National Sporting Fraternity
The Amwell Press
In March, 1976 Jim Rikhoff founded the National Sporting Fraternity and its publishing arm, the Amwell Press. Jim had come into the sporting publishing scene through Winchester Press (which he also had founded) and was both known and liked throughout the industry. The goal for his new company was to offer international sporting trips and to publish primarily limited edition books. Because of Jim’s popularity, he was able to get a who’s who of international big game professional hunters and sport hunters as authors. The titles he selected to publish became instant winners, sought after by readers and collectors alike. All of the early books were signed, numbered, limited editions housed in slipcases. Jim himself was an avid and experienced big game hunter as well as astute marketeer and, by paying careful attention to content, his early big game hunting series were almost 100 percent winners.
Tony Dyer’s The East African Hunters was the first in Amwell’s African big game hunting series that would eventually include original works by professional hunters, works by active sport hunters, anthologies that contained selections from both contemporary hunters and classic works and reprints of sought after titles. These four different content types allowed for both a nice variation and discriminating selection. Thus these good reading books continued to garner acceptance in the collecting and reading market.
We are delighted, therefore, to maintain a very active market in the limited edition big game hunting books (Africa, Asia and North America) issued by the National Sporting Fraternity’s Amwell Press.
Having made these flattering statements, and given an enthusiastic recommendation to collecting all the Amwell Press big game hunting titles, we also would like to note one or two issues for the collector to be aware of.
- Some of the popular titles were issued with so-called “out of sequence” as well as regular numbers (e.g., AA#1, BA#2 etc). While these copies are identical to regular numbered copies (1 to 1,000) they do not have anywhere near the same value on the collecting market.
- As with all “Press” books, putting your bookplate or writing your name in the book detracts from resale value and desirability. Keep the book as close to as new condition as possible. By the way, this “evidence of former ownership” seems to affect prices of most books printed after 1970.
- A fair number of Amwell Press titles were later issued as unnumbered, unsigned trade editions. The bindings differed and they were slipcased BUT some retained the original title pages. Those familiar with the books or with the book industry had no trouble telling the difference. However, those not familiar with the books were not able to describe the editions properly. Always ask if this is the signed and numbered limited edition and whether there is any evidence of former ownership in the book.
A note about slipcases. All of the Amwell editions were slipcased. Some selections came in two and three volume editions and were heavy. Compartmentalized slipcases tend to wear or damage more than their one-book counterparts. Furthermore, slipcases in general do wear when being taken on/off shelves or when books are taken from/put back into them. So even fine copies of books may only be offered in vg slipcases. Both book and slipcase condition should be described by sellers.
We have prepared a list of Amwell Press limited edition big game hunting titles for those interested in starting or filling in their collections or for those who have titles to sell. We maintain active wants lists so if you seek a special title let us know. We try to maintain a good inventory of books but most titles in stock are one of a kind. After contacting us we will get back with you regarding availability.
Good luck with your collection. Trophy Room Books has been a longstanding book dealer and a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. We believe that an informed collector is the best kind to have, so, thank you for reading this introduction.
|See Our Collection of Amwell Press Books|
List of big game hunting titles published by the Amwell Press
|Allen, Bunny||First Wheel||1983|
|Allen, Bunny||Second Wheel||1985|
|Angier, Bradford||The Best of Colonel Townsend Whelen||1983|
|Annabel, Russell||Alaskan Days-Mexican Nights||1987|
|Askins, Charles||Unrepentant Sinner||1985|
|Barnett, Dave||The Upper Yukon||1983|
|Bates, Robert H||Mountain Man||1988|
|Batten, John H||The Best of Sheep Hunting||1980|
|Batten,John H||The Best of Tiger Hunting||1986|
|Batten, John H||The Forest and the Plain||1984|
|Batten, John H||The Formidable Game||1983|
|Batten, John H||Skyline Pursuits||1981|
|Brakefield, Tom||The African Book||1984|
|Branham, Bud||Sourdough and Swahili||1989|
|Carmichael, Jim||The Modern Rifle (The Rifle Omnibus) Ltd 750*||1976|
|Castle, Lynn||Hunting and Fishing in Alaska||1991|
|Collins, Douglas T||A Tear for Somali/Another Tear for Africa||1980|
|Dyer, Anthony||The East African Hunters||1979|
|Foran, W Robert||Elephant Hunters of the Lado||1981|
|Gates, Elgin T||Trophy Hunter in Africa||1988|
|Gilchrist, Duncan||Journal of a High Country Hunter||1992|
|Gilchrist, Duncan||On Bears and Bear Hunting||1984|
|Hartley, Lionel||A H Hunter’s Heartbeat||1985|
|Henley, A M H||Round the Campfire||1989|
|Herne, Brian||Desert Safaris||1984|
|Herne, Brian||Tanzania Safaris||1981|
|Herne, Brian||Uganda Safaris||1979|
|Howard, John E||North American Big Game in the 1800’s||1982|
|Lee, Robert M||China Safari||1986|
|MacLagan, Angus||A White Hunter’s Life||1983|
|Madariaga, Valentine de||Big Game Hunting In Central Europe||1981|
|Merritt, John I||Baronets and Buffalo||1987|
|Negley, William||Archer In Africa||1989|
|O’Connor, Jack||The Best of Jack O’Connor||1977|
|O’Connor, Jack||Game in the Desert Revisited||1977|
|O’Connor, Jack||The Last Book||1984|
|O’Connor, Jack||The Hunting Rifle (The Rifle Omnibus) Ltd 750*||1976|
|Page, Warren||The Accurate Rifle (The Rifle Omnibus) Ltd 750*||1976|
|Patterson, Gareth||Cry For the Lions||1988|
|Percival, A Blayney||A Game Ranger On Safari/A Game Ranger’s Notebook||1985|
|Popham Jr, Arthur||Stalking Game, from Desert to Tundra||1985|
|Randall Maurice||Game, Glory and Bitter Blood||1990|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Fair Chase||1984|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Hunter’s Luck||1993|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Hunting Africa: Kenya||1992|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Hunting the African Buffalo||1984|
|Rikhoff Jim||Hunting the African Elephant||1985|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Hunting the African Leopard||1995|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Hunting the African Lion||1989|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Hunting the Big Cats||1981|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Hunting the World’s Mountains||1984|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Mixed Bag||1979|
|Rikhoff, Jim||Taking Your Chances in the High Country||1994|
|Roush, John H||Antlers Afield||1988|
|Samson, Jack||The Bear Book||1979|
|Samson, Jack||The Grizzly Book||1981|
|Samson, Jack||Hunting In the Southwest||1985|
|Schroeder, Steven F||The Best of John Jobson||1982|
|Sheldon, William G||Exploring for Wild Sheep BC||1981|
|Swank, Wendell & Skirka, Peter||African Antelope (Ltd. 200)||1971|
|Taylor, Tory||Hunting on Big Game Trails||1988|
|Tennison, Harry||An African Affair||1988|
|Underwood, Lamar||The Deer Book||1980|
|Underwood, Lamar||Hunting the North Country||1981|
|Wincza, Ada and Laddy||Bush and Plains||1984|
*Three separate titles were published in one book.
**The Wilderness of Denali, The Wilderness of the North Pacific Coast Islands and The Wilderness of the Upper Yukon.