Rare Book Monthly Articles - June - 2018 Issue

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What is my book worth? It depends

What is my book worth?  It depends who you ask.
 
A few days ago, I received an email from a Swiss rare book dealer who questioned why a book such as Alan Mann’s 2012, A Life of Chance, is priced on Abebooks from CHF 900 to CHF 2,986, on Amazon from $790 to $2,015 and on eBay new for $140 while the original price in 2012 was $79.50.  On waterstones.com website it’s listed at BP55 but shown to be out-of-stock.
 
Here is how Waterstones describes it:
 
Alan Mann was one of the great motor racing team managers of the 1960s. A successful race driver hi...

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A Clever Idea Turns a Library Theft into a Fundraising Event

Here is the ultimate example of turning lemons to lemonade. A book theft from a university library was turned into a movie, which is now being used to raise funds for that library. The thieves cert...

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Cookbooks Sell: Why food & drink is today’s hot niche for booksellers

In case you hadn’t noticed cookbooks still sell. Old and new, bright or faded, pristine or with loose hinges, covered with pencil scribbles and pages interleaved with clipped recipes…....

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Saving a Bookstore: it has come to this

Browser Books at Fillmore and Sacramento in San Francisco has been in business since 1976.  In other words, its forty-two-year corporate life spans the period from the last decade of pre-Inter...

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Sir Isaac Newton and the Philosopher's Stone

The University of Illinois reported that it had recently obtained an important late 17th century document for its Rare Book and Manuscript Library. It did not come cheaply. They paid $275,000 for i...

The Fort Stanwix Captive: widely reported but rarely found

I recently bid on and won an interesting Sammelband of printings from the years 1841-1843, all of which appear to have been printed in and around New York.  On the binding the first, and longe...

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Avec Privilège, or Death of A Pamphlet

This is both a very ordinary and extraordinary document! A four-page booklet printed on uncut paper in 1733. There are hundreds of those Arrêts de la Cour du Parlement—official publicat...

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June 14 at Christie's NY: The Portland Audubon and more exquisite material comes to auction

The fourteenth of June marks the date of two sales at Christie’s in New York. Two sales, with different sale numbers, but truly they are one (and in fact the first sale contains just one item...

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3,800 Ancient Writings and Artifacts, Purchased by Hobby Lobby, Returned to Iraq

Some of the world's earliest written "books" are being returned to their homeland. For many years, cuneiform tablets and such were regularly taken from their homes in the Middle East. Sometimes, th...

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Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann on June 7th

Collections and inventories are organized for retrieval and study and every collection is a combination of items in support of a theme.  On June 7th Swann will sell a broad cross section of si...

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Lord John Kerr (1927-2018)

Editor's Note: The following remembrance of Lord John Kerr has been prepared by his friend and colleague, Rupert Powell.
 
 
Lord John Kerr, one of the true doyens of the antiquarian b...

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June 12 at Bonhams NY: Fine Books and Manuscripts across six centuries

Two hundred eighty-seven lots comprise Bonhams June 12thsale in New York of Fine Books and Manuscripts, and they cover a lot of ground. From incunabula to World War II, focused ...

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Comic Books in Too Much Demand

If thievery is the best form of flattery, comic books are a hot item these days. Once upon a time, comic book theft usually meant some kid walking out of a newsstand without paying for his latest c...

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Book Club: the movie

The rare book business is in transition and we are all looking for a solution.  Turns out some of the answers are on the silver screen.  The movie is the “Book Club”, the stor...

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Frederick Douglass Finally Gets His University Degree

It is long overdue, but one of America's greatest writers, orators, and voices of freedom has finally received a degree from his hometown university, the University of Rochester. It is an honorary ...

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Nine New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review nine new bookseller catalogues. They are a varied group. Ursus Rare Books has a selection of artistic works from the 20th century. Shapero Rare Books focuses on natural history...

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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