Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2005 Issue

Publishing Promotions From Alexander Rare Books

R0612

String shows this catalogue was sewn by hand.


Item 50 is a 1975 special presentation issue of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime, "to the friends of the author and publisher." This issue is far scarcer than the first edition, which ran to 60,000 copies. This book would go on to reward its publisher's enthusiasm with enormous popularity. $65.

Item 20 is a 20 x 30 poster for the book I. Me. Mine. A poster was fitting for this author, since his image was seen on many posters in the days before he wrote this biography. The writer was George Harrison, known more for his musical than literary compositions. This poster with a large photograph of the former Beatle is item 13. $25.

Item 1 is an advance excerpt from the 1989 novel The Last Whales. This work by Canadian Lloyd Abbey is a love story about two whales after a nuclear winter. Alexander cautions, "Head and tail of spine bumped." We aren't sure whether this refers to the book or the whales. $12.

Item 95 is a limited edition of the 1952 Archibald MacLeish play, The Trojan Horse. The play was originally produced for the BBC, rather than for sale. This was a political play during an unpleasant episode in American history. The preface states, "Americans as well as Trojans can make a monster for a god." While unstated, that monster was Senator Joseph McCarthy, who smeared MacLeish and many others before being discredited a few years later. $35.

For fans of "In the Heat of the Night," here is an uncommon item: The Upright Corpse. A Virgil Tibbs Story. This 29-page short story features the northern Black detective who had to overcome prejudice in the South, a role reprised by Sidney Poitier in the movie version of "In the Heat of the Night" and two follow-ups, and by Howard Rollins in a television series of the same name. This shorter Tibbs adventure was published for the Occidental Life Insurance Company in 1979, and it is the only printing of this John Ball story. Item 6. $40.

Item 131 is an advance copy of The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie. It comes in a two-piece promotional paper box, and is signed and numbered. This copy is number 199 of 1,000. Rushdie is the author who also became a major political symbol when some fanatics in Iran put a price on his head for an earlier work. "Moor's" was published in 1995. $85.

For John Updike collectors, here is a most unusual item, and it can travel faster than a speeding Rabbit. It is a package of three golf balls, imprinted with the title, Golf Dreams: Writings On Golf. This was a 1996 collection of Updike's essays on a topic about which he is fanatic. What makes this piece of ephemera especially desirable is that if it never achieves the collecting status of a first edition Rabbit Run, it still has a secondary use to which it can be put. Fore! Item 144. $35,

You may reach Alexander Rare Books by email at alexanderbooks@charter.net or by phone at 802-476-0838.

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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