna. Circa 1915. Collage and gouache on paper. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7:</b> Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso. Manicure. Faire les ongles à l'Italie. Circa 1915. A fantastic parody of an advertising poster. €20,000 to €30,000.
  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors' Sale<br>December 7th & 8th, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Ortelius (Abraham). <i>Theatrum Orbis Terrarum,</i> folio, Antwerp, 1570, First Edition (2nd Issue), 53 double-page maps, contemporary hand colouring. €40,000 to €60,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> An original engraved facsimile copy of the Declaration of Independence of 4 July 1776, issued by order of Congress on 4 July 1823 in a limited edition of 200 copies on fine parchment. €20,000 to €30,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses.</i> Shakespeare & Co., Rue de l’Odeon, Paris 1922. No. 559 of 1000 Copies of the First Edn.,, one of 750 Copies on handmade paper. €10,000 to €15,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors' Sale<br>December 7th & 8th, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Malton (James) [1761-1803]. A fine quality set of twenty-five hand coloured aquatint Views of Dublin, as published for <i>A Picturesque and Descriptive View of the City of Dublin</i>. €6,000 to €7,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> 'Bloody Sunday.' An original Admission Ticket to Croke Park, Great Challenge Match (Football), Tipperary v. Dublin, Sunday, November 21,1920. Pink card, 3 ins x 4 ¼ ins. €4,000 to €5,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Haveth Childers Everywhere - Fragment from Work in Progress,</i> Paris & N.Y., 1930, First Edn., Signed and Limited No. 50 (100) Copies. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors' Sale<br>December 7th & 8th, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Edward Lyons, Irish (1726-1801). Genealogy: <i>The FitzGerald's Arms of Carton House, Kildare,</i> pen and ink and watercolour on laid paper. €3,000 to €4,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Yeats (William Butler). <i>Poems.</i> Cuala Press, D. 1935, stiff blue paper covers, unlettered as issued, coloured initials and ornaments hand-drawn by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats. One of 300 copies. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> A fine and important collection of Ulster Wit. Belfast Political Scrapbook, 19th century. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors' Sale<br>December 7th & 8th, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Rare Views of the Giant's Causeway. Coloured Prints: Drury (Susanna) [1698-1770]. A rare pair of original Engraved Prints. €1,200 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> [Johnson (Rev. Samuel)]. <i>Julian the Apsostate Being a Short Account of his Life, together with a Comparison of Popery and Paganism,</i> L., 1682, First Edn. €800 to €1,200.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 7-8:</b> Aringhi (Pauli). <i>Roma Subterranea Novissima,</i> 2 vols. lg. folio Rome (Typis Vitalis Mascardi) 1651. €350 to €750.
  • <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>December 9</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 47. Roosevelt, Theodore. Photograph inscribed to Morris J. Hirsch. May 7th 1918. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 178. Whitman, Walt. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York: [Printed for the author], 1955. First edition in the first issue binding. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 38. Mather, Cotton. <i>Magnalia Christi Americana; or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England.</i> London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, 1702. First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 55. Taylor, Zachary. Autograph letter signed as President-Elect. Baton Rouge: January 15, 1849. $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 203. Picasso, Pablo. <i>Verve</i> Vol. V, Nos. 19-20. Paris: Editions Verve, 1948. Inscribed on the title page by Picasso. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>December 9</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 211. Domergue, Jean-Gabriel. L'Ete a Monte Carlo. Lithographed poster, Lucien Serre & Cie, Paris, circa 1937. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 105. Manuscript Illumination attr. to Neri da Rimini. Large excised initial "N" from a choirbook, extensively historiated. [Likely Rimini: first quarter of the 14th century]. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 40. McKenney, Thomas L. and Hall, James. <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs.</i> Philadelphia: Rice, Rutter & Co., 1870. $3,00
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 222. Searle, Ronald. [Pets--a dog, cats and a parrot-- surrounded by books, and inspecting a globe, perhaps planning global domination]. Original drawing, 17 3/8 x 13 1/2 inches. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 98. Faden, William; Scull, Nicholas and George Heap. A Plan of the City and Environs of Philadelphia, Survey'd by N. Scull and G. Heap. London: William Faden, 12 March 1777. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. Autograph Letter Signed ("B. Franklin"), to Benjamin Vaughan asserting the primacy of American independence in negotiating the Treaty of Paris, Passy, July 11, 1782. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. Autograph Letter Signed ("B. Franklin") to David Hartley addressing Hartley's final issues with the recently completed ratification of the Treaty of Paris, Passy, June 2, 1784. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> MASON & DIXON. A hand-colored contemporary manuscript map titled in cartouche, "A Map of that Part of AMERICA where a degree of LATITUDE was measured for the ROYAL SOCIETY, by Chas Mason & Jer: Dixon," c.1768. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("WB Yeats"), a fair copy of "When Helen Lived" for John Preece headed ("For John Preece"), framed. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> "LINCOLN SEATED." KECK, CHARLES, sculptor. 1875-1951. Patinated bronze, 1950. Louise Taper Collection. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S FINAL HOURS. BURNS, J., painter. <i>Death-Bed of Abraham Lincoln.</i> Oil on canvas, 1866. Collection of Louise Taper. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> FILSON, CHARLES PATTERSON, painter. 1860-1937. <i>Portrait of Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War.</i> $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> A MATZOS BOX PRESENTED BY THE MANISHEVITZ BROTHERS TO WARREN G. HARDING. Louise Taper Collection. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> LEWIS CARROLL. Original albumen print photograph, approximately 6 7/8 x 8 3/4 inches, Chelsea, London, October 7, 1863, of the Rossetti Family at home, one of only three known examples of the full image. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> CHRISTINA ROSSETTI. <i>Verses ... Dedicated to Her Mother.</i> Privately printed, 1847. First edition of her first book, printed at her grandfather's press, THE ROSSETTI FAMILY COPY. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> CHRISTINA ROSSETTI. Original drawing of snowdrops in purple pencil, sent by CGR to Lucy Rossetti, inscribed "I doubt whether you will make out my copy from nature," 1887. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 15:</b> DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI, et al. The Germ: <i>Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art.</i> Fine copy in a Doves binding by Cobden Sanderson. $12,000 to $18,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2020 Issue

