Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2021 Issue

The Big Guns will be in the rooms: At Bonhams

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The gun used to shoot Billy The Kid

Books, manuscript, maps, and ephemera take you only so far.  It’s possible to disappear into a great story but it’s close to shocking to consider you can personally acquire objects mentioned, pictured and/or referenced in stories you learned by heart when you were a kid. I’m writing about this as Bonhams is soon to sell The Earle Collection of the Early West which is deep with history-laden objects.  It’s well worth a look.

 

Some collections are unintentional but the Earle Collection was not.  Mr. Earle’s collection was from the get-go heavy on guns with historical association.  A few years ago he described one example, the gun that killed Billy the Kid  as “This is not just a gun – it is the history of America.”  Such objects have been commanding auction house attention for decades and no doubt many will reappear in the years ahead.  Violence fascinates.

 

Depending whether your interest is about the good or bad guys you have many choices in this sale.  Mr. Earle collected both.  Lots 1- to 49 are weapons.  The bad guys’ weapons are often more valuable although Pat Garrett’s colt single action army revolver he used to kill Billy is estimated at $2,000,000-3,000,000 while a rifle that Mr. Bonney stole from the Lincoln County Courthouse to escape in 1876 is estimated $300,000-500,000.

 

While the collection includes objects relating both to famous desperados and lawmen, there are many opportunities to bid on weapons that will not require taking out second mortgages.   Twenty-two of the 49 weapons have low estimates beginning under $10,000.

 

And there is more - two other related sections:  Fine Art, Decorative Art and Western Collectibles, and Manuscripts and Memorabilia.  Such material has long been in Rare Book Hub’s Transactions+; 1,328 lots mention Billy the Kid while Pat Garret appears in 373.  In Bonhams’ new catalogue there are going to be many lots including letters, manuscripts, ephemera that are new to us.

 

The second section of the sale [lots 50-94] focuses on fine art, decorative art and western collectibles, comprising 45 lots including paintings, sculptures, objects including drums, strong boxes, a panoply of objects, as well as saddles and chaps.

 

Ephemera is included in the third section, Manuscripts and Memorabilia, lots 95 to 265.  Here are some examples:

 

Lot 103.  Samuel Colt’s Gold-Handled Ebonized Walking Cane. $3,000 -5,000

 

Lot 106.  Photographs and Books relating to the Fisk-Stokes-Mansfield Affair.  $800-1,200

 

Lot 108.  Last studio portrait of Custer.  $800-1,200

 

Lot 116.  Sitting Bull Cabinet Card.  $800-1,200

 

Lot 120.  Buffalo Bill Silver Coin Pocket Watch.  $8,000-12,000

 

Lot 122.  Calamity Jane Cabinet Card.  $2,000-3,000

 

Lot 127.  Portrait of Jesse James. $6,000-8,000

 

Lot 133.  The Death of Bob Ford.  Death was real.  $1,500-2,500

 

Lot 135.  Signed Copy of Cole Younger’s Autobiography.  $6,000-8,000

 

Lot 152.  Bat Masterson Presentation Pocket Watch and Fob.  $20,000-30,000

 

Lot 158.  The Dalton Gang in Photographs.  $3,000-5,000

 

Lot 165.  Early Wyatt Earp Warrant.  $10,000-15,000

 

Lot 174.  Rare Virgil Earp

 

Lot 232.  John Wesley Hardin in Death.  $4,000-6,000

 

As well, there is a tip of the hat to 20th century criminals.

 

Lot 256.  John Dillinger $800-1,200

 

Lot 257.  Gangsters including John Dillinger and Al Capone.

 

As a writer about books, manuscript, maps and ephemera, I’m taking a deep breath and state the obvious:  crime pays.

 

Here's a link to the complete sale.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A third selection of 16th and 17th<br>Century English Books from<br>the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>Thursday 21st October 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Hawking & Hunting.- Turberville (George). <i>The Booke of Falconrie or Hawking,</i> second edition, Printed by Thomas Purfoot, 1611. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> George Steevens' copy.- Coryate (Thomas). <i>Coryats Crudities Hastily gobbled up in five Moneths travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia...,</i> first edition, complete copy, Printed by W. S[tansby], 1611. £4,000 to £6,00
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Butler (Charles). <i>The Feminine Monarchie: or The Historie of Bees,</i> second edition, Printed by John Haviland for Roger Jackson, 1623. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A third selection of 16th and 17th<br>Century English Books from<br>the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>Thursday 21st October 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Brathwait (Richard). <i>The English Gentlewoman, drawne out to the full Body: expressing, What Habilliments doe best attire her…,</i> Printed by B. Alsop and T. Fawcet, for Michaell Sparke, 1631. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Glapthorne (Henry). <i>The Ladies Priviledge,</i> first edition, Imprinted...by J. Okes, for Francis Constable, 1640. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Witchcraft.- F. (H.) <i>A true and exact Relation Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches, arraigned and executed in the County of Essex,</i> first edition, 1645. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A third selection of 16th and 17th<br>Century English Books from<br>the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>Thursday 21st October 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Hobbes (Thomas). <i>De Corpore Politico. Or the Elements of Law, Moral & Politick,</i> first edition, 1650. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Early steam engine.- Worcester (Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquis). <i>A Century of the Names and Scantlings of such Inventions…,</i> first edition, 1663. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Cookery.- M[ontagu] (W[alter]). <i>The Queens Closet Opened. Incomparable secrets in physick, chirurgery, preserving and candying, &c,</i> 3 parts in 1 vol., 1674. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A third selection of 16th and 17th<br>Century English Books from<br>the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>Thursday 21st October 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Speed (John). <i>An Epitome of Mr. John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain,</i> 2 parts in 1, 90 engraved maps, Printed for Tho. Basset, and Ric. Chiswel, 1676. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Le Boe (Franciscus). <i>Of Childrens Diseases... also a Treatise of the Rickets,</i> first edition, Printed for George Downs, 1682. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Oct. 21:</b> Economics.- Locke (John). <i>Several Papers Relating to Money, Interest and Trade,</i> first collected edition, Printed for A. and J. Churchill, 1696. £2,000 to £3,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>26th-29th of October 2021</b>
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th- 29th:</b><br>Books from XV to XX Century
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Manuscripts and autographs
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Artist books
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Cars & more
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Magazines
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th- 29th:</b><br>Books from XV to XX Century
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor:<br>A Magnificent Illuminated Ashkenazic Prayer Book<br>19 October 2021</b>
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor:<br>A Magnificent Illuminated Ashkenazic Prayer Book<br>19 October 2021</b>
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor:<br>A Magnificent Illuminated Ashkenazic Prayer Book<br>19 October 2021</b>
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor:<br>A Magnificent Illuminated Ashkenazic Prayer Book<br>19 October 2021</b>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Pancho Villa, passport for a news correspondent covering the Mexican revolution, signed, 1914. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Nirvana’s <i>Nevermind,</i> CD insert signed & inscribed days after release by Cobain, inscribed by Novoselic, 1991. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Robert Indiana, <i>The Book of Love,</i> complete portfolio, artist’s proof set, 1997. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Marcel Vertés, Colette, <i>Chéri,</i> two volumes, deluxe edition, signed by the artist, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Orlando,</i> first trade edition, first impression, London, 1928. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Mark Twain, receipt for payment of the Mark Twain Public Library Tax, 1908. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> portfolio, collotype plates, 1918. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <center><b>The 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop<br></b>Catalogue 190:<br>Magnificent Books & Photographs<br><b>Free on request</b>
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> William Shakespeare. <i>The Second Folio</i> (1632).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Abraham Lincoln. Autograph note on Black troops in the Union Army (1865).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Neil Armstrong. The largest known U.S. flag flown to the Moon on Apollo 11 (1969).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> William Henry Fox Talbot. <i>The Pencil of Nature</i> (1844-1846) the first photo illustrated book.
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Albert Einstein. Letter on relativity and the speed of light (1951).

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