Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2014 Issue

Aleph-Bet Books Offers 500 Books and a Top 100 List

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500 books and a top 100.

Aleph-Bet Books recently released their Catalogue 106 of Children's Books & Illustrated Books. With few exceptions, most books offered are both. This catalogue is slightly different from the typical Aleph-Bet catalogue. There are 500 items offered instead of the usual 600, but that is made up for with Helen Younger's updated list of the 100 most collectible children's books. She originally composed the list 20 years ago. Some changes have been made as a few books are no longer in as high demand, while some more recent titles, favorites of today's collectors when they were young, have replaced them. One thing I immediately noticed about this list is how many of them I have read. Sadly, I doubt the same would be true of the top 100 books for adults. No wonder children's books are so highly collectible. They bring back memories. Here are a few of the 500 being offered for sale.

 

We will start with a follow-up of the first American appearance of the popular Italian marionette, Pinocchio. The title appears a strange combination of titles – Pinocchio's Adventures in Wonderland. When originally published in Italy, the book was simply the Adventures of Pinocchio, but in America, publisher Jordan Marsh figured they could play on the popularity of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, so they gave Pinocchio's neighborhood the same name. However, it is still Carlo Collodi's original work, translated to English. Jordan Marsh, a Boston department store that also published some books at the time, originally published this in 1898, as this book is dated. However, this version includes four color plates by Rene Quentin dated 1899 that were added the following year. As such, it is the first American edition of Pinocchio to contain color plates. Item 101. Priced at $1,200.

 

In the decade before the birth of Peter Rabbit (the 1890's), Beatrix Potter supplemented her income with drawings of animals in her inimitable style for other publications. She also drew more serious, scientific illustrations, notably of fungi. Rabbits and frogs were her favorite creatures for children's books. Among her pre-Peter illustrations were three full-page drawings, signed “HBP,” that appeared in Comical Customers at the New Stores of Comical Rhymes and Pictures, published in 1896. These accompanied a rhyme entitled The Frog Who Would A Fishing Go. The book also contains illustrations of cats by Louis Wain and W. Foster. Item 363. $2,500.

 

Along with all of this children's fiction, it's nice once in a while to find a “true” story. Here is one: Captured by a Gorilla. A True and Startling Account Received from Rev. John Onslow (pseud.) by the Late Rev. Dr. Livingstone. That would be the notable explorer David Livingstone, I presume, though at the time of this publication – 1867 – Dr. Livingstone may have been “late” for some of his appointments in darkest Africa, but was still quite alive. Perhaps the author assumed he was dead since he was out of contact with the outside world at the time. Stanley would set him straight. Returning to the account, this love-crazed gorilla was said to have abducted the beautiful daughter of an African gem dealer. Shades of King Kong. “Truth” is stranger than fiction. More likely, this was a bit of sensationalism intended to boost sales rather than inform the public about gorillas. Item 202. $350.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

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