Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2007 Issue

More Cinema, Firsts and Detectives from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper167

Catalogue 167 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books
has issued Catalogue 167 in their continuing series of "literary first editions, mystery and detective fiction, rare cinema material, and assorted unusual offerings." As usual, there is a mix of the important, the strange, and everything in between. The material is primarily 20th century in origin, though it can come from either end of those 100 years. Here are a few items we found in this latest collection.

The name John Estes Cooke may not sound familiar, but L. Frank Baum probably does. Estes and Baum were one and the same. The creator of the Wizard of Oz vacationed in Macatawa, Michigan, and in 1907 he pseudonymously printed a parody of his friends and neighbors titled Tamawaca Folks. The publisher is listed as the Tamawaca Press, a very private press that published nothing else. It seems likely that Baum took his pseudonym from one of the John Esten Cookes, either the Virginia novelist and historian who often wrote about Confederate soldiers and leaders, or his physician-theologian uncle Dr. John Esten Cooke who was also a writer. Item 9. Priced at $1,850.

Here is a wonderful gift for someone named "Barbara." It is a 1940 first edition of Walt Disney's Fantasia. It contains numerous illustrations, including 15 tipped in color plates. This copy is inscribed by Disney, "For Barbara with best wishes, Walt Disney." Item 35. $7,500.

Item 62 is an early detective novel from Ben Hecht. Hecht would become an Academy Award winning screenwriter once he moved to Hollywood, but he was still a newspaperman in 1923 when he published The Florentine Dagger. Evidently, he didn't put all that much work into it. This copy contains an inscription to legendary silent actor (even after "talkies" were introduced) Harpo Marx and his wife Susie. It reads, "This book was dictated in 18 hours to Miss Edith Malm -- public stenographer. Don't ask me why it took so long." $950.

Item 21 is an intriguing letter from western writer B. M. Bower. "B.M." was actually Bertha Muzzy Bower. She used her initials not because "Bertha Muzzy" is a terrible name, but to disguise her gender. She was one of the first female western writers. In the letter, which accompanied a photograph (not present), Ms. Bower writes, "All the stories you have read of Bower's came from behind those eyes in the picture, and if you look hard enough you may be able to see more that haven't been put in words yet. Right there is where Chip lives..." Chip was a character in her novels. $375.

Item 5 is older than most of the items Pepper offers. It is the 1852 first edition of Selections from the Writings and Speeches of William Lloyd Garrison. The noted abolitionist has inscribed this copy to Andrew Robeson, "with the warmest sympathies and highest regards of his friend, Wm. Lloyd Garrison." Robeson, a wealthy man from New Bedford with substantial whaling interests, was a strong supporter of Garrison who provided substantial financial assistance. $950.

Item 56 is the final biography from actor Alec Guiness: A Positively Final Appearance, A Journal 1996-98. Published in 1999, Guiness wasn't kidding as he died the following year. He was one of the great actors of his time, nominated for several academy awards, winning one for Best Actor as the British POW commander in the "Bridge on the River Kwai." However, most later fans knew him for a role he did not like, that of Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars." In the book, he mentions telling a young fan, who had seen the movie 100 times, he would only give him an autograph if he promised not to watch it again. This copy is signed and dated 1999 by Guiness. $250.

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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

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