An Exceptional Sale at Morphy’s: A collection of the American Revolutionary Era and the War of 1812 material

B0054ba8-6618-40ce-a7b9-15e29095c475

The personal collection of Al Benting, comprising 210 lots of Revolutionary and War of 1812 material, is to be sold at Morphy’s in Denver, Pennsylvania on May 27th.  Winning bidders will be ecstatic and losing bidders grief stricken.  It’s just one of those sales, that with one glance you realize you rarely see so much exceptionally unusual and important material.  Bon Chance!

 

A sumptuous catalogued presentation is available in both digital and traditional printed forms [links below].

 

Mr. Benting has provided a letter explaining why the material is unusually good.  It was born of attitude and is expressed in the collection’s name:  “For Liberty, I Live.”  From there are links to the catalogue, to the slide show on RBH along with links providing access to additional images and contacts to Morphy’s curators.

 

Make bidding arrangements early.  The auction will be widely subscribed.

 

This book illustrates my collection amassed over the last quarter of a century with God’s help, luck, perseverance, networking, research, debt, and quite a bit of love and understanding from my wife, Jane, without whom, the collection and this book never would have come into being.

It seems to me that a good collection is built depending simply upon which finger God points at you when he says, “Your turn,” but usually, the best items come along when you have the least amount of money to spend.

Well before my time in the early days of collections, informationon eighteenth-century militaria was scarce, and many collector-accumulators amassed great piles of stuff based upon price, with one piece or another, except by luck, having very little relevance to the others in the “collection”. The really old-time collector might have had a closet full of Brown Bess muskets, most could hardly distinguish an early one from a late model until around the third quarter of the twentieth century when scholars had written enough to begin a rudimentary understanding of what many items really are.

