Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2008 Issue

A Collection of Modern Literature from Ken Lopez Bookseller

Lopez146

Ken Lopez' 146th catalogue of modern literature.


By Michael Stillman

Just out is the latest catalogue, number 146 of Modern Literature from Ken Lopez Bookseller. Offered are primarily first and prepublication editions of works published from the mid-20th century to the present. There are a few earlier exceptions, but most of these works were new during the lifetime of many if not most of our readers. Of course, very few of us had the foresight to pick up novels by the right unknown authors when they were first published. Fortunately, Ken Lopez is here to give us a second chance. Now, let's look at a few samples of the material he has to offer in his 146th catalogue.

Here is one you might have missed at the time -- Carrie, by Stephen King. This is a first edition, from 1974, of the first novel from an author who has gone on to become one of the best selling writers of all time. It did not take long for the master of the occult and horror to become wildly popular, as this novel was converted to a most successful film in 1976. This copy contains a 1982 inscription from King. Item 135. Priced at $4,500.

Item 258 is a group of scarce issues of the best-known of the most modern novels, uncorrected proof copies of the first three Harry Potter books. Those three, published between 1997 and 1999, are Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The first lists the writer as Joanne Rowling on the copyright page, J.A. Rowling on the title page. There were only 200 such copies printed of the first Potter book, 50 each of the next two. After the first three books, no such proof copies were issued, we would presume to preserve plot secrecy. $27,500.

Item 7 is a very unusual compilation of "works" by various noted authors. It even includes Harper Lee, who published virtually nothing either before of after "To Kill A Mockingbird." The title is The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook, and it was published in Sausalito in 1961. Among the culinary writers represented are Lillian Hellman, Upton Sinclair, Pearl Buck, James Michener, and many more. Ms. Lee's contribution is not Mockingbird pie, but something known as "cracklin' bread." Sounds southern. $65.

Item 46 is the true first edition of William S. Burroughs' The Soft Machine. This book was published in Paris in 1961. Burroughs was evidently not pleased with the work, and undertook a substantial rewrite before it was finally published in America in 1966. This copy was inscribed in 1988 to Burroughs' friend Nelson Lyon. $1,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

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