• <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Inviting Quality Consignments</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 30:</b> Carte-de-visite album featuring a previously unrecorded image of Harriet Tubman, 1860s. Sold for $161,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 7:</b> Hovhannes Amira Dadian, first world atlas in Armenian, Venice, 1849. Sold for $37,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 16:</b> T.E. Lawrence, <i>Seven Pillars of Wisdom</i>, privately printed edition, inscribed, London, 1926. Sold for $62,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Inviting Quality Consignments</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 14:</b> 22 large-format photographs from NASA missions, 1965-84. Sold for $43,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21: </b> Charles M. Schulz, <i>Here Comes the Big Polar Bear</i>, pen & ink, 4-panel Peanuts comic strip, 1957. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 4:</b> Elliott Erwitt, photograph of JFK & Eisenhower, signed by both, 1960. Sold for $32,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Inviting Quality Consignments</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, first edition, London, 1668. Sold for $22,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 30:</b> Frederick Douglass, Autograph Letter Signed to George Alfred Townsend, Washington, 1880. Sold for $100,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 26:</b> <i>Les Maîtres de l'Affiche</i>, 5 volumes, Paris, 1896-1900. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Inviting Quality Consignments</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 16:</b> James Joyce, <i>Ulysses</i>, first edition, number 724 on handmade paper, Paris, 1922. Sold for $33,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Single leaf of the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, 1455, in a copy of Newton's <i>A Noble Fragment</i>. Sold for $52,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 27:</b> The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, NY, 1830. Sold for $52,500.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Online Sale of Cricket Books and Works on Paper. Now through July 5, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, now thru Jul 5:</b> Wisden (John). <i>Cricketers' Almanack for 1896</i>, original cloth, 1896. £15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, now thru Jul 5:</b> Wisden (John). <i>The Cricketers' Almanack for the year 1869</i>, excellent copy of the scarce sixth edition, 1869. £10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, now thru Jul 5:</b> Wisden (John). <i>Cricketers' Almanack for 1916</i>, with tribute to W.G. Grace by Lord Harris, original cloth, 1916. £5,000 to 6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Online Sale of Cricket Books and Works on Paper. Now through July 5, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, now thru Jul 5:</b> Lillywhite (Frederick) and Arthur Haygarth. <i>Cricket Scores and Biographies of Celebrated Cricketers</i>, vol. 1 - 16 [a complete run], 1862-2003. £750 to 1,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, now thru Jul 5:</b> Trumper (Victor). Postcard of Victor Trumper, signed by Trumper on image, 1905. £300 to 400
    <b>Forum Auctions, now thru Jul 5:</b> Crombie (Charles). <i>Laws of Cricket</i>, 1907; and 29 others. £150 to 200
  • <b>Sotheby’s London: English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, including The Garrett Herman Collection: The Age of Darwin. July 11, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Austen, Jane. Autograph letter, written in the third person, to her niece Anna Austen (later Lefroy), 1812. £80,000 to 100,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Smith, Adam. <i>An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations</i>. London: Printed for W. Strahan; And T. Cadell, 1776. £50,000 to 70,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life</i>. John Murray, 1859. £50,000 to 70,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London: English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, including The Garrett Herman Collection: The Age of Darwin. July 11, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Dickens, Charles. Autograph draft manuscript of "Mrs Gamp with the Strolling Players,” 1847. £40,000 to 60,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Shepard, E.H. Two drawings from <i>Winnie-The-Pooh</i> comprising “Why, what’s the matter?” and “He was taking the balloon out…” £40,000 to 60,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Blake, William. <i>Illustrations of the Book of Job. Invented and Engraved by William Blake. Published as the Act Directs...By William Blake, 8 March 1825</i> [1826]. £20,000 to 30,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2017 Issue

A $6 Million Ephemera Burning – Now That's Punk

5c76f922-70ef-44b3-b003-260d2ca8aaa0

God Save the Queen.

A collection of ephemeral material said to be worth £5 million* (about $6.3 million U.S. dollars) went up in flames on November 26 last. The fire was deliberate. It was a protest. However, while reminiscent of the fires that raise horror in every intelligent person's heart – book burning – this was not a protest against what was being burned. It was a protest against its debasement. Better to see the movement it represents put to the torch than see it appropriated by those it sought to destroy. Punk is dead, its remains cremated on a boat in the Thames. Order has been restored to the U.K.

 

First, we need to recall a bit of history. In 1975, the legendary/infamous British punk group, the Sex Pistols, were formed. Punk already had its underground following the U.S., but the British version took its country by storm. Of little controversy here, because it was little noticed by the mainstream in the U.S., punk could not be ignored in the U.K. For this we can thank the Pistols' creator and manager, impresario Malcolm McLaren. McLaren was to the Pistols what Col. Tom Parker was to Elvis. Parker turned an obscure country and western singer into the biggest rock star America ever saw. But Elvis was, at least, a musician. McLaren had less to work with, so while Parker achieved the needed controversy to create a star with a little wiggling of the hips, McLaren required a full scale assault on British values and morality to achieve his goals. The Sex Pistols graciously supplied it.

 

Exactly forty years earlier, on November 26, 1976, the Pistols released their anthem, Anarchy in the UK. It was a punk anthem, an attack on the proper British order. Meanwhile, the band members lived an over-the-top destructive lifestyle, deliberately insulting everything proper. Their behavior, along with their lyrics, were intended to offend the British public to the extreme. The disenfranchised young loved it, proper society despised them.

 

Britain did not have to put up with the Pistols for long. They self-destructed. By 1978, the band was no more. The following year, their most flamboyant member, Sid Vicious, had killed his girlfriend and then himself (the latter with an overdose). The others moved on. McLaren, ever the impresario, also moved on to other ventures. The flame burned brightly, left its mark on British culture, and quickly went out.

 

McLaren died in 2010. He died with his collection of Sex Pistols ephemera – clothing, records, papers – still in his possession. It was inherited by his son, Joe Corré. It was Corré who put his father's collection to the fire a few weeks ago.

 

The inspiration for that decision was something called Punk London. It is a year-long celebration of forty years of punk. It has the support of London's mayor, and reportedly, even Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth was Queen then as now, and the target of the Pistol's song God Save the Queen. Corré was appalled. When he announced his plan to hold a bond fire, Corré issued a press release stating, "The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard. Talk about alternative and punk culture being appropriated by the mainstream. Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a f...ing museum piece or a tribute act." Rather than see McLaren's collection eventually sold as memorabilia to collectors with the greatest amount of money, Corré preferred to see it destroyed. Better to die young than live on as an old shell, collectible trophies for those who never understood or appreciated what the movement was about. As Corré further expounded to those attending the event, "Punk was never meant to be nostalgic. Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need."

 

This story elicits mixed emotions. The preservationist, historian, keeper of the culture in me is appalled. The history of our times needs to preserved, so future generations can know, understand, and perhaps avoid some of our mistakes. This is little different from a book burning. Still, the other side understands Corré's sentiments. Preservation by the establishment, the very institutions the punks railed against, is a cruel irony, a debasement of the values and ideals the punks represented, whatever those might be. It is the ultimate conquering. It is better to be consumed on the pyre than caged in the Queen's museum. My God, it is the same Queen Elizabeth, ridiculed in the song God Save the Queen, who still reigns, and apparently is welcoming the celebration of her defeated one-time provocateurs.

 

And then, the Pistols themselves and their punk movement also elicit mixed emotions in me. Truth to power, or at least, idealistic opinions to power, has always been a hallmark of my now aging generation. A hard rain's gonna fall. Tell it like it is, no matter how much they don't want to hear. But, coarseness never appealed that much to me. It doesn't fit that well with peace and love. Perhaps the Pistols' in-your-face style was necessary to be heard. The 70s were different from the 60s, and maybe even Dylan would have had to write lyrics like "go f... yourself" to be heard then. However, that coarseness goes on, and grows. Our culture is filled with it, our TV screens are filled with it, the internet is consumed with it, and America's most recent presidential election plumbed depths I'd never imagined we would see. The Pistols were revolutionary in their day. Today they would be mainstream. For better or worse, the times they still are a-changin'.

 

 

*I'm not sure how Corré or whomever calculated that value, but it does seem a bit generous to me.


