Saturday, August 30, 2014

Civil War photo album by Navy captain

THIS JUST IN: Michael has returned from the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show with a most amazing Civil War photograph album. It was assembled by Captain Robert Townsend, who commanded the USS Essex, a 1,000-ton ironclad gunboat, in the attack on Port Hudson, Louisiana, in September 1862 and the Red River Campaign in March-May 1864. Watch Mike tell about this fascinating item and an accompanying vintage letter. To purchase this item, please call (727) 822-3278.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some historical Florida items you'll want

Here’s another installment of interesting historical Florida ephemera and other items. First up: a copy of Life and Adventures in South Florida, a memoir by Florida pioneer Andrew P. Canova, who lived for a time in St. Petersburg.

Canova fought in the Third Seminole War in South Florida, and gives a personal account of his adventures in the book. Actually, the book is compiled from newspaper columns first published in the weekly Southern Sun in Palatka in 1885. This book is a collection published by Tribune Printing Co. in Tampa in 1906.

Here, too, are vintage maps of Tampa, two from about 1957 and another from about 1966. As always, such items give an insight into the city as it used to be and offer a reminder of just how much things have changed.

And finally, we have a vintage photo album, the kind you’d have found in a tourist shop. It has a leather cover with “Tampa, Fla.” printed on it and a hand-painted scene of wild Florida with an alligator. The album contains no photographs.

Click on any photograph to enlarge it. To purchase any of these items, please call (727) 822-3278.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Love St. Augustine history? This is for you!

If you like Florida history, you’re going to love this likely late 19th century or early 20th century photo album from St. Augustine. Here are many scenes taken near the turn of the century in and around America’s oldest city. There are shots of various vessels making a port call, including the steamboat Planter from Charleston, South Carolina, and the USS Ericsson, the second torpedo boat in the U.S. Navy.

The steamboat Planter may be the same vessel that was piloted by slave Robert Smalls through Confederate defenses in 1862 and surrendered to the Union Navy. It later served as a Union gunboat. However, that boat was beached in 1876, so if this is a photo of it in St. Augustine, it may be from the 1870s.

The USS Ericsson was based in Newport, Rhode Island, but was sent to Key West in 1897 to join U.S. forces in blockading Cuba in the months leading up to the Spanish American War. During the war, the vessel participated in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba and figured in the rescue of more than 100 Spanish sailors from the doomed crusier Vizcaya. The photograph may been taken on the Ericsson’s trip south or on its return in 1898.

In 1895, a wooden bridge was built across Matanzas Bay from St. Augustine to Anastasia Island (South Beach). It was renovated in 1904 to allow for a trolley. One photograph shows the gate to the toll bridge and seems to indicate a train was available. Another photo shows a two-team horse-drawn omnibus that connected with the South Beach train.

Click on any photograph to enlarge it. To purchase this book, please call (727) 822-3278.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Something wonderful for Rawlings fans

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings fans are going to love this. Here’s a beautiful signed first edition of Rawlings’ When the Whippoorwill (1940), a collection of her short stories published after she won the Pulitzer Prize for The Yearling the year before. This one was Lois Lenski’s personal copy. A definite must for the collector. We should mention we also have other Rawlings books, such as Golden Apples (1935) and The Sojourner (1953), Rawlings’ final novel.

Monday, August 25, 2014

If you love fish, you're going to want this

THIS JUST IN: Fishes of Guiana (1841). This beautiful little volume was published in Scotland and contains dozens of engraved color plates of amazing fish. Perfect for the ichthyologist.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hard-to-find Tampa magazine, April 1948

THIS JUST IN: Here's another item in our collection of Tampa ephemera. This is one of the first copies of a monthly magazine published in Tampa in 1948. To purchase this item, please call (727) 822-3278.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Alligator hunting on Cayo Costa

THIS JUST IN: The little 1907 gem contains a fascinating account of alligator hunting on Cayo Costa in southwest Florida. It also tells of the then-growing sport of tarpon fishing in the area.
English writer Frederick Aflalo was an avid sports fisherman and hunter and wrote about those subjects in numerous books about his adventures all around the world. He stayed at Useppa Island in Pine Island Sound during this trip. To purchase this item, please call (727) 822-3278.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pioneer Florida (1959). edited by D.B. McKay

D.B. McKay, who owned the Tampa Times in the 1930s, served two terms as mayor of Tampa, and helped establish the University of Tampa, used to publish a feature in the Tampa Tribune on Sundays called Pioneer Florida. It was a collection of stories, anecdotes, and vintage photographs about Florida in the early days, and it began in 1948. In 1959, the Pioneer Florida pages were collected and published as an illustrated three-volume set. It is a must-have for a dedicated Florida history enthusiast. To purchase this item, please call (727) 822-3278.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Antiphonal music, circa 1450, on vellum

Side with later floral decorations.
Notes are printed with wood blocks.
THIS JUST IN: We have several original leaves from a Medieval/early Renaissance antiphon, circa 1450.

