• <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Bernardus Sylvanus, one of the earliest printed maps of the New World, woodcut, Venice, 1511. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Johannes Blaeu, <i>Nova et Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula,</i> Amsterdam, 1662. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Emanuel Bowen & John Gibson, <i>Atlas Minimus,</i> miniature atlas, London, 1758. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Henry Andrews, <i>The Botanist's Repository for New & Rare Plants,</i> London, 1797-1815. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> John James Audubon, <i>Night Heron or Qua Bird, Plate CCXXXVI,</i> hand-colored aquatint, 1835. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Basilius Besler, group of 30 folio engravings, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> Eichstatt, 1613. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Henri Chatelain, <i>Carte Tres Curieuse de la Mer du Sud...,</i> Amsterdam, 1719. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Arnoldus Montanus, <i>Die Unbekante Neue Welt...,</i> German text edition, Amsterdam, 1673. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> John Woodhouse Audubon, <i>California Gray Squirrel,</i> oil on canvas, c. 1853. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> BULLER, Walter Lawry. <i>A HISTORY OF THE BIRDS OF NEW ZEALAND.</i> London, Van Voorst, 1873. Special De-Luxe edition of this already rare work.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> GIBBS, May. <i>Gum-Nut Babies.</i> Sydney: Angus and Robertson, Ca. 1918.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> SWIFT, Jonathan. <i>TRAVELS INTO SEVERAL REMOTE NATIONS OF THE WORLD.</i> London: Printed for Benj.Motte. 1727.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> JUKES, Joseph Beete. <i>NARRATIVE OF THE SURVEYING VOYAGE OF H.M.S. FLY…</i> London: T. & W. Boone, 1847. First Edition.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> <i>SOMERVILLE, E OE. IN THE VINE COUNTRY.</i> London: W H Allen & Co Limited, 1893.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> MAWE, John. <i>The voyager’s companion, or shell collector’s pilot.</i> London : 1825. Rare.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> PARKINSON, John. <i>Theatrum Botanicum, The Theater of Plants…</i> London, Thomas Cotes, 1640.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> c. 1150 decorated MONASTIC MISSAL LEAF, Southern Germany/Austria.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> LEGGE, Captain W. Vincent. <i>A HISTORY OF THE BIRDS OF CEYLON.</i> London, The Author, 1880.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> AUNT HANNAH. <i>SOME ADVENTURES IN THE LIFE OF A COCKATOO.</i> Published in New York by R. Shugg and Co., 1872.
  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Joyce (James), <i>Ulysses,</i> 4to, Paris: (Shakespeare & Co.) 1922, First Edn. €7,000 to €9,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Of the Utmost Rarity with Swift Association. Harward (Michael). <i>Philomath. A New Almanack for the Year of Our Lord,</i> 1666. €6,000 to €9,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Full Complement of Hand Coloured & Other Plates. Rosellini (Ippolito). <i>Monumenti dell Egitto e della Nubia,</i> Vols. I, II, & III Plate Volumes only. €5,000 to €7,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Magnificent Hand Coloured Plates. [Bivort, Debabay, & others] <i>Annales de Pomologie,</i> 8 vols., folio, Brussels, 1853-1861. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Very Fine Coloured Plates & Illustrations. Barbier (George) Vogel (Lucien) & others, <i>Gazette du Bon Ton - Arts-modes et frivolities, </i> 1914 to 1922. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> “I have seen War... I hate War," Signed Presentation Copy to William C. Bullitt, Roosevelt (Franklin D.) August 14, 1936. €3,000 to €4,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Victorian Hostess & Horticulturist. An Important Collection Relating to Lady Dorothy Nevill (1826-1913). €2,500 to €3,200.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Fine Original Portrait Photos of The O'Brien Ladies by Margaret Cameron. Two black and white Photos, each 8" x 10". €1,200 to €1,800.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> James Hume Nesbitt Illustrations: A collection of twelve pen and ink Drawings and Etchings intended for publication as book of illustrations for his thriller novels. €800 to €1,200.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Attributed to Kitagawa Utamavo (1753-1806). A pair of attractive colourful woodblock prints, of Court Ladies in decorative robes with numerous stamps and script. €800 to €1,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Contemporaneous Notes from Captain Cook's Voyage Travel: [Anon] <i>Voyage to the South Sea by Mr. Banks, Mr. Parkinson and Dr. Solender, with Capt. Cooke,</i> a 7 page m/ss document. €700 to €1,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Very Rare First U.K. Edition with Yellow Paper Band. Herbert (Frank). <i>Dune,</i> 8vo London (Victor Gollancz Ltd.) 1966. €500 to €700.
  • <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Thomas Jefferson (wants to bring his private French chef to Monticello.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Amazing Marilyn Monroe Signed 1953 Glamour Photo.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Albert Einstein "refugee intellectuals of the Hitler persecution."
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Man Ray Photographs (1935) signed to Sister.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> John Hancock Signed Document.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> <i>Liber Scriptorum;</i> Signed Stories by Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt and Carnegie as well as 106 other authors! Limited to 251 Copies.
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Historically Important Winfield Scott letter.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Buddy Holly signed "AMERICA'S GREATEST TEEN-AGE RECORDING STARS" PROGRAM.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Benedict Arnold autograph receipt signed in the text.
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> (Michael Curtiz) Amazing archives of 22 letters Written by John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Ingrid Bergman. Olivia De Havilland, Bing Crosby.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> GIUSEPPE VERDI SIGNED PHOTO.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Very Rare Jonathan Swift Autograph (Gulliver's Travels).

