• Doyle, June 18: Stephen Sondheim's personalized Sweeney Todd asylum coat and jacket. $400 to $600.
    Doyle, June 18: Twelve Posters for Stephen Sondheim Musicals. $400 to $600.
    Doyle, June 18: Stephen Sondheim's Gold Record for the soundtrack to West Side Story. $1,000 to $1,500.
    Doyle, June 18: A manuscript musical quotation from Passion. The quotation headed "Tranquillo" above the music, the lyrics are also written out: "lov-ing you is not a choice, it's who I am..." 11 x 14 inches. $800 to $1,200.
    Doyle, June 18: Stephen Sondheim's retained set of The Sondheim Review. Comprising a complete run of Volume 1, Number 1 (Summer 1994) to Volume XXI, Number 4 (Fall 2015). $500 to $800.
    Doyle, June 18: Five amusing Victorian-era game boards, including Snakes and Ladders. $200 to $300.
    Doyle, June 18: A cased tabletop croquet set and two horse racing games. $300 to $500.
    Doyle, June 18: Four Posters Related to Various Sondheim Productions. $300 to $500.
    Doyle, June 18: The rare first American edition of The Phantom of the Opera. $100 to $200.
  • Sagen & Delås Auctions
    Towards the Poles: Accounts of Polar Exploration
    June 15, 2024
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: ROALD AMUNDSEN: PHOTO of «Fram» SIGNED by 17 members of the South Pole Expedition, Including Amundsen. €6,900 to €8,600.
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: ROALD AMUNDSEN: «Sydpolen», 1912. IN PARTS. €1,280 to €2,150.
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: JEAN-BAPTISTE CHARCOT: «Expédition Antarctique Francaise […] 1903-1905. », 1906. RARE, SIGNED. €2,100 to €3,400.
    Sagen & Delås Auctions
    Towards the Poles: Accounts of Polar Exploration
    June 15, 2024
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: FREDERICK A. COOK: «Through the first Antarctic Night 1898-1899. […]», 1900. First LIMITED & SIGNED edition. €2,100 to €3,400.
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: JAPANESE ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION UNDER NOBU SHIRASE: «Watashi no Nankyoku Tanken-ki», 1942. Publisher's wrappers. €1,280 to €2,135.
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: FRIDTJOF NANSEN: «Fram over Polhavet», 1897. LOT - 6 Variant bindings. €1,250 to €2,100.
    Sagen & Delås Auctions
    Towards the Poles: Accounts of Polar Exploration
    June 15, 2024
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: ABRAHAM ORTELIUS: «Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip», 1570. Beautiful handcoloured first state map. €2,950 to €3,800.
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: SCOTTISH NATIONAL ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION: [W. S. BRUCE]: «Life in the Antarctic», 1907. 2 copies in wrappers. €85 to €250.
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: ERNEST SHACKLETON: «The British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9», 1909. Publisher's wrappers. €510 to €1,025.
    Sagen & Delås Auctions
    Towards the Poles: Accounts of Polar Exploration
    June 15, 2024
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: ERNEST SHACKLETON: «South», 1919. An attractive copy in publisher's cloth. €2,550 to €4,265.
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: UNITED STATES EXPLORING EXPEDITION UNDER CHARLES WILKES (1838-1842): «Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition», 1845. €3,400 to €5,100.
    Sagen & Delås, June 15: HUBERT WILKINS: «Under the North Pole», 1931 | CONTRIBUTORS EDITION - LIMITED TO 29 COPIES. €1,280 to €2,550.
  • Heritage Auctions, June 27
    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The Great Gatsby
    New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Mary Shelley
    Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus
    London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, 1818
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again
    London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1937
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Jane Austen
    Emma: A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the Author of "Pride and Prejudice," &c. &c.
    London: Printed for John Murray, 1816
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Robert Louis Stevenson
    An Inland Voyage
    London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1878
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Ernest Hemingway
    Three Stories & Ten Poems
    Paris: Contact Publishing Co., 1923
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
    History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark
    Philadelphia, 1814
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Emily Dickinson
    Autograph letter signed ("Emily and Vinnie"), to Mary Adelaide Hills
    Amherst, MA, Late April, 1880
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    John Keats
    Autograph letter signed ("John Keats"), to Mrs. Jeffrey
    Honiton 4 or 5 May 1818
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Samuel Johnson
    A Dictionary of the English Language: In which the Words are deduced from their Originals…
    London, 1765
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    H. P. Lovecraft
    Small archive of nine lengthy autograph letters signed variously over a period of six years to J. Vernon Shea.
    Various places, 1931-1937
    Heritage Auctions, June 27
    Izaak Walton
    The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man's Recreation…
    London: T. homas Maxey for Rich. ard Marriot, 1653
  • Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Keats, John] Spenser, Edmund: The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. $50,000 - $80,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: (Walton, Izaak): The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing. $30,000 - $50,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Thomas, Gabriel: An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pensilvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America. $25,000 - $35,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Carroll, Lewis]: The Game of Alice in Wonderland. $2,000 - $3,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Athias, Joseph, et al.: Biblia Hebraica. $7,000 - $10,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Warhol, Andy, and Jens Quistgaard] Dansk Designs Salesman's Presentation Catalogue. $2,500 - $3,500.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2015 Issue

