• <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Lewis, Meriwether, and William Clark. <i>History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, To the Sources of the Missouri…</i> 1814, first edition. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Poe, Edgar Allan. <i>Tales.</i> New York: Wiley And Putnam, 1845. First edition, first printing, first issue. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Dürer, Albrecht, and Johann Stabius. [Map of the World as a Sphere.] [Vienna,] 1781 (From Woodblocks Cut In 1515). $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Ferdinand, Franz — Lala Deen Dayal [Photographer]. VISIT OF H.I. & H.R. THE ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND OF AUSTRIA ESTE TO HYDERABAD (DECCAN), JANUARY 1893. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Manuscript Letter Signed ("Yours Truly A. Lincoln") as Sixteenth President to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles Regarding William Johnson. $200,000 to $300,000
  • <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>
  • <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> ACCADEMIA ERCOLANENSE DI ARCHEOLOGIA. <i>Ornati delle Pareti</i>, Naples 1796. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> AMERICAS. <i>Il Gazzettiere Americano…</i>, Livorno, 1763. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> BARROW, John. <i>Travels in China…</i>, London, 1804. £600 to £800
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> BENOIST, Felix. <i>Album de L'Ile de Jersey</i>…, Paris & Nantes, 1870. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> GAIL, Wilhelm. <i>Erinnerungen aus Spanien,</i> Munchen, [ca. 1837]. £1,800 to £2,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> HANCARVILLE, Pierre d'. <i>Recherches sur l'origine…,</i> London, Appleyard, 1785. £1,5000 to £2,000
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> HULLEY, T. <i>Six Views of Cheltenham.</i> London, R. Ackerman, 1813. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> JEFFERSON, Thomas. <i>Notes on the state of Virginia</i>…, London, 1787. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> LEWIS, John F. <i>Lewis's illustrations of Constantinople…,</i> London, McLean, 1837. £3,000 to £4,000
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> MARQUARD, Johann. <i>Tractatus politico-juridicus,</i> Frankfurt, 1662. £1,800 to £2,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> MAUND, Benjamin. <i>The botanic garden,</i> London, 1825-42. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> Willughby, Francis; John Ray (ed.). <i>Ornithologiæ libri tres</i>. London, John Martyn, 1676. £1,500 to £2,000
  • <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

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2015 Issue

Collecting the Culture Wars: LGBT, Pot, Race, and other Hot Button Issues

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Is it collectible? Time will tell: Bruce Jenner, an Olympic athlete who chose to change his gender to female was on the cover Vanity Fair last month.

The "culture wars" is a phrase that is bandied around a lot in the news. Current American battleground issues include legalized recreational drugs, the gender spectrum, sometimes abbreviated to LBGT (Lesbian, Bi, Gay, Transgender) and gun politics. At no time were the skirmishes between older traditional values and newer norms more evident than June 2015.

 

June was the month that the US Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage was legal in all 50 states, and in the words of Newsweek the "U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal treatment under the law and due process prohibit states from banning same-sex nuptials."

 

That was also the month that saw a high profile formerly male Olympic athlete hit the cover of Vanity Fair profiling his transition to a female identity. It was the same month that a white woman in a leadership position in the NAACP was outed by her two Caucasian parents as a racial impostor, but the woman claimed in her own defense she "self identified" as Black.

 

In June CBS reported Colorado has licensed more than 300 recreational marijuana dispensaries, ringing up $303 million in sales last year -- $52 million in tax revenue. Even as that news was sinking in, a whole host of other media sources reported that many other states were headed toward legalizing and monetizing recreational pot.

 

And just to be sure that all the hot buttons were pressed on June 23 Amazon, eBay and Walmart all announced that they would stop selling Confederate Flags in the wake of racially motivated shootings at a Black church in South Carolina. Whether the ban would apply to historic items was not clear.

 

It's not news that cultural norms are changing, but what might be of interest to RBH readers is whether these cultural transitions show up in increased collecting interests and prices realized. Just as feminist, Black, Latino and other ethnic areas have seen an upsurge in scholarly and media interest so too have the culture war topics and writers associated with these points of view continued to find an audience. When it comes to LGBT a few internet sites even list authors with these orientations by their perceived public popularity. A few names that show up with some regularity are Brits Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf, both frequently in top ten, while Americans Gertrude Stein, Allen Ginsberg and Truman Capote all have long and solid auction records on file at Rare Book Hub.

 

For example, Oscar Wilde, whose own sexuality was notoriously the subject of a famous law suit in the late 19th century, continues to be widely collected. His books are still eagerly sought after. One title that continues to bring a good price is A Picture of Dorian Gray.

 

According to Rare Book Hub records, a first trade edition London 1891 went at Swann's earlier this year for $6,250. Last month an online auction at Swann's had the same title realizing $5,000. A signed and numbered copy made $7,200 at Cowan a year earlier. Good prices all but still less than the GBP 16,250 hammer price for the large paper signed and limited copy sold by Sotheby in 2010.

 

The first appearance of the same work published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890 realized GBP 501 earlier in 2015 at Dominic Winter or substantially more than the presale high estimate of GBP 150. In 2014 a similar offering made $1,037 or just slightly less than the high estimate of $1,200 at Heritage.

 

All of those Oscar Wilde prices are small change compared to the $362,500 paid at a 2012 Sotheby sale for an 1899 edition of The Importance of Being Ernest inscribed by Wilde to his lover Robert "Robbie" Ross.

 

On the distaff side a quick check of Virginia Woolf prices also look solid. At the high end a 2014 Sotheby sale, Mrs. Dalloway, 1925, Hogarth first edition, realized $27,500. Over the last 90 days eBay sold numerous Woolf titles including a signed limited Orlando in lesser condition for $2,000. A copy of Orlando published by the Hogarth press in 1928, also a lesser copy, brought $250. Altogether on eBay there were 136 Woolf items sold at prices ranging from a high of $2,000 to a low $1.50 for a used paperback copy of Mrs. Dalloway.

 

Well known does not always mean expensive. The classic Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas signed by both Gertrude Stein and Toklas (1933) sold in 2012 for $1,116 at National Book Auction, while a far less prestigious copy (unsigned) went two years later at Heritage for $15.

 

Here are a few other recent benchmark prices for LGBT authors:

Truman Capote

2015 In Cold Blood, 1st signed, 1965 Doyle $625

2015 In Cold Blood, 1st trade, 1965 Heritage $1,125

2015 Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1st 1958 Swann $875

2012 Other Voices Other Rooms, 1st book signed 1948 Bloomsbury GBP 463

 

There still seem to be lots of copies of Howl by Allen Ginsberg floating around, but the 2013 Christie's sale of the 1956 original mimeo sheets of the iconic poem limited to 25 copies made a spectacular $118,750.

 

Fewer digits but still hefty was James Baldwin's own copy of the script for the stage play, Blues for Mr. Charley (1965 Actors Studio) which went at Swann for $3,120 in 2011.

 

Recent eBay prices realized for printed materials categorized as "LGBT" within the last 90 days were not impressive and such items that were sold were mostly under $100 for vintage issues of magazines like Mattachine Review.

 

Asked for comment on recent trends in the LGBT marketplace Alex Akin and John Durham, area specialists at Bolerium Books in San Francisco, responded via email, "The LGBT market has been active for many years, and the impact of it going mainstream is likely to be minimal (although as the subculture dissolves into the mainstream, wrote Akin, adding "John fears that interest may decline"). An early high point was likely the 1970s and early 1980s with broader emergence of the LGBT movement, LGBT publishers going above ground and LGBT booksellers opening all over the country.

 

"The plague (AIDS) partially wiped out both a generation of potential collectors and booksellers. John thinks this may be one of the reasons for the current limited number of specialists other than ourselves and Elysium Books. Because of our location close to the Castro, in the midst of a city that was an early epicenter of gay culture, we are surrounded by the material and have been able to amass perhaps several metric tons of not only books but pamphlets and ephemera, things like newsletters of gay church groups, activist archives, etc. In most parts of the country, even if you wanted to replicate that it would be very difficult.


"Many dealers have begun seeking high points and including them among the other categories of material they offer. Thus you see firms like Between the Covers, renowned for other sorts of material, offering some really choice LGBT treasures.

 

"In a way, this mirrors the broader difference between Bolerium, which has more of a wholesale business targeted to libraries and activists, and the more boutique dealers who can focus on prime materials to offer a wealthier clientele.


"There was a time when certain dealers sneered at or mocked Bolerium for having this specialty ," he continued, "(which made John rejoice, since he gets a kick out of irking people). Now, however, they are more likely to scout us for underpriced stuff."

 

Though web searches relating to various gender key words yielded prolific results. The pickings were slim for "culture wars" and searching for pot or marijuana or titles related to recreational herbal stimulus was also not so much. Perhaps because the penalties for possession of such books can still lead to property confiscation and harsh legal sanctions the true relics of marijuana prohibition have yet to really come to market. Despite the massive trade both legal and illegal what shows up most seem to be Zig Zag pins and Reefer Madness posters, and pot themed underground comics and posters. However, with weed finally going mainstream that may change.

