CUMMINGS, SUMNER A Trip to Parmachenee Lake Maine.
[Los Angeles?: circa 1918]. Original green morocco decorated in gilt, all edges gilt, inner gilt dentelles, moire endpapers lettered in gilt. 11 1/2 x 8 inches; [iii], 63 typescript pages; 22 original water colors, gelatin silver print portrait of the author, typed letter signed by the author to his grandson. Rubbed at joints and extremities, a few nicks and scrapes to boards, rear board lightly sunned, occasional tears and pale stains to a few leaves.
A unique and lovely little manuscript, telling the story of Sumner Cummings's trip to Parmachenee Lake as a young man in narrative style and illustrated with his own watercolors. It opens with a letter to his grandson Stanley, apologizing for not being able to take him to Parmachenee himself: "Grandma says I had not better think of going with you for she says I wuold [sic] surely stub my toe and go through the bottom of the canoe and get drowned, and that would spoil your trip, or else I would be sure to shoot off one of your legs trying to shoot a bird in the top of a tree, and that would spoil my trip. I think perhaps you had better not plan on my going along. You go, and besure [sic] to keep a diary so you can write a story for your grandchildren." It appears that Cummings died the year he produced this tale for Stanley, as his portrait and obituary appear at the beginning of the volume and our research indicates a possible birth date of 1848 (the obituary notes he died at age 70). The charming watercolor illustrations appear within the text, and of these Cummings tells Stanley: "As for the pictures, Whistler was once laughed at but today the world is looking for his paintings, and paying fortunes for them. If you keep my paintings, say a couple of hundred years you can get most anything anybody will give for them."
C Estate of Arnold 'Jake' Johnson
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