• <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> China: The Camera Collection. An extensive collection of material from archives of John David Zumbrun and Camera Craft. Sold for US$ 317,000 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> Chernikhov, Yakov Geogievich. 1889-1951. <i>Architectural Cycles</i>. Sold for US$ 425,000 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> Turing, Alan Mathison. 1912-1954. On Computable Numbers, Application to the Entscheidungsproblem. Sold for US$ 50,000 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> CHERNIKHOV, YAKOV GEORGIEVICH. 1889-1951. Sold for US$ 173,000 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> GÖDEL, KURT. On Undecidable Propositions of Formal Mathematical Systems. Sold for US$ 47,500 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> FEYNMAN, RICHARD and LARRY GROBEL. Original Cassette Tape of an interview of Nobel prize winning physicist. Sold for US$ 37,500 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 5 June 2014:</b> A D-Day 48 star Ensign flown from LST-493, 6th June 1944. Sold for US$ 386,500 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 5 June 2014:</b> A Rare Enigma three rotor Enciphering Machine Germany circa 1942-44. Sold for US$ 92,500 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 5 June 2014:</b> Anonymous, alithographic poster, 1939. Sold for US$ 27,500 inc. premium
  • <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>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Silver bindings from the Abbey collection.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Erotica from a Swiss collection.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Botany - Batemann, James. The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala. London, 1837-1843. CHF 40 000/60 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Botany - Merian, Maria Sibylla. Amsterdam, 1713-17. CHF 120 000/160 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Botany - Redouté, Pierre Joseph. Les roses, déscrites et classée par C.A. Thory. CHF 20 000/30 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Botany - Sander, Henry Frederick Conrad. Reichenbachia, Orchids illustrated and described. CHF 15 000/20 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b><br>Botany - Weinmann, Johann Wilhelm. Phytanthoza-Iconographia.<br>CHF 40 000/60 000
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Newton, Isaac. Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica. CHF 350 000/550 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b><br>Zoology - De Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc. Histoire naturelle.<br>CHF 12 000/18 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Italy - Canaletto - Visentini, Antonio. Urbis Venetiarum prospectus celebriores. CHF 20 000/30 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Orient - Denon, Dominique-Vivant. Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte.<br>CHF 20 000/30 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b> Orient - Roberts, David. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia.<br>CHF 140 000/200 000
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b><br>Apian, Peter. Astronomicum Caesareum. Ingolstadt, 1540.<br>CHF 600 000/800 000
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b><br>Orientalia - Koran. Iran, 1793/1794.<br>CHF 12 000/18 000.
    <b>Koller 20 September 2014:</b><br>Wagner, Richard. Tristan und Isolde.<br>CHF 40 000/60 000.
  • <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.
    <b>Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers:</b> Closing Doors forever Saturday September 6th. All stock, in house and online, 70% off. Use code: THISISIT.

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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