Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2006 Issue

Limited Editions and Small Quantities from Oak Knoll Books

Grn

A Grabhorn from 1952.


Here is a book that is undoubtedly quite rare, though you may have another one of this genre. Item 51 is The Sun's Gift, a collection of poems by the fourth, fifth, and sixth graders of the Beaver School, published by the Beaver School Press. This collection was published in 1930 in an edition of just 125 copies. I'm guessing there were about 125 students in grades four through six at the Beaver School. The imprint is Chestnut Hill, which I suppose is the one in Massachusetts, though I am not certain. This undoubtedly contains some long-lost poetry, perhaps most deservedly so, but maybe there are a few gems. The Depression was just beginning, and misery makes great poetry. $35.

Item 716 is A Bibliography of the Writings in Verse and Prose of George Noel, Baron Byron. Don't rely too much on it for accuracy. The writer and private publisher of this 1932 bibliography was Thomas J. Wise, master forger. Wise had the habit of not only creating forged copies of well-known rarities, but creating entirely new publications, which he attributed to dead writers. He was a master counterfeiter and made a fortune over several decades with his forgeries, many of which he sold to collector-friends. By 1932, however, the ruse was about to come falling down upon him. This copy is a particularly interesting one as it carries a presentation from Wise to Wilfred Partington. Partington would publish "Forging Ahead" in 1939, a biography which revealed the actual inner workings of the once highly respected collector, dealer, and bibliographer. $950.

Item 223 is a 1952 Grabhorn, Catalogue of the Choice Books Found By Pantagruel in the Abbey of Saint Victor. This catalogue is as filled with frauds as anything by Wise, but this was intended to be a humorous, satirical work, not one to be believed. The author was 16th century writer Francois Rabelais. $350.

You will find Oak Knoll Books online at www.oakknoll.com. telephone 302-328-7232

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