Salmon on the Dry Fly
Seller ID: 1388
New York: the Author, 1948. Edition limited to 500 copies printed at Elm Tree Press, Woodstock, Vermont (pp. 18). Reprint by the author of his article in Field & Stream in the same year. Small folio (24cm) in fine blue paper over boards, decorative title label, title to spine. Illustrated with two photographs, watercolour by Pleissner reproduced in b&w; decorative title page, head and tail pieces. Included is a signed letter from Wertheim, enclosing the book as a gift and with season's greetings to Judge George Frankenthaler, late of the NY Supreme Court, from whose library our copy originates. �"Frankenthaler was a prominent Republican and father of the noted artist Helen Frankenthaler" (McNaught). This copy with skilfully replaced cloth on the spine; the letter with two folds, sunned along one edge. Each year for perhaps thirty years Maurice Wertheim (1886-1950) traveled into Quebec to fish for Atlantic salmon on the dry fly, and this is his account of what was likely one of his last fishing trips published within two years of his death. Wertheim was, as they say, a man of many parts but nevertheless 'preferred to be considered a sportsman'. His obituary in the New York Times (May 1950) describes him as a prominent investment banker and founder of Wertheim & Co. (later reformed as Citigroup), a founder and director of the New York Theatre Guild, former publisher of The Nation, a trustee of the American Wildlife Foundation, and an accomplished chess player. Upon his death he bequeathed his collection of more than two dozen impressionist and post-impressionist paintings to Harvard's Fogg Museum. The Maurice Werheim Collection includes works by Cezanne, Degas, Manet, Matisse, Monet, Picasso, and van Gogh (See O'Brian. Degas to Matisse: The Maurice Wertheim Collection). In the year just previous to the publication of this little book, Wertheim donated to the national government a large tract of land in Suffolk County on eastern Long Island, now known as the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. One of his daughters was the well-known historian Barbara Tuchman. This little book is a sketch of a few days fishing and describes the various holding spots, the pools with names familiar to those who fish them, the best way to approach each stretch of river, and the inevitable (it seems) goofs-- a long way from camp, Wertheim discovers he has forgotten his fishing knife and a prized floating leader. Wertheim's wife fished with him (with a wet fly), and so his fish stories carried more credibility than most. Excellent.
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