Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2006 Issue

Books About Books, Bibliography and the Oak Knoll Fest

Oak270

Catalogue 270 from Oak Knoll Books.


By Michael Stillman

Oak Knoll Books'
latest catalogue, number 270, offers a new selection of titles in their areas of specialty, books about books and the book arts. This catalogue is divided into three sections, Oak Knoll Fest books, books about books, and bibliography and reference books. There are 703 items listed.

Oak Knoll Fest is the bookseller's annual gathering in New Castle, Delaware, which brings many specialty printers together. Of course, others who would like to meet representatives of these presses are welcome, so mark your calendars for October 7 and 8 of this year for the next annual get together. This section of the catalogue contains items from the presses of firms that participated in at least one of the last three Oak Knoll Fests. This includes names like Aralia, Arion, Bird and Bull, Incline, Tern, Whittington, and many more. In most cases, it's more the quality of the printing, binding, illustration, etc., that is of significance than the particular title itself. However, a few titles are notably intriguing, such as The Area Code of God, The First Poet Travels to the Moon, and Being Boring. I'm not sure I'd like to read the latter.

Next, here are a few samples of the "books about books" being offered. Here's an interesting title for those who collect early children's books: A Moral Tale, Children's Fiction and American Culture, 1820-1860. This 1975 books describes how children's fiction of the era reflects American culture and values of the time. After all, while children's stories ostensibly are meant to entertain, they are a primary method of inculcating the values and beliefs we want our offspring to adopt. Item 232, written by Anne MacLeod. Priced at $25.

Here's a worthy addition if you are one of the many who collects Grabhorns: Memorium Edwin Grabhorn 1889-1968, by David Magee. This is one of 150 copies of this 1969 tribute printed at the Grabhorn Press and presented to members of the Roxburghe Club. It includes photographs of Grabhorn on the job and samples of his work. Item 291. $375.

This is an item that's even better than a complete bibliography - it's all of the author's works themselves. Item 335 is a Limited Editions Club printing, The Complete Andersen: All of the 168 Stories by Hans Christian Andersen (Some never before translated into English, and a few never before published)... This six-volume 1949 set is perfect for either a Limited Editions Club or Andersen collector. $450.

Item 480 will make great reading for anyone interested in book forgeries. It consists of letters between two of the most notable forgers of our or any time. The title of Fannie Ratchford's book is, Between the Lines, Letters and Memoranda Interchanged by H. Buxton Forman and Thomas J. Wise. Wise, in particular, is noted for his skillful forgeries, many of which ended up unwittingly in the University of Texas' library. The "between the lines" heading indicates the two attempted to be circumspect in what they wrote, but Oak Knoll notes, "This amazing book establishes beyond doubt the fact that Wise and Forman conspired to produce forgeries." $120.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <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, 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
  • <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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