Collection of Nine Pictorial Letter Sheets, All with Letters

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593. [LETTER SHEETS: SEVERAL LOCALES]. Collection of nine pictorial letter sheets from various places; media include lithograph, wood engraving, and steel engraving, on several types and colors of papers; all with contemporary signed autograph letters by different writers. Generally fine to very fine, with usual creasing at folds. An excellent research collection for the letter sheet genre.

[1] CINCINNATI, OHIO. Cincinnati. From mouth of Licking River Covington [between image and title proper] Published by Geo. Dickinson. Lithograph of town in the distance as seen from Licking River, a tributary of the Ohio River, at right is a U.S. flag with thirteen stars afloat; on a double sheet of white wove paper. Image size: 11.3 x 17.1 cm; single sheet size: 24.7 x 19.3 cm; overall sheet size: 24.7 x 38.6 cm. Autograph letter signed (2-1/2 pp.), dated at Covington, Kentucky, April 16, 1847, to W. Jones, Surveyor General, of Iowa and Wisconsin, from Elisha Divelle (2-1/2 pp.). Letter relating to Midwest map making in the 1840s, with discussion of ownership maps, plat books, and other surveying and map making materials (including copper plates) that were published by A.G. Ellis. Mentions Desilver. The view of Cincinnati is superb, very precise, excellent shading, and finely etched.

[2] CINCINNATI, OHIO. South Prospect of Cincinnati, O. With Newport and part of Covington [below image at left] Published by E. Mendenhall, at his Map Establishment, Walnut Street. Wood engraving of town view in distance framed by two tall trees on either side and people on a prominence looking toward the town; on a double sheet of ruled blue wove paper. Image size: 8.5 x 17.8 cm; single sheet size: 24.6 x 19.7 cm; overall sheet size: 24.6 x 39.5 cm. Multiple postal markings from Liverpool and Cincinnati, with stamped and manuscript postal rates. Autograph letter signed (2-1/4 pp.), to Richard Battersby of Liverpool, England, dated at Cincinnati, January 8, 1855, regarding passage of children from Philadelphia to Liverpool.

[3] DES MOINES, IOWA. Des Moines, Iowa from the Capitol [under image above title] Published by Wesley Redhead & Co., Booksellers & Stationers, Des Moines, Iowa. Lithograph bird’s-eye view on a double sheet of white wove paper; image size: 8.5 x 18 cm; single sheet size: 24.8 x 19.5 cm; overall sheet size: 24.8 x 39 cm. Autograph letter signed (2-1/2 pp.), from LeRoy G. Palmer dated at Des Moines, May 19, 1861, to his sister Malinda Palmer (2-1/2 pp). The writer remarks that the image on the sheet was engraved from a photograph and discusses military news, remarking that the war has suspended all the courts and almost all business. He urges his sister to “come up to some safe place where all are Black Republicans & there is no danger from attacks of Southern barbarians. I suppose father thinks he is a prophet now as he said to us 30 years ago that War & bloodshed would grow out of the institution of slavery.”

[4] GENEVA, NEW YORK. View of Geneva, N.Y. [between lower border of image and main title] H. Walton Del. | Published by Geo. H. Derby & Co. Booksellers | Felch Sc. Lithograph view of Geneva, with horse-drawn carriage, human activity, on the shore Seneca Lake and in the distance the town;, double sheet of grey wove paper. Image size: 8.2 x 15.9 cm; single sheet size: 25.2 x 20.3 cm; overall sheet size: 25.2 x 40.6 cm; with additional double sheet and envelope with blue ink stamped postal markings. Autograph letter signed (8 pp.), from Samuel Craddock, dated at Geneva on December 1, 1847, to his sister, D.E. Craddock of Weedsport, N.Y. Craddock’s long letter is filled with wickedly amusing observations on society, Presbyterian women’s dress (“plainliness”), preachers, the “maneuvers” and “regalia” of the Catholic ceremony, college life, Odd Fellows, temperance, etc. He comments on the “Fair-sex” of Geneva: “There are plenty of girls here, I’ll assure,—of all sorts and sizes—some large, and some small,—some short, and some tall—some old, and some young—some wise and some other-wise, &c, &cs. &c.” He assures his sister that he will avoid the ladies and their matrimonial traps because he intends to focus on his medical studies. The image on this letter sheet is very accomplished—the work of George H. Derby, Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Topographic Corps, better known as an early California humorist who wrote under pseudonyms including “John Phoenix” and “Squibob.” One small spot on image.

