• <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2004 Issue

A Trove of 20th Century Music Come to Market

Bw3

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>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Extremely Fine Copy of Fantasy Classic. Tolkien (J.R.R.) <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,</i> L. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Museum Street) 1937. €20,000 to €30,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Incunabula. [Sirectus, Antonius] O’Fihely (Maurice)Abp. <i>Formalitates de Mente Doctoris Subtilis Scoti Nec Non Stephai Burlifer cum novis additionibus…</i> Venice 14th December 1051 (ie. 1501). €3,000 to €4,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Original Book Illustrations by Pamela Leonard. Illustrations: Regan (Peter) Touchstone, 8vo D. (Mount Salas Press) 1989. €3,500 to €4,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> [Petit (Jean), Prevel (Jean) & Gregory (Pope)] [Gregorius]. <i>Compendium Textuale Compillationis decretalium Gregorri noni sine qua…</i>, Paris [Dec. 1524]. €350 to €500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Excessively Rare – V. Fine Copy. [Mac Mahon]. <i>Jus Primatiale Armacanum, In Omnes Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, et Universum Clerum</i>… [n.p.] 1728. €750 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Madden (R.R.). <i>Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia and Palestine in 1824, 1825, 1826 and 1827,</i> 2 vols. 1822. €500 to €700
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Early English Herbal. Gerarde (John). The Herball or General History of Plants, thick folio L. (John Norton) 1597. €700 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The Tehran World War 2 Conference Photograph: [Tehran Conference 1943] An important and iconic Group Photograph showing Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. €80 to €120
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Natural History Specimens from Jersey Jersey Islands: Westacton [Mrs Acton] Collection of 53 original dried examples of Seaweed collected in Jersey, c. 1860. €300 to €400
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Plyglot Bible: Hutteri (Eliae). <i>Biblia Sacra, Ebraice, Chaldaice, Graece, Latinae, Germanice, Sclavonice.</i> Lg. folio Nurimberg 1599. €250 to €350
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The American Invasion 1888: “First Ever G.A.A. Hurling Match in America” Medal: G.A.A., The Invaders, 1888. €2,000 to €3,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> “Babe” Ruth and the G.A.A. G.A.A. & Baseball: A unique and early Sporting Association. An original Spalding B12 Baseball Bat. €4,000 to €6,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions