Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

Important Novels and More from Whitmore Rare Books


Catalogue 13 from Whitmore Rare Books.

Whitmore Rare Books has released their Catalogue 13. Mostly what you will find are novels, from the 18th-20th century, written by authors ranging from notable to great. You will know their names. A few items stray from the category of novels, though they are novel in the adjective form. There are some poets to be found, and a few books of nonfiction for those interested in the truth, or at least the "truth" as their authors saw it. This is a fine collection of important books in excellent condition. These are some you will find.


We will begin with a book that will appeal both to those who appreciate fiction and those interested in reality. It is a novel that played a major role in American history. In 1850, amidst growing divisions North and South, Congress passed and the President signed the Compromise of 1850. It was designed to make everyone happy. Instead, no one was. One displeased northerner was Harriet Beecher Stowe. The part that most offended many northerners was the Fugitive Slave Act, which required those in the North to return escaped slaves to their "owners," an activity with which they wanted no part. Ms. Stowe responded by writing a novel, fiction designed to show people just how terrible slavery was. Published in 1852, that book is Uncle Tom's Cabin, and it went on to become the most popular American novel of the 19th century. It was beloved by many in the North, despised in the South. Either way, it was influential, playing an important role in forcing America to confront the issue in all its ugliness. This copy is in exceptional condition, apparently never having been read, and comes with a card stating, "Trust in the Lord And do good A sure way to attain happiness here & forever from Harriet Beecher Stowe February 27, 1888." Item 71. Priced at $20,000.


Here is another novel whose realism touched Americans in a way few books do. It expressed their pain acutely. The Grapes of Wrath won numerous literary awards, was cited as the author's "epoch chronicle" when John Steinbeck received a Nobel Prize, and was the best selling book of 1939, the year in which it was published. The 1940 film version, starring Henry Fonda, is also one of the most honored of movies. It was not without controversy at the time, displaying its sympathy for poor farmers at the mercy of large farm owners during the desperation of the Great Depression. However, what it depicted, the misery of an Oklahoma Dust bowl family driven from its home to work for subsistence wages in California, was all too real for many at that time. This is a fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Item 68. $11,500.


Next up is a children's classic, though perhaps better known today for Disney's rendition than the original. Item 18 is the first American edition of 1892 of The Story of a Puppet, or the Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi. Collodi first published his story serially in an Italian magazine a decade earlier. It was a much darker tale the first time around. Collodi was intent on teaching children the importance of good behavior, and the consequences of bad. Pinocchio was less the lovable child who starts out a rogue, but just a bad child. In the end of that version, his enemies, the cat and fox, string him up from a tree and kill him – a lynching. However, once it reached book form, first in Italy, and then in American and English editions, the story was extended, Pinocchio did not die, he learned his lesson, and when he did he turned into a human boy. $5,750.


Item 56 is one of those pieces of nonfiction, an account of an 1840's trip west by a Boston Brahmin, Francis Parkman. Parkman set out on the Oregon Trail in its early days, not to move to Oregon, but to see what was out there. He spent much of his time learning about the Indians, people that most trail travelers did their best to avoid. He only went as far as Wyoming, but Parkman did go off the beaten path to see more of what was there. When he returned, he wrote this account: The California and Oregon Trail. As one might expect from his time and status, Parkman certainly felt his people were culturally superior to the "savages," but with recognition of his times, it is an informative and entertaining account of his journey. Offered is the first edition, second issue, published in 1849. The first issue is essentially unobtainable, only a few copies having been printed, likely for Parkman's personal use. $850.


This is the Holy Grail for American poetry collectors. It has been described as the Declaration of Independence of American poetry. It was not very well received when Walt Whitman privately published his Leaves of Grass in 1855. It was a thin volume (later editions expanded the number of poems), and it was not what was generally expected of poets at the time. It might have died on the vine but for the endorsement Whitman received from America's preeminent poet of that day, Ralph Waldo Emerson. If Emerson liked it, there must be more than meets the eye. Item 92 is the rare first edition of Leaves of Grass. $95,000.


Whitmore Rare Books may be reached at 626-297-7700 or info@whitmorerarebooks.com. Their website is www.WhitmoreRareBooks.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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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