Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2007 Issue

Poetry and Literature from Alexander Rare Books

Alex13

Catalog Thirteen from Alexander Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Alexander Rare Books
has issued their Catalog Thirteen of Literary Firsts and Poetry. Among the features of this presentation are a collection of poetic broadsides, a selection of poetry magazines, modern literature, and books by and about Robert Frost. For those who collect in the fields of modern poetry and literature, there are many selections to be found. In fact, there are 186 of them. Here are a few.

Poet and fiction writer Julia Alvarez made her national debut in 1984 with the book of poetry "Homecoming." Perhaps her most familiar work is the 1991 work "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent," a look at adaptation to American culture by four Latino sisters from her home country of the Dominican Republic. However, long before she became a familiar writer, while a graduate student at Syracuse University, Ms. Alvarez published poems in a university anthology. Item 78 is Syracuse Poems 1974, published a decade before Ms. Alvarez's first book was released. Priced at $35.

For those who would like even more poetry than the Syracuse anthology can offer, item 83 is a collection of chapbooks from Martin Booth's Sceptre Press. All told, there are 236 items, including 186 titles by 116 poets, with 150 of the items being signed. They date from 1968 through 1979. For obvious reasons, we cannot tell you who are all of the writers, or what are the titles, but Alexander can provide the details if you are interested. Sceptre was a British publisher, so most of the poets are English. It ceased publishing in 1981. $1,500.

Item 23 is a broadside printing of the Seamus Heaney poem Good-Night. This illustrated poem on a poster was published as part of the "Poetry in Motion" series for Northern Ireland's Ulsterbus public transportation system. The poetry was displayed on the public buses. This is a concept not commonly experienced on buses in America. $45.

Item 163 is the Traces of Thomas Hariot, written by Muriel Rukeyser and published in 1971. Hariot was a brilliant English mathematician, scientist and astronomer who lived from 1560 to 1621, but is virtually forgotten as he did not publish his discoveries. Most are buried in manuscripts he wrote, some in collections but others lost. However, he did write one published work, and if you can find an original, it is quite valuable. Hariot accompanied his friend Sir Walter Raleigh on at least one of his trips to America and wrote about it in 1588 in his "Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia..." Rukeyser, though a biographer here, was most noted as a poet, and this copy is inscribed by her to fellow poet Jane Cooper. $150.

Robert Frost was one of America's best-known poets of the 20th century. His first poem was published in 1894, but it was not until the book "A Boy's Will" was published in 1912 that he became a popular poet. For the next half century, he wrote and the nation read. A generation, even those not too familiar with poetry, will remember Frost on a cold winter morning in 1961, when he recited a poem at the inauguration of President Kennedy. Two years later, at the age of 88, Frost died. Item 100 is In Memory of Robert Frost, a memorial program including eleven of Frost's poems, dated February 17, 1963. The memorial was held at Amherst College, where Frost taught for several decades. $50.

Alexander Rare Books may be contacted at 802-476-0838 or alexanderbooks@charter.net.

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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