Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2008 Issue

Firsts, Film, and Ephemera from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper171

Catalogue 171 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Catalogue 171 from James Pepper Rare Books has just arrived. Pepper always has many items relating to theater and film, along with a good collection of literary first editions. This month, they have 145 entries in their catalogue, including some unusual ephemeral items, and many if not most will be familiar to you. Here are a few.

Item 4 is a copy of Carroll Glines' biography of aviator and U.S. Air Force General James "Jimmy" Doolittle, Jimmy Doolittle. Daredevil, Aviator, and Scientist, published in 1972. Doolittle has inscribed the book as "J.H. Doolittle." Doolittle was certainly a daredevil, with two particularly notable achievements. In 1929, he was the first aviator to complete a totally instrument flight, that is, he conducted the entire flight using instruments alone, never looking out the window. This allowed for developments in flying in fog and bad weather. His other famous achievement was leading America's bombing raid on Tokyo early in the Second World War. It was a major psychological victory for America, an apt response to Pearl Harbor. Doolittle would win many awards for his service including the Medal of Honor during a lifetime which spanned 96 years. Along with the biography several items of memorabilia are included, among them a couple of photographs, a Christmas card from Doolittle, a remembrance card from the passing of Doolittle's wife Josephine, and a 45th anniversary commemorative of his "blind flight." Priced at $750.

As long as we're on generals, here is a surprising item: The Poems of General George S. Patton, Jr. - Lines of Fire, by, naturally, Patton, and edited by Carmine A. Prioli. Who would have known Patton was a poet? Indeed, who could have imagined someone with the nickname "Old Blood and Guts" being a poet? This is no sensitive, tear-jerking verse. It is more oriented toward the glory of war than its horrors, in keeping with Patton's well-established image. Though not published until 1991, this is the first collection of all of Patton's poetry, and includes the historical context of his poems. Item 99. $195.

To return to aviation, item 109 is a 1926 aviator's certificate made out to Mr. F. Gerald Philips. What is notable are the signatures on it. Not that of Mr. Philips, but the certificate is signed by both aviation pioneer Orville Wright and humorist Will Rogers, who ironically would lose his life a few years later in a plane crash. $3,000.

Item 11 is sort of a sports novel: The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, by Douglas Wallop. No, this isn't about last year, and the protagonists aren't the Red Sox. The book was published in 1954, which was actually one of the rare years of that era the Yankees did lose the pennant. However, the protagonists were not that year's pennant winners the Cleveland Indians either. No, in the book, it was the lowly Washington Senators. The Senators were long the lowest of the low among baseball teams, so their winning the pennant immediately tabbed this as a work of extreme fiction. In the story, a long-suffering Senator's fan sells his soul to the Devil to become the star hitter who leads the hapless losers to the pennant. The story is perhaps better known for its theatrical and film adaptations, which appeared under the name Damn Yankees. $550.

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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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