Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2009 Issue

The Latest in Film, Literature and Mystery from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper182

Literature, film and mystery from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

We have received the latest collections of books and related items for sale from James Pepper Rare Books: Catalogue 82. Pepper's catalogues feature literature, items related to film, and mysteries, along with a few items outside of their primary specialties. Many contain signatures or inscriptions. New catalogues arrive on a regular basis, but are still filled with items we have not seen before. Here are some samples from this latest group of 150 works.

Item 117 combines literature with film. It is an inscribed copy of Mario Puzo's The Godfather to longtime actress Virginia Grey. Grey first appeared in films when she was 10 years old, a silent version of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Between then and her retirement, she appeared in over 100 talkies, but few were classics or long-remembered. Her bigger roles came in forgettable films, and her roles in better films were minor. She was also a frequent performer in television series, though never as a regular. Perhaps the closest she came to the top of the film business was her romantic involvement with the very major star Clark Gable in the 1940s. However, it seems she was more involved with him than he with her. Gable married another; the disappointed Miss Grey never married. While neither Gable nor the public fully appreciated Miss Grey, it appears that the writer Puzo did. He has penned into this 1969 book, which would spawn one of the most successful movies and series of movies ever, "For Virginia, who I fell in love with in at least 10 movies. I hope you like the book as well as I liked your movies." Grey retired from the movies in 1970, two years before Puzo's book was converted to film. In addition to Puzo's inscription, the book contains Grey's signature. Priced at $1,500.

Here is another book inscribed by a famous man, about as personable as the Godfather, to an actor. Item 106 is a copy of the 1980 first edition of The Real War, by Richard Nixon. The recipient was actor Randolph Scott, who also appeared in more than 100 films, but generally had better roles. While he played in many genres of film, he was best known for his westerns, and as his career evolved, such roles dominated his appearances. Evidently, the former President liked westerns, as he was a great fan of Scott, and the two were friends. Nixon has inscribed this book to Scott on his bookplate. $2,500.

One 1970s president deserves another. Here is a book from Nixon's successor, Gerald Ford, and John R. Styles: Portrait of the Assassin. This book was published in 1965, in the days when no one expected Ford would rise above being a congressman from Michigan. Ford was a member of the Warren Commission, which was called on to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. Part of his responsibilities for the commission was preparing this biography of Lee Harvey Oswald, whom Ford believed to be the lone assassin. This book is signed on a label affixed to the front pastedown, and is obviously a later signature as it notes he was the 38th president. Item 80. $950.

Item 41 is the first appearance of William Faulkner in print. It's not what you might expect. Rather than a story about life in the South, or anywhere else for that matter, it is a drawing. Of course, Faulkner would become known as a writer, not an artist, but his contribution to the Ole Miss Yearbook 1916 - 1917 was to put his pen to an image rather than words. $7,500.

Item 124 is a classic of mystery and terror: Donovan's Brain, by Curt Siodmak. It is the story of a dying man whose brain is preserved in a jar, or some such container, from which he increasingly and terrifyingly gains control over his keeper. Originally published in 1942, this is a 1971 British edition, which Siodmak has inscribed to fellow writer John Ball. Ball is best known for his book, later converted to a film and television series, In the Heat of the Night. $500.

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

You will find many of James Pepper's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site.
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Rare Book Monthly

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    <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>
  • <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.

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