Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2010 Issue

Rose City Used Book Fair (Portland, Oregon June 11-12): "An Unpretentious book Fair"

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By Lee Kirk, The Prints & The Paper - www.kirksbooks.com

This was the first show I have done in 7 years due to family and personal health issues, eldercare, etc. Since it was the 5th year for the show, I hadn't even had a chance to attend and see what it was like. It bills itself as "an unpretentious book fair" which I think is very smart, for reasons I'll get to later.

One quick note - I was set up on the stage, which I shared with a vendor couple, Truman and Suzanne Price, with whom I had corresponded by email but not met before. They brought a great collection of children's books and set up with a little "tea party" vignette - children's table, chairs, etc. and "guests" were stuffed versions of Babar, Little Bear, Jeremiah, and Paddington (the revelers even had a vase of fresh flowers on their table). Plus Truman plays a mean fiddle. I wish we could have stayed to hear more but since he started fiddlin' after the show hours Friday and we had a long drive over to Beaverton and supper, we had to leave. Truman's band information is at www.trumanprice.com. Booksellers are certainly an interesting lot!

The venue is a Masonic Lodge building, hence the stage. The sales floor is on two levels (a shallow ramp going downstairs, where I was located.) It's a "shoestring" show - dealers brought their own tables (one was provided), table covers, and other display items. Cost was $135 for one space. There were 24 vendors, 33 spaces - some took two spaces so every space was full, and I understand that there was a waiting list.

There was a decent setup period on Thursday (1-6 pm) and we drove to Portland (from Eugene) without stress and got set up handily. There was another set-up time Friday morning, and the doors opened at 2 pm; the show ran until 8 pm. I was dubious about attendance on a Friday afternoon, but when I "checked the house" before the doors opened there were at least 35 people in line and more coming. Trade was steady until around 5:00 - we expected another little "after work" rush but it didn't really happen. We all knew that Saturday would be slow - Friday was typical of the last 6 weeks - 64 degrees and rainy. Saturday was forecast for 81 and sunny and, after listening to Portlanders grumbling about flooded and washed-out gardens and considering that it was the last day of the Rose Festival (parade day? Not sure) we figured the door would be down. It was - apparently they had about half the usual number of attendees. Still, those who came were buying.

This was one of the best-run and most accommodating shows I have seen. Advertising was good and there was signage everywhere. There were refreshments for dealers all day every day (bagels and spreads, pastries, gallons of hot coffee, etc.) and lunch fixings were provided on Saturday (quality cold cuts, cheeses, and other sandwich fixings, veggie snacks, chips, desserts.) Everything ran smoothly and there were volunteers to provide potty breaks and so forth when needed. Lovely!!! Thursday night there was also a get-together at a local pub, with the Association footing the bill for beer, sodas, and appetizers (and kept them coming) and individual dealers had the opportunity to order meals on a no-host basis. It was a nice opportunity to exchange news with old friends and get better acquainted with new ones.

It was lively during setup times. Since many of my old dealer friends knew that I hadn't been "out" for so long they knew that a lot of my stuff would be out for the first time and they came a-running (They also know that my prices are always reasonable, and that I offer 20 percent - which, I'm happy to say, everyone I dealt with did also).

I had few expenses aside from gas, etc. since we stayed at our daughter's in Beaverton - bed and board although we bought a couple of meals "out" for convenience sake. With $135 invested in the space (plus the cost of a couple of sturdy folding tables to replace my shaky ones, but they will pay forward) I brought home close to $1000 in cash and did about $1500 in trade (Dealers had stuff I needed; I had stuff they wanted - works for me). Gary (my helpful spouse and "gofer") negotiated two wonderful archaic skills books in my trade deals - his "payment" for working so hard (We consider his collections to be one of our best investments...at least better than our IRA, which has lost almost 50% during this recession). The after-the-show sales generated from contacts there will add to the income. Already by Wednesday after the show, I had a firm $700 additional in hand with lots more follow-ups in process.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <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, 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
  • <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>

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