Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2013 Issue

Literary Firsts and Other Meritorious Books from Whitmore Rare Books

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The latest from Whitmore Rare Books.

Whitmore Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 7. Whitmore specializes in “literary first editions and other books of merit.” In other words, literature predominates, but some other types of books and ephemeral material can sneak their way into the pages. That they have done, though literature in first editions remains the primary focus. Here are a few of the items you will find in their seventh catalogue.

The last shall be first, at least for this review. We start with the last of Jack Kerouac's novels published during his lifetime: Vanity of Duluoz. An Adventurous Education 1935-1946. As with others of his works, it is semi-autobiographical. This one is based on earlier years of his life. The years 1935-1946 would take him from the age of 13, through high school in Lowell, Massachusetts, and college at Columbia University. It ends just as the “Beat Generation” is beginning. The book was published in 1968, the year before Kerouac died. Item 28. Priced at $350.

Here is a book meant for a much younger audience. Then again, maybe not. Item 34 is More Very Young Songs, a 1928 first edition of songs with words by A.A. Milne and music by Harold Fraser-Simson. Illustrations were provided by Milne's regular Winnie-the-Pooh illustrator, Ernest H. Shepard. There are ten songs in the songbook. While this would seem appropriate for young children, this is an edition limited to 100 copies, signed by Milne, Shepard and Fraser-Simson. It seems unlikely that a purchaser would let any child get their hands on a copy of this edition. $1,000.

For those looking for a justification, or excuse for book collecting, there is Thomas Frognall Dibdin's Bibliomania; or Book Madness: A Bibliographical Romance, in Six Parts. This is the 1811 second “revised and enlarged” edition of the book first published in 1809. Dibdin was a book lover and obsessive collector, writing many books on the subject over the course of his life. He is, two hundred years later, still the epitome of a collector. This copy comes with an autographed note from the author. Item 8. $950.

We probably would not much remember Samuel Johnson if it weren't for James Boswell, nor Boswell but for Johnson. That is certainly a symbiotic relationship. Johnson was a notable lexicographer, creating the greatest English dictionary ever published at its time, the 18th century. Nevertheless, lexicographers aren't always all that interesting and we probably would not remember him except for this work by Boswell: The Life of Samuel Johnson, published in 1791. Johnson was evidently quite a wit, at least Boswell (and Johnson) thought so. Boswell was a great admirer, and also a great biographer. Consequently, Boswell is remembered for his exceptional biography, and Johnson for being its subject. This copy contains the written name “James Mansfield 1791,” presumably the noted jurist of the era, Sir James Mansfield. Item 2. $3,500.

Item 10 is the first book by famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart: 20 hrs. 40 min. Our Flight in the Friendship. Earhart was the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air, though her role was a mostly passive one. She was a passenger. The flight took place, and the book was published, in 1928, the year after Lindbergh made the first aerial ocean crossing. Despite her limited role, the flight made Earhart a celebrity. She would live up to her fame in 1932 when she became the first woman to fly a plane solo across the Atlantic. Five years later, the world would be watching her every move when Earhart became the first woman to attempt to fly around the world. She almost succeeded, her plane being lost over the Pacific on the trip's final leg. To this day no one is certain what happened to her, though theories abound. This copy is signed by Ms. Earhart. $2,250.

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>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

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