Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2010 Issue

More Film and Literature from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper195

The latest from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has issued Catalogue 195. The latest in their almost monthly releases, it follows the norm, offering works related to film and theater, detective fiction and mystery, sports, and literature. These are primarily books you know, or come from the hand of personalities you know. Whether the authors made their name through writing or other endeavors, the works mostly come from people whose names achieved recognition on the world stage. Here are a few.

We can assure you everything else in this catalogue is considerably less expensive, but we will start with far and away the most pricey item you will find. If your budget permits, you may be intrigued. Item 126 is a copy of the first edition, first issue of Dracula, by Bram Stoker. Vampires are all the rage today, but this is the one that, for better or worse, started it all. This copy is inscribed by Stoker to Frank A. Munsey, a notable magazine publisher of the day. Pepper believes Stoker was likely hoping Munsey would serialize his story in one of his magazines. If so, he did not succeed. Nevertheless, Stoker did just fine with his novel. Priced at $75,000.

Item 16 is a 1925 biography of America's first celebrity athlete, the great boxer John L. Sullivan. Sullivan crossed between the bare-fist era and that of gloved boxing. He is regarded as the last bare-fisted champion, and the first with gloves, though there weren't officially recognized titles in that era. There was by the time he lost his title and suffered his first defeat, to "Gentleman Jim" Corbett in 1892. R.F. Dibble's biography of the Boston fighter is entitled John L. Sullivan. An Intimate Narrative. $45.

Next is an interesting item from the early days of the blacklisting era. It is a set of three LP records, Hollywood Fights Back, along with the pamphlet Committee For the First Amendment. The album contains the ABC Radio broadcast of the same name, recorded on October 26, 1947. Among the members of the committee were Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, John Huston, Katherine Hepburn, Judy Garland, Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball, Groucho Marx, Lena Horne, and Frank Sinatra. Nevertheless, the blacklisting movement grew, and spurred on by Senator Joseph McCarthy, the paranoia consumed many careers before it ran its course. This set of records belonged to Alexander Knox, a Canadian born actor who was nominated for the Oscar for best actor in 1944 for the title role in Wilson, an acclaimed but financially unsuccessful movie about the 28th president. Knox was blacklisted, but moved to England where he continued his career. Item 76. $375.

What do Batman, Dick Tracy, and Bugs Bunny have in common, other than the obvious that all are cartoon characters? The answer is that each was drawn by its artist on the sheet of paper offered as item 83. Bob Kane has drawn his creation, Batman, who rose from the comics to become a star of television and film, and a leading superhero today. Dick Tracy was drawn by his creator, Chester Gould. In his day, police detective Tracy graced the comics of countless newspapers, and was the far more familiar figure than the Caped Crusader. Time faded his popularity though Tracy can still be found in some newspapers to this day. Bugs, drawn by animator Friz Freleng, is a timeless character, popular then, popular now. $1,250.

Item 26 was a somewhat presumptuous title at the time: How to Live to Be 100 - Or More. It was written by the vaudeville, later radio, television and movie actor/comedian George Burns. It was published in 1983, when Burns was no spring chicken, but hardly 100 either. He was 87 at the time. His advice must be good as George Burns did make it to 100 and 49 days more. This copy of his book is inscribed to actress Carol Channing. $200.

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.
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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>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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