Nov 7, 2023 10:00 EST

Rare Books, Autographs & Maps including the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection

 
Lot 19
 

19

Signed by two notorious Salem Witch Trials magistrates in 1691

Estate / Collection: The Victor Gulotta Collection

HATHORNE, JOHN and CORWIN, JONATHAN

Autograph document signed ordering the apprehension of two servants to appear in court. Salem: 21 December 1691. A manuscript document on recto and verso of a sheet of laid paper, the main text is likely in John Hathorne’s hand and is headed “To the Marshall of Essex or his dep. or to Either of ye Constables in Salem.” The 14 line text orders the apprehension and delivery of “paule Woodbrige and Eleazer Cooke, both servants or apprentices to mrs. Sarah Price, Widdow of Salem … to answer the complaint of John Rogers late … for breach of the peace,” and is signed respectively “John Hathorne” and “Jonathan Corwin.” This text is above a further order also likely in Hathorne’s hand, requiring the appearance of George Herrick and others to give evidence in the case, this signed “John Hathorne asst”; the verso with the attestation and signature of George Herrick Marshal of Essex, that he brought forth the “bodys of Danl Woodbridge and Elias Cooke to answer as wished.” 7 x 6 inches (18 x 15.25 cm); presented in a double-sided frame. Small ink burn affecting one word on recto, some original smudging and offsetting to the ink, not removed from frame, a few spots, a well preserved and largely legible document. Provenance: Catherine Barnes Historical Autographs

A scarce autograph document, penned just weeks before the initial interrogations of the Salem Witch Trials, signed by two notorious magistrates who influenced the trials, John Hathorne (1641-1717) and Jonathan Corwin (1640-1718). While this document does not directly relate to the impending witch-hunt, it greatly resembles the arrest warrants signed by Hathorne and Corwin starting in February of 1692. Hathorne and Corwin conducted the first interrogations of accused witches, including the West Indian slave Tituba owned by Samuel Parris, father of the girls whose fits initiated the accusations. Hathorne and Corwin are both considered key players in the admission of “spectral evidence,” or the allowance of reports of attacks by apparitions, to the courtroom. Hathorne has long been associated with an overzealous stance towards punishing the accused and has been portrayed as such in popular culture. Most notably, he was the great-grandfather of author Nathaniel Hawthorne who it is said added the “w” to his name to distance himself from this ancestor and wrote critically of the Salem Witch judges.

Jonathan Corwin’s home in Salem is the only building still standing in which interrogations took place. George Herrick (1658-1695) served as marshal to the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Documents signed by Hathorne and Corwin are scarce and particularly so when paired with the signature of Herrick. Documents relating to the Salem Witch Trials are uncommon on the open market as many were destroyed by family members seeking to distance themselves from the lasting reputational effects of the trials or lost to the ravages of time. Those that survived are largely held by institutions which have made them available to scholars for over 300 years. Infrequently, related items are offered at auction or by specialist dealers. Thus, the current document represents a rare opportunity to collect a document signed by major players in the Salem Witch Trials as close in date to the events as possible.

Sold for $5,670
Estimated at $3,000 - $5,000

Includes Buyer's Premium


 

Estate / Collection: The Victor Gulotta Collection

HATHORNE, JOHN and CORWIN, JONATHAN

Autograph document signed ordering the apprehension of two servants to appear in court. Salem: 21 December 1691. A manuscript document on recto and verso of a sheet of laid paper, the main text is likely in John Hathorne’s hand and is headed “To the Marshall of Essex or his dep. or to Either of ye Constables in Salem.” The 14 line text orders the apprehension and delivery of “paule Woodbrige and Eleazer Cooke, both servants or apprentices to mrs. Sarah Price, Widdow of Salem … to answer the complaint of John Rogers late … for breach of the peace,” and is signed respectively “John Hathorne” and “Jonathan Corwin.” This text is above a further order also likely in Hathorne’s hand, requiring the appearance of George Herrick and others to give evidence in the case, this signed “John Hathorne asst”; the verso with the attestation and signature of George Herrick Marshal of Essex, that he brought forth the “bodys of Danl Woodbridge and Elias Cooke to answer as wished.” 7 x 6 inches (18 x 15.25 cm); presented in a double-sided frame. Small ink burn affecting one word on recto, some original smudging and offsetting to the ink, not removed from frame, a few spots, a well preserved and largely legible document. Provenance: Catherine Barnes Historical Autographs

A scarce autograph document, penned just weeks before the initial interrogations of the Salem Witch Trials, signed by two notorious magistrates who influenced the trials, John Hathorne (1641-1717) and Jonathan Corwin (1640-1718). While this document does not directly relate to the impending witch-hunt, it greatly resembles the arrest warrants signed by Hathorne and Corwin starting in February of 1692. Hathorne and Corwin conducted the first interrogations of accused witches, including the West Indian slave Tituba owned by Samuel Parris, father of the girls whose fits initiated the accusations. Hathorne and Corwin are both considered key players in the admission of “spectral evidence,” or the allowance of reports of attacks by apparitions, to the courtroom. Hathorne has long been associated with an overzealous stance towards punishing the accused and has been portrayed as such in popular culture. Most notably, he was the great-grandfather of author Nathaniel Hawthorne who it is said added the “w” to his name to distance himself from this ancestor and wrote critically of the Salem Witch judges.

Jonathan Corwin’s home in Salem is the only building still standing in which interrogations took place. George Herrick (1658-1695) served as marshal to the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Documents signed by Hathorne and Corwin are scarce and particularly so when paired with the signature of Herrick. Documents relating to the Salem Witch Trials are uncommon on the open market as many were destroyed by family members seeking to distance themselves from the lasting reputational effects of the trials or lost to the ravages of time. Those that survived are largely held by institutions which have made them available to scholars for over 300 years. Infrequently, related items are offered at auction or by specialist dealers. Thus, the current document represents a rare opportunity to collect a document signed by major players in the Salem Witch Trials as close in date to the events as possible.

Auction: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps including the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection, Nov 7, 2023

  • Successful Auction of Rare Books, Autographs & Maps Tops $1 Million!
  • November 7, 2023 Sale Featured the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection of Africana & Travel
  • Consignments Are Currently Being Accepted for Future Auctions


NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle's successful auction of Rare Books, Autographs & Maps on November 7, 2023 topped $1 million amid competitive international bidding. Offerings in this popular sale spanned early illuminated manuscripts to modern literary first editions.

The Esmond Bradley Martin Collection of Africana and Travel comprised fascinating material that attracted bidders from around the world. Highlighting the collection was a copy of the first Latin edition of the earliest published collection of voyages, including those of Columbus and Vespucci: the 1508 Milan Fracanzo da Montalboddo, which achieved a strong $239,400. The collection also featured a rare uncut copy of Livio Sanuto's 1588 atlas of Africa that doubled its estimate at $25,200, as well as a group of 19th and early 20th century material relating to Zanzibar that attracted intense competition, sending the lots soaring over expectations. (Read more about Esmond Bradley Martin below.)

Property of other owners was highlighted by a first edition of Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking scientific work, On the Origin of Species, 1859, which realized $94,500. This copy bore provenance of Charles Darwin's great-grandson Quentin Keynes, to the naturalist Richard Bayard Dominick, thence by descent to the consignor.

Robert Browning's first edition copy of John Keats’ poem, Endymion, 1818, sold for $37,800, many times its $7,000-10,000 estimate. The poem begins with the well-known verse, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever."

The selection of livres des artistes featured François-Louis Schmied's Daphne in a major Art Deco binding by Pierre Legrain, 1924, one of 140 copies. The book tripled its $8,000-12,000 estimate, selling for $32,760.

Manuscripts in the sale were highlighted by a medieval manuscript on paper, Calculus temporum Ecclesiasticus, which sailed past its estimate of $3,000-5,000 to achieve an exceptional $31,500. This fascinating calendrical manuscript in Latin, circa 1360, possibly English in origin, was once the property of antiquary and collector Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872).

100 years before the Revolution: from Plymouth Colony to the Salem Witch Trials - The Victor Gulotta Collection, offered a curated collection of 17th and 18th century manuscripts documenting life in colonial New England. Among the rarities were a 1691 document signed by two notorious Salem witch trials magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin that realized $5,670, a document from 1686/87 signed by Edmund Andros as Governor of the Dominion of New England that sold for $5,670, and a 1656 Boston court document relating to a divorce case that achieved $6,300, all three exceeding their estimates.

Esmond Bradley Martin

Esmond Bradley Martin (1941-2018) was educated as a geographer and philosopher. He and his wife Chryssee had an enduring fascination with Africa, and settled in Nairobi, Kenya, in the mid-1970s. He wrote extensively, oftentimes in conjunction with his wife, publishing works including Zanzibar. Tradition and Revolution, Hamish Hamilton, 1978; Cargoes of the east. The ports, trade, and culture of the Arabian Seas and western Indian Ocean, Elm Tree Press, 1978; and many other works on African history and conservation. In the late 1970s, he began extensive research into the illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, which included substantial stints incognito posing as a buyer of illicit wildlife products. For a while, he served as special envoy for rhino conservation for the United Nations. He continued this work until 2018 , when tragically he was stabbed to death in his Nairobi home

For about thirty years, beginning in the mid-1960s, Esmond Bradley Martin assiduously collected books and manuscripts on Africa and its history, acquiring a phenomenal collection of letters by many of the major English explorers of the nineteenth century, as well as numerous rarities from earlier centuries. He was buying at a time when troves of such material surfaced frequently at English auctions. Doyle was privileged to offer the first selection of his collection in the November 7 auction. A second and final portion will be offered early next year.


We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for future auctions. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our Specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection.

For information, please contact Peter Costanzo at 212-427-4141, ext 248, or Edward Ripley-Duggan at ext. 234, or email Books@Doyle.com

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