Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2012 Issue

Aleph-Bet Offers More Children's Books

Alephbet101

There's a lot of nonsense here.

Aleph-Bet Books has issued their Catalogue 101 of Children's Books & Illustrated Books. That heading on the cover, “Nonsense Nonsense!,” is not the title of the catalogue. That is a 110-year-old book featuring the illustrations of Charles Robinson, but it might make a fitting title. Children's books are often filled with nonsense. Sometimes it's amusing good fun, the stuff for which authors like Dr. Seuss are noted. Other times, it's less benevolent, such as the racist material that once frequented children's books, teaching intolerance, even hatred to the young. As silly as it all appears, we may learn more from these books of our childhood, sometimes for good, sometimes not. Here are some of the latest titles from this selection of 600 books offered.

Item 529 is a first edition of the first Dr. Seuss book, Boners, attributed to “Alexander Abingdon,” illustrated by Dr. Seuss. It was published in 1931, six years before the first regular Seuss book, And to Think I Saw it all of Mulberry Street. This book is filled with quotes from schoolchildren, from their answers in the classroom or exams. For example, “A vacuum is an empty space where the Pope lives,” or “A senator is half horse and half man.” How about, “Milton wrote Paradise Lost; then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.” We could fill the rest of this review with funny quotes, but that would not be a review, so we must move on. However, what is even more notable about this book than the quotes is that it contains some of the earliest drawings by the doctor. They are distinctive, Seussian creations. Priced at $500.

Here is a book that may need a bit of explanation: Colonel Bogey's Sketch Book, by R. Andre, published in 1897. Col. Bogey may be best known by many for his march, featured in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. However, the march wasn't written until 1914, and the movie came out in the 1950s. To know the original Col. Bogey, think of the golf term for taking one too many strokes – bogey. The Colonel was an imaginary golfer, though he may have been inspired by an actual person. This book is a “history” of golf, starting with the prehistoric “Golfosaurian,” and proceeding to the missing “link.” Andre was an avid golfer as well as illustrator of children's books. Item 246. $2,750.

Item 192 is a first edition of the first Roosevelt Bear book: The Roosevelt Bears: Their Travels and Adventures, published in 1906. The Roosevelt Bears, more often known as “Teddy Bears,” were inspired by an incident from a hunting trip by President Theodore Roosevelt. Stuffed “Teddy Bears” became a major hit, which led to books such as this one by Seymour Eaton. After all these years, Teddy Bears are still one of the most popular of toys. $650.

Here is a little known fact about the Roosevelt Bears. They prefer to use Fleischmann's Yeast when baking. At least, that is the assertion of this 1907 item, The Teddy Bears Baking School. In this book, the bears cook for various Mother Goose characters, while the verse proclaims the virtues of their favorite yeast. There is no need to mention who was responsible for publishing this piece. Item 68. $125.

For those not old enough to remember the Roosevelt Bear era, but not that young any more either, there is Make Your Own Howdy Doody Puppet Show. Howdy is there with all his favorite sidekicks, Clarabell, Mr. Bluster, and Flub A Dub. This is an unused set of die cut pieces and instructions for making the puppets. If you can actually pull this off without getting the strings tangled, you officially qualify as a genius. Only Buffalo Bob could ever pull the strings on this puppet. Item 455. $450.

This is not great literature, but for decades, more students read these books than Shakespeare. Item 161 is Our Big Book, an early (circa 1940) version of the large folio edition of Dick and Jane. This large edition was designed to allow teachers to display these wonderful stories. It contains such memorable lines as, “Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh, see. Oh, see Jane. Funny, funny Jane.” And teachers could never figure out why Johnny didn't want to read. $1,850.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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.

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