Spectacular Works from Bauman Rare Books
New acquisions for 2006 from Bauman Rare Books.
By Michael Stillman
Bauman Rare Books of New York and Philadelphia has issued its first catalogue of New Acquisitions for 2006. Bauman material is always of the first tier. These are all important works, though they range across a wide variety of subjects. We cannot help but focus on the Americana because it is so spectacular, but that does not mean that other material, from literature to economics, science, voyages, music, religion, architecture, children and more is any less so. It just reflects a personal interest, which others who collect different fields will undoubtedly find equally compelling. Here are some samples of the type of material you will find in this latest of Bauman catalogues.
James Burgh was a Scottish reformer who had a major impact on the American Revolution, though from far away. His book Political Disquisitions covered issues of free speech and liberty. He believed that all governmental authority came from the people, rather than the prevailing view of the other way around. First published in London in 1774, item 40 is the three-volume first American edition, published in Philadelphia in 1775. Among the subscribers to this edition were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and other early American patriots. Burgh's book had a major influence on the founding fathers, and was mentioned in the Federalist Papers and Common Sense. Benjamin Franklin, a friend of Burgh, edited the Philadelphia edition. Priced at $11,000.
One of the more important documents toward the building of the U.S. Constitution was published even as the Revolution was still going on. Published in 1781 Philadelphia, item 11 is The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America; The Declaration of Independence... Published by order of the Continental Congress, it includes the constitutions of the original thirteen colonies, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, America's first foreign treaty (with France), and other documents. This particular copy was owned by Charles Pinckney, a signer of the Declaration and one of the important framers of the Constitution six years later. It bears his signature. Among Pinckney's notable contributions was the principle that the military be subordinate to civilian power. Pinckney would later serve four terms as Governor of South Carolina, briefly in the U.S. Senate and House, and Ambassador to Spain for Thomas Jefferson, where he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. $48,000.
Item 3 is the Journal of the First Session of the Senate of the United States of America. This 1789 New York item is filled with historic reports. It includes the first printing of the proposed Bill of Rights, the counting of the electoral ballots which elected Washington and Adams as first president and vice-president, Washington's first address to Congress, passage of the first copyright legislation, and many other seminal events. Incidentally, that first Bill of Rights included twelve amendments, not ten, but those dealing with the number of representatives per thousands of population, and that pay raises for representatives and senators not take effect until an intervening election, were rejected. $38,000.
Spectacular Works from Bauman Rare Books
Hooke's grotesque but accurate enlargement of an insect.
Skipping ahead more than a century and a half, item 15 is a fourth draft, in typescript with hand corrections, of President Eisenhower's first inaugural address. It comes with a carbon fifth draft incorporating the changes. At the time, the President-elect was trying to manage the anti-Communist sentiments of the era while avoiding the hysteria of McCarthyism. While standing up for freedom around the world, Eisenhower makes a statement that sounds totally opposite to those of the leadership of his party today with regard to Iraq. Says the General and leader of allied forces in the recent world war, "...we shall never use out strength to try to impress upon any other our own cherished political and economic institutions. We reject the prideful temptation to remake any other people in our own special pattern." $25,000.
The writer of this 1959 speech was not a president and general, but a senator and lieutenant. Nevertheless, he too would soon rise to leader of the free world during the epic Cold War against Communism. Item 16 is a typescript speech with hand corrections by John F. Kennedy in response to the recent visit by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. This was a tense time, and the tension would grow even greater during Kennedy's presidency with the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the future president would have the wisdom to say, "It is far better that we meet at the summit than at the brink." $26,000.
Item 77 is a spectacularly illustrated scientific text, though perhaps not beautiful in the sense of Audubon's "Birds." The book is Micrographia: or some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses...by Robert Hooke, published in 1665. This is a first issue of the first edition. Hooke had perfected a compound microscope, from which he sat down and drew a world of unseen creatures too grotesque for many to have imagined. An eighteen-inch long portrait of a flea or louse is enough to cause anyone nightmares, particularly someone who has never before seen such a close-up view of these pests. This work represented a breakthrough both in viewing the microscopic world and in the study of insects. $70,000.
It was the masterpiece of motion cartooning. Walt Disney's "Fantasia" remains a popular film some 65 years after its release. Item 55 is the book that went with it, Walt Disney's Fantasia. It is richly illustrated with stills from the movie. This copy contains an inscription from the master himself, Walt Disney. $12,000.
Item 49 is a bound volume of six months of issues of Nature magazine. It includes issues from January 3, 1953, through June 27, 1953. Tucked into these volumes are the first reports about DNA, and its role in passing down genetic traits from one generation to the next. Most notable is James Watson and Francis Crick's breakthrough reports A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid and Genetic Implications of Deoxyribonucleic Acid. The discovery would earn Watson and Crick a Nobel Prize a decade later. Both Watson and Crick have signed the article, which includes a small drawing of a double helix produced by Crick. $24,000.
We have barely scratched the surface of describing the spectacular works offered with this catalogue. You may reach Bauman Rare Books at www.baumanrarebooks.com or by phone at 800-972-2862.