Buying New York Ephemera
- by Bruce E. McKinney
Recently I purchased 130 items from Peter Luke, the New Baltimore, New York antique and Americana dealer. I have bought from him before with good results and found the decision easier this time as he has both a clear idea of what I want and understands my idea of what appropriate pricing is. The material I bought is New York State ephemera with a randomness to it that mimics the flow of ephemera both in real life and on the web, particularly eBay. For a dealer to invest any time in this material there has to be money in it but, given that prices are low, there also has to be volume. This lot contained:
1. A run of Dutchess and Ulster Co. Farmer’s Almanacs for the years 1869 to 1897, including many duplicates and some omissions – all in fair to good condition.
2. Other miscellaneous Poughkeepsie almanacs, a half dozen from the beginning of the 20th century that were offered by other firms and printers.
3. Strong & Douw’s Agricultural Almanac. 1868. 6.75 x 10”. 32pp. Probably printed by Newcomb & Co., Booksellers and Stationers. A nice item.
4. Eureka Poultry Farm of Cobleskill New York, a catalogue of their specialty –White Leghorns. 24pp. + covers. Undated circa 1900.
5. Recollections of Albany and of Hudson with Anecdotes and Sketches of Men and Things by Ignatius Jones. Albany 1850. 168pp. Uncommon and in very nice condition.
6. Three items bound as one and lacking covers.  Address to the Citizens of Albany and Some Considerations respecting the Proposed Construction of the Albany & Susquehanna Rail-Road. January, 1852.  Some remarks on the Prospects of the Albany and Susquehanna Rail Road as a Dividend-Paying Road. 32pp. + fold out chart. Printed by Munsell, 1854.  An Inquiry into the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad Litigations of 1869 and Mr. David Dudley Field’s Connection Therewith, by George Ticknor Curtis, 1871
7. Lake Minnewaska Mountain Houses. E. A. & G. H. Smiley, Proprietors [A seasonal brochure for 1909]. 24pp + printed cover. This was Minnewaska at its peak.
8. An address delivered by Maj. Gen. J. M. Schofield to the Corps of Cadets, U.S.MA.A., West Point, N. Y. Monday August 11th, 1879. 9pp. With Gen. Schofield’s name card inserted.
9. Into the Lake Region of the Adirondacks by S. R. Stoddard. 1900. Printed by A. V. Haight, Poughkeepsie. 9.25 x 6.75”. 46 pp. + covers.
10. Guide to Kaaterskill Park. Apparently prepared for guests of the Hotel Kaaterskill, 1882. 32pp. + covers. 8.5 x 7.5”. Thorough and well done.
11. Trinity Church Title. An Exposure of Miller’s Letter, with documents, etc., addressed to the late commissioners of the land Office. 48pp. 5.75 x 9.25”. Printed by Joel Munsell, 1856
12. The Catskill Mountains – the most picturesque region on the globe. A guidebook for those travelling on the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, the Stony Clove and C. M. Railroad, and the Kaaterskill Railroad. With a foldout map. An as-new copy. 136pp. + covers
13. Overlook Mountain House, via Kingston, Ulster County, N. Y. An 8 x 10” broadside for the 1873 season. A very rare survival and a wonderful engraving of the hotel.
14. First Annual Report of the President of the Newburg, Dutchess & Connecticut Railroad Company – to the Stockholders and Income Bondholders. 1879. 12pp. One of many such reports. The news usually wasn’t good.
15. Mid the Catskill Mountains by John W. Rusk. 32pp. 10 x 8”. 1907. A book of photographs with none of the usual wear.
16. The Catskill Mountains. Devoted to a Description of this Famous Summer Resort Region. Printed by the Stamford Press, Stamford-in-the-Catskills, 1927. 64pp. 11 x 7.75”.
17. Life of the Late John Elwes, Esquire, member is three successive parliaments for Berkshire. A reprint of the second edition, this one by Paraclete Potter, Poughkeepsie, 1815. A difficult copy with recommendations at the back for Willet’s Geography, another publication from the press of Mr. Potter. 80pp, + 5 pages of endorsements of Mr. Potter’s press.
18. Catskill Mountains - Squirres Inn, Twilight Park, Haines Falls, N. Y. An 8 page brochure, 6.625 x 4.625”
19. Official Register of the Officers and Cadets of the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, New-York. June 1849. Including the famous and infamous. 24pp. 4.25 x 6.5”
20. Handbook of the Pompeia – A grand Roman house: illustrating the art, architecture, mythology and customs of the Roman Empire. In Saratoga Springs, a reproduction of the House of Pansa, in Pompeii, buried by Vesuvius, A.D. ’79 was available for tourists to inspect for the sum of 50 cents. This brochure explains the exhibit circa 1890. 5 x 6.75”. 16pp.
21. Forest Grove [Pine Hill, N. Y.] Souvenir 1898. Compliments of John Schwabel. Forest Grove was a hotel. 5.375 x 3.25”, 32pp.
22. The Inn at High Point, Port Jervis, N. Y. A 12 pp. brochure [6.875 x 4.5”]. .
23. Snap Shots on the Upper Hudson, taken from a Day Line Steamer. 16pp. 4.25 x 6.5”
24. Palmer House. Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, N. Y. 3.25 x 4.875”. Undated but before 1875. A little gem. 16pp.
25. Bridging the Hudson at Poughkeepsie for a Short Direct Through Line, from New England to the Coal Fields and from the West to the East, for An All Rail Route, saving One Hundred Miles in Distance over present lines, and Eighty Miles over any other proposed route. Published at Poughkeepsie by the Eagle Printing House, 1871. With two important fold-out maps hand colored. 9 x 5.625”, 34pp.
26. The America Lead Company of Dutchess County, New York. Organized 1863. Printed 1864. A 16pp. pamphlet 5.625 x 9”.
27. Kingston Point Park, 1903. A souvenir brochure published by The Freeman Press, Kingston, New York. 32pp + covers 8” x 5.5”
28. Three priceless photographs, each 8 x 10.125”, of Kingston, New York businesses:  Schryver Bros. Lumber Co., [the company]  Schryver Bros. Lumber Co., their railroad siding, and  A scene of festivities in Kingston, New York .
The price for the lot: $2,000
Peter Luke Americana and Antiques
P. O. Box 282, New Baltimore, New York
His email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As he travels frequently his reply may take up to a week.