Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2009 Issue

A Trip to the Fair with the Kelmscott Bookshop

Kelmscottcafair09

The Kelmscott Bookshop at the California Fair.


By Michael Stillman

The Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books produced a catalogue for the California International Book Fair 2009. The Kelmscott Bookshop focuses on fine press and other artistic works and early editions. Naturally, you can expect to find something from William Morris and his Kelmscott Press. The bookshop brought an interesting selection from their inventory along to the fair, and here are some samples of these books.

Item 25 is a copy of the 1929 first edition of The Autobiography of Lord Alfred Douglas, by...no need to say. This book contains a printed dedication to William Sorley Brown, plus a handwritten inscription to "W. Sorley Brown from his friend Alfred Douglas." It's not surprising that Douglas would like Brown, as the latter had written The Genius of Alfred Douglas in 1913. Brown was a journalist and one of the few who appreciated the poetical genius of Douglas. Most people knew Douglas better for his scandalous affair with Oscar Wilde. It was as a result of a libel suit by Wilde against Douglas' father that Wilde ended up being convicted of sodomy and spent two years in jail. Douglas' father, the Marquis of Queensberry, noted for his rules of boxing, despised Wilde and his own son as well. These were all a bunch of dysfunctional people, and their story is more entertaining than Douglas' poetry. Priced at $4,500.

Max Beerbohm has been cleverly described by Joseph Epstein as "the world's greatest minor writer." He is no longer a household name - not that he ever was - though his name is one of those we know we have heard of before. He wrote humorous essays and drew caricatures, and his largest following, perhaps, was among the literati. George Bernard Shaw was a particular fan of his work. Item 6 is The Works of Max Beerbohm, a first English edition of his first book. It is a collection of his essays, previously seen in periodicals, that was published in 1896. It includes a 16-page bibliography of his work, which is remarkable since Beerbohm was only 24 at the time. Offered is a presentation copy of Beerbohm's book to his godmother. $1,250.

Annie Brassey was a popular author in the days before Beerbohm appeared on stage. She wrote escapist literature, quite literally. Lady Brassey was married to a wealthy, influential man, which afforded her the opportunity to travel. She and her family (five children) would take off in the family yacht, the "Sunbeam," and sail around the world. She wrote several accounts of her trips. Item 13 is one of these adventures, though this is a sad one. The title is The Last Voyage to India and Australia, in the 'Sunbeam' 1886-1887. This was a voyage of some 50 people, including family, friends, and staff. Sadly, Annie came down with malaria off the coast of Australia and died at sea. So was she buried, as bringing her body home was not practical at that time. It was left to Lord Brassey to provide the book's conclusion. $525.

Item 79 is the very scarce first book by Booker T. Washington. The title is Daily Resolves, published in 1896, and contains affirmations on living positively. Washington was the notable black educator, born into slavery, who believed education was the means by which African-Americans could raise their position in society. $3,000.

Item 9 is a first edition by a woman of noted firsts: Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women, by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. Dr. Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the U.S., and was the first woman to practice medicine in both the U.S. and the U.K. She was, naturally, a supporter of women's rights, but also was an abolitionist. Her two sisters-in-law, Lucy Stone and Rev. Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, were also active supporters of women's rights and other causes. This copy is inscribed by Rev. Brown Blackwell, who was the first woman to be ordained a minister in the U.S. $700.

Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books may be reached at 410-235-6810 or info@kelmscottbookshop.com. Their website is www.kelmscottbookshop.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <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>
  • <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.

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