• <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through Oct. 27: Rare Autographs, Books, Sports and Art</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Important Aviation Archive w/The Contract For First Trans-Pacific Flight. Est. $30,000-$50,000.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Albert Einstein Signed Photo. Est. $2500-$3500.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Dodgson’s own copy of <i>The Hunting of the Snark</i>, signed and dated by the author the day after publication with original photo. Est. $10,000-$12,000.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through Oct. 27: Rare Autographs, Books, Sports and Art</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Abraham Lincoln Early Legal Brief. Est. $3500-$4000.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> The Beatles: Autographs of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison and more 60's Groups. Est. $3000-$2500.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Hector Berlioz Rare AMQS. Est. $4000-6000.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through Oct. 27: Rare Autographs, Books, Sports and Art</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Renoir, Autograph Letter Signed. Est. $2700-3500.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Ferdinand and Isabella, Manuscript Document Signed. Est. $6000-9000.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Lincoln-Douglas Debates Signed by William Howard Taft. Est. $1400-$1600.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through Oct. 27: Rare Autographs, Books, Sports and Art</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Stunning Vintage Amelia Earhart Signed Photo. Est. $2000-$2500
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Marilyn Monroe's Hair From her hair dresser. Est. $1200-$1800.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles<br>Now through 10/27:</b> Babe Ruth Signed Album with Others Sports and Entertainment Stars of the 20s. Est. $1800-2500.
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (AMERICAN WEST.), Watkins, Taber, Savage, and others. <i>Magnificent Album of Mammoth Photographs of the American West, with other subjects various,</i> ca. 1865-1880s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. <i>The Meaning of Relativity,</i> signed by Einstein. London: Methuen, 1922
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> CARTER, SUSANNAH. <i>The Frugal Housewife</i> (1772) 2d cookbook printed in America.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies.</i> The second impression. London: by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, 1632
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BROOKLYN). <i>An Act to Incorporate and Vest Certain Powers in the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the Village of Brooklyn, in the County of Kings.</i> Brooklyn: Printed by A. Spooner, 1816
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> PAINE, THOMAS. <i>Common Sense</i> (1776) first edition sheets.
  • <b>Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers: Fine Books & Manuscripts.<br>October 30, 2016</b>
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> Cook’s <i>Voyages</i>, 1773-1785, complete set with Atlas volume. $40,000-60,000
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> Henry Warre, <i>Sketches in North America</i>, 1848, first edition, hand-colored.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> Catlin’s <i>North American Indian Portfolio</i>, 1875. $40,000-60,000
    <b>Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers: Fine Books & Manuscripts.<br>October 30, 2016</b>
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> John Torrey Morse’s <i>The American Statesman</i>, autograph edition, extra-illustrated with original signed documents.<br>$35,000-55,000
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> McKenney & Hall’s <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America</i>, folio, three volumes, 1837-1844. $35,000-55,000
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> John Webber’s <i>Views in the South Seas</i>, 1820, hand-colored plates. $30,000-50,000
    <b>Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers: Fine Books & Manuscripts.<br>October 30, 2016</b>
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> A Collection of Eight Signed Letters, Some Men of Fame Autograph Collection.<br>$35,000-40,000
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> George Washington Signed Letter inviting Senator John Laurance to John Adams’s Presidential swearing in ceremony. $30,000-40,000
    <b>Skinner Oct. 30:</b> Elizabeth, Empress of Russia Coronation Festival Book, St. Petersburg, 1744. $30,000-40,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2004 Issue

A Trove of 20th Century Music Come to Market


An original photograph of Viñes by"Panajou Fres," measuring 5.75 x 4 inches... c. 1930.

By Bruce McKinney

Burton Weiss, the Berkeley, California rare book dealer, recently took on an interesting challenge: to convert a distinguished composer, pianist and professor’s library of 20th century European music into a research, catalogue and marketing project that will engage him for some time to come. Who is this composer-teacher? His name is Joaquín Nin-Cumell (1908 – 2004) and chances are that if you have to ask who he is this material is not for you. For Mr. Weiss, who specializes in gay and lesbian literature, the Spanish Civil War, and leftist poetry among other things, this project calls upon his early musical education, his knowledge of languages and even his second home in Spain, all to help make this ambitious intellectual foray, which may take longer than the Spanish Civil War (three years), a reasonably successful one.

Mr. Weiss is currently creating online listings of the hundreds of items he recently acquired indirectly from the Nin-Cumell library. However, many items have not yet been posted and some will never be, at least not on Mr. Weiss’ site, for as aficionados of this field learn that he has acquired a substantial collection of what he describes as “mostly” books pertaining to 20th century European music but which is actually a bouillabaisse (or perhaps more appropriately a zarzuela) of Spanish, Catalan and French material with some German and Italian items to add spice, these hunters after the exotic and the exquisite are finding ways to purchase material from Mr. Weiss before the dots and dashes of the electronic listings can carry them to the waiting world on ABE. Many of the books are association copies thus adding immeasurably to their value and collecting appeal.

Perhaps only one in a hundred institutions, dealers and collectors will be interested but those who pursue this material will understand immediately how difficult this is to find, much less acquire. To them the telephone may prove a better tool than the computer. His number is 510 525-4377.

Already a keyword search of Mr. Weiss’s listings on ABE using “music” finds 228 related entries that, depending on whether you begin with lowest or highest price, will start you in your browsing from $15.00 and going up, or from $4,500 coming down.

Mr. Weiss is focusing primarily on signed and inscribed works, including some dedication copies, from the accumulated estate of the Nin and Nin-Cumell families. Many of these books have an interesting and complex provenance – having been the property variously of Joaquín Nin-Culmell, chairman of the Music Department at UC Berkeley for many years, his father the Cuban-Catalan composer Joaquín Nin y Castellanos, his mother Rosa Culmell, the singer and voice teacher, and of course his sister Anaïs Nin, the celebrated author. This is a diamond bracelet of connections with not a rhinestone in the setting.

In this collection are at least 250 inscribed works of which approximately 100 have already been listed and in some cases sold. These presentation copies were ultimately the personal property of Joaquín Nin-Cumell but in many cases have had some relationship to other family members. Mr. Weiss takes pains to weave the threads that make the family story and connections clear and in so doing he reaches the highest state of grace in the book business – of researching and writing well and being paid something for that which he would be tempted to do for free.

Mr. Weiss is continuing to research and write about the many not-yet-listed items – including the most valuable single piece in the library, one of the only known presentation copies of the correct first edition of Enrique Granados’ opera Goyescas (New York, 1915), with English translation by the African-American poet James Weldon Johnson, inscribed by Granados in New York to his close friend and musical collaborator, Rosa Culmell, around the time of its triumphant Metropolitan Opera premiere (January 28th, 1916), and less than two months before he and his wife were drowned, on their way back to Barcelona, when a German submarine torpedoed their ship in the English Channel. He will be posting these items as time permits.

Here then are some books about which he has a special feeling, several of which have already been sold.

(Nin, Anaïs). MONSIEUR & MADAME F. JOACHIM NIN ONT LE PLAISIR DE VOUS FAIRE PART DE LA NAISSANCE DE LEUR FILLE ANAÏS... Paris: 1903. Engraved card, c. 3.63 x 5.78 inches. Announcement by her parents of the birth (February 21) and baptism (June 21, 1903) of Anaïs Nin, the earliest mention of her in print. In original mailing envelope, hand-addressed (no doubt, by her father or mother) to "José Lorenzo Castellanos y familia" in Havana, relatives of her father, and postmarked Neuilly-sur-Seine, July 2, 1903. Her parents – viz. the Cuban-Catalan composer and pianist, Joaquín Nin y Castellanos, and the Cuban singer, Rosa Culmell y Vaurigaud, of French and Danish descent – were both distinguished musicians. Although Joaquín Nin (1878-1949) was born in Havana, his family moved to Barcelona in 1880, and Joaquín, by then a concert pianist, did not return to Cuba until 1901. He and Rosa met in a music store in Havana. Her father, a man of means, opposed the idea of his daughter marrying a poor musician from Barcelona but did allow Rosa to have singing lessons with him, and they soon gave their first joint concert. They married on April 8, 1902, then left for Paris. Despite his misgivings, Rosa's father not only paid their way but was even willing to support them, for quite some time, in a spacious flat in a fashionable Parisian suburb, while Joaquín pursued his career. Very lightly foxed, else about fine in slightly soiled envelope.