[5] NEW ORLEANS. New Orleans. [below image] Published by B.M. Norman N.O. | Engd. by Shields & Hammond. Steel engraving of the New Orleans waterfront with ships in the Mississippi River and various human activities on the near shore; on a double sheet of white wove paper. Image size: 7 x 12.3 cm; single sheet size: 25.2 x 20 cm; overall sheet size: 25.2 x 40 cm. Integral address leaf with New Orleans postmark, ten-cent postage ink stamp, with a further stamp marked “Paid.” Autograph letter signed, from William Henry Brundage, dated at New Orleans, April 15, 1846, to his sister and a second letter to his mother, sent care of C.J.B. Mount, Rochester, New York (3 pp.). Brudage discusses family matters and explains some details of the illustration on this letter sheet. This is one of the more beautiful letter sheets with exquisitely detailed engraving and expert shading, clouds on the horizon. Publisher Benjamin Moore Norman wrote a guide to New Orleans in 1845, but is best known for his books of travel on Yucatan and Central America.

[6] PHILADELPHIA. Philadelphia. Wood engraving of scene with Paddlewheel steamer belching smoke and people in a small boat in foreground, many more boats and the city in distance; on a double sheet of grey wove paper. Image size: 7.3 x 18.7 cm; single sheet size: 25.5 x 20.3 cm; overall sheet size: 25.5 x 40.8 cm, integral address on p. 3, remains of wax seal, 5 postal markings in hand and ink stamp. Autograph letter signed (2 pp.), in German, from Friderich Schnauble, dated at Philadelphia on February 11, 1849. Several very small holes and a bit of marginal wear.

[7] PITTSBURGH. View of the City of Pittsburgh. [below image left] Lith. of Wm. Schuchmann, 3rd. Str. opposite the Post Office, Pittsburgh. Wood engraving of river scene with paddlewheel steamer and two fisherman in a small boat in foreground, other boats and city of Pittsburgh in distance; on a double sheet of white wove paper, ruled. Image size: 5.4 x 17 cm; single sheet size: 25.3 x 20 cm; overall sheet size: 25.3 x 40 cm. Autograph letter signed (2 pp.), from James F. Sawyer (lawyer for Mrs. Black, recipient’s husband) dated at Pittsburgh, April 7, 1854, stiff letter regarding payments due Mrs. Black including “board and schooling of the child.”

[8] ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS. Railroad Bridge over the Mississippi, Connecting Rock Island, Illinois, with Davenport, Iowa. Island City Hotel—Tuxbury & Arnold, Proprietors. City of Rock Island, 1855. [above image left] Iowa.] Bridge over Main Channel, (250 ft. each span, Draw 120 ft each side.) Rock Island and Fort Armstrong. Bridge over Branch, (250 ft. each span.) [Illinois. [below image left] H.A. Porter & Bro. Stationers, R.I. [below image right] Raymond, P. Wood engraving of river scene showing Rock Island, smoking steamboats, bridge, and fisherman on shore; double sheet of blue laid paper ruled. Image size: 7.8 x 18.8 cm; single sheet size: 24.5 x 19.8 cm; overall sheet size: 24.5 x 39.6 cm. Postmarked at Rock Island, small red ink stamp (3 cents). Autograph letter signed (2 pp.), from Silas Riddle dated at Rock Island, July 16, 1855, to his father in Manchester, New York. Riddle comments that Rock Island-Davenport would be a good location for commerce since it is located at the end of the line of the railroad; relates well-attended public execution of a man who killed his wife; observes the low level of the river, good wheat crop, etc.

[9] ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI. Bird’s-Eye View of the City of St. Joseph, Mo. [Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by Ernst & Brill, in the offices of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D.C.]. Wood engraving of ,on white wove paper. Image size: 6 x 19 cm; sheet size: 25.8 x 20.5 cm. Autograph letter signed (1/2 p.), from H. Barr dated at St. Joseph, July 15, 1876, regarding upcoming travel to the mountains and the repayment of twenty dollars. Barr writes: “Have been delayed in my trip longer than I had expected to. Herewith find the $20–Many thanks. I start for the mountains tomorrow morning. It is too late to get a draft and the P.O. is closed so I will risk sending this in the old fashioned way.”


Auction 23 Abstracts

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