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Very Early New Mexico Brand Book

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78.     [BRANDS & BRAND BOOKS]. NORTHERN NEW MEXICO STOCK GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION. Brand Book of the Northern New Mexico Stock Growers’ Association, By-Laws and List of Members. July 1, 1884. Raton, New Mexico: The Raton Comet Print, 1884. [1] 2-95 [1, blank] pp. (pp. 81-95 are illustrated ads), hundreds of brands illustrated. 12mo (17 x 10.7 cm), wallet binding of original cream textured cloth with flap, edges tinted red. Rubbed and moderately stained from use. Text block separated from binding, flyleaves separating from text block, endpapers moderately soiled. Interior very fine. Extensive late nineteenth-century pencil annotations (including a few manuscript brands) due to the volume’s use as a memorandum book. Pencil signature of New Mexico pioneer trader and stock grower William B. Stapp on front pastedown (Stapp’s brand and name are on p. 64, and at the front of this book, Stapp is shown as a member of the Executive Committee). The only other copies we locate are the Graff copy at the Newberry and the Bancroft Library.

     First edition. Graff 3036. Not in Adams, et al. This is a very early New Mexico brand book (the earliest brand book listed for New Mexico by Adams is 1902, a supplement to another work). The series of brand books put out by the Northern New Mexico Stock Growers’ Association commenced in 1882 (according to Bancroft holdings), and they appear to be the first New Mexico brand books.

     Due to their heavy use and the circumstances in which they were employed, brand books such as this one rarely survive in good condition. Although the exterior of this one reflects hard use, the interior is surprisingly clean. Each brand is illustrated with a woodcut showing the brand or mark; in addition, horse brands are also usually given. An ad on the last page is for J.M. Bagley, an engraver in Denver, Colorado, who states that he has “furnished engravings for this book.”


Sold. Hammer: $3,800.00; Price Realized: $4,560.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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