They are partially printed. The notes, for instance, are printed with wood blocks. The words are in Latin and are in manuscript, with period flourishes for several initials. The musical staffs are in four lines, rather than our modern five lines. The leaves themselves are vellum, a much heartier material than paper.

One side of the leaves bears later floral decorations. We have had multiple opinions about these additions. An art conservator took a look at them and decided that they were early, perhaps from the 1600s, and that they displayed rococo elements consistent with that period.

The leaves themselves were originally purchased by a collector while he was in England. The collector (a collector of Africana) thought the leaves might have migrated to Africa at some point and been decorated there, perhaps in the 19th century. Another expert decided that the decorations seemed more like something from the 1970s.

We have matted and shrink-wrapped a leaf so that both sides are visible, and the buyer can decide which side to display. The photographs shown are from different leaves. You may click on the photos to enlarge them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Florida naturalist's guide, signed first edition

 THIS JUST IN: Here is a beautiful copy of Out of Doors in Florida (1923) by the famed conservationist Charles Torrey Simpson. It is a signed first edition. Simpson became an authority on the shells, mollusks, and plant life of south Florida, and did research for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of Natural History. He was known as the Sage of Biscayne Bay.  He was a prolific writer and began publishing in the late 1880s. This is one of his last books.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hooker's Point shipyard photos, 1942

THIS JUST IN: This is a lot of 10 photographs of a shipyard construction project in Tampa taken by Burgert Brothers. In 1942, America needed Liberty Ships to aid the war effort, and Philadelphia industrialist Matthew McCloskey began construction of a $30 million shipyard at Hooker’s Point in Tampa. The shipyard would employ 6,000 and produce concrete Liberty Ships to transport war materiel. Click on the photographs to enlarge them. This is only part of an extensive collection of Tampa-related ephemera we have acquired. We’ll show you more later.

Friday, August 15, 2014

1835 hand-colored botanical prints

 THIS JUST IN: Here are beautiful hand-colored botanical lithographs published about 1835 in London. We’re showing you only four but we have hundreds. Sir Joseph Paxton published Paxton’s Magazine of Botany for about 15 years, beginning in 1834. The publication was known for its high quality illustrations. Side note: Paxton also designed the famous Crystal Palace for The Great Exhibition in London in 1851. Click on each image to enlarge it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hand-colored West Indies lithographs, 1856

THIS JUST IN: Beautiful hand-colored lithographs published in Copenhagen in 1856. We have five of them, of different West Indies scenes. Each is in double-matted and framed to preserve the related text. They are in fine condition. The image above is distorted because of the wide-angle lens. Images below are cropped to show the scene better.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Maya Angelou, leatherbound and signed

THIS JUST IN: Here's The Easton Press' beautiful 1999 special leather-bound edition of Maya Angelou's book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It is inscribed "Joy!" and signed by the author.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Africa maps from the 1600s and 1700s

THIS JUST IN: Antique map lovers are going to be thrilled with this new collection of Africa maps we've just acquired. At the top in this photo, Partie Meridionale d'Afrique (1705), created by Nicolas de Fer, in Paris. Next is Nigritarum Regio (1670), created by John Ogilby in London. In front, Carte de Canal de Mosambique ... (1780), created by Rigobert Bonne in Paris. All are handcolored, and printed from copper engravings.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Automotive series, signed, limited edition

The Survivors. These are the car collector's dream. Original equipment. Original paint job. This beautiful series of books features Mercedes, Corvettes, Jaguars, Porsches, and more. Like the cars they depict, this series is special. Limited edition. Only 100 copies were printed of each volume. Signed. A collector's series for the connoisseur.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

