Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2006 Issue

Firsts, Rare and Illustrated Books from Locus Solus Rare Books

Locus5

Catalogue Five from Locus Solus Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

This month we received our first catalogue from Locus Solus Rare Books of New York City. This catalogue is divided into two sections. The first features art and illustrated books, the second first editions and rare books. Titles in this catalogue are overwhelmingly in the category of literature and poetry, rather than history and other nonfiction. There are both regular first editions and those of special limited printings. In the latter category are 26 items published by the Limited Editions Club. Most are from the 20th century, though the 19th makes an occasional appearance. We will describe a few pieces in way of illustration, though it can be difficult to get a real feel for what is being offered when there is a fairly wide range of material.

Here is a most interesting item for those who like show music: Fly With Me, the Columbia (University) Varsity Show of 1920. That may not sound so noteworthy until you realize who wrote the music for this presentation. The music was by one Richard Rodgers, the lyrics by Lorenz Hart. Both were students at Columbia at the time. And, the lyrics for one song were written by an alumnus of the university of a few years earlier, Oscar Hammerstein. This may be the only piece which lists all three in the same production. This unusual stapled book includes the words and music for thirteen songs. The play was inspired by the recent Russian Revolution, and imagines a Bolshevik University ten years in the future. This copy has the ownership signature of William T. Taylor, who played the romantic lead in the production. Item 268. Priced at $2,500.

Item 59 is a play from Guillaume Apollinaire, who coined the term "surrealism." The play is Les Mamelles de Tireseas, and was published shortly before Apollinaire's death in 1918. We will quote Locus Solus' description of this work: "...Apollinaire's fantastic drama, in which the eponymous heroine's breasts burst out of her costume, inflate, and float over the audience, is noted for its coinage of the term "Surrealist," which appeared on this title page for the first time in any book." Yes, you would need a new term to describe that, and "surreal" sounds appropriate, such events unlikely to occur in real life. $1,250.

If we can have music on paper, how about poetry on record? Here is a most unusual collection of poetry. The title is Twentieth Century Poetry in English: Contemporary Recordings of the Poets Reading Their Own Poems. These amazing recordings not only contain the poetry of many great poets, but their voices as well, reading their compositions. Just a few of the poets you can hear are W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Allen Tate, William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings, Archibald MacLeish, Theodore Roethke and Robert Penn Warren. Produced by the Library of Congress in 1949, it consists of ten volumes, each housing five records, and in some cases, printed copies of the poems and biographies. If there is one shortcoming of this collection, it is the one implied by the date of 1949. These are all 78 rpm records. Do you have a record player that plays 78s? Do you even have a record player, or for that matter, know what one is? In an era when even tape players are hard to find, a phonograph that plays 78s is likely to be found only in a museum, but these records are really more to be appreciated as is without scratching a needle over the surface. Item 57. $1,500.

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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