Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2014 Issue

A New Selection of Children's Books from Aleph-Bet Books


Aleph-Bet Catalogue 108.

Aleph-Bet Books has released Catalogue 108 of Children's Books and Illustrated Books. This is a new selection of books that are mostly children's and illustrated books. Even those not so youth oriented, such as Frederick Remington's Frontier Sketches, will fill its reader's eyes with wonder. Mostly what we find here are old books for young people. Children, start your imaginations. Here we go.


We will begin with the book that created the legend of Curious George, for those curious to know. Item 389 is the first American edition (1942) of Cecily G. and the Monkeys. Cecily's “G” stands for giraffe, and she was a lonely long-neck. Her family and friends had all been carted off to zoos. In another place in Africa, a family of monkeys saw its homeland toppled by woodcutters. The nine monkeys, one of whom is George, seek a new land, but are stopped by a deep ravine. From the other side, lonely Cecily sees their plight, and uses her long body to create a bridge over which they can cross. They all become great friends and help each other out. And there the story ends. No man in a yellow hat. He does not arrive until the next book to take George away from his home and off to London. Priced at $2,000.


Here is the story of another animal driven from his jungle home, this time by hunters. However, this was a much larger creature. Babar, the French-speaking elephant, runs off to a big city, where he learns the sophisticated ways of humans. He is later found by a couple of cousins, who lead him back to the elephant kingdom. Due to his worldly ways, when their King dies, they appoint Babar their new ruler. Published in 1931, the book is entitled Histoire de Babar le petit elephant. It would start a series of popular Babar stories by its author, Jean de Brunhoff, and after he died, the series would be continued by his son, Laurent. Item 125. $2,850.


Is there anyone in America who does not recognize the dog on the cover of this catalogue? Unlikely. Item 410 is a pen and ink and water color drawing of Snoopy by his creator, Charles Schulz. The inscription notes it's “for HEK.” “HEK” was Harry Elliot Klein, a fishing columnist from New Orleans. Klein served with Schulz in the military and the two became good fishing buddies. $6,000.


It is not unusual to see advertisers promote their wares to children, but it is generally for products children might buy (or whine at Mom to buy). Back in the day, advertisers planned farther ahead, trying to build brand awareness and loyalty for products long before children were potential customers (or maybe they just hoped Mom would read the book to the kids and pick up on the none too subtle message). Item 303 is Wyandotte Soda and Bell Starch Rhymes; or Father Gander's Sequel to Mother Goose. It was written by “Two Goslings,” which was actually one Paul West (a children's book writer). The soda referred to here is not the sweet drink children today consume by the buckets, but baking soda. The book is filled with rhymes and very nice illustrations, but the message is always the virtues of one of Wyandotte's products. Circa 1898. $225.


Item 296 is a copy of Four Days Wonder, by A. A. Milne, published in 1933. Published after the “Pooh” books for which Milne is best known, this is a mystery, targeted to a somewhat older audience. This is a remarkable copy as it contains a ten-line inscription from Milne, in the form of a rhyme. He writes ironically about how little money he gets from sales of the book. Noting how little it costs to make, and how much it sells for, Milne writes, “...Out of which, God willing, / I may get as much as a whole shilling.” $1,600.

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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