WITH: ULTIMO CONCIERTO-NIN / CON LA GRACIOSA COOPERACION DE LA SRTA. ROSA CULMELL Y DEL EMINENTE VIOLINISTA JUAN TARROELLA...2 DE ABRIL...1902. Havana: 1902. Leaflet printed in red and green, 4 pp. Program for the last concert given by Joaquín Nin and Rosa Culmell before their marriage. Light rubbing and remains of a label on p [4], else fine. Provenance: Anaïs Nin's brother, the composer Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908-2004). Price for the pair. $650.00 [SOLD]

(Dalí, Salvador). Halffter, Ernesto. MARCHE JOYEUSE: POUR PIANO. Madrid: Unión Musical Española, 1925. 4to, illustrated wrappers, [ii], 7, [4] pp. Sheet music. First edition of this early piano piece by the eminent Spanish composer Ernesto Halffter (1905-1989). The full-page cover drawing that the composer's friend and contemporary, Salvador Dali (1904-1989), created especially for this publication, is an extraordinary self-portrait – viz. the joyful artist as a young man in an unusual hat, playing a stringed instrument (a cross between a guitar and a mandolin, perhaps). Signed in the plate "Salvador Dali 1925." Although Halffter's "Crepúsculos" premiered in 1922 and was published in 1924, MARCHE JOYEUSE is still, for him, a very early appearance in print (preceding by three years his first piano music cited in Grove), as it is for Dali. Short marginal tear (1 cm) at bottom edge, coming nowhere near to affecting drawing or text, still a remarkably attractive copy of a rare publication. $350.00 [SOLD]

IMAGE. (Nin-Culmell, Joaquín; Ricardo Viñes, Emilio Pujol). Riera, Juan. RICARDO VIÑES (EVOCACION): EL LERIDANO QUE CONQUISTO UN PUESTO ELEVADO EN LA HISTORIA DE LA MUSICA UNIVERSAL, COMO INTERPRETE VIRTUOSO Y EXPOSITOR DE LA MODERNA LITERATURA PIANISTICA. Prólogo de Emilio Pujol. Lérida: Instituto de Estudios Ilerdenses, Diputacíon Provincial de Lérida / Imprenta-Escuela Provincial, 1968. Wrappers printed in red and black, 87 pp. First edition of this study of the celebrated Spanish pianist and composer, 1875-1943. One of 500 copies printed. Contemporary presentation, inscribed by the author to the distinguished Cuban-Catalan composer Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908-2004), who had been a friend of the subject: "a maestro Joaquín Nin Culmell / Homenaje del autor / Juan Riera / Lérida, junio de 1969." With Nin-Culmell's ticks and corrections, notably at the "Calendario Extractado de Primeras Audiciones," where he has no doubt marked the concerts he attended, and the "Catálogo de Obras Dedicadas," where he has corrected Riera's listing of two of his (Nin-Culmell's) own compositions dedicated to Viñes. One corner lightly wrinkled, else very good indeed.

WITH: an original photograph of Viñes by "Panajou Fres," measuring 5.75 x 4 inches, with the photographer's blindstamp; c. 1930. Inscribed by Viñes on the recto "a mi buen amigo Joaquín N. Culmell / celebrando sinceramente la brillantez con que acaba de alcanzar la escolástica alternativa / Ricardo Viñes / Paris – 7 Julio – 1930." Four extremely light rubs to verso where this photograph was once affixed to an album page, else fine. Price for the pair. $250.00

Salazar, Adolfo. MUSICA Y MUSICOS DE HOY: ENSAYOS SOBRE LA MUSICA ACTUAL. Madrid: Editorial Mundo Latino [1928]. Modern green cloth, spine stamped in gilt, 375 pp. First edition of this massive early work by the most important Spanish writer on music of the first half of the 20th century, a critic (as well as a discoverer and inspirer) of inestimable influence on the Generación del 27 – not just on its composers but on its literary members as well, in whose thinking and writing, music played such an integral role. Contemporary presentation, inscribed by Salazar to an old friend, the distinguished Cuban-Spanish composer, Joaquín Nin y Castellanos (1878-1949): "A Joaquín Nin, con el agrado de las coincidencias y mis lamentaciones por las discrepancias, / Adolfo / XII.[1]928." Bound for Nin's son, the equally distinguished composer Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908-2004), with the latter's initials stamped in gilt at the foot of the spine. Fine. $250.00

