Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2011 Issue

Signed Modern Literature from Peter Harrington

Harrington76

Signed modern literature from Peter Harrington.

Peter Harrington, the London bookseller, has issued their catalogue Peter Harrington 76. Modern Literature - 100 Signed and Inscribed Books. Very little in the way of explanation is needed beyond that title. These are 20th century (or just before) literary masterpieces, signed and mostly inscribed by their authors. Many carry interesting provenances, as the recipients weren't just fans but friends, family, and other associates. This is a catalogue for people who collect great books with personal connections. Here are some examples.

 

Item 37 is a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's first collection of short stories, released the same year as his first novel - 1920. That novel, This Side of Paradise, propelled Fitzgerald to fame, paving the way for an opulent, beyond their means lifestyle for Fitzgerald and his new bride, Zelda. The collection of short stories here offered is titled Flappers and Philosophers, and this copy is inscribed to "George W." from Fitzgerald. No, that was not Mr. Bush. "George W." was George W. Stair, a notable bookseller in 1920s New York. Priced at £30,000 (British pounds, or roughly $48,700 in U.S. currency).

 

The next one is an even more spectacular Fitzgerald piece, a first edition, first printing presentation copy of his most famous work, The Great Gatsby. Gatsby was published in 1925, at a time before life began to slide for Scott and Zelda. This copy includes an inscription with a drawing of two letter-sweatered college students, written to Fitzgerald's college classmate Gilbert Browne. The students in the drawing have big "R's" on their sweaters, and the inscription states, "To Gilbert Browne from his old Rutgers Classmate F Scott Fitzgerald Los Angeles 1927." Of course, Fitzgerald never went to Rutgers, nor did Browne. They both attended Princeton, this evidently being something of a joke targeting a college with lesser prestige then their Ivy League school. Item 38.  £300,000 (US 486,680).

 

Here is a book that will make you rethink your image of rabbits:  Richard Adams' Watership Down. The amount of intrigue and violence taking place in the bunny community is astonishing. Adams' 1972 book is inscribed to Amy Wisdom, his future sister-in-law. £2,750 (US $4,462).

 

Item 31 is a collection of poetry by Emily Dickinson, though it is inscribed by her niece instead. There are no known copies of Dickinson's works inscribed by her, nor are there likely to be any. Dickinson was virtually unknown during her lifetime, no collected works, and only 10 published poems, seven in her local newspaper a couple of decades before she died. Emily Dickinson showed little inclination to publish, even though she wrote almost 2,000 poems, primarily during the 1860s. The few that were published were edited to make them more suitable to conventional tastes of the time. Dickinson was a recluse, a woman who lived for reading and writing, and rarely ventured from home, or even her room as she grew older. However, she did maintain an active correspondence with several friends, including men she considered masters or teachers, perhaps the closest she came to romantic interests. She died in 1886, single, still living at home, at the age of 55. It was not until after he death that her sister discovered her handwritten books of poems and realized her skill. That led to a series of published collections that became very popular and sealed her reputation as one of America's foremost poets. Item 31 is a copy of The Single Hound, published in 1914, with an introduction by and an inscription from her niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, who published some of her collections. The book comes with a handwritten copy of 12 lines from Dickinson's poem beginning, "To love thee year by year." It is signed "Emily." One other manuscript copy of this poem in Dickinson's hand is known. £50,000 ($81,136).

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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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