Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2010 Issue

Film and Literary Material from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper194

The latest from Hollywood and beyond from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has issued Catalogue 194. It follows their usual format, being particularly heavy in material related to Hollywood and film, but with a healthy assortment in the fields of literature, science and detective fiction as well. Almost every month Pepper releases a new catalogue, and they come with many new and interesting items not seen before. Here are a few of them.

We will start with a first edition, first printing of one of the most collectible works of 20th century American fiction, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. Little needs to be said to describe this very familiar tale of justice in the pre-civil rights era South. Published in 1960, it was Harper Lee's only novel, the ultimate example of quitting while you're ahead. This copy has the ownership stamp of Annie Laurie Williams. Ms. Williams was Lee's motion picture agent. She had already sold movie rights to several notable books, including Gone With The Wind and The Grapes of Wrath. She negotiated the rights to Mockingbird to Universal Pictures, which resulted in the great film rendition starring Gregory Peck. Item 93. Priced at $12,500.

Item 107 provides an odd combination of politics and theater. It is an inscribed copy of Michael Genovese's The Nixon Presidency: Power Politics in Turbulent Times, published in 1990. This is a comprehensive biography of Nixon, placing him within the context of his times. Genovese has inscribed this copy to actress Carol Channing, best known for playing the lead role in the Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! Channing, along with Steve McQueen, Barbra Streisand, Gregory Peck, Bill Cosby, Joe Namath, and many others appeared on Nixon's infamous "enemies list." Genovese writes, "To Carol Channing and Charles Lowe [her husband], two of Richard Nixon's favorite enemies!" Ms. Channing's name appears in the book too. $200.

Here is a book from a man who was not noted as a writer, actor, politician, or anything else that makes headlines in the newspaper, and yet his name is probably familiar to most Americans, though he died many years ago. Item 133 is a copy of the 1956 book Lines of a Layman, by J.C. Penney. Yes, J.C. Penney is not a made-up store name, but that of a real person. Mr. Penney founded his first store in rural Wyoming at the beginning of the 20th century, seeing it grow to one of America's largest retailing chains over the course of his life. This copy of his experiences is inscribed by Penney "To My Old Friend and Associate, Jim McDonald." $95.

Next we have an item that is hardly a book, but is an unusual piece of boxing ephemera. It is a ringside seat ticket to one of the most famous boxing matches of all time, the 1910 championship bout between Jack Johnson and James Jefferies. Jefferies was a dominant heavyweight boxer at the turn of the last century, at 6 feet and 225 pounds huge for his era. He retired undefeated in 1905. Three years later, Jack Johnson, a black man, avoided by most boxers because of his race, managed to get a title shot, which he won. Many whites were outraged, and Jefferies was convinced to make a comeback to regain the title for his race. He was the original "Great White Hope." The bout took place in Reno, Nevada, as most states wanted no part of this interracial fight. As a result, thousands descended on Reno, almost entirely white, to see their fighter regain the title for their race. As this ticket attests, the fight generated enormous interest (its price was $50, an outrageous sum of money in 1910). The crowd was sorely disappointed, as Johnson battered Jefferies into submission after 15 rounds. The ticket states, "World's Heavy-Weight Championship...Purse $101,000.00 - Jefferies - Johnson - July 4th 1910 - $50.00 - Ringside - Admit One." Item 13. $3,500.

The world of sports has always had its problems, but in today's world of astronomical salaries, often for mediocre or underperforming athletes, it seems that issues have only been magnified. Even 20 years ago, legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell was able to write a book about What's Wrong With Sports. Published in 1991, it recounts sex scandals, corruption, bigotry and drugs in professional sports. And this was before anyone even knew about steroids. It seems like the problem has only become worse. This copy of Cosell's book is inscribed to Hollywood columnist Army Archerd. Item 26. $85.

James Pepper Rare Books may be reached at 805-963-1025 or pepbooks@aol.com. Their website is www.JamesPepperBooks.com.

You will find many of James Pepper's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site.
Click here.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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 Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions