Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2010 Issue

Rose City Used Book Fair (Portland, Oregon June 11-12): "An Unpretentious book Fair"

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By Lee Kirk, The Prints & The Paper - www.kirksbooks.com

This was the first show I have done in 7 years due to family and personal health issues, eldercare, etc. Since it was the 5th year for the show, I hadn't even had a chance to attend and see what it was like. It bills itself as "an unpretentious book fair" which I think is very smart, for reasons I'll get to later.

One quick note - I was set up on the stage, which I shared with a vendor couple, Truman and Suzanne Price, with whom I had corresponded by email but not met before. They brought a great collection of children's books and set up with a little "tea party" vignette - children's table, chairs, etc. and "guests" were stuffed versions of Babar, Little Bear, Jeremiah, and Paddington (the revelers even had a vase of fresh flowers on their table). Plus Truman plays a mean fiddle. I wish we could have stayed to hear more but since he started fiddlin' after the show hours Friday and we had a long drive over to Beaverton and supper, we had to leave. Truman's band information is at www.trumanprice.com. Booksellers are certainly an interesting lot!

The venue is a Masonic Lodge building, hence the stage. The sales floor is on two levels (a shallow ramp going downstairs, where I was located.) It's a "shoestring" show - dealers brought their own tables (one was provided), table covers, and other display items. Cost was $135 for one space. There were 24 vendors, 33 spaces - some took two spaces so every space was full, and I understand that there was a waiting list.

There was a decent setup period on Thursday (1-6 pm) and we drove to Portland (from Eugene) without stress and got set up handily. There was another set-up time Friday morning, and the doors opened at 2 pm; the show ran until 8 pm. I was dubious about attendance on a Friday afternoon, but when I "checked the house" before the doors opened there were at least 35 people in line and more coming. Trade was steady until around 5:00 - we expected another little "after work" rush but it didn't really happen. We all knew that Saturday would be slow - Friday was typical of the last 6 weeks - 64 degrees and rainy. Saturday was forecast for 81 and sunny and, after listening to Portlanders grumbling about flooded and washed-out gardens and considering that it was the last day of the Rose Festival (parade day? Not sure) we figured the door would be down. It was - apparently they had about half the usual number of attendees. Still, those who came were buying.

This was one of the best-run and most accommodating shows I have seen. Advertising was good and there was signage everywhere. There were refreshments for dealers all day every day (bagels and spreads, pastries, gallons of hot coffee, etc.) and lunch fixings were provided on Saturday (quality cold cuts, cheeses, and other sandwich fixings, veggie snacks, chips, desserts.) Everything ran smoothly and there were volunteers to provide potty breaks and so forth when needed. Lovely!!! Thursday night there was also a get-together at a local pub, with the Association footing the bill for beer, sodas, and appetizers (and kept them coming) and individual dealers had the opportunity to order meals on a no-host basis. It was a nice opportunity to exchange news with old friends and get better acquainted with new ones.

It was lively during setup times. Since many of my old dealer friends knew that I hadn't been "out" for so long they knew that a lot of my stuff would be out for the first time and they came a-running (They also know that my prices are always reasonable, and that I offer 20 percent - which, I'm happy to say, everyone I dealt with did also).

I had few expenses aside from gas, etc. since we stayed at our daughter's in Beaverton - bed and board although we bought a couple of meals "out" for convenience sake. With $135 invested in the space (plus the cost of a couple of sturdy folding tables to replace my shaky ones, but they will pay forward) I brought home close to $1000 in cash and did about $1500 in trade (Dealers had stuff I needed; I had stuff they wanted - works for me). Gary (my helpful spouse and "gofer") negotiated two wonderful archaic skills books in my trade deals - his "payment" for working so hard (We consider his collections to be one of our best investments...at least better than our IRA, which has lost almost 50% during this recession). The after-the-show sales generated from contacts there will add to the income. Already by Wednesday after the show, I had a firm $700 additional in hand with lots more follow-ups in process.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Koller Auctions: Books & Autographs. March 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Jacques Gamelin. <i>Nouveau recueil d'osteologie et de myologie, dessine d'apres nature...</i> 2 parts in 1 vol., large folio, 82 copper plates. CHF 12,000 to 18,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Melchior Pfintzing. <i>Die geverlicheiten und einsteils geschichten des loblichen streytparen...</i> 118 woodcut engravings, first edition. CHF 30,000 to 50,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Book of hours. Handwritten Latin text on vellum. With 17 large miniatures, Flanders, c.1460. CHF 70,000 to 90,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Maria Sibylla Merian. <i> Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium,</i> 72 copper plates, Den Haag, 1726. CHF 60,000 to 90,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Princess Diana, group of 6 ALS to the editor of British Vogue, 1989-92. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing with news after pledging support to King George III against the American rebels, 1776. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Ulysses S. Grant, photograph dated & signed as President, portrait by Brady, 1875. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Alexander Graham Bell, ALS, accepting an invitation to tea during his only trip to Japan, 1898. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Nikola Tesla, signature & date on his monogrammed correspondence card, 1935. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Richard Wagner, ALS, concerning his opera Rienzi, 1869. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, autograph note signed, requesting the address of Yvette Guilbert, 1895. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Claude Monet, ALS, to painter Harry Lachman, complaining that his vision has not improved, 1920s. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Friedrich Hölderlin, autograph manuscript, unsigned, 7 lines quoting Michael Denis's <i>Ossians und Sineds Lieder.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Guestbook for Lüchow's restaurant, over 400 signatures, including W.H. Auden, Grace Kelly & drawings by Charles Addams, NYC, 1950-56. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> George Washington, lottery ticket, signed, 1768. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Vaslav Nijinsky, postcard dated & signed, showing a drawing of him in <i>Schéhérazade,</i> 1916. $2,500 to $3,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Greco (Gioachino). <i>Primo modo del gioco de Partito…</i> Manuscript, France, 1624 or 1625. A collection of partiti, or 'chess problems' by one of the most important figures in the history of chess. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Herodotus. <i>Historiae,</i> translated into Latin by Lorenzo Valla and edited by Antonio Mancinelli. Venice, 1494. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Darwin (Charles). Autograph Letter signed to his cousin Reginald Darwin, Down, Beckenham, Kent, 27th March 1879. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Nicolay (Nicolas de). <i>The Navigations, peregrinations and voyages, made into Turkie,</i> first edition in English, Imprinted at London by Thomas Dawson, 1585. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Saint-Exupéry (Antoine de). <i>The Little Prince,</i> number 66 of 525 copies signed by the author, 1943. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Catlin (George, 1796-1872). Tuch-ee, A Celebrated War Chief of the Cherokees, watercolour, [circa 1834]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Genetics.- A collection of c.300 pamphlets on genetics comprising many of the major contributions from the first half of the 20th century. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> India.- Rajasthan.- Kota School (probably late 18th c.). Elephant in a landscape with chains around his feet, brush and black ink with opaque pigments. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Commelin (Caspar). <i>Horti medici Amstelaedamensis plantae rariores et exoticae,</i> first edition, 48 finely hand-coloured engraved plates, Leiden, F.Haringh, 1706. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Plague-water and cookery & medical recipes.- Jackson (Mrs Sarah). Medical and cookery recipes, manuscript in several hands, title and 134pp., 1688-1755. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Vernet (<i>After</i> Joseph, 1714-1789). <i>[Vues des ports de France],</i> sixteen plates (of 18), etchings and engravings by Charles Nicolas Cochin fils and Jacques Philippe Le Bas, [c.1760-1780]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Detmold (Edward Julius, 1883-1957). Parrots and Butterflies, watercolour. £2,500 to £3,500.

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