Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

World's Fairs from Mark Selvaggio Books & Ephemera

Selvaggio138

World's Fairs & Expositions.

Mark Selvaggio, Books & Ephemera, is offering a catalogue of shorter form material relating to a very specific type of event – World's Fairs & Expositions. These are mainly printed pieces you would have picked up at one of these exhibitions, some free, others for a price, though some are related material, like planning for an upcoming fair. Many of these fairs were in America, but many were in Europe too. They start from one that really predates the “World's Fair” era, the 1806 Paris Exhibition, and conclude with the 1964 New York World's Fair. Some occurred during good times, but others brought respite from a stressful world, notably those of the 1930s, where first depression, and then war, made for tense and difficult times. These are a few of these mementos from the exciting events of yesteryear.

Item 25 is Centennial Portfolio: A Souvenir of the International Exposition at Philadelphia. This piece contain 52 plates depicting the various buildings at the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876. This fair was a milestone for America. It celebrated the 100th anniversary of the nation's Declaration of Independence, and was the first major fair to take place in America. Priced at $175.

Chicago's Columbian Exposition would be America's next major world's fair. The 1893 fair was meant to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America. It was noted for introducing the electric light to the country. Item 53 is a post-fair report by the California World's Fair Commission. It recounts the various exhibits from California, both state and county. Included is a plate of the Orange Tower. Built to promote California oranges, it stood 35 feet tall and contained 14,000 oranges. The oranges had to be replaced every 3 to 4 weeks to stay fresh. $85.

Item 56 is a 1994 search for a lady who made her debut at the 1893 Chicago fair: Looking for Little Egypt. The “Egypt” name has been used by countless belly dancers since, but first was the nickname of a performer supposedly from Egypt on the fair's Midway. She performed the “danse du ventre” (dance of the belly), better known at the time as the “Hoochie-Coochie.” This book by Donna Carlton undertook the surprisingly difficult task of tracking down just who this original Little Egypt was. $30.

This was not as important an exhibition, but a historic one nonetheless: Free Guide to the Exposition, Buffalo and Vicinity 1901. It was printed by a Dr. R.V. Pierce for the Pan American Exposition 1901. Pierce was evidently a Buffalo physician who was promoting his medical wonders. The brochure included space for one to write their “Pan-American Notes,” and the owner of this copy wrote in, “saw spot where McKinley killed.” President McKinley attended this fair and it was the biggest mistake he ever made. An anarchist, with obviously differing political views, shot the President after he gave a speech to a large crowd. Item 111. $125.

From the 1931 Paris International Colonial Exposition comes item 291: Societe des Etudes Indochinoises. Indochine Francaise. La Cochinchine. In 1931, Vietnam was part of the French colonial empire. This piece deals with the region known as Cochinchina, what would later be known as South Vietnam. At the time, no one could have imagined what a burden this land would become for France in the 1950s, and much more so for America in the 1960s and 1970s. This book provides all sorts of details about the country, its history, culture, people, etc., and comes with a map of all of its automobile and rail roads. $300.

Item 326 answers the question, How does the World's Largest Thermometer Work? The Indian Refining Company erected an enormous thermometer at Chicago's A Century of Progress Fair in 1933, celebrating the city's 100th anniversary. Indian Refining erected its enormous thermometer to remind fair goers that its Havoline motor oil “is the best motor oil AT ALL TEMPERATURES.” This was an appropriate product for the Chicago fair, which was filled with exhibits by automobile manufacturers (and for a new item – air conditioning). Havoline is still available today, though the brand became associated with Texaco after they bought out Indian in the 1930s, and currently Chevron, which took over Texaco a decade ago. Incidentally, an internet search reveals that today the world's tallest thermometer is located in Baker, California, and stands 134 feet tall. The Indian/Havoline thermometer was 218 feet tall. $15.

Here is an exhibit from Chicago that must have been of limited popularity: Diet, Dentistry, Dentifrice. Souvenir of the ThreeDOral Education. Getting people there must have been like pulling teeth. It was produced by Iodent Chemical Co., a manufacturer of products such as toothpaste and toothbrushes. It delivers its message with talking ingredients who say such things as “I am Mr. Petroleum Jelly.” Item 329. $35.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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

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