Subirá, José. LA TONADILLA ESCENICA. Madrid: (Real Academia Española) / Tipografía de Archivos, 1928-30. Large 8vo, three volumes, modern green cloth, spine stamped in gilt, pp. 468; 534; 201, 323. First edition of this pioneering, monumental work. Volume III contains 323 pp of previously unpublished eighteenth-century Spanish music. Presentation copies, with Volume I inscribed by the author to his friend, the distinguished Cuban-Spanish composer Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908-2004): "A D. Joaquín Nin y Culmell – en memoria de su padre – con el buen afecto de su amigo / José Subirá / 1.5.1950." Volume III is a contemporary presentation, having been inscribed by the author to Nin-Culmell's father, the equally distinguished Cuban-Spanish composer, Joaquín Nin y Castellanos (1878-1949), a close friend of Subirá for decades: "Para Joaquín Nin, devoto amante de nuestras glorias filarmónicas del XVIII, para que saboree la música de nuestros tonadilleros, con un abrazo lleno de amistad y compañerismo inquebrantables. / José Subirá / 30.X.1930." Tipped into the latter volume is an undated ANS from Subirá to Nin referring to two or three musicological works. The complete set was bound for Nin-Culmell, with his initials stamped in gilt at the foot of each spine. Fine. $325.00

Godoy, Armand. MONOLOGUE DE LA TRISTESSE ET COLLOQUE DE LA JOIE. (Paris): Editions Emile-Paul Frères, 1928. Large 8vo, original wrappers printed in black and red, 135 pp. First edition of these poems. Of 221 large-paper copies constituting the édition originale, each of them numbered, this is one of 200 on hollande (i.e., Van Gelder Zonen). It is also one of two possible dedication copies. **** The prolific Cuban poet, critic, translator, and editor, Armand Godoy (1880-1964), who began to write after retiring from the tobacco trade, moved to Paris in 1919, and found his voice, for the most part, in French. The first and much longer part of this book, MONOLOGUE DE LA TRISTESSE (pp. [11]-90), bears a printed dedication to Godoy's close friend, the distinguished Cuban-Spanish composer Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908-2004), brother of Anaïs Nin. (COLLOQUE DE LA JOIE is dedicated to the pianist Antonio Valencia.) Exemplaire nominatif, with "EXEMPLAIRE No. 20 / IMPRIMÉ POUR MONSIEUR J. NIN CULMELL" printed on the colophon. Contemporary presentation, inscribed by the poet on the half title: "à mon très cher Joaquín Nin Culmell / en qui vibre l'âme douloureuse de Chopin, avec ma profonde affection / Armand Godoy." Two original photographs of Godoy's children laid in. Rear wrapper lightly soiled, spine a little darkened, else a nice copy. $550.00

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Voices of the 20th Century. December 7, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams: History of Science and Technology. December 7, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams: Voices of the 20th Century. December 7, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams: History of Science and Technology. December 7, 2016</b>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Civil War-era album with more than 130 signatures, including 18 presidents, 1864-2010.<br>$60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Claude Monet, Autograph Letter Signed, to friend and art critic Gustave Geffroy, 1891.<br>$6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>George Washington, partly-printed Document Signed as Commander-in-Chief, a military discharge, 1783. $7,000 to 10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Clarence Darrow, Typed Letter Signed, inviting attorney Frank Spurlock to join him during the Scopes Trial, 1926. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>J.D. Salinger, Autograph Letter Signed, "Jerry," offering consolation, 1972. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Poster Signed by each member of The Beatles near the inkblot he most resembles, 1964. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Photograph Signed by The Three Stooges, additionally inscribed by Moe, 1930s. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Jules Verne, Photograph Signed and Inscribed, 1900. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Thomas Jefferson, Printed Document Signed as Secretary of State, admitting Vermont into the Union, 1791. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>George Washington, lottery ticket signed "G:Washington," 1768.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Muhammad Ali, Signed & Inscribed Photograph and Typed Letter Signed, 1967. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b><br>Lou Gehrig, Photograph Signed & Inscribed (lower signatures printed), 1931. $3,500 to $5,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions