Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2008 Issue

Recent Acquisitions at John Michael Lang Fine Books

Lang25

Recent Acquisitions at John Michael Lang Fine Books.


By Michael Stillman

John Michael Lang Fine Books has issued their Recent Acquisitions List 25. As usual, these are not long lists, this one containing just 30 items. However, they cover a broad range of topics. You never really know what you may find in one of these unless you see it. So, here we go with a few items from this newest selection.

Item 1 is a classic politico-prison tale, Prison Memoirs of An Anarchist, by Alexander Berkman. It was published in 1912 by Mother Earth Publishing of famed anarchist leader Emma Goldman. Berkman was a close associate of Goldman, along with being intimately involved with the lady. Berkman had attempted the ultimate act to wake up America to his cause. In 1892, the steelworkers in Homestead, Pennsylvania, went on strike after Andrew Carnegie determined to break their Union by offering a new contract that included massive wage cuts. The Union went on strike, Carnegie Steel called in private security, strikebreakers, and eventually the state militia to impose its terms. Much violence later, the Union was effectively broken. However, during the Homestead Strike, Berkman attempted to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, Carnegie's associate who was placed in charge of the Homestead action. He managed to shoot Frick three times, and stab him a few more, but Frick survived. Berkman was sentenced to 22 years in prison and served 14, which became the subject of his book. After his release, Berkman would work for Goldman's Mother Earth, but both would be deported from America during the First World War. Berkman was sent to the Soviet Union, but quickly became disillusioned with the repression of the Communist regime. He left after two years, but his attacks on the Soviets made him unpopular with many on the left who were unwilling to see in the Communists what Berkman had seen with his own eyes. He and Goldman moved to Germany, and he spent his last years in France, dying in 1936. This copy of his book is inscribed "Most Cordially" by Alexander Berkman. Priced at $300.

Sir Edmund Hillary is best remembered for his 1953 ascent to the top of Mount Everest. However, five years later, he would participate in another expedition which, while not as high, was equally as cold. This was the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Hillary achieved another first here, this time being the first to cross the Antarctic going through the South Pole. In fact, this 1958 expedition was the first to even reach the Pole since the dual visits by Amundsen and Scott in 1911-12, the first, second and only overland visits. In fairness to Amundsen and Scott, Hillary used motorized vehicles and had aircraft to scout the territory and be available for assistance, not available back in 1911. Nevertheless, it was still quite cold down there. Item 20 is The Crossing of Antarctica. The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-1958, by Hillary and Sir Vivian Fuchs. This copy is signed by Hillary. $100.

Item 17 is a book I will admit to not fully understanding: Demoniality, or Incubi and Succubi. A treatise wherein is shown that there are in existence on Earth rational creatures besides man, endowed like him with a body and a soul, that are born and die like him, redeemed by our Lord Jesus - Christ, and capable of receiving salvation or damnation. Rev. Father Sinistrari (what a great name for an author of a book like this) must have believed this stuff when he published his book in 1879, though most scientists probably would not agree. The incubus (plural incubi) is some sort of human like creature that sexually forces itself on sleeping women, to gain energy from his victim and to propagate his species. The less common succubus is the female version. Presumably, there are some incubi among us though we don't notice them from others. Unfortunately, we do on occasion hear of people who act like incubi. $350.

For those with an interest in aircraft manufacturer Boeing, item 2 is a set of magazines that spent their early days at the seat of the company's power. This is a bound edition of the twelve issues of volume 36 (1966) of Boeing Magazine, the firm's in-house publication. Stamped in gilt on the cover is the name of William Allen McPherson. McPherson served as President of Boeing from 1945-1968, leading the firm into the jet age. $50.

John Michael Lang Fine Books may be reached at 206-624-4100 or jmlbooks@isomedia.com. Their website may be found at www.jmlbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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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