Collecting the Culture Wars: LGBT, Pot, Race, and other Hot Button Issues

Is it collectible? Time will tell: Bruce Jenner, an Olympic athlete who chose to change his gender to female was on the cover Vanity Fair last month.

The "culture wars" is a phrase that is bandied around a lot in the news. Current American battleground issues include legalized recreational drugs, the gender spectrum, sometimes abbreviated to LBGT (Lesbian, Bi, Gay, Transgender) and gun politics. At no time were the skirmishes between older traditional values and newer norms more evident than June 2015.

 

June was the month that the US Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage was legal in all 50 states, and in the words of Newsweek the "U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal treatment under the law and due process prohibit states from banning same-sex nuptials."

 

That was also the month that saw a high profile formerly male Olympic athlete hit the cover of Vanity Fair profiling his transition to a female identity. It was the same month that a white woman in a leadership position in the NAACP was outed by her two Caucasian parents as a racial impostor, but the woman claimed in her own defense she "self identified" as Black.

 

In June CBS reported Colorado has licensed more than 300 recreational marijuana dispensaries, ringing up $303 million in sales last year -- $52 million in tax revenue. Even as that news was sinking in, a whole host of other media sources reported that many other states were headed toward legalizing and monetizing recreational pot.

 

And just to be sure that all the hot buttons were pressed on June 23 Amazon, eBay and Walmart all announced that they would stop selling Confederate Flags in the wake of racially motivated shootings at a Black church in South Carolina. Whether the ban would apply to historic items was not clear.

 

It's not news that cultural norms are changing, but what might be of interest to RBH readers is whether these cultural transitions show up in increased collecting interests and prices realized. Just as feminist, Black, Latino and other ethnic areas have seen an upsurge in scholarly and media interest so too have the culture war topics and writers associated with these points of view continued to find an audience. When it comes to LGBT a few internet sites even list authors with these orientations by their perceived public popularity. A few names that show up with some regularity are Brits Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf, both frequently in top ten, while Americans Gertrude Stein, Allen Ginsberg and Truman Capote all have long and solid auction records on file at Rare Book Hub.

 

For example, Oscar Wilde, whose own sexuality was notoriously the subject of a famous law suit in the late 19th century, continues to be widely collected. His books are still eagerly sought after. One title that continues to bring a good price is A Picture of Dorian Gray.

 

According to Rare Book Hub records, a first trade edition London 1891 went at Swann's earlier this year for $6,250. Last month an online auction at Swann's had the same title realizing $5,000. A signed and numbered copy made $7,200 at Cowan a year earlier. Good prices all but still less than the GBP 16,250 hammer price for the large paper signed and limited copy sold by Sotheby in 2010.

 

The first appearance of the same work published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890 realized GBP 501 earlier in 2015 at Dominic Winter or substantially more than the presale high estimate of GBP 150. In 2014 a similar offering made $1,037 or just slightly less than the high estimate of $1,200 at Heritage.

 

All of those Oscar Wilde prices are small change compared to the $362,500 paid at a 2012 Sotheby sale for an 1899 edition of The Importance of Being Ernest inscribed by Wilde to his lover Robert "Robbie" Ross.

 

On the distaff side a quick check of Virginia Woolf prices also look solid. At the high end a 2014 Sotheby sale, Mrs. Dalloway, 1925, Hogarth first edition, realized $27,500. Over the last 90 days eBay sold numerous Woolf titles including a signed limited Orlando in lesser condition for $2,000. A copy of Orlando published by the Hogarth press in 1928, also a lesser copy, brought $250. Altogether on eBay there were 136 Woolf items sold at prices ranging from a high of $2,000 to a low $1.50 for a used paperback copy of Mrs. Dalloway.

 

Well known does not always mean expensive. The classic Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas signed by both Gertrude Stein and Toklas (1933) sold in 2012 for $1,116 at National Book Auction, while a far less prestigious copy (unsigned) went two years later at Heritage for $15.

