Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2014 Issue

A Summer Catalogue from Peter Harrington


A Summer Catalogue.

Peter Harrington recently published their Summer Catalogue. As usual, Harrington offers a wide variety of material. Significance of material and excellence of condition are hallmarks of the books offered, rather than some specific subject matter. The selection is wide, over 300 titles presented. The catalogue notes that all of the items are currently on display at their new Dover Street location, in the Mayfair section of London. Their Chelsea location remains open as well. Here are some samples from Harrington's summer catalogue.


We start with a book that told an amazing story of heroism in the worst of times, a story that would finally reach a large audience with a movie of almost the same name. Item 165 is Thomas Keneally's account of a German businessman in Nazi Germany who did everything possible to save the Jews working in his factory from the otherwise inevitable extermination that awaited them – Schindler's Ark. This copy of the 1982 first edition is inscribed by Keneally “To George and Hedy Hunter, to celebrate your survival.” The Hunters were Holocaust survivors. Priced at £475 (British pounds, or approximately $788 in U.S. dollars).


There are great writers and great leaders, but few combine such greatnesses as well as Winston Churchill. He will always be best remembered for his inspiring leadership through Britain's darkest hour, rallying the people against seemingly hopeless odds to resist the Germans in World War II. However, Churchill was also a prolific writer, penning a thorough account of the war his nation and its allies won. He wrote much more. More than 40 years earlier, he was already beginning to publish accounts of his adventures. Item 53 is Churchill's My Early Life. A Roving Commission. It was not published until 1930, but covers his life up to 1904, when he reached the age of 30. Even by then, he had served as a war correspondent, been imprisoned and escaped, and had served as a Member of Parliament. Still, his career had barely begun. £1,750 (US $2,902).


Churchill was not the only World War II leader to pen a book, and we are not talking about Hitler's hate-laced diatribe. Il Duce, Italy's war leader Benito Mussolini, also wrote a book, though it is little remembered. His writing skills were not such as to earn great acclaim. Item 207 is Mussolini's The Cardinal's Mistress, published in 1929. He had written it 20 years earlier, the story being serialized in a newspaper supplement. It was justly forgotten after that, but resurrected after the author became the head of his government. It is the tale of a fictional 17th century cardinal and the problems he encounters when he falls in love. Essentially, Mussolini used what is generally described as an uninspiring piece of writing to attack the clergy, something he wished to tone down after coming to power. £750 (US $1,243).


Here is another World War II era “hero,” heroic deeds being easier to accomplish when you aren't real. Still, I fear more people know his name today than know that of Churchill. Item 190 is The Adventures of Superman. Based on the cartoon character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Released during the war – 1942 – Harrington describes this as “the first novelization of a comic book character.” Written by George Lowther, it was also the first Superman story credited to someone other than Siegel. Considering that copies of the first Superman comic book, published just 3 years earlier, have sold for millions of dollars, this is a much more reasonable opportunity. £2,250 (US $3,731).


Next we have the introduction to a young lady who is not so much a hero as a celebrity, and a very well known one at that. She is also as real as Superman. Item 16 is Here's Barbie, by Cynthia Lawrence and Betty Lou Maybee. This and two other Barbie books were released simultaneously in 1962. The cover tells us it contains “stories about the fabulous Barbie and her boyfriend 'Ken.'” Barbie was a doll, quite literally, created three years earlier, but who had already achieved sufficient status to merit a book or three. She stirred up her share of controversy, with her plastic image and seeming argument for the beauty of anorexia. Nevertheless, she certainly has become an iconic symbol for something or other, loved and hated for whatever it is she stands for. As an aside, the doll manufacturer announced that Barbie and Ken had split up in 2004, sad as they would have been in their 60's by then. This copy is inscribed by Maybee. £475 (US $788).


We now turn to some much weightier matters than Barbie – Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, by Ludwig Wittgenstein, published in 1922. It was Wittgenstein's first attempt to describe the meaning of language, finding that words provide “pictures” of things. It was something of a scientific, empirical explanation of how language works, and it led to many important followers in the logical positivism movement, including Bertrand Russell, who provided an introduction. The book remains influential, though Wittgenstein later renounced most of what he propounded in the Tractatus, concluding that the meaning of words is based on how they are used, rather than as pictures of the world. Item 322. £2,250 (US $3,731).


Peter Harrington may be reached at +44 (0)20 7591 0220 or orders@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to General James Clinton, preparing for the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, 1778. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising to send reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Edison, Autograph Letter Signed, to Western Union President William Orton, 1878. $10,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> William, Bishop of Coventry, vellum charter granting the church of Rochdale to the Cistercian Abbey of Stanlaw, in Latin, 1222. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> FDR, Photograph Signed & Inscribed, framed with wood removed from the White House roof, 1927. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Dubuffet, archive including many letters written while painting in NYC, 1951-72. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autograph Letter Signed, describing the source of his patience, 1939. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Lithograph portrait of Albert Einstein by Hermann Struck, signed by both, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Charles The Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Letter Signed to Johann IV of Nassau, in French, 1470. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Cocteau, Autograph Letter Signed, in French, 1919. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Louis Armstrong, two Autograph Letters Signed to Erich Kauffmann, his lip salve purveyor, 1965-70. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Wernher von Braun, Autograph Letter Signed to Jonathan Cross, 1975. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions