• <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> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
    <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>Chiswick Auctions:</b> Rowling (J.K). <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first issue, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, seeking consignments:</b> Thornton (Samuel). <i>A Large Drought of the North Part of China Shewing…the Harbour of Chusan,</i> copper engraved map, 1711. £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, seeking consignments:</b> Stuart (Helen). Portrait of a Maori, over-painted gelatin silver print, signed and dated, 1885. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, seeking consignments:</b> Picasso (Pablo). Minotaure vaincu, plate 89 from La Suite Vollard , signed, Paris, 1939. £4,000 to £5,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, seeking consignments:</b> Pissarro (Camille). Vachère au Bord de l'Eau, NUMBER 14 OF 100 PROOFS, etching, 1890. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, seeking consignments:</b> Einstein (Albert). Copy of typewritten script of the episode "The Atom" of the TV programme "Your World Tomorrow", signed by Einstein. £2,000 to £3,000
  • <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, <i>La Fin du monde filmée par l’ange N.-D.,</i> Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1919
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> André Breton, <i>Second manifeste du Surréalisme,</i> Paris, Editions Kra, 1930
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Paul Eluard and Pablo Picasso, <i>La Barre d’appui,</i> Paris, Editions « Cahiers d’Art », 1936
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, <i>La Fin du monde filmée par l’ange N.-D.,</i> Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1919
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Hans Bellmer, <i>Die Puppe,</i> Paris, G.L.M., 1936
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Salvador Dali, <i>La femme visible,</i> Paris, Editions Surréalistes, 1930
  • <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini. June 27</b>
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KENNEDY ONASSIS, JACQUELINE Typed letter signed to Oleg Cassini. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> [CASSINI-KENNEDY FASHIONS] Important archives related to the development of fashions for Mrs. Kennedy… $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> [CASSINI-KENNEDY FASHIONS] Detailed ledger of the Kennedy White House years… $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KELLY, GRACE. Four autograph letters to Oleg Cassini. $5,000 to $8,000
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini. June 27</b>
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> CASSINI, OLEG. Group of Kennedy-era original fashion sketches. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KENNEDY ONASSIS, JACQUELINE. Autograph letter signed to Oleg Cassini. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> CASSINI, OLEG. Fashion sketch titled “Mrs. Kennedy-Palais de Versailles-State Dinner.” $800 to $1,200
    Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini: [CASSINI, OLEG - KENNEDY, JACQUELINE.] Group of approximately 130 original fashion designs… $800 to $1,200.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2015 Issue

White Elephants and Seaside Sales

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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>Fine Books and Manuscripts Online<br>Now through June 21</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> THOREAU, HENRY DAVID. <i> Walden: or, Life in the Woods.</i> Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> BUKOWSKI, CHARLES. Archive of Correspondence Addressed to Kay "Kaja" Johnson, Los Angeles, California: July – November 1961. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> DICKENS, CHARLES, AND GEORGE CRUIKSHANK [ILLUSTRATOR]. Unpublished autograph letter signed, to Cruikshank, completed on the artist's proof, related to the publication of The Pic-Nic Papers. $7,000 to $10,000
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Online<br>Now through June 21</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> FEYNMAN, RICHARD. <i>"Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!" Adventures of a Curious Character.</i> As Told to Ralph Leighton. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> GERSHWIN, GEORGE. Autograph music manuscript of "Leavin’ for de Promise’ Lan’" from the opera Porgy and Bess, Act One Scene Two. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. Document signed ("Abraham Lincoln") as sixteenth president, being a military commission for Rufus H. Johnson. $8,000 to $10,000
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>The Library and Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey<br>June 26</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Book of Hours. Illuminated manuscript, Flanders or northern France, c. 1450. With 12 full-page illuminated miniatures. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Zahrawi, Abu’-Qasim, al- (c. 936-1013). <i>Albucasis chirurgicorum omnium,</i> Strasbourg, 1532. The first comprehensive illustrated treatise on surgery. £3,000 to £5,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Milles, Thomas. <i>The Custumers Alphabet and Primer,</i> 1608. Gilt supralibros of 17th-century English bibliophile Edward Gwynn. £2,000 to £3,000
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>The Library and Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey<br>June 26</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Guillemeau, Jacques. <i>Child-Birth or, the Happy Deliverie of Women,</i> 1st edition in English, 1612. The second midwifery manual printed in English. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Rabisha, William. <i>The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected,</i> 1st edition, 1661. Rare. Five copies in libraries. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Royal binding. <i>An Abridgment of the English Military Discipline,</i> 1678. Contemporary red goatskin gilt by Samuel Mearne for Charles II (1630-1865). £1,500 to £2,000
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>The Library and Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey<br>June 26</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Pallavicino, Ferrante. <i>The Whores Rhetorick,</i> 1st edition in English, 1683. Rare anti-Jesuit satire. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>The Benefit of Farting,</i> 1st London edition, 1722. Teerink 19. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Edwards, George. <i>Natural History of Uncommon Birds</i> [and] <i>Gleanings of Natural History,</i> 7 volumes, 1743-64. Contemporary tree calf, 362 hand-coloured engraved plates. £8,000 to £12,000
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>The Library and Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey<br>June 26</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Campbell, Patrick. <i>Travels in the Interior Inhabited Parts of North America,</i> 1st edition, 1793. Howes C101; Sabin 10264. Uncut in original boards. £5,000 to £8,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Hearne, Samuel. <i>A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay, to the Northern Ocean,</i> 1st edition, 1795. Sabin 31181. Large-paper copy. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Edgeworth, Maria. <i>The Match Girl, A Novel,</i> 1808. £1,000 to £1,500
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> NYC pride parade photos by Hank O’Neal, annotated on verso by Allen Ginsberg, 1970s. Pictured is Marsha P. Johnson. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> David Wojnarowicz, <i>Neon Dancer,</i> postcard signed to Jim Fouratt, 1982. $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Personal papers of Candy Darling, New York, circa 1950s-1973. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Walt Whitman, <i>Memoranda of the War,</i> Remembrance Copy, inscribed to Peter Doyle, from “the author with his love,” Camden, 1875-76. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People,</i> first edition, signed, London, 1899. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> James Baldwin, <i>Giovanni’s Room,</i> first edition, presentation copy, New York, 1956. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> JEB (Joan E. Biren), <i>Ginger and Catherine,</i> silver print, 1972. $700 to $1,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Su Negrin, <i>Gay Liberation,</i> photograph by Peter Hujar, poster published by Times Change Press, 1970. $400 to $600.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Harvey Milk, Autograph Letter Signed, as acting Mayor of San Francisco, March 7, 1978. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Lester Beall, <i>Rural Electrification Administration,</i> 1939. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Gerda Wegener, <i>Two Women in a Window,</i> watercolor, chalk & wash, circa 1920. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Jean Cocteau, original sketchbook, <i>Le Mystère et Antigone,</i> including sketches of his lover Jean Desbordes, 1932. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Djuna Barnes, <i>Ladies Almanack . . . Written & Illustrated by A Lady of Fashion,</i> limited edition, signed & inscribed to her literary executor, 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.

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