Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2009 Issue

Literature, Film, History from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper179

Catalogue number 179 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 179, a new collection of works mostly in the fields of literature and film, with many first editions. There are also a few pieces related to history, politics and the military thrown in for variety. As usual, most items are from the 20th century, though a few will take you back or forward from those one hundred years. Here are a few of the items we found in this latest Pepper catalogue.

Item 17 is an unusual copy of Admiral Richard Byrd's book Skyward. Byrd was the naval aviator and explorer credited with pilot Floyd Bennett as being the first to fly over the North Pole. The rapid speed of their round trip along with the plane's oil leak has led some to question his claim, but he is still generally given the credit. Byrd went on to lead several Antarctic expeditions, but this book reports on the northern flight. This is a copy of a deluxe, numbered edition of 500 copies signed by Byrd, and includes two small strips of fabric taken from his plane, the Josephine Ford. Priced at $450.

Item 35 is The Standard Casting Directory, published in Hollywood, from December 1925. This copy was owned by actor/agent/producer Freddie Fralick (also known as Freddie Fraelick, Alan Fralick, Allan Fraulick, and various other iterations, none well remembered). This directory will introduce you to some of the greatest actors of the day, including William Powell, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Astor, William S. Hart, Tyrone Power, and Fay Wray. It also covers a few less remembered four-legged actors, such as "Pal the Wonder Dog," "Cameo the Almost Human Dog," and "Jiggs the Dog that Talks." $300.

Speaking of amazing animals, item 125 is Animal Heroes. Being the Histories of a Cat, a Dog, a Pigeon, a Lynx, Two Wolves & a Reindeer and in Elucidation of the Same Over 200 Drawings. This is a 1905 book by Ernest Thompson Seton, and contains stories and illustrations of animals performing heroic acts. This has to be the perfect book for those who love animals. $500.

Stephen Vincent Benet was one of America's most recognized writers of the 20th century, noted for novels, poems, and short stories. He is best known for John Brown's Body and The Devil and Daniel Webster. However, those came later. In 1915, he published his first book, Five Men and Pompey, and a first edition of that first work is offered as item 8. $475.

Item 56 is a 1921 "Special Deluxe Tenth Anniversary Edition" of Zane Gray's most famous book, Riders of the Purple Sage. Harpers published this tribute edition to Gray as he was their most popular author at the time. This copy includes an inscription from Gray "To Mildred, with recollections of the Purple Sage Uplands, and the wall of Surprise Valley." "Mildred" was Mildred Smith, one of and perhaps Gray's favorite assistant/lover. Affixed to the front pastedown is a photograph of Smith on horseback in Monument Valley. A saddled, riderless horse next to her may indicate that Gray snapped this photograph when the two were on an outing. $4,000.

Here are two items we will present together in the interest of fairness. They are priced at $9,500 each. Item 55 is a carte-de-viste photograph of General Ulysses S. Grant, circa 1865. The General is seen standing, one hand in a pocket, the other grasping the edge of his coat. The photo has been signed by Grant. Item 75 is a letter, dated October 19, 1854, from Robert E. Lee. At the time he was the Superintendent at West Point, a loyal member of the U.S. Army. In this letter, Lee seeks a lithographer, perhaps not a typical military position, but important as someone was needed to create maps, manuals, and such.

James Pepper Rare Books may be reached at 805-963-1025 or pepbooks@aol.com. Their website is www.JamesPepperBooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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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