• <b>Seth Kaller:</b> “America the Beautiful”
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington, Tongue-in-Cheek, Writes James McHenry About His Wife or Mistress—But Funding the Continental Army is the Real Topic
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Young’s Map of the United States
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> President Lincoln & His Most Profitable Client, the Illinois Central Railroad
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Thanks Former Pro-Slavery and Newly Republican Congressman for a Fiery Anti-Slavery Speech at a Philadelphia Campaign Rally
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> “A Visit From St. Nicholas” - great association copy inscribed by Clement C. Moore
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Einstein Agrees to Allow “a Short Book on the Hydrogen Bomb” to Use His Statement Made on Eleanor Roosevelt’s TV Show
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The Building Blocks of Albert Einstein’s Creative Mind
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> A Unique Manuscript Map of Block Island Sound Including Fisher’s and Gardiner’s Islands, the Hamptons, and Montauk Point
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> J.R.R. Tolkien Writes his Proofreader with a Lengthy Discussion of the Lord of the Rings, Including Criticism of Radio Broadcasts of his Work
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Six Benjamin Franklin Signed Receipts – Including his Earliest Obtainable Autograph — Acknowledging a Donation to the Famous Library Company He Founded, and Five Payments for His Pennsylvania Gazette
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Sherman Dishes on Lincoln & Thomas, Meade, Sheridan, Halleck & Grant
  • <b>Bonhams, March 9. Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including the Kennedy Years</b>
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> BROWNING, ELIZABETH BARRETT. Autograph Manuscript Initialed ("E.B.B."), being the working notebook for the poems contained in <i>The Seraphim and Other Poems</i>. $400,000 to 600,000
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> WILDE, OSCAR. Two leaves, pp 31-34, from the first appearance of <i>The Picture of Dorian Gray in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine for July, 1890</i>, with Wilde's autograph revisions. $40,000 to 60,000
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories and Tragedies; Published according to the true Originall Copies. Second Impression. [THE SECOND FOLIO.]</i> $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, March 9. Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including the Kennedy Years</b>
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> KENNEDY, JOHN FITZGERALD. Photograph Signed ("John F. Kennedy") and Inscribed, 8 x 10 inch gelatin silver print, of Senator Kennedy and Miss Barelli, at the swearing of the secretarial oath for Miss Barelli. $1,200 to 1,800
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> COOPER, JAMES FENIMORE. Autograph Manuscript, being Chapter XXVII of <i>Afloat and Ashore</i>. $15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> IRVING, WASHINGTON. Autograph Manuscript, being Chapter 20 from Volume IV of <i>The Life of George Washington</i>. $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, March 9. Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including the Kennedy Years</b>
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> VERNE, JULES. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("Jules Verne"), being the complete short story "<i>Une fantaisie de docteur Ox</i>". $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> ALCHEMY. <i>[The Crowning of Nature, or Coronatio Naturae.]</i> Original alchemical manuscript on paper, ruled in red, with watermark of the arms of Schieland. $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> DE JODE, CORNELUS. 1568 - 1600. <i>Quivirae Regnu, Cum Alija Versus Borea</i>. [Antwerp: Arnoldum Coninx, 1593]. $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams, March 9. Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including the Kennedy Years</b>
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> HOOKER, JOSEPH DALTON. <i>The Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya; Being an Account, Botanical and Geographical, of the Rhododendrons Recently Discovered in the Mountains of Eastern Himalaya</i>… $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> CATLIN, GEORGE. <i>North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting scenes and amusements of the Rocky Mountains and prairies of America. From drawings and notes of the author, made during eight years' travel.</i> $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams Mar. 9:</b> LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. HESLER, ALEXANDER. Platinum print, 8 3/4 x 6 3/4 in, of a beardless Lincoln, 1860.<br>$2,000 to 3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Single leaf from a paper copy of the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, 1455, in a copy of Newton's <i>A Noble Fragment</i>. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Immanuel Kant, <i>Critik der reinen Vernunft</i>, first edition, Riga, 1781. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Hans Holbein, <i>The Images of the Old Testament</i>, with 94 woodcut illustrations, first edition in English, Lyon, 1549. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Samuel Johnson, <i>A Dictionary of the English Language</i>, first edition, London, 1755. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b><br>John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, first edition, London, 1668.<br>$6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Antonio de Guevara, <i>The Dial of Princes</i>, London, 1568.<br>$3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> <i>Oraciones de los SS. Mysterios Gloriosos y Dolorosos</i>, manuscript in Spanish, Brussels, 1676.<br>$3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b><br>Jan Nieuhoff, et al., <i>An Embassy from the East-India Company... to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperour of China, </i>London, 1671. 4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Moses Maimonides, <i>Ha-Higayon... Logica</i>, first edition, Basel, 1527.<br>$800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Petrus Berchorius, <i>Liber Bibliae moralis</i>, fourth edition of the first volume, Cologne, 1477.<br>$10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Niccolò Machiavelli, <i>The Florentine Historie</i>, first edition in English, London, 1595. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b><br>Sir Philip Sidney, <i>The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia</i>, third edition, London, 1598. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Now in press: 19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> <i>The First American Magna Carta. English Liberties.</i> Boston, 1721.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Babbage presentation to Peel, the man who killed the Difference Engine 1832
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> The Stamp Act. 1765
    <b>Now in press: 19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Central Park Photographs by Prevost 1862
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Salem Witch Trials. Wonders of the Invisible World 1693
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Mammoth print of Millie-Christine, "The Carolina Twins" c. 1868

