Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2021 Issue

While Walking in San Francisco

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A chance "find" while thinking about an old friend

Ten years or so ago I used to occasionally walk along Sacramento Street between Presidio and Arguello in San Francisco when the weather was good, looking into sultry store windows arrayed to attract the unsuspecting to buy things they never knew they wanted or needed.  One random day 12 years ago I walked by and into Thomas Moser, the upscale builder of fine furniture and casually maneuvered through their classic chairs, beds, tables and sundries and inquired whether I could sit on one of their rocking chairs.  Out of the shadows a slim woman, graceful and well-dressed nodded and joined me nearby.  Her name was Jackie.

 

I’m a natural born salesman and know the breed and she too had the gift and we quickly dispensed with pleasantries.  She had some age on her but was obviously once a player and it was interesting to share perspectives, how age was working for and against us, and in particular about how a woman of her attainment was working afternoon sessions in an upscale furniture shop.

 

Mentioning she was 81, she simply said “I want to be occupied.”  It was a quiet day and we shared our stories, the way salesmen tell and retell, and modify, exhaling to pause, adjusting adjectives and adverbs the way the bullfighter flicks their muleta.  It was great fun.

 

We admired each other to the point she mentioned it was hard to be a single woman at 81 and needed friends in her life, someone to keep an eye on her, what with the uncertainties of aging.  I understood her predicament and was deeply charmed she considered me a candidate.

 

Over the years after, I would stop by, more to see her than to buy something, and she was doing okay, life being random like the possibilities on the Monopoly Board, one day on Chance it’s “pay income tax” and next picking up a get out of jail free card.  That's aging.

 

What with Covid-19 I hadn’t walked by as often and it was only recently I stopped in to inquire about the statuesque woman I was hoping to find.  The fella now handling her shift, paused to say, she passed away and we spent some minutes to remember her, her style, and her very appealing direct manner.

 

I’m sentimental and sometimes feel that random confirmations suggest we’re still on the same wave length.  So, it was less than an hour later, after learning that Jackie had slipped away, while walking by an antique shop on the same side of Sacramento Street I noticed their door was ajar and took it as an invitation to ask, if browsers were welcome.  “Come in” encouraged me, stepping into the clutter, my eyes slowly measuring the contents and gazed toward the back, now being offered the chance to go upstairs for other possibilities after which I came down empty handed and stopped to say thank you for permitting me into their inner sanctum.

 

Thereupon, Tom the owner, now properly introduced, said “let me take you next store” where he had more stock and bingo, on the far left, I saw a large print that prompted me to squint to see the text in the hard to read light.  “at Camp Worth (Kingston, July 1855).”  What the devil?  It looked familiar. The price was $1,000 and said I’ll buy it subject to confirming its connection to Kingston, New York.  Would it be Kingston, New York by any chance?

 

And an hour later, yes, in Transactions+ I found seven records and others on the internet including a digital file the Huntington shares in Google searches.   Oh yes, certainly.

 

I brought it home the following afternoon and am left with the unmistakable feeling Jackie was in this with me.  I’ve since ordered non-reflective acrylic replacing the glass.  In a couple of weeks I’ll have this rare survival gussied up.

 

Friendships and shared enthusiasms seem to have a life of their own and I will think about her, remembering her voice, her smile and intelligence, knowing she guided me to this early rare print of Kingston, in Ulster County in New York.  It will be on a wall nearby.

 

 

New York Public:

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-a9c9-d471-e040-e00a180654d7

 

Jacqueline Thompson

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sfgate/obituary.aspx?n=jacqueline-thompson&pid=194842025

 

The Huntington

https://hdl.huntington.org/digital/collection/p16003coll4/id/4166/

 

 

 

 


Posted On: 2021-05-01 01:09
User Name: mairin

Bruce, this little story is a treasure, and nicely crafted.
(Sorry I missed it earlier.)
I admire your voice in the piece -- convincing, authentic.
And you handle emotion in the narrative quite well -- always a challenge for writers.
Thanks for the pleasure.
- M. Mulvihill, Guest Writer, Rare Book Hub.


Posted On: 2021-05-01 04:48
User Name: AE288399

Wonderful, Bruce.
Thanks for this.
Best,

Ed Hoffman


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.
  • <b><center>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 31</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> Aristoteles, <i>Logica vetus,</i> Manuscript, around 1250. Est: € 60,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>L. Pacioli, <i>Divina proportione,</i> 1509<br>Est: € 80,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> A. Jorn, Fin de Copenhague, 1957.<br>Est: € 10,000
    <b><center>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 31</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> Gospel of Mark, Manuscript, around 1180.<br>Est: € 30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>J. de Theramo, <i>Consolatio peccatorum,</i> 1481. Est: € 25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>G. Braques in G. Apollinaire, <i>Si je mourais là-bas,</i> 1962. Est: € 6,000
    <b><center>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 31</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> Latin Choral manuscript, around 1500.<br>Est: € 25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>P. J. Redouté, <i>Choix des plus belles fleurs,</i> 1827-33. Est: € 25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>S. Delaunay, <i>27 tableaux vivants,</i> 1969. Est: € 3,000
    <b><center>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 31</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b> Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1450-70. Est: € 30,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>L. Moholy-Nagy, Bauhaus advertising postcard No. 7, 1923. Est: € 5,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>K. Price in Ch. Bukowski, <i>Heat wave,</i> 1995. Est: € 2,500
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.

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