• <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Results from Bonhams’ sale of <i>Fine Books & Manuscripts Featuring Exploration and Travel</i></b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Columbus. De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis. Basel, 1494. SOLD for $751,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Cook in Tahiti. [Playbill]. [Germany, c.1840.] SOLD for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Aa, Pieter van der. Naaukeurige versameling der gedenk-waardigste zee en land-reysen. Leyden, 1706-8. SOLD for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Dürer. Underweysung der messung [and two more]. Nuremberg, 1525-8. SOLD for $175,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Cortes, Hernan. A Pleito signed by Antonio de Mendoza in the case of Hernan Cortes. 1542. SOLD for $8750
    <b>Results from Bonhams’ <i>The Air and Space Sale</i></b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Russian Kholod 5D67 HFL Rocket Engine. SOLD for $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Neil Armstrong Apollo Era Training Glove. SOLD for $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Full Scale Sputnik-1 EMC/EMI Lab Model. SOLD for $847,500
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> SOLRAD GREB Spy Satellite Engineering Dummy. SOLD for $10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Soviet LK-3 Lunar Lander Model. SOLD for $25,000
  • <b>Sotheby’s Paris: Books & Manuscripts. 30 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> MARCEL PROUST. Du côté de chez Swann. Grasset, 1913. First edition. One of 5 copies on Japan paper, inscribed by the author to Louis Brun. Est. €400,000 - 600,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> Saint-Exupéry. <i>25 Autograph Illustrated Letters to his Friend Charles Sallès</i>. Est. €30,000-50,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> French Revolution, 1793. Déclaration des droits de l’Homme. 2,55 x 1,30m. A monumental wallpaper poster of the 1793 version, with hand-colored highlights. Unique copy. Est. €100,000 - 150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> GIAMBATTISTA PIRANESI. <i>Vedute di Roma</i>, 1748-1775. 107 etchings. An exceptional copy, printed and bound before 1780. Est. €50,000 - 80,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris, Oct. 30:</b> Picasso, Pablo -- Fernando de Rojas. LA CÉLESTINE. [PARIS, EDITIONS DE L'ATELIER CROMMELYNCK, 1971.] One of the 30 copies hors commerce (n° X). 66 original etchings by Picasso. Signed. Est. €30,000 - €35,000
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio!</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio!</b>

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2017 Issue

A $6 Million Ephemera Burning – Now That's Punk

5c76f922-70ef-44b3-b003-260d2ca8aaa0

God Save the Queen.

A collection of ephemeral material said to be worth £5 million* (about $6.3 million U.S. dollars) went up in flames on November 26 last. The fire was deliberate. It was a protest. However, while reminiscent of the fires that raise horror in every intelligent person's heart – book burning – this was not a protest against what was being burned. It was a protest against its debasement. Better to see the movement it represents put to the torch than see it appropriated by those it sought to destroy. Punk is dead, its remains cremated on a boat in the Thames. Order has been restored to the U.K.

 

First, we need to recall a bit of history. In 1975, the legendary/infamous British punk group, the Sex Pistols, were formed. Punk already had its underground following the U.S., but the British version took its country by storm. Of little controversy here, because it was little noticed by the mainstream in the U.S., punk could not be ignored in the U.K. For this we can thank the Pistols' creator and manager, impresario Malcolm McLaren. McLaren was to the Pistols what Col. Tom Parker was to Elvis. Parker turned an obscure country and western singer into the biggest rock star America ever saw. But Elvis was, at least, a musician. McLaren had less to work with, so while Parker achieved the needed controversy to create a star with a little wiggling of the hips, McLaren required a full scale assault on British values and morality to achieve his goals. The Sex Pistols graciously supplied it.

 

Exactly forty years earlier, on November 26, 1976, the Pistols released their anthem, Anarchy in the UK. It was a punk anthem, an attack on the proper British order. Meanwhile, the band members lived an over-the-top destructive lifestyle, deliberately insulting everything proper. Their behavior, along with their lyrics, were intended to offend the British public to the extreme. The disenfranchised young loved it, proper society despised them.

 

Britain did not have to put up with the Pistols for long. They self-destructed. By 1978, the band was no more. The following year, their most flamboyant member, Sid Vicious, had killed his girlfriend and then himself (the latter with an overdose). The others moved on. McLaren, ever the impresario, also moved on to other ventures. The flame burned brightly, left its mark on British culture, and quickly went out.

 

McLaren died in 2010. He died with his collection of Sex Pistols ephemera – clothing, records, papers – still in his possession. It was inherited by his son, Joe Corré. It was Corré who put his father's collection to the fire a few weeks ago.

 

The inspiration for that decision was something called Punk London. It is a year-long celebration of forty years of punk. It has the support of London's mayor, and reportedly, even Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth was Queen then as now, and the target of the Pistol's song God Save the Queen. Corré was appalled. When he announced his plan to hold a bond fire, Corré issued a press release stating, "The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard. Talk about alternative and punk culture being appropriated by the mainstream. Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a f...ing museum piece or a tribute act." Rather than see McLaren's collection eventually sold as memorabilia to collectors with the greatest amount of money, Corré preferred to see it destroyed. Better to die young than live on as an old shell, collectible trophies for those who never understood or appreciated what the movement was about. As Corré further expounded to those attending the event, "Punk was never meant to be nostalgic. Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need."

 

This story elicits mixed emotions. The preservationist, historian, keeper of the culture in me is appalled. The history of our times needs to preserved, so future generations can know, understand, and perhaps avoid some of our mistakes. This is little different from a book burning. Still, the other side understands Corré's sentiments. Preservation by the establishment, the very institutions the punks railed against, is a cruel irony, a debasement of the values and ideals the punks represented, whatever those might be. It is the ultimate conquering. It is better to be consumed on the pyre than caged in the Queen's museum. My God, it is the same Queen Elizabeth, ridiculed in the song God Save the Queen, who still reigns, and apparently is welcoming the celebration of her defeated one-time provocateurs.

 

And then, the Pistols themselves and their punk movement also elicit mixed emotions in me. Truth to power, or at least, idealistic opinions to power, has always been a hallmark of my now aging generation. A hard rain's gonna fall. Tell it like it is, no matter how much they don't want to hear. But, coarseness never appealed that much to me. It doesn't fit that well with peace and love. Perhaps the Pistols' in-your-face style was necessary to be heard. The 70s were different from the 60s, and maybe even Dylan would have had to write lyrics like "go f... yourself" to be heard then. However, that coarseness goes on, and grows. Our culture is filled with it, our TV screens are filled with it, the internet is consumed with it, and America's most recent presidential election plumbed depths I'd never imagined we would see. The Pistols were revolutionary in their day. Today they would be mainstream. For better or worse, the times they still are a-changin'.

 

 

*I'm not sure how Corré or whomever calculated that value, but it does seem a bit generous to me.


Posted On: 2017-01-01 07:03
User Name: 19531953

DearMichael,
I just finished reading your piece and, sad to say, I can relate to many aspects of it. I say sad because there are numerous correlations to my own experiences lately. I watch with horror how dumbed down we are getting here and how we place value in people like Trump and The Kardashians and reward one with Power and the other with Money; Flipsides of the same coin really. I lived in London during the Punk age...I was young but not into the scene...later I realized that I liked much of the music. But an American in London then did not fit in really well or at least I didn't. We speak the same language in theory but in practice our phrases and expressions and words and theirs are often quite different; not to mention slang and varying accents.

Also I can relate to the frustration of Historical Paper not being appreciated enough. Oh I have done well enough with my first collection at The Newseum and 4 single owner auctions to date..BUT I didn't want my archive to be split up this time. I wanted it to be treasured by a major institution or even one sophisticated collector. I have tremendous interest from major auction houses with major collectors chomping at the bit to buy up their favorite things but negligible interest from anyone wanting to preserve my collection intact for posterity.

Bad behavior is rewarded in Politics and Entertainment and I am seeing that many well heeled collectors are buying the wrong material for the wrong reasons. Examples include graded comic books and graded baseball cards. You can own a 60 year old piece of cardboard with a picture of a Hall of Famer on the cheap flooding the market; but find one with perfect corners and clean and bright and no creases and perfect centering and margins and people who know the price of everything but the value of nothing will pay tens of thousands for the bragging rights of having a high grade piece of cardboard...the same one that sold for a penny when it was issued. But the real bargains will be had by people buying from my future auctions and other major collector sales.How do I know? Because I know how difficult it was and continues to be to find my treasures. And I remember when many of my pieces could be had for 3 or 4 figures but now they fetch 5 and 6 figures. And one day people will look back at my prices realized with amazement and regret that they weren't around or enlightened enough to purchase. That is the way I always feel when I look back at Sales such as Streeter and Sang. Still I appreciate how much pleasure these objects have given me from the moment of discovery to this very moment.
So I celebrate 50 years of collecting and memories are priceless. Congratulations on a fascinating article filled with irony and tragedy and even humor! Happy New Year!
Eric Caren
The Caren Archive
PS forgive any errors above as I wrote from the heart at a late hour on New Years Eve.


Posted On: 2017-01-01 15:28
User Name: essexbooks

Punk was a fashion statement , THe Sex Pistols a musical ( well sound ) part of it. As to financial value - Michael - come on - don't be so gullable - if the collection being burnt ( Although I'm in UK I never saw anything about it in the UK Mainline press) had been valued at £50,000 / $60000 would you bother writing about it. ? Our news is BRand led / Price led - no-one advertises Quality - just money. I wonder if a value of £5 MILLION was stated for death duties ?


Posted On: 2017-01-01 18:03
User Name: theoriginalnumislit

While Mr. Caren's critiques may prove to be valid in the fullness of time, I cannot help wondering whether his wonderful collection would have been amassed had he marched to the drum majors of his day.

And, while his disdain of the president-elect — and members of a family whose claims to fame seem based on tawdriness — may well be valid, it bears reflection that those who voted for Mr. Trump rejected alternatives across the political spectrum. This exercise of "rough justice" may prove counterproductive, yet is not its indictment of the political establishment inescapable and should it not engender a modicum of humility?


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Sotheby’s London: Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection. Part I: Music. 26 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Beethoven, Ludwig van. Autograph Manuscript of the Canon "Ewig Dein" Woo 161, signed at the end ("...[Ewig] Dein...Freund Ludwig Van Beethowen"). Est. £120,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Brahms, Johannes. Autograph Manuscript of the "Geistliches Wiegenlied", Op.91 No.2, for Contralto, Viola And Piano, the original version of 1864, signed and inscribed at the end by the composer. Est. £200,000 to £250,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Chopin, Frédéric. Autograph Manuscript of the Opening of the Étude Op.25 No.2, in A-Flat Major, signed and dated ("Paris Ce 28 Avril F. Chopin"). Est. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London: Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection. Part I: Music. 26 October 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Haydn, Joseph. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jos Haydn[Paraph]"), to the Baden Choirmaster Anton Stoll, 30 July 1802. Est. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Verdi, Giuseppe. Autograph Working Manuscript of a scene from Ernani. Est. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London Oct 26:</b> Verdi, Giuseppe. Highly Important Series of Thirty-Six Autograph Letters Signed to The Librettist Salvadore Cammarano, written between 1844 And 1851, the greater part unpublished and unrecorded. Est. £250,000 to £300,000
  • <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Magnificent Botanical Library of D. F. Allen. October 26, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Redouté, Pierre Joseph, and Claude Antoine Thory. <i>Les Roses</I>. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1817–1824. Est. $225,000 to $325,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Trew, Jakob Christoph. <i>Hortus Nitidissimis Omnen Per Annum Superbiens Floribus</i>… Nuremberg: Johann Joseph Fleischmann, 1750 [–1786]. Est. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Trew, Christoph Jakob, and Benedict Christian Vogel. <i>Plantæ Selectæ</i>…[Nuremberg:] 1750–1773; Supplement, [Augsburg:] 1790 [–1792]. Est. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Magnificent Botanical Library of D. F. Allen. October 26, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Jacquin, Nikolaus Joseph von. <i>Plantarum Rariorum Horti Caesarei Schönbrunnensis Descriptiones Et Icones.</i>Vienna; London; Leiden, 1797–1804. Est. $180,000 to $250,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Oct. 26:</b> Weinmann, Johann Wilhelm. <i>Phytanthoza Iconographia; Sive Conspectus Aliquot Millium, Tam Indigenarum Quam Exoticarum</i>… Regensburg, 1735–1737–1745. Est. $120,000 to $180,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b><br><i>The Centenary Edition of the Works of Ian Fleming</i>, one of 26 lettered sets, 18 volumes, London, 2008. $25,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> William Faulkner, <i>The Marble Faun</i>, first edition, signed & inscribed to Dorothy Wilcox by Faulkner & Phil Stone, Boston, 1924. $18,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Maurice Sendak, <i>Where the Wild Things Are</i>, first edition, signed & inscribed to William Archibald, New York, 1963. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Anne Frank, <i>Het Achterhuis</i>, first edition, in first state jacket, Amsterdam, 1947. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Roald Dahl, <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</i>, first edition, signed, New York, 1964. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b><br>Ray Bradbury, <i>Fahrenheit 451</i>, first limited edition bound in Johns-Manville Quinterra, New York, 1953. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Benjamin Graham, <i>The Intelligent Investor</i>, first edition, in original dust jacket, New York, 1949. $4,500 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Anna Sewell, <i>Black Beauty</i>, first edition, inscribed, London, 1877. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Arthur Conan Doyle, <i>A Study in Scarlet</i>, first American edition, Philadelphia, 1890. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> James Fenimore Cooper, <i>The Last of the Mohicans</i>, first edition, two volumes, Philadelphia, 1826. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Amelia Earhart, <i>20 hrs. 40 mins. Our Flight in Friendship</i>, limited first edition, signed, New York, 1928. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> Philip K. Dick, <i>World of Chance</i>, first edition, signed, London, 1956. $3,000 to $4,000.

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