Rare Book Monthly

New Letter

Letters to the Editor

book appraiser August 29, 2017

Bruce, Follow up on Mike Stillman's mention about camels in the SW. In 2006 the Huntington Library Press reprinted the 1929 Harvard University Press Journal of Major Hampreys Stacy supplemented by the report of Edward Fitzgeerald Beal, 1857-1859. Beal was the "Camel Brigade" Commander and Stacy was the 19 year old who went along for the adventure from San Antonio, Texas to Bakersfield, CA. Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, wanted to experiment with Asian camels providing transportation across the "Great American Desert."


Alan Aimone


. April 01, 2017

Bruce,

Thanks to your recommendation, my large inventory of rare books and ephemera has effectively has been sold with the assistance of DeWolfe and Wood. They drove hundreds of miles with a truck three times, boxed the books and drove them to Maine where they sold them by book fairs, auctions, private sales....The transaction relieved my mind. I couldn't leave this large inventory to my daughters who have no knowledge of the trade. I am 83 years old and must prepare for the inevitable but I sorely miss my books.

Thank you for your help and the hard work by DeWolfe and Wood.

Tom Cullen, Rockland Bookman


. December 01, 2016

Re:
"A decade later this book was tiptoeing toward oblivion, its passage unknown but its destination determined: Better World Books where, as one of the tens of thousands of books they convert each year from ink and paper to money to be used for charitable purposes, posted it on eBay where I bought it for $4.95."

It should be noted that Better World Books is not a non profit and not a charity. It is a for-profit business posing as a charity. It was started by two Notre Dame MBAs. It does indeed make charitable donations (often unwanted books) but its goal is profit.

Thanks,

Paul Collinge
Heartwood Books


. October 17, 2016

Bruce,

Maybe I have missed earlier versions of this (perhaps I am more focused on the worldwide auction scene these days), but I REALLY like your "16 Auctions Archived, 31 Sales Upcoming - AE Auction Updates." This is a wonderful way to keep abreast of what is going on in today's auction world, which now certainly appears to be "the marketplace" for art, books and works on paper.

Reading about the top 25 lots sold is fascinating and informative, especially for sold material outside the narrow range of the printed book. I think sending an email with these monthly reviews and reminder of the forthcoming auctions is a brilliant move on the part of RBH. Please keep them coming.

I knew about the sale of the E.T. painting -- the mind boggles. But then there is the Harry Potter chair sold by the same house.

Regards, Lloyd

====================
L. W. Currey, Inc. ABAA/ILAB


a October 01, 2015

Michael, thank you for your thought-provoking article on the mold problem in Boston. You're absolutely correct to say that in the digital era, old books just don't seem to warrant proper attention, or the funding necessary to protect this heritage. I have no idea how this dilemma will be solved. It will take dedicated, hard working conservators countless hours over countless years to fix the current state of affairs that libraries and museums across the nation are facing. As a collector, I care for my several hundred items quite carefully. And that makes me think that perhaps these collections don't really belong in moldy old buildings where fewer and fewer people have access to them, but rather they're much better off being in the hands of individuals who know the intrinsic value of these rarities. Thank you for sharing your insight. Scott A. Scanlon Greenwich, Connecticut


Andrew May 06, 2015

I very much enjoyed the conversation with Ed Maggs. I do however need to take mild issue with the statement that "Maggs Bros. Ltd is the oldest continuously operating dealer in rare books and manuscripts in the English speaking world." Henry Sotheran's outdo our good friends in Berkeley Square by 92 years having been in business since 1761.

With best wishes

Andrew McGeachin

Managing Director
Henry Sotheran Limited

www.sotherans.co.uk


George Kolbe December 01, 2014

I look forward every month to reading AE Monthly. Why lessen the enjoyment by including leftist political orthodoxy into otherwise delightful articles.

The latest offender::

"He continued through life to support political candidates who were focused on helping the needy, rather than those who sought to reduce taxes on the wealthy…"

—The Greatest Book Collector Dies at 100

Had the collectors forebears been of like mind, the collection receiving accolades likely would never have been formed.


John November 09, 2012

I am an attorney who has been monitoring this case. Mr. Fraser has not contacted anyone in regard to selling the Mahler photo, as the individual who posted the last message claims. Furthermore, Mr. Fraser's grandmother does not have Alzheimer's disease and any such false claim shows malicious intent. The grandmother's declaration is 100% valid. Lastly, the Fraser family has no intention of giving the photo to the Schoenberg family for free; Mr. Fraser's father is the only one who has made such a statement. Unfortunately, the father has estranged himself from his family for almost a decade and his comments do not reflect the opinions of the Fraser family.


Reader001 November 08, 2012

In response to the letter to the editor regarding the Mahler photograph. I have been following this story since I first saw it. I would like to rebut the statements made by saying that the grandmother is never stated to be suffering from Alzheimer's disease, in no article does it ever make any statement regarding her mental health. This person has been vagrantly slandering them since I read this article on the Huffington post. There is definitely some personal bias there.

I would also like to point out that the father has estranged himself from the family, so if the grandmother gave the photograph as a gift to the grandson, the father would have no claim to it.

If there was truly no right to possession than a suit would have been filed by now. The fact that there is not, means that there is really nothing to go on other than hearsay.


A reader November 01, 2012

I read the Michael Stillman article on the Mahler photograph which was inscribed to Arnold Schoenberg and the situation which legally revolves around the item. As I have been approached by the seller in this case and asked questions and did background research, I would suggest three additional facts be added as fact to this case, which further cloud Mr. Fraser's claim.



 1. His nonengerian Grandmother is suffering from Alzheimers disease.




 2. In the affadavit which he purports to have, he blacks out the name of the notary when he has shown it. I know of two such incidents, one to the Schoenberg Family, the second was reported by the New York Times. Therefore the affadavit is of dubious provenance.



 3. The rest of the family, including the logical heir, his Father, wants the item returned to the Schoenberg family without compensation of any sort.




As the Grandmother is not in a proper state of mind where she can legally give an item of this value away to anyone, it is highly questionable whether Mr. Fraser has any rights to the piece if it were legally his to sell. At this point, the piece will not sell for the price Mr. Fraser seeks, which is well beyond tolerance for any buyer of this sort of material.
I recommend that anyone interesed in this case read the Schoenblog articles. http://schoenblog.com/




 Thank you.


. September 01, 2012

Dear Mr. Stillman,



Re your article on the latest scam, the first indication that this is a scam is the "I am Barrister Willliam" so and so. A barrister in England does one thing only - he argues cases in court, or to put it more formally, before the bar; hence the bar-rister. Mr. Johnson would have been more believable if he had called himself Solicitor so and so. When one has a legal matter in England he engages a solicitor who in turn engages the barrister, if necessary, since the former cannot argue cases before the bar and the latter cannot solicit business.



Just my two cents worth. I enjoy reading the AE Monthly very much.



Best wishes,


scrapslady September 01, 2012

Thank you for all your interesting articles, but particularly those from Susan Halas - always something different and fascinating. By the way, we do get taught about the double negative here in the UK, but what about split infinitives? - Michael Stillman take note!




Mr. Stillman replies:  "But... we fought a revolution here for the right to occasionally split our infinitives!"


mrsmouse July 01, 2012

I am a volunteer sorter of gifts/donations at my library and I can fully appreciate the problem of catching the jewel in the dross. Most volunteers have limited knowledge, (myself included) the library staff hasn't the time, and there we are, sending 1st editions of Noel Coward to the book sale for 1.00, 1st U.S editions of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats to the shredder and who on earth knows what else we don't catch. If there is a solution I'd be pleased to hear it.


. April 04, 2012

Hello AE,



 Thanks for another informative article by Susan Halas !



 Dave Shoots, Bookseller


. March 07, 2012

Thank you for the generous mention of my book. Michael Stillman was puzzled by quote
from Richard Burton. I would have liked a puff from the explorer but I don't think
he had much of a sense of humour; in fact my RB is an old friend mentioned in the
book's index - a well known UK architect.


. March 01, 2012

Another great AE Monthly. Can't wait - when's the next one?! Just Kidding.


Thanks much.


. January 04, 2012

Hi Bruce,

 

I read with sadness your piece on Bob Emerson. I was unaware of his passing but had lost contact with him ever since his move to Ohio. I live not far from Falls Village, Ct. and would often drive to their old church building to search through their books. They were a beautiful and wonderful couple. There was always the aroma of whatever Dorothy was cooking or heating up behind a partition.



