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1891 Skull & Bones Yearbook

by (ESTILL, Joe G.)

Price: $6,500.00
from: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABAA


  • Seller Inventory #: 401881
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Book condition: Near Fine
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Place: [New Haven]
  • Date published: 1891
  • Keywords: Photography, Americana, Archive

[New Haven], 1891. Hardcover. Near Fine. Large octavo photo album. Black morocco with original silver colored clasp. Embossed name and date ("Joe G. Estill. 1891") in silver on front board and the number "322" on the rear. Light shelf wear, minor rubbing at the tips, else tight, bright, and unmarred, and near fine. The volume includes cabinet photographs of 15 members, many loosely inserted in page mounts, each signed below by the member. Additionally there are two unsigned photographs of unnamed older African-American men, presumably servants; and two additional images: one of the skull and bones, the of the ivy-covered entrance to the Tomb. "Skull and Bones is the oldest of Yale's secret societies and by far the most determinedly secretive. As such, " (Alexander Robbins. *The Atlantic*. May 2000). A fascinating album from Yale's famous Skull and Bones society, comprising real photos of members with their signatures, as well as photos of the club and related images and iconography. Undoubtedly produced in small numbers for members only, these "yearbooks" are understandably scarce and literally put a face(s) on this notoriously secretive club. Skull and Bones has counted as members many of the most powerful men in the country, from Presidents and Supreme Court Justices to writers and athletes. Prominent among the images here displayed is future Senator Frederick Collin Walcott of Connecticut. Also noteworthy are the photos of the African-American servants who attended to the club. Though unnamed, their inclusion might (or more likely not) offer a more complex portrait of a group often popularly thought of as a bastion of white male privilege.