Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2011 Issue

Film, Literature and More from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper199

The latest from James Pepper Rare Books.

James Pepper Rare Books has released Catalogue 199 in their almost monthly series. The formula is similar, and obviously successful. They offer a mix of material related to film and theater, with literature, science fiction and detective mystery, and a smattering of other fields, such as sports. Here, now, is a look inside number 199.

 

Item 15 is a look at several of the stars of the 20th century by one of them - Eddie Cantor. Cantor was a comedian, but he was also a singer, songwriter, actor, dancer, and huge radio star of the 1930s and 1940s. Before that (and continuing into that era) his recordings were best sellers. He also starred in early television, but for whatever reason, his enormous popularity and fame ebbed quickly, and he is not as well remembered as are many of his contemporaries. Cantor's book is entitled As I Remember Them, published in 1963, and it has chapters on stars of his era such as W.C. Fields, Al Jolson, Greta Garbo, Groucho Marx, Judy Garland and Will Rogers. However, the one with which this copy is most connected is Cantor's longtime friend Jack Benny. Benny was the master of the pregnant pause, along with the exasperated look and legendary stinginess, all an act. Writing about Benny, Cantor says, "I told him once I'd give him the shirt off my back. 'And do you know what I'd do for you Eddie?' he said. 'I'd wash it, iron it, and charge you only thirty-five cents!'" Cantor has inscribed this copy to Benny, "One of the all-time greats of show business." Priced at $1,250.

 

Item 130 is Show Business, by Thyra Samter Winslow. Winslow made her way from small-town Arkansas to the big cities via her writing skills. Her name is obscure as most of what she wrote was for magazines, articles long since forgotten, though she did write some books (including compilations of her magazine articles) and at least one screenplay. Her writing about show business evidently brought her in contact with some its biggest names as this copy is inscribed to Florenz Ziegfield of Ziegfield Follies fame and his wife Billie Burke, best remembered as Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz. To continue the name-dropping, the book later made its way to the library of Marx Brother Harpo and his wife Susan, an actress and one-time member of Ziegfield's review. $650.

 

Here's the ultimate "for dummies" book:  Dummy Days:  America's Favorite Ventriloquists from Radio and Early TV, by Kelly Asbury, published in 2003. Probably the most famous ventriloquist/dummy pairing was Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Along with the sharp-tongued Charlie, Bergen had other dummies, such as dimwitted Mortimer Snerd. What is something of a mystery is that Bergen and Charlie rose to fame on radio, where the dummy can't be seen, nor the ventriloquist's skills appreciated. The book also looks at other famed pairings, including Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, and Senor Wences and Johnny. Not to mention Pedro, the head in a box. S'all right? S'all right. S'okay? S'okay. Item 1. $125.

 

Item 113 is a book about a book. It is Lost on the Titanic - The Story of the Great Omar - A Jeweled Binding of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in 1911 That Went Down with the Titanic. Rob Shepherd's account of this tragedy (admittedly, the tragedy of this loss pales in comparison with the human life lost on the Titanic) was published in 2002. Sangorski and Sutcliffe were known for fine, at times extravagant bindings, and this one certainly qualified as taking the art to the extreme. It took two years to make the binding, which contained over 1,000 precious and semi-precious stones. Unfortunately, it sank so soon after being created that there was only one known old black and white photograph of it. However, Shepherd discovered archives about it, which he used to recreate its appearance in color. $375.

 

Item 19 is an original Herald Pamphlet for London After Midnight, the 1927 silent film starring Lon Chaney. It features Chaney as a vampire in this murder/horror film, though it is impossible to go into great detail. The film is "lost," perhaps the most famous of all the old silent movies for which no copies are known to still exist. $850.

 

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

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 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.
  • <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

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