Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2010 Issue

Literature and Film from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper188

Catalogue number 188 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has whipped off their latest catalogue of books and related material, Catalogue 188. Pepper is one of the more prolific cataloguers, issuing a new collection virtually every month. The firm specializes in literature, film-related material, mystery and detective fiction. Each month brings a new group of interesting items. Here are some of the latest.

Item 9 is a pamphlet for the premier role of one of America's most popular movie stars of the roaring 20s. The pamphlet is for the 1927 film It, starring Clara Bow. Bow was the object of many a young, and old man's dreams at the time, a beautiful young lady with a rough personal background but a flair for the camera. In this film she plays the classic poor girl wins the love of a rich man role. She emerged from the film with the title the "It Girl," which came to refer to a woman who had...well..."it." Clara Bow's film career was relatively brief, roughly ten years from bursting on the scene in silent movies, to a few talkies, and finally marriage and children, retirement from film, and psychological issues likely originating from her childhood that resulted in a difficult life. Priced at $300.

Clara Bow might never have made it to talking films were it not for Lee DeForest. Item 36 is a copy of DeForest's 1929 book: The Home of DeForest Phonofilm: The Miracle of Science. DeForest is best known for his invention of the Audion vacuum tube, which greatly amplifies weak electronic signals. It made radio possible. However, this book deals with a second DeForest invention, a means of adding sound to film. It was one of several such means developed in the 1920s that changed the movie industry, and the careers of many of the silent film greats, for better or worse. $125.

In his later years, De Forest became a proponent of very conservative political views, including hunting down supposed communists in the government, McCarthy's cause, so he likely would have appreciated this book: Red Channels. The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television, published in 1950. This book lists 151 writers, artists, musicians and others with alleged subversive motives. Among those listed were Edward G. Robinson, Orson Welles, Lillian Hellman, Leonard Bernstein and Pete Seeger. And another listed "subversive" was the owner of this book, the noted 30s and 40s band leader Artie Shaw. Apparently, one of his eight wives, Forever Amber writer Kathleen Winsor, said in her divorce proceedings that Shaw had once confessed to being a member of the Communist Party, though he tore up his membership card immediately upon issue. The book comes with a clipping from Time Magazine concerning a 1957 Fifth Amendment case with a handwritten notation from Shaw. Item 118. $600.

Item 55 is a most interesting and revealing letter from author and screenwriter William Goldman. Goldman had been asked to give a speech at the New School in New York with Stephen King in 1980. Goldman declined. He confesses to extreme stage fright, noting, "...the idea of getting up in front of a group and doing anything not only gives me insomnia, it literally causes me to fixate on the coming event for what seems like forever." He then reveals a dream about speaking in public where the audience walks out. He concludes, "Sorry, because I'm a fan of Stephen King...but my public speaking days are now forever behind me...If King is ever in New York and would like a drink or dinner, please tell him I'd love to meet him. I'm in the phone book..." Perhaps King took up the offer, for as Pepper notes, Goldman and King would become well-acquainted, with Goldman writing screenplays for three of King's works. $250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>

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