Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2012 Issue

Literature and More from B&B Rare Books

B&b2011

Literature and more from B&B Rare Books.

We have received, perhaps slightly late, the Fall/Winter 2011 catalogue from B&B Rare Books of New York. B&B describes its specialties as “18th-20th century American and English literature, poetry, mystery, and detective fiction, and early 20th century children's literature.” We will add that many items within this catalogue are signed or inscribed. The catalogue also notes that “B&B” are Joshua Mann and Sunday Steinkirchner. Hm... hard to figure that one. Maybe bookseller and bookseller? Well, let's take a look inside at a few of the books B&B is offering.

Henry David Thoreau is a man hard to peg by today, or even his own day's standards. Perhaps iconoclast is as close as we can come. He was certainly one of the earliest environmentalists, and a vehement supporter of abolition. That might place him on one side of today's political spectrum, but he was also a strong individualist, a man who appreciated being left alone, and wanted as little government involvement with his life as possible. His individualist/environmentalist nature can be found in his most famous book, written while he isolated himself from most of society: Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. One can only imagine how he might feel about Walden Pond today, where civilization has long since eroded any sense of being alone. Item 67 is a first edition of Thoreau's premier book, published in 1854. Priced at $13,500.

A man who inhabited a world as different from Thoreau's as night and day was F. Scott Fitzgerald. He aspired to the world of the beautiful people in the 1920s and made it there on the strength of his writing. With the 1930s, life became tougher for Fitzgerald. His wife drifted off into insanity, his financial fortunes never quite kept up with his needs. He turned to screenwriting in the late 1930s to supplement his income, and that gave him the insights into Hollywood that provided material for his final novel, The Last Tycoon. Item 20 is a first edition, first issue from 1941. The novel is unfinished. Fitzgerald, whose heavy drinking had ravaged his health, suffered a heart attack and died in late 1940 at the age of 44, his last novel as yet incomplete. $4,000.

When Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better know to most by his pen-name Lewis Carroll, first published his tale about Alice and her adventures in Wonderland in 1865, he was essentially an unknown photographer and mathematician. Two decades later, he was a very popular writer, appreciated by both children and adults for his story about Alice and her illogically logical world. It was at that time that Carroll came up with the idea of publishing a facsimile edition of his original manuscript of Alice. This he had published in 1886, using what had been his original title for the book, Alice's Adventures Under Ground. Item 8 is a copy of this facsimile book, inscribed, as he usually did, “from the Author,” in purple ink. $6,000.

Item 38 is an advance issue of Ernest Hemingway's 1950 novel Across the River and Into the Trees. It is one of 25 copies bound for presentation. This one was inscribed and presented by Hemingway to journalist Ben Meyer, who had traveled to Cuba to interview Hemingway. The inscription is dated “21/8/50,” three weeks prior to the book's publication. Meyer had written that Hemingway was quite pleased with how this book turned out, though the critical reviews were not very supportive of the author's view. Hemingway evidently remained in contact with Meyer over the years, as this copy of his book comes with a letter from Mary Hemingway to Meyer in 1958 thanking him for some photographs. $50,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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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