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2016 Issue

Louis Weinstein: Noted Heritage Book Shop Partner Retires and Becomes Hawaiiana Collector on Maui

7826f908-4e74-47c8-a78f-5360935734b5

Louis Weinstein became a serious collector of pre-1900 Hawaiiana after retirement from Heritage Book Shop in 2007.

There are many things remarkable about Louis (Lou) Weinstein, a former partner in Heritage Book Shop Inc. on Melrose Ave. in Beverly Hills, CA.

 

For one thing, when Weinstein started in business in 1962, his firm based in Compton, CA, (one of LA’s notorious down-market neighborhoods) was known as BJ Merchandisers, which stood for Ben and Jerry. Both Ben and Jerry were his brothers. He soon bought Jerry out and with Ben as his partner their initial venture was a store selling items like broken toasters and clocks with one hand. (See link at end of this story for reminiscence about their first year in business.)

 

The pair labored at the bottom of the food chain until 1963 when they moved their shop to Hollywood Boulevard and changed their name to Heritage Book Shop and began to deal exclusively in books. They stayed there ten years and moved to La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood. In 1984 they moved to their well known Beverly Hills location.

 

In business for 45 years, Heritage was a high end antiquarian book shop. Many of its clients were drawn from the famous and not-so-famous ranks of the entertainment industry. At its height Heritage had more than 35 employees.

 

But, unlike many in the antiquarian trade the brothers had the foresight to purchase their own building and Melrose Avenue real estate went up in value - way up. When they decided to retire in 2007 the property alone brought a reported $10 million dollars, while their inventory of rare volumes generated additional millions. The Heritage reference collection, consisting of 13,000 books, was donated to the William Andrews Clarke Collection at UCLA.

 

Many dealers start out as collectors and then gravitate to the trade, but Weinstein reversed that pattern. A long time visitor to Hawaii he bought property on Maui - and then, a few years after retirement, he became an enthusiastic and aggressive Hawaiiana collector. His interests focus on material including books, photos, maps, and ephemera related to the islands, most from before 1900.