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2015 Issue

White Elephants and Seaside Sales

B6bbd254-70c1-4581-865e-0acd5f11f841

There are two major book sales in the San Francisco Bay Area that feature really affordable books. Both are in the early spring and we hit them running, or in the case of our advanced ages, walking slowly. Standing in line for several hours has never been my favorite thing, but sometimes it is worth it and sometimes it isn’t. At both sales we were blessed with perfect Bay Area weather – cool, sunny and somewhat breezy. We have a place to stay nearby that is sort of reasonable for that area and we just stay one night as we live about three hours away.

 

Our first trek was in early February when we went to the Oakland Art Museum’s Annual White Elephant Sale (WES). The location was the warehouse district in southwest Oakland, across the channel from Alameda Island. The building was big enough to house a whole herd of white elephants and it was packed to the gills. It isn’t just books, good grief, no; it is just about everything that anyone could name from Antiques to stuffed Zebras. There is an annual sale in Portland, Oregon that we used to go to every year and we thought that was a biggie, but this was probably twice that size. Last year (2014) we went to the regular White elephant sale on the first day, but this year we were invited to the preview sale, a week before the first regular sale day. So now we’ve done both and my vote goes to the regular sale. The reasons are simple. Everyone who ever bought a book is in line for the preview from about 7 a.m. on, bringing chairs, blankets and coffee or buying same from the enterprising street vendors who set up coffee, donut, and breakfast burrito stands. Warning, however, parking stinks. There is a tiny parking lot, maybe 40 cars - it is a gentrified warehouse area so there are a lot of residential apartment buildings. The sale is on Sunday, so the folks who live in the neighborhood are home and still asleep and so are their cars. If you really aren’t early or you don’t have a handicapped sticker for your car, you may walk a long, long way to stand in a long, long line for a long, long time.

 

My major complaint about Oakland, besides the parking, is that we never got time to rummage through all of the books or any of the other goodies. We were pretty exhausted by the time we spent four hours walking on concrete floors, elbowing through the crowds and dragging around boxes and bags of books. If you want to put books on hold until you are finished shopping, you have to walk the equivalent of about a half block to the hold counter, drop off your boxes or bags, and then walk back to the book section.

