Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2006 Issue

Six Hundred (almost) Children's Books from Aleph-Bet

Aleph82

Children's Books from Aleph-Bet.



By Michael Stillman

Here come some of the great literary classics, like The Podgy Puppy and Old Dame Trot and Her Pig. Okay, this is not a typical catalogue of great literature. What we have is a collection of children's books, and this is one of the best we have seen. Aleph-Bet Books of Pound Ridge, New York, offers a catalogue of Children's Books and Illustrated Books, containing almost 600 items which will bring you back to your childhood (or perhaps your grandparents' childhood as some of these are quite old).

There is something magical about a children's book catalogue. As you read through the pages, you will be surprised by how many of these books you remember. Some are well known, but there are others that you probably haven't thought about in a long time. The memories will return. Each book in the catalogue includes an illustration, and I was surprised how often I recognized the cover as well as the title, though I had not seen some of these books in a very long time. It is easy to understand why adults collect children's books after the trip down memory lane inspired by this catalogue. We highly recommend it for the child in you. Here are a few samples.

Young Peter sure knew how to get in trouble, despite his mother's best advice. He undoubtedly would have been described as a "wascally wabbit" by Mr. McGregor had the latter shared Elmer Fudd's speech impediment. Of course Peter's disrespect for the McGregors' private property is a bit more understandable when you recall that the McGregors murdered his father and then baked him in a pie. No wonder he held a grudge. Item 452 is one of the all-time children's classics, a first trade edition of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, from 1902. This copy is evidently the first printing of the first edition. Priced at $16,500.

Here is a book from one of the greatest of children's book writers: Curiosa Mathematica Part I A New Theory of Parallels. What, this doesn't sound like much of a kids' book? Isn't Charles Lutwidge Dodgson one of your favorite children's writers? Well, for the uninitiated, mild-mannered math professor Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is better remembered by his penname, Lewis Carroll. Under that name, he wrote his famous stories about Alice and her visit to Wonderland. However, he also wrote a few mathematical texts, and this is one of them. This copy is inscribed by Dodgson to his sister, Henrietta Dodgson. However, as he did when signing Carroll's works, he signs his name as "the author" (though he identifies the author as "her affectionate brother." Item 116. $12,500.

Here is a children's book that makes Curiosa Mathematica exciting: Fun with Dick and Jane. There was never any fun with Dick and Jane. These vacuous, tiresome pre-teens taught a generation to hate reading with their excruciatingly boring stories. "Run, Spot, Run." Really makes you want to read more. Item 190 is a special version of this book, a Teacher's Edition from 1940. What on earth was so complicated in a Dick and Jane book that it had to be spelled out for teachers? Were Dick and Jane too sophisticated for my teachers to understand without a guide? No wonder I turned out so dumb. This book will bring back other fond memories from your youth, like getting your teeth drilled without novocain. Item 190. $300.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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

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