Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Catch of the Day: The Fishermen's Own Book, 1882 Gloucester Mass.

Just landed this book in the shop and it's a beauty, inside and out. It's a great compendium of history, fishing statistics, nautical folklore and a few tall tales, poems, and the most wonderful antique advertisements from the businessmen of 1880s Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The Fishermen's Own Book, Comprising The List of Men and Vessels Lost
from the Port of Gloucester, Mass., From 1874 to April 1, 1882, and a
Table of Losses from 1830, Together with Valuable Statistics of the
Fishers, Also, Notable Fares, Narrow Escapes, Startling Adventures,
Fishermen's Off-Hand Sketches, Ballads, Descriptions of Fishing Trips
and Other Interesting Facts and Incidents Connected with This Branch
of Maritime Industry, Gloucester, MA: Procter Brothers, 1882, presumed
first edition.

Dark brown pebbled cloth binding with gilt design of fishing boat in
harbor stamped on front boards. 274 pages and 34 pages fore and aft
of nautical advertisements with great artwork of boats, cod, rope,
hearses, carriages, machinery, billiard tables, and furnaces. One
reproduction of a 1606 map of Gloucester Harbor, complete with
spouting sea monsters. Several full-page plates of fishermen's nets.
Many engravings and woodcut illustrations of nautical images
throughout text.

In Very Good condition (boards rubbed and moderately worn at corners and spine
extremities, 1/2 inch gash at lower end of spine, "Ref 58" inked on
front pastedown endpaper and top corner of title page, hinges
starting, front free endpaper chipped at top corner, pages toned, gift
inscription on front and rear flyleaves, two pages heavily toned from
laid in papers).

A glorious book packed with data, articles, poems, folklore and other
information about the fishing and whaling port of Gloucester,
Massachusetts in the 1880s. Subjects include historical data for
mackerel prices and catches, hammerhead sharks, fishermen's
superstitions, early fisheries of Cape Ann, stories of shipwrecks,
statistics about catches of various fish species, humorous stories,
and many a tale about "the fish that got away" (a 600 lb. halibut!). For sale at $150, including media mail shipping and insurance, to the U.S. Will ship elsewhere.