Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2015 Issue

Forty Years Going: The Newtown Book Sale

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Photo courtesy of The Newtown Bee and Peter Marshall

For forty years, the Newtown Book Sale has been an annual event taking place in Newtown, CT, where an increasingly larger amount of material has appeared for sale over the years. In 1975, it began with a single table. This year? With the greatest amount of donations seen yet, two hundred and thirty-five tables will be used, and that number is not even enough to display the 120,000 books, CDs, DVDs, and LPs—the displays will have to be replenished from boxes as they empty. From humble roots the Newtown Book Sale has grown to become one of the largest book sales in New England.

The sale will take place July 11th through the 15th, and its terms of sale are progressive in nature. On Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th, items are sold for their listed price. On Monday the 13th, those prices are halved. On Tuesday the 14th, a bag of books costs $5. And on the final, half day, Wednesday the 15th, whatever remains is given away freely.

Detailed information on the sale can be found at its website.

The following is a select list of items from the Specials Room at the sale. Rare Book Hub members are most likely to find something of interest in this decidedly smaller selection of material compared to 120,000 assorted items.

  • Andrews, Roy Chapman. The New Conquest of Central Asia, narrative of the explorations . . . . NY: American Museum of Natural History, 1932. Ex library, marked discard, hinges shaken.  $250.00. 
  • [Armstrong, Louis] Goffin, Robert. Horn of Plenty. NY: Allen Towne Heath, 1947. Generically inscribed on fly, Best Wishes from Louis Armstrong 1947. Covers slightly bubbled. $225.00.
  • [Autographs] See [Armstrong], Beebe, Cody, [Dickinson], Guthrie, Kranz, Leuning, [Sheridan]
  • Beebe, William. Galapagos World’s End. NY: Putnam, 1924. Signed by Beebe on the title page. Newspaper clippings of Beebe tipped and loosely laid in. Early gift inscription dated March, 1924. Shaken, hinges cracked.    $95.00.
  • Biology of the Reptilia. London: Academic, 1969-82. Volumes 1-13. All very good. Vol 1-3 in jackets, vols 4-13 in glassine (vol  7 lacking). $500.00.
  • Bombay Natural History Society. Journal. Volumes 17-20, bound in seven. Color and B&W plates. ¾ leather. Very good. $200.00.
  • [Bookseller’s ticket], see [Westport, CT]
  • Buenos Aires. Fotoipias Peuser. Np:, np, nd. 2nd edition. 99 photographic plates. 7 copies in Worldcat. Pictorial front cover. VG. $200.00.
  • Christy, Cuthbert. Big Game and Pygmies. L: Macmillan, 1924. Armorial bookplate of William F Roper. Backstrip slightly darkened, some foxing.   $45.00.
  • Cody, William F. An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill. NY: Farrar Rinehart, nd. Illustrations by N C Wyeth. Jacket states “Popular Edition Ninth Large Printing”. Early ownership inscription on front pastedown, “Freddie Garlow / Grandson of / ‘Buffalo Bill’ / Aug 30th 1941.” VG with good DJ.  $25.00.
  • [Dell Mysteries] see [Paperback collectibles]
  • [Dickinson, Emily] Westfall, Douglas. The Life of Emily Dickinson. Orange, CA: Paragon, nd(2000). Stated first printing. “This book celebrates the 25th anniversary production of the stage play, The Belle of Amherst.” Generic 5-line inscription by star Julie Harris on tp. Together with large stiff covered playbill for the play, copyright 1976 but probably from a later performance. Both very good.  $25.00.
  • Dulac, Edmund, illus. Housman, Lawrence. Stories from the Arabian Nights. NY: Scribner, nd(1907). 50 tipped in illustrations, all with original guards. Red gilt stamped cloth. Pages 1-2, 15-16 separated but present, backstrip darkened.   $50.00.
  • _____. Queen of Roumania. The Dreamer of Dreams. L: Hodder Stoughton, nd(1915). Frontis listed at page 17. 6 tipped in illustrations, ll with original guards.Stamped green cloth, backstrip slightly darkened, otherwise very good.    $200.00.
  • _____. Quiller-Couch, Arthur. The Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tales. NY&L: Hodder Stoughton, nd(1910). 30 tipped in illustrations, all with original guards. Gilt stamped red simulated leather, slightest darkening to backstrip, minimal wear to lower corners.  $250.00.
  • _____. Sinbad the Sailor. [L]: Hodder Stoughton, nd(1911). 23 tipped in illustrations, all with original guards. Gilt and blue stamped brown cloth, backstrip slightly darkened.   $325.00.
  • Guthrie, A B, Jr. NY: Sloane nd(1947). Stated first printing. #177 of 500 copies “signed by the author for American booksellers and reviewers.” Fine, with fine trade DJ and numbered “autographed copy” special DJ, some wear.  $200.00.
  • [Herpetology] In addition to the items on this list we will have a large collection of herpetology books at the sale.
  • Hoffman, Abbie. steal this book. NY: Pirate Editions, nd. Paperback, inscribed inside front cover, yippie! Abbie, in felt tip marker. Slightest wear at top of spine, VG.   $250.00.
  • [Illustration] see Dulac, Rackham, Samivel, Tenngren
  • Keats, John. Lamia Isabella the Eve of Saint Agnes.  Waltham St Lawrence: Golden Cockerel Press, 1928.  #24 of 500. Engravings by Gibbings.  Original quarter sharkskin binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Teg, other edges untrimmed. Interior fine, slight sunning to spine and wear to letters, slight discoloration (from leather stain?) at top of both boards.  $375.00.
  • Kranz, Gene. Failure Is Not an Option. NY: S&S, nd. With Mission Control label signed by Kranz attached to fly. VG in VG DJ.  $75.00.
  • Luening, Otto. The Odyssey of an American Composer.  NY: Scribner, nd(1980). 1st edition. Ffep has been torn out, reattached with tape, with 7-line inscription by Luening, 1981. Except as noted, very good. $65.00.
  • Moffat, Alex. W. The Galley Guide. NY: Motor Boat Publishing, 1923. Slight markings on covers, very good. $45.00.
  • [Motion Pictures] Christianson, Benjamin. The Devil’s Circus: Behind the Scenes of Circus Life, Based on the Motion Picture Story. NY: Jacobsen Hodgkinson, nd(c1926). Produced and Filmed by MGM, starring Norma Shearer. Three stills from the movie. Paperback, very good. $100.00.
  • Navy, U S. Submarine Chaser Manual. Washington: GPO, 1943. 3rd edition. Title page rubber stamped Received U.S.C.G Training Sta. Apr 8 1943 Fairhaven, Mass. Stiff blue covers. VG. $50.00.
  • New York Lyceum of Natural History. Annals.  NY: Lyceum, 1824-25. Volume I, Parts I and II. Iv, 192, 12 (Catalogue of Books in the Library), iv, [193]-410. 30 Plates (#29 misnumbered), 3 of them colored.  Some foxing throughout but largely on end papers. Marbled boards, half leather, backstrip slightly rubbed.  $250.00.
  • Nielsen, Kay, illus. Quiller-Couch, Arthur. In Powder and Crinoline. [L]: Hodder Stoughton, nd[1913]. 24 tipped in illustrations, all with original guards. Red and gray stamped pictorial cover. Early owner’s name date 1914. Backstrip darkened, slight wear to covers.   $400.00.
  • [Olympics] One World One Dream. In Commemoration of the Theme Slogan of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Stiff pages, apparently designed to serve stamp collectors as well as Olympics visitors. A number of Chinese postal stamps have been loosely inserted in presumably the correct places, one space remains empty, with an unseparated sheet of 10 stamps loosely inserted at the beginning. Stamps not guaranteed complete. Very good with slipcase. $15.00.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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