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Art + Antiques

Sat, May 4, 2024 11:00AM EDT
Lot 124

Rev. William Cook "The Guides" (1867 Outsider Poetry)

Estimate: $300 - $500
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Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$5,000 $250
$10,000 $500
$20,000 $1,000
$50,000 $2,500
$75,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Rev. William “Billy” Cook

The Guides

Self-published (Salem), 1867

8” x 5 1/4”


A collection of 10 bound-in self-published pamphlets of poetry by Reverend William Cook of Salem, Massachusetts. Covered in cloth-wrapped boards, and illustrated by the author with primitive block prints with embellishments in pencil. Billy Cook was an eccentric reverend, poet, and folk artist who assembled his tracts of poetry into hand-bound collections to sell on the streets of Salem. The aesthetic of these rare compilations is charming and rudimentary, and they demonstrate the versatile talents of a distinctly outsider vision. Though The Guides is primarily religious in theme, the Civil War is also a major motif.


Included are the following chapbooks:

The Fragments (March 1862)

The Bank (November 1862)

The Result (May 1863)

The Columbia (August 1863)

Potsandove (July 1864)

The Firemen’s Liturgy (August 1865)

The Eudromia (March 1866)

The Motiveboat (May 1867)

The Heartier (May 1867)

Lilygrow (May 1867)


Mild warping to the cover, and a bit of wear along the edges and spine. There are stains, foxing, and minor creases scattered through the text block, some of which may be attributed to the handmade nature of the volume.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 8.00 in
Width: 5.25 in
Depth: 1.00 in

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