Member Blogs > Read'Em Again BooksVacation is Over; Back on the Book Fair Circuit - 1 October 2015

  • Thu, 01 Oct 2015 09:35:31    Permalink

    After our last show this past April, Ephemera 35, we decided to take the summer off.  No shows at all, although we did keep our on-line venues open and made a number of nice sales.  Also, we kept up our direct quotes to institutions and put out a fairly successful catalog with a lot of Americana, mostly journals, diaries, and photograph albums.  About half of the catalog listings have sold, but there is a lot of interesting material remaining, and you can browse the items that are still for sale by clicking on this link or the catalog image above.  If you see something you like, don’t hesitate to contact us and make a reasonable offer; we're usually willing to offer a discount after a catalog has been out for a few months.
    We did have a several interesting queries during the summer.  The programmers for the History Channel's television show, Pawn Stars , contacted us twice to see if we wanted to appear on the show and dicker with Rick about two of our items.  We turned them down, twice.  While we enjoy watching the show, and while it would, no doubt, have been fun to visit Las Vegas on the History Channel's dime, it just didn’t seem like a wise business decision to publicize Read’Em Again Books on national television by appearing so desperate to make a sale that we were willing to bargain with a pawnshop owner (whose autobiography includes the phrase "Steals, Deals, and My Life") who wants pay no more than half of an item's retail value.  These are the two items that the producers asked us to bring on the show:
    The Louisiana Tiger Zouaves at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas): The Civil War Correspondence Archive of Lieutenant William D. Foley.  Various locations, 1861.  12 Letters from Foley.   Foley's important collection of correspondence, which dates from 4 April 1861 to 23 November 1861, provides a detailed view of the activation of the 1st Special Battalion of Louisiana Infantry (also known as the Tiger Rifles, the Tiger Zouaves, and the Louisiana Tigers) and its famed heroics at the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run).  Foley's detailed letter of 25 July 1861 describing the first hours of the First Battle of Manassas is of considerable import and was published in the New Orleans Daily True Delta as a news report. It describes the wounding of several battalion officers including the commander, Major Wheat, as well its subsequent retreat, counter attack, and gallant and victorious stand against an opposing force of 8,000.  Other letters reflect Foley's view of the battalion's initial organization, its time training at Tangipahoa, its movement north, and post-battle duty in Virginia. Foley, who fled Petersburg Virginia, in the 1850s with his father to avoid significant debts, was initially a member of the Old Dominion Guard, but later transferred to the Tiger Rifles.  He was killed in June of 1862 at the Battle of Gaines Mills (Cold Harbor),  the third fight of the Seven Days Battle during Union General McClellan's Peninsula Campaign.  $4,000  (#8251) Catalogue: Compliments of Jordan, Marsh & Co. with a Hearty Welcome and a Merry Christmas for All.  Boston, 1882.  Complete with 32 pages.  Full-page cover illustration of Santa Claus climbing through a window.  Product illustrations throughout.  Clean pages; first four leaves have some light edge-wear.  Light soiling and edge-wear to the cover.  No doubt this is one of the earliest merchandising uses of Santa's image, as it wasn't until "the mid 1880s [that] merchants chose a Santa who looked 'like a peddler with a magical and inexhaustible bag of presents' to market their wares." (See Santa Claus Does More than Deliver Toys by Okleshen, Baker, and Mittelstaedt.)  This catalogue issued on 27 November for the 1882 Christmas season includes ten pages of gifts for children (toys, books, skates, paints, etc.), with many illustrated including The Creeping Baby, Conjurer's Cabinets, Bagatelle Games, Magic Lanterns, Negro Target, Artillery Ten Pins, a Musical Santa Claus and Sleigh, a Singing Doll, Jubilee Monkey Velocipede, Tap-Dancing Toys, a Gyroscope, Toy Train, Sliced Puzzles, and more.  Other products include Ladies Fur Coats, Lace Goods, Pocket Books, Fans, Jewelry, Toilet Sets, etc.  Not listed in Romaine or Fredgant. We also had the editor of a soon-to-be-published reference book on Japanese fabric art, Re-envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles, contact us to arrange the use of a couple images of one our nicer advertising pieces as illustrations for a chapter in the book on A. A. Vantine & Company. 1893 Illustrated Advertising Cover for A. A. Vantine & Company Promoting their Wholesale Goods to Retailers. New York, 1893.  The envelope, made from sparkling Japanese paper, measures 3" x 5" when folded and 10" x 13" when unfolded.  It is filled with multi-color images of Japan (Mount Fuji and seaside scenes), a wide variety of Asian merchandise sold by Vantine, and Japanese and Chinese men celebrating Christmas.  A. A. Vantine's was one of the first and largest importers of Asian goods in the United States and dominated the American market well into the twentieth century.  Vantine opened his first "Oriental Store" in New York City in 1866 after years of selling trade goods to gold miners in California where he first became captivated by Asian ceramics and textiles.  After a slow start, his sales exploded, and by the 1870s, Vantine stocked thousands of items and had branch offices located throughout the United States.  This very scarce postal advertisement is truly spectacular in size, illustration, and content; it will be used to illustrate a chapter on A.A. Vantine in the soon-to-be-published reference book, "Re-envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles," edited by John E. Vollmer that is scheduled for release by 5 Continents Editions of Milan in the summer of 2016.  $900.  (#8248)Anyway, we’ll soon be setting up in the Lansing Center for the 62nd Michigan Book and Paper Fair, which will be held on Sunday, 11 October, between 9:30 am and 5 pm.  Usually there are around 60 to 70 dealers in attendance.  Here's a list of this year's exhibitors.  We really like this show as it always has a wide range of stock across a wide range of prices; you can find interesting material priced from less than one dollar to well into five figures.  We will be bringing a lot of interesting books and paper, including our most recently listed stock and hope to see some of you there.

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