Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2024 Issue

“Pearls” from Zephyr Used & Rare Books

30th anniversary pearls.

Zephyr Used & Rare Books presents a catalogue of a Spring Sundry of Pearls: 30th Anniversary – 2024. The “pearls” refers to the items in the catalogue, “which may not be attractive and visually appealing, but are 'Pearls' within, of historical and social importance.” In other words, don't look for a lot of fine press material, but the stuff is more interesting than much of what came off those high-priced presses. You will relate to these items, and maybe even experience nostalgia. The good old days as they were. Prepared for the Rose City Book & Paper Fair, the catalogue, in a classic typo, calls the Rose City “Potland,” Oregon. Actually, it is legal there, so maybe this isn't a typo. The 30th anniversary refers to Kol Shaver's years in the business, now entering middle age. Here are a few samples of these pearls.


We start with a book that truly is a pearl. The title is The Kingdom of Pearl. The author was Leonard Rosenthal, also known as the “Pearl King.” Pearl King he was in the first half of the twentieth century, nearly cornering the international market. This book, published in 1920, tells all about pearls and their market. What it can't tell you about is the enormous drop in the value of the pearl that came during the 1930s, because that was in the far off future at the time. It does tell you about the jewel's history up to then and its market. Rosenthal also designed pearl necklaces and was said to be unequaled in his ability to perfectly match pearls. The book includes illustrations by Edmund Dulac, whose name is better known today than Rosenthal's. His inventive illustrations adorned books and numerous other types of paper - newspapers, magazines, bookplates, and postage stamps. Item 1 is number 9 of 675 copies of this limited edition. Priced at $700.


Here is another book better known for its illustrator. Perhaps that isn't entirely accurate, Dante Alighieri and Dante's Inferno being a classic and Dante still famed today, though he's been gone seven centuries. However, this particular edition, circa 1888, must be far down the line in terms of precedence. What makes it special are the illustrations by Gustave Doré. Doré wanted to illustrate the books of Dante's trilogy but his publisher declined to finance it. Doré picked up the tab himself and the books were a great popular success. These illustrations are considered Doré at his best, even if the place depicted was not a pleasant one. They are still a hell of a good depiction of the underworld. Item 90. $450.


Thomas Edison invented, or co-invented, just about everything in his day, both a technological and marketing genius. One of those new technologies he played a major role in developing was the movie. Terry Ramsaye was a journalist who entered the young motion picture industry producing films, including some by Charlie Chaplin. Ramsaye created a history of motion pictures which was published serially in the early 1920s. It became the foundation for his book, A Million and One Nights, published in 1926. It is a history of films up to 1925 and describes Edison's movie camera. Edison liked the book so he and Ramsaye signed 327 copies. This is one of them. Item 76. $2,650.


It's a good thing Edison and Ramsaye invented movies as otherwise we never would have had Guns, Girls, and Gangsters. This 1959 classic starred Mamie Van Doren, a '50s “blonde bombshell,” a studio alternative to Marilyn Monroe who never quite reached the same level of success, but appeared in numerous “B” films of the 50s and 60s. This was one of them. Item 82 is a poster for the film, which describes it as “Blonde hell-cat on the prowl! A double-crossing gang queen clawing and caressing her way into a two million dollar heist.” If you have seen this film please add to the description. I haven't. If Van Doren didn't reach the pinnacle of Hollywood films, she did achieve great longevity. Marilyn's candle may have burned out 60 years ago, but Mamie is still with us at age 93. Item 82. $175.


Edison lived long enough to see this film, though that doesn't mean he actually did. I don't know his tastes. This is one of those Grosset & Dunlap books published to accompany a film. It went with a 1926 silent movie, soon to be replaced by “talkies.” The title is Joanna: of the Skirts too Short and the Lips too Red and the Tongue too Pert. The cover displays an illustration of Joanna. She is a classic Roaring 20s flapper. I don't know anything about this film either, nor have I ever heard of any of the stars. Neither am I familiar with the author, H.L. Gates, though he appears to have written several movies/books in the 20s and 30s. Item 128. $50.


Edison developed a use of electricity that brought light to the night. Jean DuPlessis provided a mimeographed course book for another use of electricity. It is an Electronic Atlas, “completely rewritten” in 1924. DuPlessis was working at the Lindlahr Sanitarium at the time. It had been created by Henry Lindlahr whose “nature cures” were viewed with disdain by the medical community. This book features electrical devices created by Albert Adams. These devices would attach electrodes to the patient or diagnose and cure diseases from a drop of blood or a handwriting sample. Adams justly earned his title of “the Dean of Quackery.” His theories were written off in the 1920s, but it's now been a century and many of those terrible diseases are still hanging around. Maybe it's time to give Dr. Adams' “cures” a second look? Item 146. $550.


Zephyr Used & Rare Books may be reached at 360-695-7767 or zephyrbook@gmail.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.

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