Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2013 Issue

Six Hundred Children's Books from Aleph-Bet

Alephbet104

Books for children.

Aleph-Bet Books has released Catalogue 104 of Children's Books & Illustrated Books. Aleph-Bet's are the most consistent of catalogues we receive. Each includes 600 items, every item illustrated and described. Practically all qualify as being both for children and illustrated. You can count on finding the most familiar of children's authors, the Seusses, Sendaks, Baums and Disneys, along with the obscure. Most are in English, but other languages will also be found. Most are fun, but a few reflect ugly prejudices of their times and authors. Everyone will find something that will bring you back to your childhood. Here are just a few.

We will start with one of those books that are not in English, Paraplyernes Opror (Umbrellas Revolt). Aleph-Bet assures us, “You don't need to read Danish to enjoy this book.” A good thing, since not many people do. Author Kjeld Abell's “almost surreal” illustrations do the trick even if you can't follow the text. You will never think of umbrellas quite the same once you realize what happens when they rebel. Published in 1937. Item 41. Priced at $200.

While there was fun coming off the presses in Denmark in the late 1930s, it was pure ugliness in their neighbor to the south. Item 374 is Der Giftpilz (The Poisonous Mushroom) by Ernst Hiemer, published in Nuremberg in 1938. During the war, Hiemer served as editor under Julius Streicher (later executed for war crimes) of the rabidly anti-Semitic newspaper Der Sturmer. It regularly advocated the extermination policies carried out by the Nazis. Hiemer shared its most repugnant views. This book is filled with hideous stereotypes of Jews, designed to sew hatred among German youth. $6,000.

Today society encourages children to get out and play, rather than sit around the house, as being important to physical health. This reality was recognized over 200 years ago, as shown in this book published by J. Johnson of Philadelphia, circa 1805: Youthful Recreations. As it points out, “For he who sits by the fire all day, And never goes abroad to play, May keep himself from being cold, But may not live till he is old.” Truer words were never rhymed. This book includes descriptions and illustrations of various games of the day, such as football (“a manly exercise not proper for girls”), archery, battledore, shuttlecock, hopscotch, rocking horse, kite flying, rope skipping, bait the bear, and marbles (that last one doesn't sound too athletic). Item 193. $1,850.

Here are some more rhymes: Rhymes of Real Children, by Betty Sage, illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith. Published in 1903, it includes six large color plates by Smith. This copy contains an original two-page typed and signed poem mounted to the front endpaper. The writer is William Lloyd Garrison, Jr., son of the famed abolitionist of the same name. Abolition already achieved, the younger Garrison was an outspoken advocate of women's rights and suffrage. Item 541. $675.

I'm not sure how Jack Lait got all of the necessary approvals to put out this book in 1926: All the Funny Folks. He has managed to take many of the leading cartoon characters of the 1920s and weave them together into one story. So here we find Jiggs and Maggie, Krazy Kat, Happy Hooligan, Tillie the Toiler, the Katzenjammer Kids, Dinty Moore, Barney Google and many others. Barney should sue that internet company for stealing his last name. I remember many of these characters, though from days later than the 20s, but don't know whether any are still active. Item 118. $500.

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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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