Sep 30, 2021 - Sale 2580

Sale 2580 - Lot 203

Price Realized: $ 5,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
(PERIODICALS.) The American Museum. 2 folding plates, occasional text illustrations. 12 volumes. 8vo, contemporary calf, worn and dry, joints mostly split or detached, original spine labels and volume labels present; contents generally clean; foxing, occasional dampstaining, Volume I lacking 3 leaves, Volume IV lacking 2 preliminary leaves and 4 internal leaves, Volumes I and V bound without usual subscriber lists (4 and 8 leaves); each with very early library bookplates and other markings. Does not include the related later volume, "The American Museum: or, Annual Register of Fugitive Pieces, Ancient and Modern. For the Year 1798," sometimes described as Volume XIII. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1787-92 issues (printed 1788-93) plus 1798 collective title pages

Additional Details

A complete run of the original 12 volumes of this seminal American magazine. The negotiations over the United States Constitution are a central focus of the first 6 volumes. Most notable is a printing of the 17 September 1787 version in seven articles, printed in the September 1787 issue, pages 276-284. The Bill of Rights is printed in the second appendix of Volume VII.

The May 1789 issue contains the first American printing of the famous deck plan of the slave ship Brooks, titled "Plan of an African Ship's Lower Deck, with Negroes in the Proportion of Not Quite One to a Ton," folding out to 5 1/4 x 16 inches. It was one of the most powerful images of the early anti-slavery movement. Appearing as the frontispiece of the March 1789 issue is an engraved map, "Chart of the Gulf Stream," folding out to 8 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches, with some separation at folds but complete. The November 1789 issue features an engraving of a young enslaved child from Maryland who was born without arms.

Other highlights include the Federalist Papers, Nos. 1-6 as published in the November and December 1787 issues; and "Address of the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode-Island, to the President of the United States of America, August 17, 1790" in an appendix to Volume IX, page 40.

This volume is a mixed edition. The first 11 volumes are each bound with a rarely seen 1798 collective title page, presumably issued to make the 12 volumes complete with the revived Volume XIII issued that year. However, each volume seems to consist of individual issues culled from Carey's inventory--Volumes I through III being a mix of different editions, and the later volumes apparently made up of first-edition issues, with the occasional subscriber list or other preliminary omitted. The magazine contents are complete except for 7 missing leaves as noted.

This magazine is rarely seen in a complete run, as the great value of the slave ship engraving often causes it to be separated.