Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2007 Issue

Actors, Celebrities and Others from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper156

Catalogue 156 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from James Pepper Rare Books of Santa Barbara, California. This is an intriguing group of books, but Pepper does not provide us with a theme for the catalogue. So I'll have to figure it out. Here we go. Most of these works are in some way related to actors and films, and those that are not still are generally connected to some type of celebrity. One more common string that runs through a great many of the works is that they come signed or inscribed. Now these are not rules. There are exceptions. However, this does appear to be the focus of this collection which bears only the title Catalogue 156. Here are some examples of what you will find inside.

It was perhaps the greatest work ever of animated art. The film, that is, as the book could hardly be animated. However, the book comes with numerous striking illustrations, and while it also lacks a musical score, it does come with a forward by conductor Leopold Stokowski who provided the film with its music. The book, published in 1940, is Walt Disney's Fantasia, and this copy was inscribed to someone named "Barbara" and signed by Disney himself. Item 32. Priced at $7,500.

It is always tragic to see celebrity romances fall apart, but it is even more heartrending when the couple has been together for some 40-plus years. Such was the sad fate for Barbara Millicent Roberts and Ken Carson. Perhaps you don't recognize their full names. You may simply call them Barbie and Ken. Back in 1962 when they were still truly young, rather than forever young, Cynthia Lawrence wrote the book Barbie's New York Summer. It undoubtedly recalls a wonderful, romantic summer, something I will claim based on my knowledge of the characters and 1962, never having actually read the book. This copy is signed, though unfortunately not by Barbie or Ken, but by the book's lesser-known author. Item 6. $200.

Buddy Ebsen appeared in many movies from the 1930s until the 1990s. He almost made the big time early in his career when he was cast as the Tin Man in 1939's The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, Ebsen became seriously ill from the aluminum dust in his outfit, and had to be replaced. Still, this role is featured in his autobiography published many years later in 1993: The Other Side of Oz. An Autobiography. He would return to appearing in many obscure movies until almost securing the lead role in Disney's Davy Crockett, an enormously popular television show with children in the 1950s. Alas, that role went to Fess Parker, and Ebsen had to settle for the role as his sidekick. However, he landed the minor role of Doc Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's and this led to the one for which we all remember him -- Jed Clampett in the Beverly Hillbillies. Item 37 is a signed copy of Ebsen's autobiography. $45.

Item 69 is an odd coupling -- horror writer Stephen King and New Orleans jazz musician Pete Fountain. Offered is a first edition of King's first book, Carrie. Evidently Fountain must have liked it, as this copy contains his bookplate and signature. If there is any other connection between these two, I am unaware of it. $2,500.

Here is another odd couple, though this time there was a real connection. This couple is writer W. Somerset Maugham and speechless actor/harp player and Marx brother Harpo Marx. These two actually became good buddies. They were introduced by another writer, Alexander Wolcott, and for whatever reason, the two just hit it off. The clowning relationship might be expected of Marx, but Maugham? Item 87 is a copy of Maugham's Ah King from 1933, inscribed, "For Harpo Marx, W. Somerset Maugham, grateful to him for a world of fun." The bookplate includes a drawing of Harpo by his wife Susan. $9,500.

James Pepper Rare Books is located online at www.JamesPepperBooks.com, telephone 805-963-1025.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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…
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions