Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2004 Issue

Searching The Old Book Sites&#58;<br>Just Who Is The Best?

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Here is an oddity of these sites that leads us to the last reviewed site, Froogle. The ABAA (and ILAB) search boxes don’t take too many characters (I did not count exact numbers). The result is that it has trouble finding titles like History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clarks. Somewhere in the “captains” it shut down. I could select out just the more important keywords in the title which helped, but wasn’t perfect. It never could find the copy of the Expedition to the Great Salt Lake where the seller added a few extra words to call it Expedition and Survey of the Great Salt Lake. Here’s the oddity. Froogle searches many sites for its books, including the ABAA. However, its search box accepts more words, and its formula can deal with less than perfectly matched titles, such as those with an extra word or two. Since it searches the ABAA listings through its own search engine, not the ABAA’s, it was able to find books on the ABAA site I was not able to find on that site itself! I found a copy of the Lewis and Clark book and one of the Salt Lake offered on the ABAA site through Froogle I could not find on that site itself.

The first item I attempted to track down was the Stansbury Salt Lake title. I found that most offered for sale were either the 1852 original or a 1966 reprint. Here’s what I found:

Book Site1852 originalPrice Range1966 reprintPrice Range
Abebooks5$135-$62314$9.50-$35
Alibris0--8$9.90-$24.95
ABAA1$3501$25
ILAB2$350-$6131$25
Froogle2$350-$1600*2$15-$25
Barnes and Noble0--10$10.05-$26.47
Amazon0--5$12-$107

*The $1,600 copy was the one offered on the ABAA site that I could only find through Froogle. It is priced so high because it includes the original, loose maps.

I hope I found everything from Amazon. I first attempted searching "used books" for the title, only to get 21,895 "matches." None of the first ten were actual matches, and not having the time to wade through 21,885 more listings, I went to "collectible books," where I found five.



Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.

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