Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2006 Issue

Some Unusual New Arrivals at Between The Covers Rare Books

Be

New Arrivals at Between The Covers.


By Michael Stillman

Between The Covers Rare Books
has issued a catalogue of New Arrivals, number 121 for the Merchantville, New Jersey, bookseller. Most of the books they offer fall under the category of literature, and this catalogue is no exception. However, a few others items managed to sneak into this one. Here are a few of the 99 "new arrivals" at Between The Covers.

What would you expect to be the most valuable item in a catalogue offering first editions of such titles as The Grapes of Wrath and Catch 22? The answer is Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan may not be recognized as one of the greatest ever of literary achievements, but then again, did Disney ever make a cartoon out of Grapes of Wrath? Published in 1914, item 3 in this catalogue is a first edition, first state of the first hardback Tarzan book. It is available to whoever brings the first $40,000.

Now for a real literary masterpiece. What can compare to Dr. Seuss' tongue twister, Fox in Socks? The good doctor was in a class by himself. Item 5 is a first edition in first issue dust jacket of this Seuss classic. $1,250.

He was both one of the most loved and most despised of sports figures in American history. Jack Johnson won the heavyweight boxing championship, when this was the most coveted of sports titles, in 1908. Johnson was a black man in an era when much of the white population could not accept a black being equal, let alone superior in anything so important. He only managed to get a title shot by following the champion around, taunting him until he gave in. Following his victory, Johnson defended his championship against a series of "white hopes" before finally succumbing to a challenge at the age of 37. What made Johnson even more despised by the white public, who would accept the accommodating Joe Louis a couple decades later, was that Johnson refused to play a subservient role. He did what he wanted, went where he pleased, and worst of all, consorted with white women, marrying three along the way. He was jailed for a year in 1920 for a violation of the Mann Act, supposedly transporting women over state lines for immoral purposes (he sent his white girlfriend a train ticket). Despite the hostility and threats that surrounded him, Johnson never backed down, and never stopped smiling at his opponents. Item 73 is Jack Johnson -- In The Ring -- And Out. It is Johnson's autobiography, with introductions by Damon Runyan and Mrs. Jack Johnson. This copy is signed by Mr. Johnson. $2,850.

Item 18 is a most unusual association copy. It is a first edition, first issue (with dust jacket) of The Good Earth, inscribed by author Pearl Buck. The 1931 book was inscribed to Richard Walsh, who published her first works. Four years later, Buck would marry Walsh, her second husband. $30,000.

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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