 

Here are a few other recent benchmark prices for LGBT authors:

Truman Capote

2015 In Cold Blood, 1st signed, 1965 Doyle $625

2015 In Cold Blood, 1st trade, 1965 Heritage $1,125

2015 Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1st 1958 Swann $875

2012 Other Voices Other Rooms, 1st book signed 1948 Bloomsbury GBP 463

 

There still seem to be lots of copies of Howl by Allen Ginsberg floating around, but the 2013 Christie's sale of the 1956 original mimeo sheets of the iconic poem limited to 25 copies made a spectacular $118,750.

 

Fewer digits but still hefty was James Baldwin's own copy of the script for the stage play, Blues for Mr. Charley (1965 Actors Studio) which went at Swann for $3,120 in 2011.

 

Recent eBay prices realized for printed materials categorized as "LGBT" within the last 90 days were not impressive and such items that were sold were mostly under $100 for vintage issues of magazines like Mattachine Review.

 

Asked for comment on recent trends in the LGBT marketplace Alex Akin and John Durham, area specialists at Bolerium Books in San Francisco, responded via email, "The LGBT market has been active for many years, and the impact of it going mainstream is likely to be minimal (although as the subculture dissolves into the mainstream, wrote Akin, adding "John fears that interest may decline"). An early high point was likely the 1970s and early 1980s with broader emergence of the LGBT movement, LGBT publishers going above ground and LGBT booksellers opening all over the country.

 

"The plague (AIDS) partially wiped out both a generation of potential collectors and booksellers. John thinks this may be one of the reasons for the current limited number of specialists other than ourselves and Elysium Books. Because of our location close to the Castro, in the midst of a city that was an early epicenter of gay culture, we are surrounded by the material and have been able to amass perhaps several metric tons of not only books but pamphlets and ephemera, things like newsletters of gay church groups, activist archives, etc. In most parts of the country, even if you wanted to replicate that it would be very difficult.


"Many dealers have begun seeking high points and including them among the other categories of material they offer. Thus you see firms like Between the Covers, renowned for other sorts of material, offering some really choice LGBT treasures.

 

"In a way, this mirrors the broader difference between Bolerium, which has more of a wholesale business targeted to libraries and activists, and the more boutique dealers who can focus on prime materials to offer a wealthier clientele.


"There was a time when certain dealers sneered at or mocked Bolerium for having this specialty ," he continued, "(which made John rejoice, since he gets a kick out of irking people). Now, however, they are more likely to scout us for underpriced stuff."

 

Though web searches relating to various gender key words yielded prolific results. The pickings were slim for "culture wars" and searching for pot or marijuana or titles related to recreational herbal stimulus was also not so much. Perhaps because the penalties for possession of such books can still lead to property confiscation and harsh legal sanctions the true relics of marijuana prohibition have yet to really come to market. Despite the massive trade both legal and illegal what shows up most seem to be Zig Zag pins and Reefer Madness posters, and pot themed underground comics and posters. However, with weed finally going mainstream that may change.

 

The going price for the classic Freak Brothers poster reproduction stating "Dope Will Get You Through Times of No Money, Better Than Money Will Get You Through Times of No Dope" was $20. In the comics category a 1971 issue #1 Rip Off Press underground cartoon Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers- focused on humorous adventures involving marijuana sold for $450 within the last 90 days on eBay.

 

A little higher up the food chain a 2005 Reefer Madness 1-sheet poster for the 1936 film made GBP 600 at a Christie's sale. Real copies of the cult film posters were hard to find and auction records thin. More recently a Reefer Madness reproduction film poster sold for $89.95 on eBay within the last 90 days.

 

Other eBay items related to marijuana sold within the last 90 days in the books department were mainly how-to-grow manuals. Prices realized ranged from $4 to $45. A 1970s black light marijuana poster sold for $112.46.

 

Just for the sake of comparison, in the 90 days prior to June 23 there were 896 SOLD listings on eBay for the search term "Confederate flag," with prices realized ranging from a top of $305 for 1896 Tennessee reunion item to $3 for a bumper sticker showing the Stars and Bars flag and the slogan "I don't care how you do it up North." On that date major retailers such as eBay, Amazon and Walmart all announced they would no longer sell the flag or items featuring its image.

 

------------------------------------------

Links

 

Bolerium Books www.bolerium.com/cgi-bin/bol48/index.html

 

Homosexuality in pre-War Berlin- New Yorker Magazine: www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/26/berlin-story

 

LGBT Gender Studies sites:

 

Yale lgbts.yale.edu

 

UCLA lgbtstudies.ucla.edu

 

U of Maryland www.lgbts.umd.edu/lgbthistory.html

 

U of Colorado-Boulder lgbt.colorado.edu

 

PDF for gender studies programs

sxl.aas.duke.edu/wp-content/uploads/A-List-of-LGBTQI-Studies-and-Sexuality-Studies-Programs.pdf

 

Wiki for LGBT writers en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Gay_writers

 

