• <b>Skinner: Early English Books<br>A Single Owner Sale. July 20, 2018</b>
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Cranmer, Thomas (1489-1556). <i>Catechismus, That is to Say, a Shorte Instruction into Christian Religion...</i> London, 1548. First edition. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Donne, John (1572-1631). <i>Pseudo-Martyr.</i> London: Printed by W[illiam] Stansby for Walter Burre, 1610. First edition. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Fletcher, Giles (1549?-1611). <i>The Russe Common Wealth, or Maner of Gouernement by the Russe Emperour…</i> London, 1591. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Gabelkover, Oswald (1539-1616). <i>The Boock of Physicke.</i> Dordrecht: Isaack Caen, 1599. First edition. $12,000 to $15,000
    <b>Skinner: Early English Books<br>A Single Owner Sale. July 20, 2018</b>
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Galileo, Galilei (1564-1642) trans. Thomas Salusbury (d. 1666). <i>Mathematical Collections and Translations the First Tome.</i> London, 1661. First edition of Galileo's works in English. $35,000 to $50,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Higden, Ranulphus (d. 1364). <i>Polycronicon.</i> Translated by John Trevisa, with the 1357-1460 <i>Continuation</i> by William Caxton. Southwark, 1527. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Randolph, Bernard (b. 1643). <i>The Present State of the Morea, Called Anciently Peloponnesus…</i> London, 1689. [Bound with] <i>The Present State of the Islands of the Archipelago…</i> $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> <i>The Great Herball Newly Corrected.</i> London, 1539. Folio, ESTC lists three U.S. copies; the last copy offered at auction was incomplete and sold in 1949. $25,000 to $35,000
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>The Tragedie of Julius Caesar.</i> London, 1623. 1st appearance in print, Complete from the First Folio. Sold for $175,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 372: Martin Luther King Jr. March for Freedom Now! Placard. Chicago, 1960. 28 x 22”. $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 567: Warhol, Andy. Tate Gallery Exhibition Booklet, Signed on the Cover by Warhol. Tate Gallery, 1971. $700 to $900
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 72: Mitchell, Margaret. <i>Gone With the Wind.</i> New York: The Macmillan Co., 1936. First edition, first issue. $4,000 to $5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 468: Photo Archive Documenting the 1930s—50s Chicago Jazz and Night Club Scene. A significant collection. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 143: Dr. Seuss. <i>Oh Say Can You Say.</i> 1979, First Edition, Signed. $200 to $300
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 285: [Maps] Thomas G. Bradford. <i>A Comprehensive Atlas, Geographical, Historical & Commercial.</i> Boston: William D. Ticknor, 1835. First Edition. $1,600 to $1,800
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 69: Herman Melville. <i>Moby Dick, or The Whale</i>. New York: Random House, 1930. First Kent Trade Edition. $400 to $600
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 295: John James Audoban. Group of 148 Lithographs from the Birds of America. Philadelphia: J.T. Bowen, ca. 1840s. $600 to $800
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 54: Langston Hughes. <i>One-Way Ticket.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949. First edition. $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 7: Ray Bradbury. <i>The Martian Chronicles.</i> With a Wine Label Signed by Bradbury. Garden City: Doubleday, 1950. First edition $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 121. Frank L Baum. <i>The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.</i> Chicago: George M. Hill Co., 1899, 1900. First Edition. $4,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 369. [Declaration of Independence] Peter Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence. One page; 29 x 26”. From the "American Archives" 1837-1853 series of books. $15,000 to $20,000
  • <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>

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2015 Issue

White Elephants and Seaside Sales

B6bbd254-70c1-4581-865e-0acd5f11f841

There are two major book sales in the San Francisco Bay Area that feature really affordable books. Both are in the early spring and we hit them running, or in the case of our advanced ages, walking slowly. Standing in line for several hours has never been my favorite thing, but sometimes it is worth it and sometimes it isn’t. At both sales we were blessed with perfect Bay Area weather – cool, sunny and somewhat breezy. We have a place to stay nearby that is sort of reasonable for that area and we just stay one night as we live about three hours away.

 

Our first trek was in early February when we went to the Oakland Art Museum’s Annual White Elephant Sale (WES). The location was the warehouse district in southwest Oakland, across the channel from Alameda Island. The building was big enough to house a whole herd of white elephants and it was packed to the gills. It isn’t just books, good grief, no; it is just about everything that anyone could name from Antiques to stuffed Zebras. There is an annual sale in Portland, Oregon that we used to go to every year and we thought that was a biggie, but this was probably twice that size. Last year (2014) we went to the regular White elephant sale on the first day, but this year we were invited to the preview sale, a week before the first regular sale day. So now we’ve done both and my vote goes to the regular sale. The reasons are simple. Everyone who ever bought a book is in line for the preview from about 7 a.m. on, bringing chairs, blankets and coffee or buying same from the enterprising street vendors who set up coffee, donut, and breakfast burrito stands. Warning, however, parking stinks. There is a tiny parking lot, maybe 40 cars - it is a gentrified warehouse area so there are a lot of residential apartment buildings. The sale is on Sunday, so the folks who live in the neighborhood are home and still asleep and so are their cars. If you really aren’t early or you don’t have a handicapped sticker for your car, you may walk a long, long way to stand in a long, long line for a long, long time.

 

My major complaint about Oakland, besides the parking, is that we never got time to rummage through all of the books or any of the other goodies. We were pretty exhausted by the time we spent four hours walking on concrete floors, elbowing through the crowds and dragging around boxes and bags of books. If you want to put books on hold until you are finished shopping, you have to walk the equivalent of about a half block to the hold counter, drop off your boxes or bags, and then walk back to the book section.

