Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2006 Issue

Books About More Than Just Books From Oak Knoll

O273

Oak Knoll's Catalogue 273.


By Michael Stillman

Oak Knoll Books
has issued its 273rd catalogue, and this fits the Oak Knoll mold. The firm specializes in "books about books" and bibliography, and its catalogues are always among the most extensive we receive (this one has almost 900 items). However, some of the items seem hard to categorize as "books about books," so collectors not focused on this field should also take a look at their catalogues. Some of the items are a bit unexpected.

This edition includes many biographies written by booksellers, or books about them. There are too many to mention, and we would not want to be partial anyway, but if you are interested in the careers of famous booksellers, or perhaps are looking for some tips from them, you should get a copy of this catalogue. There is also a good selection of children's books, and again, for the sake of impartiality, we don't want to mention any names (but how could we ignore that of Babar, the French elephant?). Additionally, there are several local histories and genealogies, particularly from around Oak Knoll's neighborhood (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey). Here are a few books we found in their latest catalogue.

Item 49 is not the typical Oak Knoll Book. It is Point Lookout Prison Camp for Confederates, by (and signed by) Edwin Beitzell, published in 1972. This book looks at the Civil War prison camp through which some 50,000 Confederate prisoners passed. When prisoner exchange programs were discontinued in 1864, the population swelled far beyond official capacity, and conditions became horrific. Additionally, rations were cut to prisoners in retaliation for poor conditions in Confederate prisons. Almost 4,000 prisoners died there, at least according to official statistics, though some people believe the number was higher. This book contains the names of those known to have died in the prison, along with information gathered from many sources, including personal diaries, to tell the story of this most unhappy place. $75.

Item 381 is John Peter Zenger and his Fight for Freedom of the American Press. Zenger was the 18th century crusading New York newspaperman who established the right to print the truth, even if it was unpleasant to those in authority. This book was edited by Charles Heartman, the famed bookseller from the first half of the twentieth century (many of his catalogues and auction records are available to subscribers of the AE database). This book was published during the bicentennial celebration of Zenger's famous trial (1934), and includes bound in a copy of one of Zenger's four-page newspapers. $250.

For those who like fakes, item 542 is The Third Eye, the Autobiography of a Tibetan Lama, by Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, published in 1957. Rampa was supposedly a well-studied Tibetan who had trained to become a lama. He had then undergone an operation to open a third eye in the middle of his forehead which gave him amazing psychic powers. One can only wonder how anyone could have taken this story seriously, but apparently people did. However, some suspicious British scholars hired a private investigator to check up on Rampa, and the investigator found that he was actually Englishman Cyril Henry Hoskins, son of a plumber, who had never been to Tibet nor had any surgery on his forehead. He was no more a lama than a llama. $35.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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