End Confederate Flag sales report www.cnn.com/2015/06/22/politics/confederate-flag-walmart-south-carolina

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Closing Time, Advance Readers Copy of Uncorrected Proof with a letter from Heller on his personal stationary
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Gates, Bill, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, N Y: Knopf, 2021; first edition, with a handwritten note from Bill Gates
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, first edition, first printing, first issue dust jacket, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Something Happened, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, first edition, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, London: John Murray, 1818, in four volumes
  • Doyle, June 20: CLAUDE MCKA. Home to Harlem. New York: Harpers, 1928. First edition. $700 to $1,000.
    Doyle, June 20: Haydn's VI Original Canzonettas, signed by the composer. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Doyle, June 20: A rare EP sleeve inscribed by John Lennon. $800 to $1,200.
    Doyle, June 20: An extremely rare 1961 concert set list and autograph letter from The King. $7,000 to $10,000.
    Doyle, June 20: Bryan Batt's copy of the Mad Men Yearbook, 2008-2014. $600 to $800.
    Doyle, June 20: An original Al Hirschfeld depicting comedian Fred Allen. $1,000 to $1,500.
    Doyle, June 20: A signed note from George Gershwin with reference to Porgy and Bess. $1,000 to $1,500.
    Doyle, June 20: An original Harold Arlen manuscript musical quotation from "Over the Rainbow.” $1,000 to $1,500.
    Doyle, June 20: A fine original Edith Head sketch for Grace Kelly's wedding trousseau. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Doyle, June 20: The poster for New Faces with inscriptions and the signature of Eartha Kitt. $200 to $300.
    Doyle, June 20: The classic "Jazz" Bowl by Viktor Schreckengost for Cowan Pottery. $15,000 to $25,000.
    Doyle, June 20: Tony Award Medallion won for "Kismet." $3,000 to $5,000.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 4. Blaeu's Magnificent Carte-a-Figures World Map in Full Contemporary Color (1642) Est. $12,000 - $15,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 125. 1775 Edition of the Landmark Fry-Jefferson Map of Virginia and Maryland (1775) Est. $15,000 - $18,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 673. Rare Frontispiece in Full Contemporary Color with Gilt Highlights (1662) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 717. Complete Tanner Atlas with Important Maps of Texas & Iowa (1845) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 3. Henricus Hondius' Baroque-Style World Map (1641) Est. $9,500 - $11,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 258. Complete Set of De Bry's Native Virginians & Picts from Part I of Grands Voyages (1608) Est. $2,750 - $3,500
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 608. Superb Work on 18th Century Russia with over 100 Maps and Plates (1788) Est. $3,500 - $4,250
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 49. One of the Most Important 16th Century Maps of the New World (1556) Est. $5,000 - $6,000
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 706. Superb Image of the Annunciation in Contemporary Hand Color (1518) Est. $900 - $1,100
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 123. One of the Earliest Maps to Show Philadelphia (1695) Est. $4,000 - $4,750
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 631. One of the Earliest Printed Maps of Afghanistan & Pakistan (1482) Est. $1,900 - $2,200
    Old World Auctions (Jun 5-19):
    Lot 689. Proof Copy Engraving of the Senate Floor During the Compromise of 1850 (1855) Est. $1,500 - $1,800
  • Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 70 - Warner (Robert). The Orchid Album, 11 volumes, 1882-1897. £5,000 to £8,000
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 151 - United States. Melish (John), Map of the United States with..., British & Spanish Possessions, 1816. £40,000 to £60,000
    Dominic Winter, June 19: Lot 159 - World. Speed (John), A New and Accurat Map of the World, 1676. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 503 - American Civil War playing cards. Union Cards, New York: American Card Co., 1862. £500 to £800
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 573 - Shepard (Ernest Howard), 'The Hour is Come’, original watercolour, [1959]. £10,000 to £15,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 922 - Wilde (Oscar). An Ideal Husband, large paper limited issue, 1899. £4,000 to £6,000
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 744 - Disney (Walt). “Sketch Book” [of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs], 1938. £700 to £1,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 771 - Auden (Wystan Hugh). Portrait of the head of W. H. Auden, 1970. £1,000 to £1,500
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 822 - Fleming (Ian). Goldfinger, 1st edition, signed by the author, 1959. £6,000 to £8,000
    Dominic Winter Auctioneers
    Auctions on June 19
    and June 20
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 895 - Rowling (J. K.). A complete inscribed set of Harry Potter books plus ephemera. £8,000 to £12,0000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 883 - Orwell (George). Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1st edition, London: Secker & Warburg, 1949. £3,000 to £5,000
    Dominic Winter, June 20: Lot 700 - Ashendene Press. T. Lucreti Cari De Rerium Natura Libri Sex, Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1913. £4,000 to £6,000

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