Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    An Important Midwestern Book - "the first important book of poems printed west of the Alleghenies"

    William Littell. Festoons of Fancy, Consisting of Compositions Amatory, Sentimental and Humorous, in Verse and Prose. Louisville: From the Press of William Farquar, 1814. Title-leaf, 180 pages (pages 3-10, 13-18 and 179 in facsimile). Original calf, varnished, leather label. Text somewhat soiled and stained. A sound copy.

    One of the great rarities of early Midwestern books. The author, William Littell, was a prominent Kentucky lawyer with a taste for satire and poetics. His first published work, An Epistle from William, Surnamed Littell, to the People of the Realm of Kentucky, was issued in Frankfort in 1806 and reprinted in Festoons of Fancy... According to the DAB, these works were "of such a character to bring him into disrepute and to give him a reputation for flippancy and scurrility that he never succeeded in living down." In fact, they are lively political satire, and it seems unlikely that Littell suffered the castigation that the priggish DAB biographer suggests. "Festoons of Fancy is not only the first important book of poems printed west of the Alleghenies, but it is almost certainly the first book of any kind printed in Louisville" - Streeter. Howes calls it "the first humorous book produced West of the Alleghanies [sic]."

    Streeter Sale 1648. Howes L378, "C." Graff 2508. Aii (Kentucky) 507. Kentucky Hundred 35. Jillson, p. 52. Coleman, Kentucky Rarities 78.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 646

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 23 days left to consign to the 2019 March 5 - 6 Rare Books Signature Auction Books - New York !

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 December 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 December 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,482,512