 

Asked about his motivation for retirement he replied, "There were several reasons, not necessarily in this order. The market was strong in mid-2007 and common sense suggested to avoid selling in a weak market. I wanted to travel with my wife without a schedule. At the time we had 30+ employees and one must sell a lot of books to feed so many mouths. I'd been coming to Hawaii annually for over 25 years and I knew that's where I wanted to spend my final decade(s). We now live here almost 8 months a year."

 

"I believe all booksellers are closet collectors," he explained, "truth being this passion carries on to their clients and makes them better dealers. We've always taken the position that one should collect what they love therefore Hawaiiana was a natural pursuit. More importantly, I spent a lifetime cultivating collectors thus the thought of forming my own collection came easily and with confidence. I had the basic ingredients of a collector, enthusiasm, an understanding of what things are worth, familiarity with the required bibliographies and for the most part … capital."

 

Currently he gives "three to four hours every day to reading, searching for material and researching … all great fun. My pre-1900 criteria is based on my admiration for David Forbes’ monumental four volume Hawaiiana bibliography covering the period 1780-1900."

 

What’s he buying? "Unique copies, association copies, annotated copies, original drawings, unrecorded items … They all make my heart race."

 

Indeed a visit to Weinstein’s South Maui home and a chance to browse through what he’s accumulated in only a few years would make the heart of any Hawaiiana enthusiast beat faster.

 

He has all the usual voyages and travel, but he also has lovely, quirky, odd and unusual ephemera, including photos, letters and volumes like the first bi-lingual English-Japanese cookbook printed in Honolulu. There are also many maps and signed association material, and all of it displayed in the nicest frames, bookshelves, clam shell boxes and upscale bindings.

 

Of particular interest is a small book of sketches and water colors done by Rear Admiral Lewis Kimberly in 1887-1888. At that time Kimberly was in command of the US Naval Fleet in the Pacific. The small book is filled with charming views of ships, as well as Hawaiian landscapes and native people. Kimberly also wrote illustrated letters back to his young daughter, Elsie. Along with words he filled the pages with whimsical sketches including one delightful example from the same period that has pig, poi and paddle along with a sketch of a traditional thatched native building.

 

"In my collection of 1000+ items," Weinstein said, "about five percent are post-1900, for it would be unwise to exclude some 20th century classics. Additionally, when the Hawaiian Monarchy ended (in 1893) and the United States annexed Hawaii in 1898 a new era in history began. An ambitious collector could easily accumulate material from 1900-1950, but it would lack the voyages and missionary history. These are the strength of my holdings."

 

Asked about his collecting goals, he replied, "I have the luxury of not having to decide. Good health keeps the urgency away."

 

Weinstein also works occasionally as a consultant. "I'm still doing some appraisals for old clients," he said. "The need arises in donations and occasionally I advise on acquisitions. I seek no one out, but somehow I am found even though I spend most of my time in the middle of the ocean."

 

He mentioned that recently he visited a university library in Hawaii where he saw a valuable volume that was about to fall apart - yet he could interest no one in taking steps to have the necessary conservation work done. Commenting on that situation he said, "For years I've been encouraging libraries to increase their budgets for restoration of rare books and manuscripts. It is important that they don't over invest in items that can be replaced at less than the cost of restoration. Thus, a good relationship with a local bookseller is always helpful. If budget restrictions are a problem then consider releasing some duplicates to cover the restoration. Again, find someone you trust and work with them."

 

And what happened to Ben?

 

According to Lou, "Heritage and Ben are still very active in Beverly Hills: small staff, nice store, great books."

 

"Everyone now knows that retail bookshops are disappearing," he said. "The only ones that survived in both the new and antiquarian world are the creative ones who diversify and the specialist dealers. Owning your own property is also the only way to protect yourself against inflation."

 

"I believe the future in reading and learning will never die," he continued, "but booksellers’ methods must adapt to the new technology. Books - as objects - will remain for generations to come, but they too will be replaced by the tablet. Bottom line … too early to give up on book selling as a profession, but do encourage your great-grandchildren to be open to other professions."

 

Lou Weinstein - “Straight Outta Compton”

 

To read more about Lou Weinstein’s first year as a dealer in Compton, Ca. please click to the next page (below) which leads to his article published in 1982 recalling the brothers’ first year in business ca. 1962-63. This piece was originally published in the ABAA trade journal, “The Professional Bookman.”

 

Booksellers with material appropriate for Mr. Weinstein's collection may reach him at 

lweinsteinconsultants@gmail.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Lawbook Exchange. Trials for Murder, Robbery, Burglary, Rapes, Sodomy... 4 vols. London, 1764. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> An Enquiry Concerning the Liberty, And Licentiousness of the Press. New York, 1801. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Tavern Licence Granted to John Swan by Mayor James Duane, 1789. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> First edition of Story's, Commentaries on the Constitution. 3 vols. Boston, 1833. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Manuscript Law Dictionary. Repertorium Universale, Amandola, Italy, c.1750. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Magna Carta. London, 1556. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Hemard. Code Civil, in an extraordinary binding. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Two Accounts of the Murder of Mr. John Hayes. London, 1726. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Robinson, Boardman. Mr Justice Precedent. 1914. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Five volumes of Italian Legal Code in miniature. Turin: Fratelli Bocca, 1901-1903. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Tartagni. Alexander de Imola in Prima(m) (et) Secunda(m)... Venice, 1514. In a contemporary chained binding. See at the 2017 NY ABAA Book Fair Booth C-22
    <b>Lawbook Exchange:</b> Catalogue 85. Recently Acquired Books, Manuscripts & Ephemera
  • <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>SAXTON, Christopher. <i>The Travellers Guide being the best Mapp of the Kingdom of England and Principality of Wales</i>. London, [1583, but c.1716].
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>VISSCHER, Claes Jansz. <i>Novissima et Accuratissima Leonis Belgici</i>. Amsterdam, Claes Jansz Visscher, [1611-1621 or later].
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b> PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius. <i>Decima Asie Tabula</i>. Ulm, Lienhart Holle, 16 July 1482.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>WIT, Frederick de, and Gerard VALK. <i>Orbis Terrarum Nova et Accurata Tabula</i>. Amsterdam, Gerard Valk, [c.1690-1700].
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>APIANUS, Petrus. <i>Astronomicum Caesareum</i>. Ingolstadt, Peter Apian, 1540.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>CASSINI, Jean-Dominique. <i>Carte de la Lune</i>. Paris, Jean-Dominique Cassini, 1787.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b> PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius. <i>Geographicae enarrationis libri octo</i>. Argentoragi, 1525.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>[SAXTON, Christopher]. <i> [An Atlas of England and Wales]</i>. [London, Christopher Saxton, 1579].
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b> Commission des sciences et arts d'Egypte. <i>Description de l’Égypte</i>… Paris, Imprimerie impériale - Imprimerie royale, 1809-1828.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b> CHURCHMAN, John. <i>To George Washington President of the United States of America this Magnetic Atlas or Variation Chart is humbly inscribed by John Churchman</i>. Philadelphia, 1790.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>APIANUS, Petrus. <i>Tipus Orbis Universalis</i>. Vienna, Johannes Camertius, 1520.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>LORIOT, A[uguste], [after] Nicolas LANE. <i>[Pocket globe]</i>. London, 65 New Bond Street, 1809.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>BLAEU, Johannes. <i>Grooten Atlas</i>. Amsterdam, Joan Blaeu, 1662-1665.
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>INGEBORG BRUN, Emmy. <i>Mars efter Lowell’s Glober 1894-1914</i>. Denmark, [c1915].
    <b>Daniel Crouch Rare Books</b><br>LUTHER, Martin. <i>Der vierde Teil aller Bücher vnd Schrifften des thewren seligen Mans</i>. Gedruckt zu Jhena, Durch Christian Rödinger, 1556.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions