Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2007 Issue

Goin' South

Lane

Albuquerque bookseller Jerry Lane in his shop.


By Karen Wright

Greetings from the road. We always celebrate the month of February and our favorite holiday, Valentine's Day, by taking off to a warmer part of the world. By February, we're pretty darned sick of winter up here on our mountain top. This year we decided to go visit friends in the southern part of the U.S. As it turns out, it's colder here, with the humidity, than it was in Northern Nevada!

Another pal in Biloxi, Mississippi asked my husband, the master boat carpenter, to do some interior woodwork on his boat, which was seriously trashed during Hurricane Katrina, so we'll be there in March and in the next two months, I'll impart some of our experiences. We'll be spending a month in Katrina country, so I will also do some follow-up on my earlier articles about Katrina vs. booksellers.

We left our home town of Virginia City four days later than we had hoped so we didn't really stop anywhere except to eat, sleep and let Ginger, the wonder dog, out for a sniff and a snack. We sped down highway 95 which has a speed limit of 70 mph which we stayed within, but we were often passed as if we were standing still. We stayed one night in Beatty, Nevada, and ate bad casino food for dinner. Beatty is three-fourths of the way to Las Vegas on the south end of the "Red Light Highway". One will be driving along admiring the solitary, elegant serenity of southern Nevada and suddenly there will be a red beacon and a gaudy, flashing neon sign advertising "The Playmate Ranch" or "Dorothy's Day and Night" (".... if you're old or mean or ugly, you'll have fun if you got the money," from a song by Will Rose, a Nevada song writer.)

As we cruised the desert on the way to our first night's stop, we passed the gov'mnt gunnery range where they were strafing the sand along the highway; not close enough to be too nerve wracking, but close enough to get our attention. Next we passed the yucky Yucca Mountain radiation dump and shortly thereafter breezed through Las Vegas.

We had not been through Vegas for probably twenty years, and the growth was staggering. There were a zillion ticky tacky houses that look as though some giant had vomited them out onto the beautiful desert landscape. You could tell that in fifteen years or so they would be falling-apart slums. Since we had to be in Albuquerque the next day, we decided to do a bookstore search in Vegas on the way back to Nevada in April. I don't really hold out a lot of hope.

We stayed in Flagstaff, Arizona the next night. We arrived too late to do any book shopping or interviewing but had dinner at a recommended place called The Cottage. It was vastly overrated, heavily saucy French cuisine and way too pricey for what we got, so we won't go there again. Flagstaff is a college town so there should be some pretty decent bookstores there; we'll put that on the "Come Back Through" list.

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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