 

For the regular Elephant sale, we got our passes a month or two in advance for $15.00 each, so once the doors opened we walked right in and started buying. And no, all the good stuff doesn’t get taken out with the preview sale because they restock after the preview and one of the volunteers told me that they save back some of the best for the regular sale, which lasts all month. She said that they restock almost every day. They are amazingly organized and every volunteer we had anything to do with was pleasant and friendly and very helpful. Of course, we are getting older (young people call us “honey” and “sweetie” now -- gag me!) but at least they have big carts and big guys to push them at the Oakland sale. However, they don’t allow you to use a rolling cart of your own because the place is so dense-packed that toes would be crushed and a traffic jam the like of the L.A. Freeway would ensue. However, they do discourage young children, which I found a great relief. Not only does it cut down on the noise level, but you don’t have many tiny tots with sticky fingers zipping around and getting into things.

 

We bought about six grocery-size bags and two or three boxes of books. A lot of the books were paperbacks – hard to find counter culture prose, mysteries and sci-fi for the store – but we also found a few really nice books for our online store. I got several books for each of our specialties; sailing and nautical, magic and occult, the Wild West, and ethnic cooking. The Elephant’s antiquarian selection was quite good, but most were not in a genre that we stock. Since our Grass Valley bookstore is a co-operative, many of the other members specialize as well, and we don’t shop for each other. Once bagged and paid for, a very helpful gentleman pushed our cart to the loading dock and helped us load up our Chevy Tahoe near to bursting. Off we went to great Thai food at Toomie’s in Alameda, then home to Grass Valley to unload, admire, sort, and price our booty.

 

In late March, as members of the San Francisco Friends of the Public Library, we were invited to their preview spring book sale. It was held next door to the Friends’ Fort Mason store right on the waterfront. At this sale, there was a lot of parking and, in fact, we only got there an hour and a half early and got a place to park within 100 feet of the end of the line. Yay! Within a half hour of our arrival, though, the line tripled. We were lucky.

 

In San Francisco, you can bring your own rolling cart or they have supermarket type baskets which you can fill up in no time at all. They have no Antiques or Zebras there, they only have books, media, and ephemera, and though it is dense-packed, there is enough room to have 2-3 carts to an isle. However, they unfortunately do allow children, and there were a number of them running around, including a couple of screamers. They also have a free hors d’ouevre buffet and wine or sodas, but why waste time eating when one can be shopping for books! Time for some of San Francisco’s great food later.

 

Comparing the books that they had at each place for sale, we have to give it to Oakland. Their “better” or collectible books were less pricey and there was a much better selection. There were fewer collectible books at the San Francisco sale and they were pretty much overpriced for resale in our part of the country. I believe most of their collectibles are listed online instead. I did find one first, signed sci-fi by Neil Gaiman that was quite reasonable. Their general selection of non-collectible books was, to our way of thinking, of a lower quality than the Oakland Museum books, and of course the best of these were ex-library with the attendant deprivations. In Oakland, the books were neatly lined up on bookshelves. In San Francisco, they were spine up on tables. They tend to get badly abused on tables and many slid off onto the floor and made for messy perambulating around the piles. Also some of the tables were so messy, that they were nearly impossible to find anything on. This can be, in part, blamed on the “Scanner People” who grab, scan, and toss without regard or respect for the books or anyone else. Again, we bought several bags of good books for our brick and mortar store, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, but not too many for my online store. I should explain that because there are so many $.01 to $2.00 books online, I don’t waste my time putting those kinds of common books online. I generally only list my more upscale, scarce and rare books, and the rest are in our Grass Valley store.

 

All in all, I’m still scratching my head to decide whether either or both of these sales are worth the drive, the overnight motel room, the food, and the gas. It is worth it for them, however. Stunningly, Oakland raised more than $2 million this year for the museum. San Francisco FOL made $197,000 just on books for the Friends. All that with just volunteers; what a fantastic job all those volunteers did. I’m sure they were all thoroughly pooped when it was over. Thanks all of you, we love the Bay Area and if it weren’t for earthquakes and overpopulation, we’d probably live there.