 

For the regular Elephant sale, we got our passes a month or two in advance for $15.00 each, so once the doors opened we walked right in and started buying. And no, all the good stuff doesn’t get taken out with the preview sale because they restock after the preview and one of the volunteers told me that they save back some of the best for the regular sale, which lasts all month. She said that they restock almost every day. They are amazingly organized and every volunteer we had anything to do with was pleasant and friendly and very helpful. Of course, we are getting older (young people call us “honey” and “sweetie” now -- gag me!) but at least they have big carts and big guys to push them at the Oakland sale. However, they don’t allow you to use a rolling cart of your own because the place is so dense-packed that toes would be crushed and a traffic jam the like of the L.A. Freeway would ensue. However, they do discourage young children, which I found a great relief. Not only does it cut down on the noise level, but you don’t have many tiny tots with sticky fingers zipping around and getting into things.

 

We bought about six grocery-size bags and two or three boxes of books. A lot of the books were paperbacks – hard to find counter culture prose, mysteries and sci-fi for the store – but we also found a few really nice books for our online store. I got several books for each of our specialties; sailing and nautical, magic and occult, the Wild West, and ethnic cooking. The Elephant’s antiquarian selection was quite good, but most were not in a genre that we stock. Since our Grass Valley bookstore is a co-operative, many of the other members specialize as well, and we don’t shop for each other. Once bagged and paid for, a very helpful gentleman pushed our cart to the loading dock and helped us load up our Chevy Tahoe near to bursting. Off we went to great Thai food at Toomie’s in Alameda, then home to Grass Valley to unload, admire, sort, and price our booty.

 

In late March, as members of the San Francisco Friends of the Public Library, we were invited to their preview spring book sale. It was held next door to the Friends’ Fort Mason store right on the waterfront. At this sale, there was a lot of parking and, in fact, we only got there an hour and a half early and got a place to park within 100 feet of the end of the line. Yay! Within a half hour of our arrival, though, the line tripled. We were lucky.

 

In San Francisco, you can bring your own rolling cart or they have supermarket type baskets which you can fill up in no time at all. They have no Antiques or Zebras there, they only have books, media, and ephemera, and though it is dense-packed, there is enough room to have 2-3 carts to an isle. However, they unfortunately do allow children, and there were a number of them running around, including a couple of screamers. They also have a free hors d’ouevre buffet and wine or sodas, but why waste time eating when one can be shopping for books! Time for some of San Francisco’s great food later.

 

Comparing the books that they had at each place for sale, we have to give it to Oakland. Their “better” or collectible books were less pricey and there was a much better selection. There were fewer collectible books at the San Francisco sale and they were pretty much overpriced for resale in our part of the country. I believe most of their collectibles are listed online instead. I did find one first, signed sci-fi by Neil Gaiman that was quite reasonable. Their general selection of non-collectible books was, to our way of thinking, of a lower quality than the Oakland Museum books, and of course the best of these were ex-library with the attendant deprivations. In Oakland, the books were neatly lined up on bookshelves. In San Francisco, they were spine up on tables. They tend to get badly abused on tables and many slid off onto the floor and made for messy perambulating around the piles. Also some of the tables were so messy, that they were nearly impossible to find anything on. This can be, in part, blamed on the “Scanner People” who grab, scan, and toss without regard or respect for the books or anyone else. Again, we bought several bags of good books for our brick and mortar store, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, but not too many for my online store. I should explain that because there are so many $.01 to $2.00 books online, I don’t waste my time putting those kinds of common books online. I generally only list my more upscale, scarce and rare books, and the rest are in our Grass Valley store.

 

All in all, I’m still scratching my head to decide whether either or both of these sales are worth the drive, the overnight motel room, the food, and the gas. It is worth it for them, however. Stunningly, Oakland raised more than $2 million this year for the museum. San Francisco FOL made $197,000 just on books for the Friends. All that with just volunteers; what a fantastic job all those volunteers did. I’m sure they were all thoroughly pooped when it was over. Thanks all of you, we love the Bay Area and if it weren’t for earthquakes and overpopulation, we’d probably live there.

 

To sum up, selection, at least in San Francisco, was not quite worth the effort this year. Maybe it will be better next year. Oakland? Well, we will surely do that, at least for another year or two, and next year we will make sure and set aside some time to wander around and see what other amazing things they have for sale. I recommend you check out both of their websites if you are interested in going to their sales or want more info; www.whiteelephantsale.org for Oakland, www.friendssfpl.org for San Francisco. Maybe we’ll see you there. Cheerio!


Posted On: 2015-05-20 02:27
User Name: laurelle

Unbelievable.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Zane Grey, Inscribed photograph album depicting Grey and party at Catalina, fishing, and in Arizona. $700 to $1,000
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Eric Taverner, Salmon Fishing...London: Seeley, Service & Co., 1931. $600 to $900
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> The Gentleman Angler. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Ken Robinson, Flyfishers' Progress. [London: The Flyfishers' Club, 2000. $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> G. H. Lacy, North Punjab Fishing Club Angler's Handbook. Calcutta: Newman & Co., 1890. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> J. Harrington Keene, Fly-Fishing and Fly-Making for Trout, etc. New York, 1887. $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Arthur Macrate, The History of The Tuna Club, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California, 1948. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Joseph D. Bates Jr. Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing. Harrisburg, PA: The Stackpole Company, 1966. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Paul Schmookler and Ingrid V. Sils. Rare and Unusual Fly Tying Materials: A Natural History. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Herbert Hoover, Fishing For Fun - And To Wash Your Soul. New York: Random House, 1963. $400 to $600
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions