Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2013 Issue

75 Exceptional Books and Manuscripts from Peter Harrington

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Exceptional Books and Manuscripts.

Peter Harrington of London has issued a catalogue of Exceptional Books and Manuscripts. Offered are 75 items that clearly qualify for the “exceptional” description. The names or events will all be familiar. The material is highly collectible, perhaps not within everyone's budget, but certainly highly collectible. Here are some samples of the exceptional seventy-five.

In 1930, Winston Churchill published a look back at his youth, a book entitled My Early Life. Churchill was a notable British politician at the time, but no one (except, perhaps, Winston himself) could have imagined how important a leader on the world stage he would become. This book covers his life up until 1904, at which time he was 30 years old. It describes his childhood, his time in India, and in South Africa during the Second Boer War. He was a war correspondent in South Africa, was captured, imprisoned, and escaped. His adventures helped to build his reputation, leading to his first election to Parliament in 1900. The rest, as they say, is history. This copy comes with a very interesting inscription, to Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Their relationship was contentious, and eventually the split became complete despite their both being members of the Conservative Party. Churchill was a hardliner in opposition to growing demands from India for more independence from Britain. Item 10. Priced at £25,000 (Approximately $39,240 in U.S. currency).

Here is another book with an intriguing inscription. It is one of the already most highly collectible of books, one of the 750 copies of the first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses, published in 1922. It had to be published in Paris to avoid English censorship. The inscription, dated April 8, 1922, is to Sidney Schiff. Schiff was a writer and critic who moved in the best social circles of Paris' artistic community. It was Schiff who would host one of the most notable of parties a month later. Joyce attended, along with Marcel Proust, and other artists including Picasso and Stravinski. However, it was the meeting between Joyce and Proust, the two notable writers, that had everyone on edge. How would this meeting of two great literary minds go? The answer is that it was a dud. The two had little to say to each other. It was a meeting that Schiff and the others anticipated with great expectations, but what sounded good on paper proved to be two personalities that did not mesh. £125,000 (US $196,317).

Here is another man who frequented the soirees of Paris in the 1920s and drank with some of the same cast of characters. That would be Ernest Hemingway, the notable American writer who was not very notable in the early 20's, even though some already recognized his talent. Item 24 is a copy of his in our time (no capitals), published in 1924. It is a collection of short stories, Hemingway's second book and the one that began to bring attention his way, at least from his fellow literati. Only 170 copies were released. An expanded edition was published the following year, but this is the first edition, published in Paris. £18,750 (US $29,442)

For anyone angling for a classic sporting book, item 66 is the big fish: The Compleat Angler, a 1653 first edition of Izaak Walton's book on fishing. The book was written as a dialogue between two men, a fisherman and a traveler. Through their discussion we learn the fine points of fishing, or angling, and the joys of this recreation. There is probably no more notable book in the sporting world than this one. £75,000 (US $117,758).

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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