This also very well coincides with your article on the loss of old time bookshops and the opportunity to meet "grey-haired mystics, guards and guides." I sorely miss that. I would often spend a weekend driving throughout Ct. New York and Ma. with my booksellers guides seeking out open shops and out of the way booksellers operating out of their homes. Even with them now it has become "by appointment." Nothing these days is spontaneous or adventurous. The Internet has definitely done the world of book collecting a massive disservice which will never be amended.

 

Best regards,

 Ted Dunn


. January 02, 2012

Bruce,



Keep up the good work.
I enjoy your monthly newsletters throughout the year. My love of books was instilled by my father who worked for Connecticut Printers…. The old Lockwood, Brainard, Day dynasty out of Hartford CT.
Long live the book,



 Caroline Welling VanDeusen


. January 02, 2012

Just wanted to let you know how much i have enjoyed studying the Top 500 auction items list for 2011. It made me remember a lot, ponder a lot, and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, at no point could I say, "Oh, i have one of those!". I greatly appreciate your efforts!



John Via


. December 07, 2011

Dear Bruce:



 Thanks for the nice piece on the Library of America. I am on its board of
trustees, and we appreciate all the advertising we can get.



 Besides reprinting classics, LOA has done a number of anthologies of
material not easily brought together in one place. Two of the most
celebrated are the two-volumes sets devoted to war journalism of World War
II and the Vietnam War.



 An exciting project now underway is an anthology of writing during the Civil
War, which will proceed year by year as the 150th anniversary progresses.
The first volume came out this spring, and the second is on the way.



 All best,




 Bill


WRAF November 01, 2011

Forwarded the FIRST article to several friends, readers..Never knowing of anyone spending all that time to put together such a challenging task!
Printed out for reading later, I stopped at Monroe..and thought I'd share what I have in my collection..as obviously I like the star.
Have the HIGH SCHOOL YEAR BOOK of Paul Newman..Who's cover has a photo of the building and HIM WALKING ALONG...
Bet a lot of people will now start searching for year books!
Constantly enjoy reading on the first of the month ! Well done !


. October 02, 2011

Hi Bruce,


I just finished reading your review of Part I, “How History…” Swann (my wife Eydie reading over my shoulder said “He writes very well”) and I felt very proud. I am sure that your writing will contribute to people thinking outside of the box and for themselves when it comes to collecting and purchasing in our fascinating field. Americana Exchange has changed the world of collecting printed and manuscript material in a way that is no punches pulled, in your face truths disregarding cliques and “old boy networks” and has evened the playing field for everyone from novices to experts! I return Congratulations to you! There was one startling omission. You failed to note how I look half my age and half my weight!


Best,


Eric


. October 01, 2011

Dear Bruce


Many thanks for the wonderful article about the Chelsea Book Fair in AE this month and being so supportive of the ABA fairs once again. We already received emails from some UK dealers mentioning the article.


Angelika Elstner


. September 01, 2011

Handwriting matters ... But does cursive matter?



Research shows: the fastest and most legible handwriters avoid cursive. They join
only some letters, not all of them: making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and
using print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree.
(Citation on request.)




Reading cursive still matters -- this takes just 30 to 60 minutes to learn, and can
be taught to a five- or six-year-old if the child knows how to read. The value of
reading cursive is therefore no justification for writing it.




Remember, too: whatever your elementary school teacher may have been told by her
elementary school teacher, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over
signatures written in any other way. (Don't take my word for this: talk to any
attorney.)




 Yours for better letters,




Kate Gladstone — CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works

Director, the World Handwriting Contest


Co-Designer, BETTER LETTERS handwriting trainer app for iPhone/iPad


http://www.HandwritingThatWorks.com


Albany, NY


DBuck September 01, 2011

Less than 48 hours after the AP story announcing the discovery of the manuscript, an alleged "autobiography" that proved William T. Phillips was Butch Cassidy, the discoverers recanted everything. Phillips was not Cassidy & the manuscript was a fantasy. The Phillips story had been known and ridiculed for years, by the way. Details here,
http://truewest.ning.com/forum/topics/anatomy-of-a-farce.



  Dan Buck


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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