• <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Lewis, Meriwether, and William Clark. <i>History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, To the Sources of the Missouri…</i> 1814, first edition. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Poe, Edgar Allan. <i>Tales.</i> New York: Wiley And Putnam, 1845. First edition, first printing, first issue. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Dürer, Albrecht, and Johann Stabius. [Map of the World as a Sphere.] [Vienna,] 1781 (From Woodblocks Cut In 1515). $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Ferdinand, Franz — Lala Deen Dayal [Photographer]. VISIT OF H.I. & H.R. THE ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND OF AUSTRIA ESTE TO HYDERABAD (DECCAN), JANUARY 1893. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 18 - 28:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Manuscript Letter Signed ("Yours Truly A. Lincoln") as Sixteenth President to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles Regarding William Johnson. $200,000 to $300,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Sotheby’s London: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental and Russian Books.<br>July 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s London, July 3:</b> The Breviary of Marie (1344-1404), Duchess of Bar, Daughter of Bonne of Luxembourg and King John II (the Good) of France, Franciscan Use, in Latin with a few rubrics in French [France (Paris), c.1360]. £500,000 to £700,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London, July 3:</b> John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew’s Gospel, in Greek [Byzantine Empire (Constantinople), late 9th century]. £200,000 to £300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London, July 3:</b> Bible, with prologues and interpretations of Hebrew Names, in Latin [France (Paris), c.1250]. £80,000 to £120,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental and Russian Books.<br>July 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s London, July 3:</b> Euclides. Elementa Geometriae [Translated by Adelardus Bathoniensis, Edited by Johannes Campanus]. Vicenza: Leonardus Achates de Basilea and Guilielmus de Papia, [13 May Or 20 June] 1491. £40,000 to £60,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London, July 3:</b> Apocalypsis Sancti Johannis. Single Leaf from a Block Book [Schreiber's Edition III]. [The Netherlands, C. 1465-1470]. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London, July 3:</b> Seneca, Lucius Annaeus. Opera Philosophica. Epistolae [Edited by Blasius Romerus]. Treviso: Bernardus De Colonia, 1478. £20,000 to £30,000
  • <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>

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2015 Issue

Unusual Ephemeral Americana from Marc Selvaggio Books & Ephemera

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Unusual ephemera.

Marc Selvaggio, Books & Ephemera has issued a catalogue of Ephemeral Americana – Books, Pamphlets, & Printed Ephemera. This catalogue will be pure fun for those who love American history. No, there won't be too much about the cataclysmic historical events, the Revolution, Civil War, presidential assassinations and the like. However, floods and hurricanes do make the cut. Most items pertain to events in the lives of average Americans, shows, movies, trips, cars, airplanes, phony medicines and cures, education, music, products and advertising, sports, real estate, labor, and, as the cover of this catalogue attests, popcorn. What could be more American than popcorn? Here are a few of these ephemeral items.

 

These streets weren't exactly paved with gold. They were paved with wood. Wood paving has its obvious drawbacks. For one, it rots. Creosote was used to retard this problem, and while this increases its life, it also smells bad. Wood also pits, leading to uneven surfaces. What's more, it's slippery. On the positive side, it is quieter than stone and cheaper. It mostly disappeared in the automobile age, but was popular in the 19th century. A handful of wood streets still survive today. Item 201 is a circa 1910 publication by the American Association of Creosote Wood Paving Manufacturers: Wood Block Pavements in America. Where They Are, How They Look and How They Please Taxpayers, Drivers, City Authorities and the Citizens. Priced at $125.

 

Here's a perfect car for a wooden road, as rare and distinctive as wood pavement itself: The Tucker Motor Car. The First New Car in Fifty Years. You can learn more about this remarkable car and its equally remarkable inventor by checking out the 1988 movie about them. The car was way ahead of its time, but the Tucker Company ran into all kinds of troubles, technical, financial, and a trial which claimed Tucker's company was a fraud, created to defraud investors of their money, not actually build cars (Tucker and the others were acquitted). All told, only 50 cars were built (Tucker planned to build 60,000 per year). This undated promotional brochure, which must be from the late 1940's, speaks as if the car was already available, but Tucker had a tendency to sell things before they were made. Item 189. $125.

 

If you would rather have the total opposite of the revolutionary Tucker, nothing could be more pedestrian than this car: 40th Anniversary Checker. Comfort and Elegance are added to the Brawny Built-to-last Checker. Brawny, sure, elegant, hardly. This folding brochure would date from around 1960. After 40 years of building the classic Checker Cab, which rarely changed over its many years, Checker decided it needed new markets. It started selling to consumers. The consumer cars were little different from the taxis. The technology was outdated but practical, mileage poor (that didn't matter all that much to consumers prior to the 1970's oil crisis), the structure solid as a tank, ideal for driving hundreds of thousands of miles on city streets. The brochure claims "Everything about the car says Quality with a capital 'Q.'" That can be attributed to puffery. At best the quality was with a small "q." Consumer sales were never very good for this car that always looked and acted like it came from an earlier era, but Checker held on until 1982 when its last cars were built. Item 169. $65.

 

Here is that popcorn pamphlet displayed on the catalogue cover: The Profit in Popcorn, published in 1929 by the National Sales & Mfg. Co. They were selling popcorn machines, and as the image on the cover attests, wealthy ladies will stop their cars on the street to get out and buy a bag of popcorn. There were big bucks to be made in popcorn (and peanuts too). One owner from Texas made $2,388.96 in just the last 11 months, a lot of money in 1929. Of course, that year rings familiar. The popcorn vendors would soon be competing against apple sellers on the city streets. Item 165. $225.

 

You may not know the name of the Pantlind Hotel, nor think one of the grandest hotels in America would be found in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but such was the case in the 1920's. It's reputation as the leading furniture manufacturing city in America earned it the right to a great hotel. As such, the Pantlind went all out in this 1924 promotional brochure: See the Hotel Pantlind as it really is. Look thru the Macyscope. The name "macyscope" may be unfamiliar, but you would recognize one instantly. It's what we now call 3-D glasses, those glasses with one lens red and the other blue. The slightly shifted red and blue illustrations on the page appear to jump out in three dimensions when viewed through the glasses. The macyscope was a rage in the 1920's, and continues to pop up occasionally even today. As for the Hotel Pantlind, it kind of ran down over the years, but in 1982 was purchased by Amway, and has since been restored its old glory, along with the addition of a 29-story glass tower. It is now known as the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Item 43. $150.

 

Here's some furniture that was not made in "Furniture City." Instead, it was made in Joliet, Illinois, at the Illinois State Penitentiary. Item 163 is the Illinois Board of Prison Industries. Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue, a second edition circa 1908. It comes with a price list, order form, and a couple of sales letters. The furniture is described as "made to endure. It is durable, sanitary, attractive and noiseless." Sanitary and noiseless might seem somewhat odd attributes for furniture, until you recognize the target market. The furniture was desks, chairs, bookcases and such with the primary audience being schools. $300.

 

Once in awhile, a person comes along with a perfectly descriptive name, like Mr. Shoemaker for a cobbler, Ms. Cook for a chef. Item 242 is Dr. Crook's Wine of Tar Alphabet. This is an alphabet book (1883?) that promotes this miraculous cure that used pine tar and various vegetable products to "cure" diseases from coughs to consumption. Dr. Crook cautions customers not to be fooled by ineffective imitations that won't restore your health. Heck, people who make things like that are.... crooks. $85.

 

Here is a 1913 item that is sure to bring a smile, or look of pain, to your face: The What, The Why, and the Way of Internal Baths, published by Tyrell's Hygienic Institute. An "internal bath" is not a mouth wash. No ma'am. Professor, later Dr. Charles Tyrell was hawking the "celebrated J. B. L. Cascade." For the record, "J. B. L." stands for joy, beauty and life. It consisted of a nozzle on a five-quart rubberized canvas bag. You sat on the nozzle, pants off, naturally, and the pressure of sitting on the bag forced the fluid in the bag up the nozzle, to where we will not mention. Who knew we could hold five quarts? Not for long, though, so better do this in the bathroom. The American Medical Association way back in the teens declared this quackery, but apparently these things are still available today. I'm not sure whether new ones are still being manufactured or if you have to buy them........ used. Item 221. $85.

 

Marc Selvaggio, Books & Ephemera, may be reached at 510-548-8009 or dsbooks@comcast.net.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>The Tragedie of Julius Caesar.</i> London, 1623. 1st appearance in print, Complete from the First Folio. Sold for $175,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> ACCADEMIA ERCOLANENSE DI ARCHEOLOGIA. <i>Ornati delle Pareti</i>, Naples 1796. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> AMERICAS. <i>Il Gazzettiere Americano…</i>, Livorno, 1763. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> BARROW, John. <i>Travels in China…</i>, London, 1804. £600 to £800
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> BENOIST, Felix. <i>Album de L'Ile de Jersey</i>…, Paris & Nantes, 1870. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> GAIL, Wilhelm. <i>Erinnerungen aus Spanien,</i> Munchen, [ca. 1837]. £1,800 to £2,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> HANCARVILLE, Pierre d'. <i>Recherches sur l'origine…,</i> London, Appleyard, 1785. £1,5000 to £2,000
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> HULLEY, T. <i>Six Views of Cheltenham.</i> London, R. Ackerman, 1813. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> JEFFERSON, Thomas. <i>Notes on the state of Virginia</i>…, London, 1787. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> LEWIS, John F. <i>Lewis's illustrations of Constantinople…,</i> London, McLean, 1837. £3,000 to £4,000
    <center><b>TIMED ONLINE AUCTION<br>June 11 - 25, 2018</b></center>
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> MARQUARD, Johann. <i>Tractatus politico-juridicus,</i> Frankfurt, 1662. £1,800 to £2,200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> MAUND, Benjamin. <i>The botanic garden,</i> London, 1825-42. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, Jun 11 - 25:</b> Willughby, Francis; John Ray (ed.). <i>Ornithologiæ libri tres</i>. London, John Martyn, 1676. £1,500 to £2,000

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