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Auction 14: Americana

Lots 61-64: Poetry, Etchings, Woodman's Guide

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61. WALKER, Bernard N. O. Yon-Doo-Shah-We-Ah (Nubbins). By Hen-Toh (Wyandot). Oklahoma City: Harlow Publishing Co., 1924. [6] 73 pp., photographic frontispiece of author in tribal dress, text vignettes throughout. 12mo, original brown pictorial cloth. Light shelf wear, top edges a bit rough where opened carelessly, faint marginal waterstaining to text, text block split between pp. 30-31 (but holding strong). A good to very good copy.
    First edition. Hen-Toh (1870-1927), whose birth name was Bertrand N. O. Walker, was a Wyandot writer of exceptional talent. His works were never widely circulated and are little known to the reading public today. From 1890 until his death in 1927, Hen-Toh worked in the Indian Service except for brief intervals. He taught for ten years in federal Indian schools in California and Arizona and at the Seneca Industrial School near his home. After 1901 he was a clerk at various Indian agencies but spent most of his time at the Quapaw Agency, which served the Wyandots. This was his last book, and it is much scarcer than his first book (Tales from the Bark Lodges). In these poems, Hen-Toh employed dialect humor, long popular among Native American writers who were born in the old Indian Territory.

62. WALL, Bernhardt. Following Andrew Jackson 1767–1845. Lime Rock [but Houston, according to Wall’s notes on inserted etcher’s slip], 1937. 46 colored etchings on heavy wove paper (plus cover etching and etcher’s slip), most signed in pencil by Wall. Small 4to, original grey cloth over plain grey boards, etching on upper cover (hand bound by Wall). 2 etchings detached. Very fine in Wall’s grey dust wrapper with etched paper label on spine (jacket slightly browned). Signed presentation copy: “To Harold D. Hahl, Esq., with my best regards and wishes. Bernhardt Wall, May 3, 1937.” Preserved in Wall’s grey board and grey cloth case (with old tape reinforcement that should be removed).

     Limited edition (#3 of 100 copies). Weber, Following Bernhardt Wall, p. 43: “The plates for this book were etched at Houston and printed and bound at Lime Rock [etcher’s printed slip in this copy indicates this copy was created entirely in Houston]. It is dedicated to Herbert Godwin, Esq., ‘Tennessean by birth, Texan by adoption, a public-spirited citizen and lover of the arts.’” One of the plates has a tipped-in two-cent postage stamp with Jackson’s portrait.


Trial Issue with 261 Etchings by Bernhardt Wall

63. WALL, Bernhardt. The Odyssey of the Etcher of Books. Sierra Madre, California, 1945. 261 etchings on heavy laid paper (almost all in colors), interleaved with protective tissue sheets bearing Wall’s manuscript ink number at top right of each sheet, many of the etchings signed by Wall. 4to, original green cloth over binding board, small gilt square at each corner of covers, 2 gilt-lettered cloth spine labels. Front joint with three small splits, upper hinge cracked (stitching is strong), occasional mild browning not affecting plates. A fine copy in original plain tan dust wrapper with etched paper spine label. The etchings are uniformly pristine.

     Limited edition (trial copy #4 of 8, in an edition of 50 signed copies). Wall’s etched slip tipped in at front states that the plates were etched in Connecticut, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee, but printed and bound by him in Sierra Madre. Weber, Following Bernhardt Wall, p. 44 (noting that the regular edition contained only 27 plates, but commenting that a collector has a copy with “no fewer than 260 etchings”). This book is one of the more unusual books in conception, design, illustration, and binding. The Odyssey contains the etchings Wall considered his best and most representative work, including his dramatic large-size portrait of Abraham Lincoln, generally conceded to be his top print. If a collector or library is confined to owning only one etched book by Wall, this is the one.
     In Walliana, Wall describes the book as “The best of my etchings in Prose, Poetry and Pictures, done in 30 years of the art of etching.” Lowman, Printing Arts in Texas, p. 28: “[Wall (1872-1953) was] a gentle, patient, sensitive man who was, by any standard, a well-rounded artisan. Wall wrote and illustrated his books, designed them, etched the plates, printed and signed each etching, then cut, folded, gathered, sewed, bound, lettered, and labeled them.”

One of the Fifty Texas Rarities

64. WOODMAN, David. Guide to Texas Emigrants. Boston: Printed by M. Hawes, For The Publishers, 81 Cornhill, near the N.E. Museum, 1835. vi [13]-192 pp. (p. 59 misnumbered 29), copper-engraved plate (The Buffalo Hunt [lower left]: Painted by A. Fisher [lower right]: Engraved by W. E. Tucker; 7.8 x 9.9 cm; 3-1/4 x 4 inches), folding copper-engraved map on onionskin paper with original hand coloring (Map of the Colonization Grants to Zavala, Vehlein & Burnet in Texas, Belonging to The Galveston Bay & Texas Land Co. [Lower right below neat line]: S. Stiles & Co. N.Y. 23 x 30 cm; 9 x 11-3/4 inches; inset map at lower right: Plan of the Port of Galveston, Made by Order of the Mexican Government. By Alexander Thompson of the Mexican Navy in 1828. 8.2 x 13.8 cm; 3-1/4 x 5-1/2 inches, grants colored in green, pink, and yellow). 12mo, modern three-quarter brown morocco over marbled boards. Title slightly browned with minor paper losses supplied (not affecting text) and with ink stencil of Mercantile Library Boston and remains of their ink oval stamp. Title and first leaf mounted on stubs, light waterstaining to upper corners of first few signatures (not affecting text), occasional contemporary ink markings scattered throughout. The map, which is detached, is very good to fine (creased where formerly folded and slight losses at fold line, expertly deacidified and restored, reinforced with minor additions in modern pen and ink facsimile). Engraved plate very fine. Overall, a good to very good and complete copy of a book genuinely rare, and difficult to find complete.

    First edition. American Imprints 35502. Bradford 6000. Brinley Sale 4747. Clark, Old South 3:117. Fifty Texas Rarities 12. Graff 4737. Howes W647. Phillips, American Sporting Books, p. 413. Rader 3731. Raines, p. 222. Sabin 105111. Streeter 1177. Vandale 197. This small book was almost assuredly sponsored by the Galveston Bay & Texas Land Company, which at the time was actively promoting its Texas holdings in both America and Europe. The basic text is their Address to the Reader of the Documents Related to the Galveston Bay & Texas Land Company, Which Are Contained in the Appendix (New York: G. F. Hopkins & Son, 44 Nassau Street, January 1, 1831), which is cited on p. [1]. Woodman states that he is using it here by “making it the text for such comments upon the present condition of the country as the change of circumstances and relations require.” In expanding the basic document, Woodman has included numerous articles from newspapers and letters written to describe Texas and the company’s lands.

    Although apparently a hack writer about whom almost nothing is known, Woodman had a way with words. In his introduction he remarks: “The difference between the condition of the farmers in New England and Texas may be summed up in a few words. Here, the owner is at work for the support of his beasts the whole year round; and there, the cattle are at work the whole time for the profit of the owner. There, the cattle are the slaves of their master; and here, the master is the slave of his beasts” (p. iv). The genuine problem that Woodman must address, however, and what may have formed some of the impetus for the publication of this work, is contained in pp. 97-113, wherein questions that had arisen concerning Mexican immigration laws and the security of the company’s title to its lands are covered. The main vehicle for such criticism was the anonymous Visit to Texas (Streeter 1155). On the whole, this publication is very favorable in its descriptions of the company’s lands and the prospects of those immigrating to them.
    The handsome copper-engraved plate of a buffalo is a very early engraving of a Texas scene. Alvan Fisher (1792-1863), the artist who created the engraving, appears to have drawn inspiration from Titian Peale’s American Buffaloe (1832). William E. Tucker (1801-1857), who engraved the plate, worked in Philadelphia between 1823 and 1845 “He was an excellent engraver in line and stipple” (Fielding, p. 281). The excellent map that appears in this rare guide is also found on a large broadside of the Galveston Bay & Texas Land Company (Streeter 1164).

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