One of the first collector scholars of the old generation whom I am proud to have known is George Neumann, who passionately wrote with great common sense but with little research material available beyond dug artifacts, old information, and great instinct. In the beginning, without scholars like George, I doubt that a great deal of today’s knowledge would exist because research builds upon prior research, just as knowledge builds upon itself. I confess that even though we sometimes disagreed on what some things are and were, I consider George, in his boundless passion and patriotism, to be the father of modern Revolutionary War collecting. When he passed away, so did his great knowledge understanding, and kindness.

By no means were George’s works, Swords and Blades of the American Revolution and Battle Weapons of the American Revolution, the only references of importance at the time; there are many other excellent writers who did great research in the same time frame, just as many of today’s writers are constantly publishing new discoveries based upon old information and a new tidbit or two.

I count myself fortunate to have known and been somewhat educated by many of the “old generation” collectors and dealers who knew some of the really old-timers. These men, like Bill Guthman, who sold me several items herein illustrated – to whom I am greatly indebted – went on to uncover a great deal of information about early military artifacts.

Many of these collectors have contributed greatly to my life, and, of course, to this book. Dealers like Neumann, Guthman, and Al Thompson – who was not very happy when Bill Coakley sold me my first musket marked to the 17th Massachusetts – have passed away. Since I began my quest, every item in the collection has left memories, mostly good, which I store in heart and mind. Coakley, for instance, was a stickler on condition and the relevance of one piece to another. He would annually drop by to seemingly “ruthlessly” evaluate my collection. I used to tease that because Bill was a banker, he had no heart; but under his great guidance, many romantic notions I used to have rapidly became irrelevant! Some good things left the collection because they were not pertinent to it, but the proceeds from these items and the many blunders I made along the way – some of them horrific- paid for other more pertinent things. These mistakes certainly sharpened my eye.

I honestly believe that if a collector never makes a mistake, he is not working hard enough in his endeavors. Years ago, for a lot of money, I bought a Committee of Safety musket made up of a French musket with spurious maker’s marks on the lock in an auction. There’s no better way to learn about an item than by taking a hit on something that should have been but isn’t. Lose money once, and you never forget!

On another bad day, I bought a pair of pistols with an outstanding holster from a Cape Cod dealer who swore it had come from inside the wall of an old house in Boston and had been used at the outbreak of the Revolution. The author, friend, and voracious collector, Bob Brooker, with his gargantuan laugh and infinite knowledge shortly thereafter straightened me out (hopefully forever) about a collector’s wishful thinking. I remember his scathing words: “Al, those are pretty good, but what do Persian pistols have to do with the Siege of Boston?” Being either hardheaded or a dumb collector, I hope I have now learned that every item I buy must stand on its own, regardless of the “sizzle” offered by the seller. Yes, the pistols were used during the turbulent years in Boston but hallway around the world.

It seems pertinent to understand that a little bit of knowledge may be worse than none; however, like the occasion
I went on a call to buy a gun that “had been at Concord Bridge,” only to discover that the musket was an early nineteenth-century model Springfield. I was told that the family had sold the “beat-up old fowler” because it “was not military so was not used in the revolution.”

On the other hand, the musket herein illustrated and believed carried by Captain Joseph Robins at Concord Bridge
is from the original Robbins estate in Acton, Massachusetts, which was inherited by my father in the late 1960s. He knew the gun, the great family historian, my ancient uncle Fred Robbins knew the gun, and I knew it was a kid while visiting the family home in Acton. One can be reasonably sure that because each part on the musket dates to before the revolution, that because the musket came from historic circumstances from a family that never bought but only inherited antiques, there’s an excellent chance that this is indeed, Joseph Robin’s musket. Unfortunately, my dad sold the engraved powder horn belonging to Robins. It’s a cut-down horn that later showed up in Bill Guthman’s collection and is now, to my knowledge, displayed at the museum in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Today’s collecting process demands constant alteration to one’s thinking not only because of new research, but also because many items have become insanely expensive. I tell beginning collectors that these days, even just one item might well comprise a great “collection”. Perhaps a few items grouped together, in which every item enhances the value and interest of the entire lot, makes the best collection.

