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Phrenology/Palmistry/Chiromancy


Allow us to introduce these sections with a newspaper story from the September 1899 issue of the Crossville, Tennessee Crossville Chronicle. 

     Quite a ripple of excitement was caused Wednesday by a posse of citizens headed by John Hyder bringing a man into town who they arrested on suspicion of being the party wanted for the murder of a man in North Carolina. 
      He had been living with people south of Crossville the last few weeks.  In some respects he answers the description of the man wanted very well but in other respects he poorly fits the bill.
      He is not at all a vicious looking man and if he ever killed anyone his looks are very deceiving.  His head was examined by an expert phrenologist who pronounced his bumps of destructiveness and combative nature below par.”

      There you have it.  We are not sure just where they found a phrenologist in what was a rather out of the way place that was Crossville in 1899. Maybe they had him hidden behind the barn ready to make a proclamation.  As we mention in describing some of these selections, phrenology was a “science” long ago discredited as a guide to anything or any conclusion. It was what it was: an examination of the bumps and outer shape one’s skull, nothing more.

07468-M0312LEKE- Book- THE CONSTITUTION OF MAN CONSIDERED IN RELATION TO EXTERNAL OBJECTS by George Combs WITH AN ADDITIONAL CHAPTER ON THE HARMONY BETWEEN PHRENOLOGY AND REVELATION by Joseph A. Warne, A.M. Tenth American From The Latest English Edition, Corrected and Enlarged. Published by William D. Ticknor, Boston, 1841. Well...there you have it. One reviewer says that this is a classic of Phrenology. "It was first published in London in 1828. Warne's chapter was added because Combe's scientific vision of man operating in a larger law must understand to reach harmony it must include the Bible. Warne's job was to show that Combe's teachings could include religion as well as science. Combe was a leader of the phrenology movement, once the cutting-edge science of its day. Followers of phrenology believed that the size, shape and contours of the head revealed concrete information about a person's intelligence, character, and tendency toward crime." Frederick Douglas observed, ".....Phrenology explained everything to Combe, from the finite to the infinite." We are told that this book sold 350,000 copies between 1828 and 1900, an unheard of success. Scarce in any condition, this early selection is in good shape. Embossed faded HB. Gilt spine lettering, blind stamped decor on boards. Worn spine ends, back board has clear stain. Hinges and binding very good, some foxing throughout. 100% rag paper preserved in very good condition. Sparsely illustrated. 4-7/8"x 4-3/4"x 412pgs. $82.00


02371-M0194LHEE- Journal- AMERICAN PHRENOLOGICAL JOURNAL, NYC, Vol. VIII, No.2, Feb 1846. O.S. Fowler, Editor. “Know thyself. Phrenology. Physiology. Physiognomy. Magnetism.” The earliest piece on the subject we’ve had in the last number of years. Fowler (180-09-1887) founded the journal about 1838 when he was 29 years old. He was quite articulate in the development of his theories, albeit mistaken in his basic premise, viz., that personality could be deduced by altogether outward appearances. Articles include analysis of some well known individuals with engravings, a derogatory analysis of a New Zealand chief named Harrahwaukay, Gambling And Its Consequences, Signs Of Character, Cultivation Of Our Faculties, etc. Some wordy articles/ads promote The Water Cure Journal, Bathing And Locke’s Shower And Vapor Bath.
     Journal is in good shape. Cover has some tape lifts along top with light stain and light chipping at spine head. Pages are rag stock and have light foxing. All very clean. Quite rare. 6”x 9-14”x 342pp. $96.00


02720-M1194LACH- Journal- EDINBURGH PHRENOLOGICAL JOURNAL AND MAGAZINE OF MORAL & INTELLECTUAL SCIENCE, Vol. I. No. IV, Oct 1848. Edited by Geo Combe & Robert Cox. Republished by Fowler & Wells, NY. Frontis engraving of Dr. Combe, and one page with cross-sections of cranium. No other illustrations. Wide ranging treatment of everything imaginable--Catholic priesthood, imperfect government, philosophy of mind, destructiveness and combativeness in the carnivora, mathematics of phrenology, propensity to murder, power of the voice over children, animal and moral organs and much more. Lower fore-corner of cover missing (1"), corner creases. Really very well preserved, rag stock. 6" x 9-1/4" x 114pp. $82.00


02379-M0294LCRU- Book- NEW ILLUSTRATED PHRENOLOGY, PHYSIOLOGY SELF INSTRUCTOR, by O. S. and L. N. Fowler, Fowler & Wells, NYC cprt 1859. Stamped "J. L. Capen, Phrenologist, Philadelphia". With over one hundred engravings together with the chart and character of Samuel H. Bucher as marker by Wm. B. Elliot. Filled out with copious notes in brown ink. 4pp of ads in back offering other works of publisher.
   
