Heritage Auctions Rare Books Auction #6164 is a kind of miscellany as usual, offering a variety of desirable lots in many subject and collecting areas, with particular strength in Americana (including Western Americana) and Literature. All lots should be available to view online, and will be open for bidding soon. This auction will take place on September 15th, at the Heritage Auctions headquarters in Dallas, with a limited preview of most lots in New York City, at the Heritage Auctions location at 445 Park Ave. (at 57th Street) in the 15th floor showroom.
Among the Americana treasures you will find an exceptional copy of the Journals of Congress in the original boards (expertly rebacked with modern paper spines). This is a wonderful copy of a group of books typically found in mismatched bindings of various dates, styles, and degrees of deterioration. This set is beautiful. The text covers the proceedings in Congress from 1774 to 1788, including the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War; and features many early versions of important foundational American documents, such as the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. A wonderful and thorough glimpse into the founding of our country (When America was Originally Great, Again). Speaking of foundational texts, we are offering an attractive first collected edition of The Federalist in two volumes, in handsome and appropriate contemporary tree calf, skillfully rebacked to style. Howes states The Federalist is “The most famous and influential American political work.” These masterful essays on the Constitution by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay were originally published in New York newspapers under the name of “Publius,” and were intended to sway a hostile New York delegation to accept the Federal System and the Constitution. They are collected here in two volumes (published some months apart, in 1788) and constitute the first edition in book form. The copy at hand has special provenance, bearing the signatures in each volume of Samuel Boyd, a merchant, friend and colleague of Alexander Hamilton; who founded the New York Post together with Hamilton.
The Western Americana Reference Library of Larry McMurtry
As part of our September 2016 Rare Books Signature Auction #6164, Heritage is proud to offer The Western Americana Reference Library of renowned Texas author Larry McMurtry, to be sold in its entirety, in a total of twenty large lots. One of the most respected American writers of the Twentieth-Century, McMurtry has written a host of western themed classics, including Horseman, Pass By, Leaving Cheyenne and the Pulitzer Prize winning Lonesome Dove, as well as numerous others. Skip Hollandsworth wrote in a recent Texas Monthly Profile, that “There’s no question that [McMurtry]… has done more to shape the country’s understanding of Texas than anyone before or since.”
The collection consists primarily of non-fiction Western-Americana books from McMurtry’s personal working library, previously housed in a separate building behind the McMurtry residence in Archer City, Texas, informally known as “The Book House.” A small, two story brick building, its walls lined floor-to-ceiling with bookshelves, the Book House has provided a colorful home to thousands of historic books, as well as an impressive collection of animal skulls, a scattering of western-style furniture, piles of movie memorabilia, and one or two rusty, old manual typewriters.
The collection boasts hundreds of books on historical Western Americana topics: Biographies and memoirs of cattle ranchers and rustlers, books on Native American tribes, infamous gunfighters, Civil War Generals, frontier explorers, cowboys, trail bosses, gamblers, prostitutes, preachers and Presidents. These are the reference books that McMurtry used to write many of his beloved novels, most notably his Lonesome Dove series.
There is also a considerable amount of inscribed Texas fiction by young (at the time) Texas writers and poets, early in their careers, eager for a nod from one of their literary heroes. Additionally, included are books on travel, art, photography, music, natural history, the environment, and more. Most of the books in the collection contain McMurtry’s personal bookplate, and some even bear his early ownership signatures, dating back to the late 1950s. The entire library is being sold in the current auction (in a total of twenty lots), so there will not be another opportunity to bid on this historic collection. We hope that you will share in our excitement in bringing you this truly unique offering from a legendary and timeless talent.
Some notable lots offered include a collection of books on cowboy songs and folk ballads, Larry’s personal copy of the “Saddle Blanket” edition of The King Ranch, by Tom Lea, a collection of travel books including numerous WPA state guides, large Texana lots and much more.