Rare Book Monthly Articles - December - 2014 Issue

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Eight Days on the Road to Perfection

A few weeks ago I flew to Boston for the three-day ABAA and one day Shadow Book Fairs and was well rewarded for they seemed the best New England fairs in quite some time.  The dealers were upbeat and the prices appealing.  ABAA fairs always feature the best material and price it liberally.  The Shadow Fair by comparison has only the 8:00 am to noon period on Saturday to get the buyer’s attention before the more powerful ABAA Fair opens for the second of its three days and draws the crowd away.  So while the ABAA feels like a courtship the Shadow Fair is more like s...

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Eric Caren of the Caren Archives offers: A tale of two collections = over 1 million historical paper items

Eric Caren, the ephemera master-collector has done many unusual things in his life.  He was collecting ephemera long before most institutions, dealers and collectors were paying attention to i...

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The Greatest Book Collector Dies at 100

The owner of what must have been the greatest private book collection in the world has died at the age of 100. William Scheide of Princeton, New Jersey, died on November 14, 2014. He celebrated his...

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Memories of the Dealer’s Daughter - Bookselling as it was in the 1960s

My parents had not yet entered the bookselling trade in 1943 the year I was born in Detroit, but all the early warnings signs were there. From the time I was a little girl my father and I would go ...

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Manuscripts for a Pair of Early Unrecorded Bob Dylan Songs to be Sold at Christie's on December 4

A pair of unrecorded songs written by Bob Dylan shortly before he turned from unknown struggling Greenwich Village artist to the spokesman for a generation are being offered for sale at Christie's ...

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Thomas ‘Tim’ Heath Belk: The bustle in the house

Edna Vincent Millay wrote this poem in 1866
 
The bustle in the house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon this earth, --
 
The sweeping up the heart,
A...

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Next Time Ask for a Signature - $7,000 Bible Stolen from Front Door

It's useful to have a lesson in care every once in awhile when you are in the trade of selling valuable books. Last month, we saw the case of a bookseller who allowed her “friend” and n...

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Fireworks in Americana in New York and Los Angeles

I had occasion to preview Americana sales at Doyle and Swann this past week and in the days leading up to these sales it seemed like both would simply fit into the New York continuum of high level ...

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A Museum and a Foundation Battle for Items from Maurice Sendak's Estate

The estate of the great children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak has turned into a battleground between competing entities. Perhaps no one is more to blame than Mr. Sendak himself. Sen...

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Cartouche’s skull, the ultimate trick?

The story of the most lovable French rascal Louis-Dominique Cartouche (1693-1721) became a personal obsession after I first wrote about him on this very website two years or so ago. I had boug...

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Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers: A Decidedly Irish December 9th Sale

Hailing from Castlecomer, Ireland, Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers is an auction house dealing in fine art and rare books whose results are archived into the AED. On December 9th, 2014, their sale of Rare...

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Books in the News: An Unlikely Gift, an Antarctic Discovery, and Serious Water Damage

An unlikely institution recently received a surprising gift – a large collection of old, often valuable books. The King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham, England, was given a sig...

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Profiles In History: Three Important Sales on Three Diverse Subjects

The fall and early Winter are busy times for auction houses, and the auction house Profiles in History is no different. With five sales over the course of four days in December, three of which we&r...

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Arader Galleries Returns to the Rooms December 6th

Known for his dedication to the collection of maps in the Americana field, as well as his sizeable holdings of Audubon, Graham Arader and Arader Galleries present From Sea to Shining Sea: Art of Am...

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Christie's New York: Americana and Botany Collectors Converge

With a veritable cornucopia of rare and significant material, Christie’s New York will soon be offering collectors of rare books, manuscripts, maps, ephemera, and autographs a sale to be grat...

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Amazon and Hachette Agree to Bury the Hachet... But Who Won?

Amazon and book publisher Hachette have come to an agreement that has been welcomed by authors, and, at least on the surface, by the two parties. Amazon has been engaged in a long-running power str...

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Court Accepts Tentative Settlement in Apple's E-Book Price-Fixing Case

U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote has accepted a strange settlement in the Apple e-book price fixing case, though it was obvious she didn't much like it. Evidently, the winning party in her cou...

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Auctions in December

This December there are 107 scheduled auctions in the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera fields.  The material is complex ranging from less important to once-in a-life-time possibilities. &...

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Nine New Catalogues Reviewed for December

This month we review 9 new bookseller catalogues. Variety is the watchword here. However, one of the most popular of collecting fields, travel and exploration, does have multiple entrants, with Bri...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.

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