Hoo, boy!--this one would cause quite a stir on the evening news: "The various races also accord with phrenological science. Thus, Africans generally have full perceptives, and large Tune and Language, but retiring Causality, and accordingly are deficient in reasoning capacity, yet have excellent memories and lingual and musical powers.
   
"Indians possess extraordinary strength of the propensities and perceptives, yet have no great moral or inventive power; and, hence, have very wide, round, conical, and rather low heads, but are large over the eyes.
  
   Have you got all  that? The “science” of phrenology had many problems, not the least of which was its basic premise; viz., that the shape of the skull, in all cases, translated directly to the brain’s capacity and reasoning power.

    Gilt embossed hardback. Spine end wear, minor cover spots. 5" x 7-1/2" x 180pp. $84.00


02456-M0394CLOK- Journal- AMERICAN PHRENOLOGICAL JOURNAL AND LIFE ILLUSTRATED, Vol. 45, No. 4, April 1867. S. R. Wells, Ed. Published by Fowler & Wells, NYC. Analysis of various prominent individuals, Women’s Rights and Women’s Wrongs, Aboriginal Legends of North America, The National Military Service, Mode of Creation; many other articles, shorts, notices. About 12pp of ads of numerous subjects: Books, musical instruments, sewing machines, etc. Minor edge wear, 1" tear in fore edge margin. Very clean on well preserved rag stock. 9-1/2" x 11-3/4" x 42pp.  $65.00
(See picture.)


03329-M1194CREE- Journal- AMERICAN PHRENOLOGICAL JOURNAL AND LIFE ILLUSTRATED, NY. Vol. 45, No. 6, June 1867. Samuel R. Wells, Ed. Phrenological Theory of Man’s Organization, The Gospel Among the Animals, Utility of Beards, Whom to Elect, Phonography In Illinois, more. Many ads, many of which are illustrated. One delightful full page from The Great American Tea Co. (not illustrated). Minor foxing, stain and edge tear. Rag Stock. 9-1/2" x 11-3/4" x 36pp. $56.00


03330-M1194CREE- Journal- AMERICAN PHRENOLOGICAL JOURNAL AND LIFE ILLUSTRATED, NY. Vol. 46, No. 2, Aug 1867. Samuel R. Wells, Ed. More Theory of Man’s Organization, True And Untrue Marriages, How To Get A Home. (At that time "...half the land in England is in the hands of fewer than one hundred fifty men and half the land of Scotland is in possession of not more than ten or twelve men." That’s almost unbelievable! No wonder America attracted so many immigrants. ‘Twould be interesting to know how things stand now.) Twelve Ways Of Committing Suicide, Our New Possessions (Alaska) with map of North America; The Great West--Nebraska w/nice woodcut of Omaha City on the Missouri River. Much more. Many ads, including another full page from Great American Tea Co. Minor wear, shelf soil. Rag stock. 9-1/2" x 11-3/4" x 36pp. $56.00


02373-M0194AOCR- Booklet- WELL’S NEW DESCRIPTIVE CHART GIVING A DELINEATION OF CHARACTER ACCORDING TO PHRENOLOGY AND PHYSIOGNOMY FOR THE USE OF EXAMINERS. Fowler & Wells Co, NY, cprt 1869. Analysis of "Mr. Albert Phaffer" (?) as given by "Prof. C. H. W. Wearne" dated Jul 18, 1887. About forty or more characteristics are checked off by the good professor. It was determined that the best pursuits for the subject was Retail Dealer, Wholesale Dealer, Grain/Grocery Dealer, Marketing, Clergyman, Lawyer. Also contains detailed explanations of various characteristics, First Principles or Outlines Of Phrenology With Forty-Three Illustrations, 18 pp of detailed ads for material published by Fowler & Wells. Booklet is very clean, but spine is chipped and back cover has a triangular gap in lower edge. 5" x 7-1/4" x 72 pp. $65.00


04911-M0496CLKO- Journal- MENTAL HEALING, Pub by Mental Science and Christian Healing Assoc., Boston. Vol. 1, No. 4, Nov 1886. Fear And The Remedy For It; Mental Healing; Omnipotence Of Mind; Esoteric Christianity; a couple of letters testifying to healing by Christian Science; much more. Ads for metaphysical books and a school for same, full page of ads from healers, Tuttle Family Shoe Store (w/engraving of bldg), White Sewing Machine (w/nice engraving). "Compliments of the Editor" in ink on front. Small library stamp. Small corner chip to cover, otherwise excellent. 6" x 9-1/2" x 20pp. $36.00


