Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2004 Issue

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



Next up was Rudyard Kipling?s With the Night Mail. This was easier since virtually all copies are of the 1909 original. Why this fascinating 1909 prediction of how the world would look in the year 2000 has not been reprinted is a mystery to me. Here are the numbers:

Listing Site No.of Copies Price Range
Abebooks 54 $16-$500
Alibris 24 $35-$300
ABAA 14 $40-$500
ILAB 16 $40-$500
Froogle 21 $40-$500
Barnes and Noble 28 $36-$259
Amazon 12 $75-$595

Abe also found two copies of a 1998 reprint by the upscale Arion Press for $350 and $400. Alibris found a paperback for $5.68.

Next I tried a harder to find title, Jared Sparks 1828 The Life and Travels of John Ledyard… Here, only Abebooks and ILAB found anything. Abe found five copies priced $550 - $1,265. ILAB found four priced $537-$1,265. Why did ILAB find four and ABAA zero? All four copies were offered by foreign (to America) booksellers, 1 Canada, 1 Netherlands, 2 Australia.

Now we'll try a different type of book. Here's one that's not valuable, not too old, but not too new, and not well known. Probably most books fit into this category. We will try a search for Laurence Pringle's Death is Natural. This book is supposed to teach children about death. What it really is is an antidote for anyone feeling too happy. If you want to get depressed in a hurry, read this book.

Not to digress, but here's how it starts: "A cottontail rabbit left the shelter of some weeds and hopped onto the road. The night was cool, the pavement, still warm from spring sunshine, felt good underfoot. Suddenly, two bright lights shone on the rabbit. It hesitated, then ran. Too late. THUMP." It even comes with a picture of a dead rabbit. I'm just glad my wife didn't buy this book on Amazon or they would probably be recommending a copy of Dr Kevorkian?s "how-to" book to me. Here is what I found:

Listing Site No.of Copies Price Range
Abebooks 47 $1.95-$22.00
Alibris 55 $2.95-$18.95
Froogle 13 $1.99-$22.00
Barnes and Noble 4 $2.07-$17.84
Amazon 55 $1.24-$23.32

Froogle also offered copies of The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession and the Everlasting Dead by Heather Pringle. I don't know whether Laurence Pringle and Heather Pringle are related, but they'd make a lovely couple.

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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