Posted On: 2017-01-01 07:03
User Name: 19531953

DearMichael,
I just finished reading your piece and, sad to say, I can relate to many aspects of it. I say sad because there are numerous correlations to my own experiences lately. I watch with horror how dumbed down we are getting here and how we place value in people like Trump and The Kardashians and reward one with Power and the other with Money; Flipsides of the same coin really. I lived in London during the Punk age...I was young but not into the scene...later I realized that I liked much of the music. But an American in London then did not fit in really well or at least I didn't. We speak the same language in theory but in practice our phrases and expressions and words and theirs are often quite different; not to mention slang and varying accents.

Also I can relate to the frustration of Historical Paper not being appreciated enough. Oh I have done well enough with my first collection at The Newseum and 4 single owner auctions to date..BUT I didn't want my archive to be split up this time. I wanted it to be treasured by a major institution or even one sophisticated collector. I have tremendous interest from major auction houses with major collectors chomping at the bit to buy up their favorite things but negligible interest from anyone wanting to preserve my collection intact for posterity.

Bad behavior is rewarded in Politics and Entertainment and I am seeing that many well heeled collectors are buying the wrong material for the wrong reasons. Examples include graded comic books and graded baseball cards. You can own a 60 year old piece of cardboard with a picture of a Hall of Famer on the cheap flooding the market; but find one with perfect corners and clean and bright and no creases and perfect centering and margins and people who know the price of everything but the value of nothing will pay tens of thousands for the bragging rights of having a high grade piece of cardboard...the same one that sold for a penny when it was issued. But the real bargains will be had by people buying from my future auctions and other major collector sales.How do I know? Because I know how difficult it was and continues to be to find my treasures. And I remember when many of my pieces could be had for 3 or 4 figures but now they fetch 5 and 6 figures. And one day people will look back at my prices realized with amazement and regret that they weren't around or enlightened enough to purchase. That is the way I always feel when I look back at Sales such as Streeter and Sang. Still I appreciate how much pleasure these objects have given me from the moment of discovery to this very moment.
So I celebrate 50 years of collecting and memories are priceless. Congratulations on a fascinating article filled with irony and tragedy and even humor! Happy New Year!
Eric Caren
The Caren Archive
PS forgive any errors above as I wrote from the heart at a late hour on New Years Eve.


Posted On: 2017-01-01 15:28
User Name: essexbooks

Punk was a fashion statement , THe Sex Pistols a musical ( well sound ) part of it. As to financial value - Michael - come on - don't be so gullable - if the collection being burnt ( Although I'm in UK I never saw anything about it in the UK Mainline press) had been valued at £50,000 / $60000 would you bother writing about it. ? Our news is BRand led / Price led - no-one advertises Quality - just money. I wonder if a value of £5 MILLION was stated for death duties ?


Posted On: 2017-01-01 18:03
User Name: theoriginalnumislit

While Mr. Caren's critiques may prove to be valid in the fullness of time, I cannot help wondering whether his wonderful collection would have been amassed had he marched to the drum majors of his day.

And, while his disdain of the president-elect — and members of a family whose claims to fame seem based on tawdriness — may well be valid, it bears reflection that those who voted for Mr. Trump rejected alternatives across the political spectrum. This exercise of "rough justice" may prove counterproductive, yet is not its indictment of the political establishment inescapable and should it not engender a modicum of humility?