17th century print of Fort Caroline

THIS JUST IN: The French established their first colony in what is now the United States at Fort Caroline in 1564. It was on the banks of the St. Johns River near what is now Jacksonville. This is a 1671 print showing Fort Caroline, depicting it as quite a busy place. Almost a year and a half after the French set up shop, the Spanish arrived and established St. Augustine. Almost immediately, the Spanish attacked Fort Caroline, routed the French, and destroyed Fort Caroline. Today nobody knows exactly where Fort Caroline was located but that didn't stop the National Park Service from establishing a memorial near where it might have been. This print is newly arrived and part of our extensive collection of prints and maps, particularly pertaining to Florida. If you love maps and prints, come see us.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A dozen new Florida maps are in now

THIS JUST IN: We've just received a dozen new Florida maps. Included in the collection is this interesting piece. This print of a 17th century French map depicts Florida as it was known to Europeans, with the lower part shown as islands. This also may be the first time buffalo were represented in European maps. There also is an illustration of Niagara Falls, which had been seen by French explorers as early as 1604. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Is this bizarre horror collection for you?

THIS JUST IN: If you love weird, you’re going to be ecstatic about this off-kilter collection with titles from Arkham House, the publishers founded in 1939 to keep H.P. Lovecraft in print. Here, too, are volumes from other similar bizarre niche publishers such as Fedogan & Bremer and Cemetery Dance. Horror, fantasy, sci-fi, dark suspense, macabre. Is this collection for you?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Beautiful Franklin Library volumes

THIS JUST IN: This is first in our new series This Just In, featuring volumes we've just acquired. In this collection, more than 170 Franklin Library beautiful leather-bound editions of classic literature. Here are such diverse works as Dante's Divine Comedy, Joyce Carol Oates' Them, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, Winston Churchill's Their Finest Hour, Eugene O'Neill's Plays, and the Collected Poems of W.H. Auden. Come see them today.

Happy birthday, Alfred, Lord Tennyson

It is the birthday of English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809), one of the most popular and often quoted poets in the English language. He served as Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom for 42 years, longer than anyone else. Queen Victoria, who appointed him, was a great admirer. Among favorite quotations that remain in used today are “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” from In Memory of A.H.H., a poem about his best friend Arthur Hallam, who was engaged to Tennyson’s sister but died before they could be married. Another favorite is “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die” from The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Happy birthday, Guy de Maupassant

It is the birthday of French writer Guy de Maupassant (1850), who is credited with helping to develop the literary form of the short story. He wrote more than 300 short stories as well as a poetry collection, three travel books, and six novels. Perhaps his most famous short story was Dumpling (1880), a story set during the Franco-Prussian War. It tells of a group of travelers on their way to La Havre by stagecoach. The story is included in de Maupassant’s collection Dumpling and Other Stories of the War. John Ford’s film Stagecoach (1939) was heavily influenced by de Maupassant’s story.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy b-day, wildman Percy Bysshe Shelley

It is the birthday of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792), who wrote some of the most  popular poems in the English language, including Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, and To a Skylark, though his greatest success came after his death.

Scholars say it was Shelley's unorthodox lifestyle that limited the acceptance of his writing to a rather small circle of friends. At Oxford, Shelley wrote two gothic novels  and read extensively, though it is said he didn't go to class often.

He wrote a pamphlet with a fellow student defending atheism, earning him the scorn of the college administration when he refused to deny that he wrote it. He and his fellow student, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, were expelled. Shelley's father intervened and won him a chance to reenter Oxford if he would state that what he wrote was untrue. He refused, earning him the scorn of his father.

At 19, Shelley eloped with a 16-year-old student from a boarding school, only to abandon her three years later, when she was pregnant with their second child, to run away to Switzerland with the 16-year-old daughter of a writer friend. Mary Godwin was more Shelley's intellectual equal. Later, Shelley's first wife committed suicide and he and Mary were married.

In 1818, Percy and Mary, and her stepsister Claire Clairmont, lived in Italy, where he wrote the lyrical drama Prometheus Unbound, which was based on  a Greek trilogy whose title character steals the secret fire to help mankind progress, only to be punished by Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Shelley's play was never intended to be performed, only read.

It wasn't until several generations after his death that Shelley became widely accepted. He was admired by the later Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets, and by such diverse luminaries as Isadora Duncan, Thomas Hardy, Karl Marx, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, Sinclair Lewis, and Oscar Wilde.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Happy birthday, James Baldwin

It is the birthday of novelist and social critic James Baldwin (1924), who emerged as a voice of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, with such books as The Fire Next Time (1963), Going to Meet the Man (1965), and Tell Me How Long The Train's Been Gone (1968). His best known novel was his first, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), a semi-autobiographical novel about a young black man growing up in Harlem in the 1930s. It is considered one of the best English-language novels of the 20th century.

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

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