Rare Book Monthly Articles - August - 2017 Issue

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Collections can get Complicated

I’ve known for many years that book collecting, if it was ever only books, is rarely books alone today.  Book collecting was once a huge field that required decades of experience.  Today informational databases approach Einstein levels of volume and complexity providing clear pictures of rarity and value while selling databases such as Abe Books and Biblio show enormous availability.  The word rare has always been a general term but the best databases today show it item by item, selling sites to tell you how many are available and RBH to tell you what the market is sayi...

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On Rare Book Hub: a reconsidered approach to Books for Sale

Over the past 15 years listing books on line has moved beyond the future into something embedded, like wallpaper, in the unfolding everyday reality of old and rare books.  Superlatives were co...

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The Hobby Lobby Case – Illegal Importation of Some of the World's Oldest Writings

A settlement has been reached in a smuggling case involving approximately 5,500 items from antiquity, some of the earliest "books" created, cuneiform tablets from the "cradle of civilization," toda...

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Bedazzled by Burney: Sales of Frances Burney Books, Manuscripts & Images from the Paula Peyraud Collection

This month, Rare Book Hub guest writer, Maureen E. Mulvihill, has written a useful piece on continuing strong values in Frances Burney (her books, manuscripts, associated visual art). Burney, a pop...

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U. S. Supreme Court to Rule on Attempt to Seize Ancient Persian Tablets from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute

This is the month where the earliest "books" - ancient clay tablets – make their way into the news, legal news in particular. Not only was a settlement reached in the Hobby Lobby case (see ar...

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Summer: Searching in New York

The chance to visit New York City this past month reminded me anew that, for book collectors and those who do historical research both the New York Public Library and the New York Historical Societ...

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Aug. 2: Vintage Posters at Swann including WWI Propaganda in honor of the 100th anniversary of the U.S.'s entry

As their 2016-2017 auction season comes to a close, Swann Auction Galleries is going out with a bang. Taking place tomorrow (from the time of this Rare Book Monthly publishing), August 2nd at 10:30...

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MONA. This Is Not Your Typical Library Story

A three-story circular library has been proposed to house the collection of one of the more unusual book collectors you will ever find. His name is David Walsh, and he built his fortune the way vir...

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Aug. 5: Baseball, Almanacs, Historical Documents and more at Case Antiques

Case Antiques, the Knoxville, Tennessee based auction house has since 2015 included their relevant auction records in Rare Book Hub’s Transaction History database. The category of collectible...

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A Time to be Cautious

You can kind of feel it, the disconcerting energy of anxiety.  It’s a different kind of thing; somehow tapping into our primordial instincts.  There’s a sense of risk in some ...

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Chastellux’s Voyages: An Aristocrat in America.

Like many “generous aristocrats1”, the well-born Marquis de Chastellux went to America in 1780 to fight on the side of the insurgents during the War of Independence (1775-1783). There h...

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AbeBooks Posts the Top 10 Highest Prices Paid in April-June 2017

It was a testament to just how crazy much money collectors will spend on their passion. Sadly, it was not a testament to what people will spend on books, which is much more reasonable (that is, les...

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Summertime Fun & Browsing in the Book Arts

It’s August and in the Northern Hemisphere it’s Summer. Time for a little bookish R&R.
 
With that in mind here are some large and small collections displayed online and brou...

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The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair in September

The rare book field is tradition laden.  The way things were is the way they will continue to be, that is unless you are Marvin Getman, the show promoter, who thinks carefully and works hard t...

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The New York Academy of Medicine is Set to Help You Pass Your Hogwarts O.W.L Exam

Books are a place where fantasy intersects with reality. There is perhaps no better example than the most popular children's book series of this century, the Harry Potter books. They are filled wit...

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Eight New Catalogues Reviewed for August

This month we review eight new catalogues. De Wolfe & Wood and Michael Brown Rare Books are offering an early printing of photographs taken by Walker Evans in Cuba in 1933. He developed this se...

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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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