Knowledge, even more important than money, is paramount to building a great collection. Every item must stand on its own and enhance interest in the whole, regardless of the romantic story offered by the seller, who always seems to be your newest best friend. History fall into place in a much more logical fashion when you know as much or more than the seller does, and good items are best illustrated in one’s collection by the items surrounding it.

I was casually asked one Sunday afternoon at a Mass Arms Collector’s meeting, “What do you collect?” I said, “Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston prior to March of 1776, inside the Route 128 beltway except for Concord, which bumps out a little bit to the West,” but tis is not to say that my collection has not and could not be somehow convoluted to include other cool items I just could not live another day without!

I don’t think my collection will ever be finished, except, well, perhaps when I’m dead, when all my “pals” will be Jane’s pals lined up like buzzards on a split rail fence, ready to pounce on the carrion of my collection before my dead body is even a bit cool. My goal, however, is to take my last ride in a very heavy coffin clanking down the church’s aisle, supported by my four nephews and two sons-in-law, with all my stuff and me inside.

Al Benting

2000 North Reading Road
Denver, PA 17517

Phone: 717-335-3435 | Fax: 717-336-7115
Email: info@morphyauctions.com.

 

Links:  Morphy Auctions Website:  https://www.morphyauctions.com/

 

Links:  Morphy Auctions:  Upcoming Auctions  https://www.morphyauctions.com/auctions/

 

Links:  Morphy Auctions:  Bidding Options:  https://www.morphyauctions.com/bidding/

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><br>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases<br>Natural History<br>& Color Plate Books<br>December 9, 2021</b>
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. Carolina Parrot. Plate 26. Hand-colored aquatint and engraved plate from Audubon's <i>Birds of America.</i> $80,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Francisco Henrique Carls. [Album de Pernambuco e seus Arrabaldes]. Fifty-three chromolithographed plates of landscape, town views and more of the state of Pernambuco, northeast Brazil. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Captain Thomas Davies, after. Group of 5 engraved topographical scenes of North American waterfalls. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><br>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases<br>Natural History<br>& Color Plate Books<br>December 9, 2021</b>
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> William R. Morley. Morley's Map of New Mexico. Large lithographed pocket map with original hand-color in outline. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> Frederick William Beechey, et al. <i>The Zoology of Captain Beechey's Voyage; Compiled from the Collections and Notes Made by Captain Beechey…</i> $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann, Dec. 9:</b> ZUDA ROKASHI (Priest Hotan.) Nansenbushu Bankoku Shoka No Zu. Woodblock wall map of the world on 16 sheets joined. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Live Auction<br>December 11, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> De Wit’s composite atlas with magnificent full original color. $125,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Gardner's photographic sketch book of the Civil War. $200,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Waugh Oil Painting, 70 Degrees North; The Polar Bear. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Live Auction<br>December 11, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Audubon aquatint, Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. $75,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Blaeu terrestrial table globe, 1602. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Audubon aquautint, Ruby-Throated Humming Bird. $35,000 to $45,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Live Auction<br>December 11, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Bessa original watercolor of a bouquet of flowers. $75,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> John Gould's only work devoted to American birds. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Wyld & Malby pair of terrestrial & celestial globes, 1833. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Live Auction<br>December 11, 2021</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Leutze map of the world oil painting. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Caula, the finest 18th century drawing of Lison. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 11:</b> Scolari / Blaeu map of Germania, 1650. $15,000 to $22,000.
  • <i>Der Sturm.</i> 1922. Sold October 2021 for € 13,000.
    Diophantus Alexandrinus, <i>Arithmeticorum libri sex.</i> 1670. Sold October 2021 for € 18,000.
    <i>Cozzani Ettore e altri, l’Eroica. Tutto il pubblicato.</i> Sold October 2021 for € 11,000.
    Newton Isaac, <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> 1714. Sold October 2021 for € 7,500.
    Manetti Saverio, <i>Storia naturale degli uccelli.</i> 1767-1776. Sold April 2021 for € 26,000.

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