Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2016 Issue

Police Seek Thief Who Stole Two Books Worth $20,000 from Manhattan Shop

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Surveillance camera footage of the thief in red pants.

New York City police recently asked for help identifying a man who stole two valuable books from a Manhattan bookseller. The crime occurred back on April 16, but pictures from a surveillance camera were only released to the public this past month. The crime took place at 3:00 in the afternoon, and the thief certainly did little to try to disguise himself or be inconspicuous. Nonetheless, police have not yet been able to identify him.

 

When we say he wasn't making much of an attempt to be inconspicuous, we note that the thief was wearing red pants. Perhaps this is normal attire in New York's Upper East Side, something gray and bland would have looked suspicious here? He did wear a button-down gray long-sleeve shirt, sleeves slightly rolled up. His head was perfectly bald, requiring close shaving or serious hair loss. He sported a gold watch, at least gold in color, probably digital, and in one hand carried a soft handbag, just large enough to fit a couple of books. In the other hand he held a cell phone. He is apparently talking on the phone, which is lifted to his ear, or perhaps using it as a prop to avoid having to make conversation with anyone.

 

The books were stolen from PRPH Books on 64th Street. The titles are Champer Duelluh Lyon and Tibertide Chyromantion Hainz. I have searched diligently but been unable to find anything about these two titles. Either they are very obscure or police got the spelling wrong. Together they were reported to be worth $20,000, a little over $15,000 for Champer, just under $5,000 for Tibertide. Certainly they are rare enough that if anyone offers to sell you a copy, the first thing you should do is ask about their provenance. And then you should call the police.


Posted On: 2016-10-03 18:13
User Name: theoddbook

Antiochus Tibertus [Tiberti]: De Cheiromantia [Chyromantia]... . Mainz: Schöfer [Scho?ffer / Schoeffer], 1538. No doubt the other "title" equally mangled.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Adam Smith, <i>Wealth of Nations,</i> first edition, descended from William Alexander, London, 1776. $70,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> George Gershwin, photograph signed & inscribed with autograph musical quotation, <i>An American in Paris,</i> 1928. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Friedrich Engels, <i>The Condition of the Working Class in England,</i> first edition, NY, 1887. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> <i>Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials,</i> first edition, London, 1682. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Robert Rey, <i>Estampes,</i> complete portfolio of 12 wood engravings, Paris, 1950. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Archive of 47 letters by Enrico Caruso to a lady friend, 1906-20. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Books of Hours in Flemish, Netherlands, 15th century. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Jack Kerouac, <i>Doctor Sax,</i> deluxe limited edition, signed, NY, 1959. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Walt Disney, signature on title-page of Ward Greene’s <i>Lady and the Tramp,</i> first edition, first printing. $3,000 to $4,000.

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