 

The going price for the classic Freak Brothers poster reproduction stating "Dope Will Get You Through Times of No Money, Better Than Money Will Get You Through Times of No Dope" was $20. In the comics category a 1971 issue #1 Rip Off Press underground cartoon Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers- focused on humorous adventures involving marijuana sold for $450 within the last 90 days on eBay.

 

A little higher up the food chain a 2005 Reefer Madness 1-sheet poster for the 1936 film made GBP 600 at a Christie's sale. Real copies of the cult film posters were hard to find and auction records thin. More recently a Reefer Madness reproduction film poster sold for $89.95 on eBay within the last 90 days.

 

Other eBay items related to marijuana sold within the last 90 days in the books department were mainly how-to-grow manuals. Prices realized ranged from $4 to $45. A 1970s black light marijuana poster sold for $112.46.

 

Just for the sake of comparison, in the 90 days prior to June 23 there were 896 SOLD listings on eBay for the search term "Confederate flag," with prices realized ranging from a top of $305 for 1896 Tennessee reunion item to $3 for a bumper sticker showing the Stars and Bars flag and the slogan "I don't care how you do it up North." On that date major retailers such as eBay, Amazon and Walmart all announced they would no longer sell the flag or items featuring its image.

 

------------------------------------------

Links

 

Bolerium Books www.bolerium.com/cgi-bin/bol48/index.html

 

Homosexuality in pre-War Berlin- New Yorker Magazine: www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/26/berlin-story

 

LGBT Gender Studies sites:

 

Yale lgbts.yale.edu

 

UCLA lgbtstudies.ucla.edu

 

U of Maryland www.lgbts.umd.edu/lgbthistory.html

 

U of Colorado-Boulder lgbt.colorado.edu

 

PDF for gender studies programs

sxl.aas.duke.edu/wp-content/uploads/A-List-of-LGBTQI-Studies-and-Sexuality-Studies-Programs.pdf

 

Wiki for LGBT writers en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Gay_writers

 

End Confederate Flag sales report www.cnn.com/2015/06/22/politics/confederate-flag-walmart-south-carolina

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Cowan’s Auctions: American History - Premier Auction. June 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> General George Custer's Officer, James McLean Steele, 1868-1869 Diary. $30,000 - $50,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Exceptionally Rare Anti-Slavery Broadside, “A Crusade Against Slavery”. $4,000 - $6,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Revolutionary War General Richard Montgomery, Exceptionally Rare War-Date ANS. $4,000 - $6,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: American History - Premier Auction. June 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Albumen Photograph of the "Scouts of the Plains," from Cody's Personal Collection. $8,000 - $10,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Jefferson Davis, CDV, Signed and Dated to his Imprisonment in Fortress Monroe. $4,000 - $6,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Robert E. Lee, CDV Signed Twice. $2,000 - $4,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: American History - Premier Auction. June 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> “Si Clack: Co. Q, 100th Indiana Vols.,” Written & Illustrated by Civil War Veteran, P.M. Radford. $2,500 - $3,500
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> General Meade Inspecting the 5th Corps, Civil War-Era Sketch by Alfred R. Waud. $2,000 - $3,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Rare Huey Newton Black Panther Party Poster. $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: American History - Premier Auction. June 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Lloyd's New Political Chart, 1861. $800 - $1,200
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> William J. Ferguson, “Our American Cousin” Cast Member, Lincoln Assassination Archive. $8,000 - $10,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 22:</b> Albert Einstein, Signed Photograph in his Favorite Leather Jacket. $2,000 - $4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Thomas Paine, Autograph Letter Signed to Ira Allen, on a rendezvous at the Boston–a Paris café for political exiles, 1790s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Paul Revere, Autograph Document Signed, certifying the discharge of a captain from his regiment, 1779. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Pay order to express rider Jonathan Park to warn Congress of arriving British warships, 1776. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Autograph Letter Signed to Thomas Sim Lee, stating that the government is not authorized to intervene in the Citizen Genêt affair, 1793. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to Nathanael Greene, suggesting a way to obtain money for the Continental Army, 1780. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Andrew Jackson, Autograph Letter Signed to Senator John H. Eaton, on the Seminole Wars & Spain’s duplicity, 1819. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Harry S. Truman, Photograph Signed and Inscribed, showing a false newspaper headline about the 1948 presidential election. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Benjamin Franklin, vellum Document Signed, as President of the Supreme Executive Council of PA, 1786. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Henry Dearborn, two Autograph Manuscript items including a drawing of Bunker’s Hill, unsigned, 1818. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 21:</b> Andrew Jackson, <i>A New Map of the United States,</i> lithograph, circa 1828. $3,000 to $4,000.

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