• <b>Bonhams New York, FINE BOOKS & MANUSCRIPTS, 10 Dec 2014.</b>
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 5. FESTBUCH: Procession Following Charles V's Coronation as Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement<br>VII. Est. $120,000-180,000.
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 6. GUTENBERG BIBLE. [Bible in Latin. Mainz: Johann Gutenberg and Fust, 1455.] Est. $40,000-60,000.
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 21. CORONELLI, VICENZO MARIA.<br>1650-1718. [Atlante Veneto.]<br> Est. $25,000-30,000.
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 33. GIGAULT DE LA SALLE, ACHILLE ÉTIENNE. 1772-1840. Voyage pittoresque en Sicile. Est. $25,000-35,000.
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 50. ROTTERDAM. [DE HOOGHE, ROMEYN, AND JOANNES DE VOU.] Album.<br>Est. $50,000-70,000.
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 77. JOSEPH, MICHAEL. A Book of Cats. Covici Friede, 1930. Est. $20,000-30,000.
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 124. DICKENS, CHARLES. 1812-1870. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Est. $20,000-25,000.
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 145. SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. 1564-1616. Shakespear's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. Est. $40,000-60,000.
    <b>Bonhams Dec 10th: </b>Lot 160. JOYCE, JAMES. 1882-1941. Pomes Penyeach. Paris: Obelisk Press. [September] 1932. Est. $45,000-75,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop</b>. 30th anniversary catalogue of landmark rare books, autographs and manuscripts, and historical photographs of all ages.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Abraham Lincoln, "a previously unknown portrait of exceptional quality." From the collection of John Hay.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. <i>The Federalist</i> (1788). An important association copy in original boards, untrimmed.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Isaac Newton. <i>Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica</i> (1687).
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Shakespeare's <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies</i> (1632).
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. John Rockefeller. Ambrotype, the earliest known photograph of Rockefeller.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Muybridge, <i>Animal Locomotion</i> (1887) subscriber's copy.
  • <b>Christies South Kensington:</b> Lot 7: A collection of letters and documents of Scottish industrialist & politician<br>D. J. Macdonald, 1922–1939.<br>£3,000–5,000
    <b>Christies South Kensington:</b> Lot 9: MARCONI WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY – A collection of material relating to the evolution of broadcasting in the early 20th century. £3,000–5,000
    <b>Christies South Kensington:</b> Lot 27: Francesco Maurolico (1494–1575). <i>Martyrologium … Francisci Maurolyci … multo quam antea purgatum, & locupletatum</i>. Venice: Lucas Antonius Giunta, 1568. £6,000–9,000
    <b>Christies South Kensington:</b> Lot 39: Henry Purcell (1659–1695). <i>Orpheus Britannicus</i>. A Collection of all the Choicest Songs for One, Two, and Three Voices. London: for Henry Playford, 1698–1702. £3,000–5,000
    <b>Christies South Kensington:</b> Lot 111: Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598). <i>Theatrum oder Schwabüch des Erdtkreijs</i>. Antwerp: [Jan Baptist Vrients], 1602. £10,000–15,000
    <b>Christies South Kensington:</b> Lot 138: W. L. Wyllie and H. W. Brewer. <i>Bird's Eye View of London as seen from a balloon</i>. London: The Graphic, 1884. £3,000–5,000
    <b>Christies South Kensington:</b> Lot 202: John Speed (1552–1629). <i>The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine</i>. London, 1627–[46]. £15,000–25,000
  • <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous. Stunning first edition in original dust jacket.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Valentine Davies, Miracle on 34th Street. A holiday favorite.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility. Austen’s first published novel.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Seeking to purchase fine books and collections.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Jack Kerouac, On the Road. The Beat generation bible.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Print catalogues regularly issued, call or email for a copy.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman. An exceptional first edition.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace. Rare London edition, the first in English.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> William Wordsworth, Poems. In a charming full-morocco binding.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Print catalogues regularly issued, call or email for a copy.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451. In the publisher’s asbestos binding.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian. McCarthy’s best book.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles. A Fine copy.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Seeking to purchase fine books and collections.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Robert Bloch, Psycho. A lovely copy of a fragile book.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A perennial favorite.

AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2008 Issue

A.E. Crowell Decoys offered by Stephen O'Brien Fine Arts

Obrien

A.E. Crowell carvings from Stephen O'Brien.


By Michael Stillman

Here is a catalogue uncommon for our reviews. It is certainly not of books, and only tangentially might be called “ephemeral." However, one of the favorite subjects for book collectors is sports and sportsmen, and in the days before baseball and football were massively popular, sports hunting was of keen interest, particularly for those of means. This brings us to the latest catalogue of Stephen O'Brien Jr. Fine Arts. It is entitled Select Carvings by A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952) . Crowell was both a master sportsman and artist, and those who collect in the field of hunting, particularly of waterfowl, will certainly appreciate these fine carvings.

Crowell grew up on a cranberry farm in East Harwich (Cape Cod), Massachusetts. Though not a hunter, his father gave young Crowell a shotgun when he was twelve. Crowell took to hunting like...well...a duck to water. He began devising ways to get waterfowl to stop at the lake near his home on their migrations. Although he carved some decoys early on, Elmer's preferred means was live decoys. He would train tethered ducks and geese to lure wild ones their way. He became something of a legend, and hunters sought his help.

Around 1900, Dr. John C. Phillips, sportsman, author, and Associate Curator of Birds at the zoological library at Harvard, hired Crowell, who would remain in his employ for ten years. Along with building better blinds and training his live decoys, Crowell began carving more. He carved both decoys and simply decorative works. However, this would remain a secondary activity until 1912 when Massachusetts passed a law outlawing the sale of migratory birds. Depletion of these bird species by clever techniques such as those employed by Crowell alarmed conservationists, who won their battle with the hunters in the state legislature. Unable to trade in live decoys any longer, Crowell turned to his carving skills to fashion wooden decoys and decorative carvings. This he would do for most of the remainder of his long life.

It is impossible to describe Crowell's carvings with words, other than to note that his great familiarity with the species he carved enabled him to achieve exceptional reality in his works. He carved and painted with meticulous attention to detail. His works are prized by collectors, the best having reached prices in excess of $1 million. Of course, not all are quite so pricey, but you probably would not want to use one of Crowell's carvings as an active decoy today. However, one would look spectacular on the shelf next to your antiquarian hunting books.

Stephen O'Brien may be reached at 617-536-0536 or visited online at www.americansportingart.com. The gallery is located on Newbury Street in Boston.

AE Monthly


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