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Walter Gibson's Complete Run of The Shadow. 48 bound volumes, 1931-44. $8,000-12,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Frederic Shoberl, The World in Miniature: Hindoostan. 6 volumes. $2,000-4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> A Rare Copy of the Earliest Chicago Newspaper to Report on the Great Fire of 1871. $6,000-8,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Broadside Proclamation by Mayor Roswell B. Mason for the Preservation of Good Order Following the Great Fire of 1871. Chicago. $4,000-6,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Peter Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence. One page. Scarce and highly collectable. $15,000-20,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> John Quincy Adams. The Jubilee of the Constitution. A Discourse. First edition. Inscribed. 1839. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Cuban Revolution: Expedicion y Desembarco del “Granma.” Havana, ca. 1959. With portraits of the Castro brothers & Che Guevara. $150-250
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Osuna Ramos. A group of 28 photographs of the Mexican Revolution & aftermath in Mexico City, 1910-1920. 4½ x 6”. $400-600
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Charles Bukowski. Hot Water Music. First edition with original signed painting. 1983. $2,000-4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Alan Ginsberg. Five Page Autographed Letter. Signed. February 10, 1971. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Andy Warhol’s Children’s Book. Featuring 12 color illustrations. Signed 5 times. 1983. $5,000-7,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Albrecht Durer. The Martyrdom Saint John the Evangelist. Woodcut, 1511 edition. $1,000-2,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Cowan’s Auctions: An Eclectic Collection: The Library of the Late Dr. Ivan Gilbert of Columbus.<br>June 5-26</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Voyages and Travel] Churchill's Voyages 1732 - Complete in 6 Volumes.<br>$5,000 - $7,500.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Illustrated] Alice by Salvador Dali, Signed and Limited. $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Literature] The Little Prince - Signed/Limited First French Edition, 1943; #61 of 260. $5,000 - $7,500
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: An Eclectic Collection: The Library of the Late Dr. Ivan Gilbert of Columbus.<br>June 5-26</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Literature] Gone With The Wind, 1st in DJ, May, 1936. $1,500 - $2,500
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Literature - Modern Firsts] Rare Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer, Obelisk Press Paris - 1934. $2,000 - $3,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [[Sporting - Fishing] Rare - Lee Sturges, Salmon Fishing New Brunswick, 1 of 50 Printed - 7 Original Etchings.<br>$4,000 - $6,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: An Eclectic Collection: The Library of the Late Dr. Ivan Gilbert of Columbus.<br>June 5-26</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Voyages and Travel - Maritime] Rare Ledyard Account of Cook's Last Voyage, 1783 Hartford, Howes "d".<br>$10,000 - $15,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Illustrated - Maxfield Parrish] Knave of Hearts, Scribner's, 1st Hardback Edition, 1925 Parrish Illustrations.<br>$750 - $1,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Bible - Illustrated - Cartography) Massive Dutch Bible, 1682, Contemporary Colored Maps, Working Brass Clasps. $2,500 - $3,500
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: An Eclectic Collection: The Library of the Late Dr. Ivan Gilbert of Columbus.<br>June 5-26</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Women Suffrage - Civil Rights - Autographs] A Unique Extra-Illustrated Life of Susan B. Anthony. $15,000 - $20,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [18th Century French Manuscript] Unpublished History of Belle-Isle-En-Mer, 1754 With Watercolor Illustration.<br>$10,000 - $15,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Illustrated - Children's - Movable] Wonderful 19th Century Lothar Meggendorfer Moveable Book. $750 - $1,000
  • <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Roland de Lassus. [Songs and madrigals]. Album gathering three collections of secular music for tenor. 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Richard Wagner. <i>Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.</i> Original edition corrected and annotated by Wagner. 60.000-80.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Claude Debussy. <i>La Damoiselle élue</i>. Lyrical poem, after D.-G. Rossetti. Limited edition of 160 copies. 6.000-8.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Stéphane Mallarmé. Handwritten notebook made by Geneviève Mallarmé. No place or date [circa 1910]. 10.000-15.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Henri Sauguet. <i>Les Forains</i>. Ballet. Reduction for piano. Original edition. 20.000-30.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Athanasius Kircher. <i>Musurgia Universalis sive Ars Magna Consoni et Dissoni in X. Libros digesta.</i> 1650. 30.000-40.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> François Villon, & Clément Marot. <i>Les Œuvres de François Villon de Paris, Reviewed and gathered by Clement Marot.</i> 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Rainer Maria Rilke. <i>Larenopfer</i> (Offrande aux dieux Lares). The second collection of Rainer Maria Rilke, containing ninety poems. 6.000-8.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Paul Éluard. <i>Capitale de la douleur.</i> One of the most beautiful poetic collections from the first surrealist wave. 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Pierre de Ronsard. <i>Les Amours</i> ... newly augmented by him, and commented by Marc Antoine de Muret. 40.000-60.000 €

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