03922-M0795EHOK- Book- PALMISTRY AND ITS PRACTICAL USES TO WHICH ARE ADDED CHAPTERS ON ASTRAL INFLUENCES AND ON THE USE OF THE DIVINING ROD by Louis Cotton, 2nd ed, revised. Kegan Paul, Trench, Truber & Co, London, 1892. Cheirognomy, Cheiromancy, Summary, Astral Influences, The Divining Rod, Bible References. Illustrated. Hardback, very good condition. 5" x 7-1/2" x 112pp. $66.00


05554-M0197EUSE- Book- VAUGHT'S PRACTICAL CHARACTER READER by L. A. Vaught. Pub by Vaught-Rocine Pub Co, Chicago. Original copyright 1902, Revised 1907 by Emily H. Vaught. (We can probably safely conclude that the Vaughts had something to do with this publication.) Author claims that the purpose of the book is to acquaint all with the elements of human nature. And he does this by physiognomy, or phrenology. Many illustrations. Just by observing facial and head features, one can determine whether the person is, or will be, a good husband, father, mother, etc. Just the thing for choosing your offspring's spouse! Indexed. Very minor cover spots, else very good condition. Hardback. 5-3/4" x 7-7/8" x 258pp. $88.00


05691-M0396EAHA- Journals- CANDLE LIGHT, A MAGAZINE FOR PROGRESSIVE THINKERS, Vol.1, No.1, Nov, 1929. And No.2, Feb, 1930. 2nd is subtitled "A MAGAZINE of MYSTICISM FOR THE PROGRESSIVE THINKER." Published by Helen Johnson, 238 West 13th St., NYC. "...dedicated to Inner Illumination, which radiates in Wisdom, Strength and Beauty." Rare first two issues. Were there more?? She's into numerology, higher dimensions, tesseracts, explorations of actualities, radioactive spiritual consciousness, interpretation of characters, astrology, etc. First is 6-1/4" x 9-1/8" x 20pp; second is 5-1/4" x 7-1/4" x 32pp. They were bound together by a library at one time, now separated and some residue of paper tape on spine and three small awl holes in each near gutter. Small library stamps. Rather well done, very clean and excellent otherwise. Both. $52.00


05096-M0796EHUE- Book- PHRENOLOGY: FAD AND SCIENCE. A 19th CENTURY CRUSADE by John D. Davis. Archon Books. Cprt 1955 by Yale University Press. Reprinted 1971. Hardback, index, a few illustrations. "It is the thesis of this study that phrenology is deserving of detailed analysis, not 'amused attention.' That it is classified with alchemy and astrology today does not mean it was merely a fad, appealing only to eccentrics. No one denies that the science of one generation is the pseudo science of the next: ....in its own time phrenology, like Freudianism, was a serious, inductive discipline, accepted as such by many eminent scientists, doctors, and educators; its aberrations were the results not so much of charlatanism or credulity as of the limitations of early 19th-century scientific method and medical techniques. However mistaken some of its anatomical deductions may have been, scientific it was in its determination to study the mind objectively, without metaphysical preconceptions. Its priority in this field is recognized in the histories of medicine and psychology, and many of its fundamentals are as commonplace today as they were radical a century ago." No library on the subject complete without this one. X-lib but very little handled. Board covers bubbled where Dewey designation tape has been pulled off, library name marked out on last free end paper. Book almost like new otherwise. 6-1/2" x 9-1/2" x 203pp. $68.00


05043-M0696EOUL- Book- PHRENOLOGY--A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO YOUR HEAD. By O.S. & L.N. Fowler with introduction by Andrew E. Norman. Chelsea House Pub, NY. 1969. "...central concept of this book is that physical form expresses the innermost recesses of the soul which is divided into thirty-seven 'compartments'." (As the Fowlers called them when they propounded this "science" in the 19th century.) Norman says in his 1969 introduction here, "If this classical physiognomy now seems a little too arbitrary and whimsical, it can at least be credited with more wit and less wackiness that the persistent practice of reading both character and fate from the daily shifting angular relationships between the earth and stars..."
   
The Fowlers and associates were learned and well-thought-of persons of their time. They were well educated formally: some were MDs, some were lawyers; they encouraged empirical research, they spoke out for freedom for all races and suffrage for women, they indicted the "tight lacing" corset as being against the very "laws of life", they espoused innovation in everything from architecture to water therapy. We might suspect that, were they alive today, they would likely be at the forefront in DNA and similar research.
   
The logical next step since science has generally completed the Human Genome Project is to carry this on to mapping the brain. We must map the brain as we have mapped the human body's circulatory system. Humans will never understand just what it is that makes us tick until we quantify the mind, if you please. Oh!..the book. It's a large hardback, illustrated on heavy stock. Dust jacket has three repaired tears, very light soil. 9-1/4" x 12-1/4" x 201pp. $48.00


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