 

To sum up, selection, at least in San Francisco, was not quite worth the effort this year. Maybe it will be better next year. Oakland? Well, we will surely do that, at least for another year or two, and next year we will make sure and set aside some time to wander around and see what other amazing things they have for sale. I recommend you check out both of their websites if you are interested in going to their sales or want more info; www.whiteelephantsale.org for Oakland, www.friendssfpl.org for San Francisco. Maybe we’ll see you there. Cheerio!


Posted On: 2015-05-20 02:27
User Name: laurelle

Unbelievable.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits<br>7 – 15 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> [RELIURE BRODÉE]. <i>Horae beatissimae...</i> Anvers, 1570. Reliure brodée de la Renaissance aux armes du duc d'Anjou. €50,000 to €70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> ARTOIS, comte d', futur Charles X. 75 lettres autographes au comte de Vaudreuil entre 1792 et 1804. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> [Pascal, Blaise]. <i>Lettres de A. Dettonville ...</i> Paris, 1658-1659. Rarissime édition originale en reliure de l'époque. €30,000 to €50,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits<br>7 – 15 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Aragon, Louis. Ens. de 8 ouvrages avec envois à Jacques Lacan, dont "Blanche et l'oubli", 1967, sur grand papier. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Fermat, Pierre de. <i>Varia opera mathematica.</i> Toulouse,1679. Petit in-folio. Edition originale. De la bibliothèque de Jacques Lacan. €6,000 to €8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Leduc, Violette. <i>La Bâtarde.</i> 1958-1963. Important manuscrit autographe, premier jet. 20 cahiers, env 2048 p. ms. €40,000 to €60,000.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> SHERBURNE, BRANTZ, and WIRGMAN. The Original Drawings of the First Modern Scientific Survey of the Patapsco River and Chesapeake Bay. $350,000 to $500,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> LAFON, Barthelemy. The Earliest Comprehensive Survey of Louisiana and its Adjacent Regions. $350,000 to $450,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Giacomo GASTALDI. The Most Important Renaissance Wall Map of Asia Published in the 16th Century – with all four sheets having full margins. $300,000 to $400,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> CAO, Junyi. The Most Important Map of China to Come to Market in 50 Years. One of only three known copies of the last Ming Dynasty world map. $325,000 to $375,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> ORTELIUS, Abraham. Ortelius Atlas Spanish 1588 Magnificently Rich Original Hand Color in Full. $225,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> An Exceptionally Fine and Historically Important Manuscript Map Showing the Origins of Texas in the 19th Century. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> PRICE, William and BONNER, John. Map of Boston 1769. $225,000 to $325,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> John James AUDUBON. Audubon’s Brilliant Icon, That Has Never Been Equaled for Drama. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Pierre-Joseph REDOUTE. Original Watercolor, Red Lily. $175,000 to $250,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> John James AUDUBON. The Most Famous Image of a Bird in All of History. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Martin WALDSEEMULLER. The Finest Example in Existence of Martin Waldseemuller’s Map of the New World, with Spectacular Full Original Color. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> GORDON, Peter. The First State of the First View of Savannah: The Template for American Urban Planning. $100,000 to $150,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>English Literature, History, Science,<br>Children’s Books and Illustrations<br>1 – 8 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> JAMES OF MILAN | <i>Pricking of love,</i> illuminated manuscript in Middle English [England, fifteenth century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> BEARDSLEY | <i>The Toilet of Helen,</i> original ink drawing for Savoy, 1895. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DICKENS | <i>A Christmas Carol,</i> 1844, seventh edition, presentation copy inscribed by the author. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>English Literature, History, Science,<br>Children’s Books and Illustrations<br>1 – 8 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DARWIN | <i>For Private Distribution... Extracts from Letters addressed to Professor Henslow...,</i> 1835, original wrappers. £70,000 to £90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DEFOE | Autograph manuscript poem, 'Resignation', 1708. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> GRAHAME | <i>The Wind in the Willows,</i> 1908, first edition, dust-jacket. £12,000 to £16,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions