Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2015 Issue

Forty Years Going: The Newtown Book Sale

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Photo courtesy of The Newtown Bee and Peter Marshall

For forty years, the Newtown Book Sale has been an annual event taking place in Newtown, CT, where an increasingly larger amount of material has appeared for sale over the years. In 1975, it began with a single table. This year? With the greatest amount of donations seen yet, two hundred and thirty-five tables will be used, and that number is not even enough to display the 120,000 books, CDs, DVDs, and LPs—the displays will have to be replenished from boxes as they empty. From humble roots the Newtown Book Sale has grown to become one of the largest book sales in New England.

The sale will take place July 11th through the 15th, and its terms of sale are progressive in nature. On Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th, items are sold for their listed price. On Monday the 13th, those prices are halved. On Tuesday the 14th, a bag of books costs $5. And on the final, half day, Wednesday the 15th, whatever remains is given away freely.

Detailed information on the sale can be found at its website.

The following is a select list of items from the Specials Room at the sale. Rare Book Hub members are most likely to find something of interest in this decidedly smaller selection of material compared to 120,000 assorted items.

  • Andrews, Roy Chapman. The New Conquest of Central Asia, narrative of the explorations . . . . NY: American Museum of Natural History, 1932. Ex library, marked discard, hinges shaken.  $250.00. 
  • [Armstrong, Louis] Goffin, Robert. Horn of Plenty. NY: Allen Towne Heath, 1947. Generically inscribed on fly, Best Wishes from Louis Armstrong 1947. Covers slightly bubbled. $225.00.
  • [Autographs] See [Armstrong], Beebe, Cody, [Dickinson], Guthrie, Kranz, Leuning, [Sheridan]
  • Beebe, William. Galapagos World’s End. NY: Putnam, 1924. Signed by Beebe on the title page. Newspaper clippings of Beebe tipped and loosely laid in. Early gift inscription dated March, 1924. Shaken, hinges cracked.    $95.00.
  • Biology of the Reptilia. London: Academic, 1969-82. Volumes 1-13. All very good. Vol 1-3 in jackets, vols 4-13 in glassine (vol  7 lacking). $500.00.
  • Bombay Natural History Society. Journal. Volumes 17-20, bound in seven. Color and B&W plates. ¾ leather. Very good. $200.00.
  • [Bookseller’s ticket], see [Westport, CT]
  • Buenos Aires. Fotoipias Peuser. Np:, np, nd. 2nd edition. 99 photographic plates. 7 copies in Worldcat. Pictorial front cover. VG. $200.00.
  • Christy, Cuthbert. Big Game and Pygmies. L: Macmillan, 1924. Armorial bookplate of William F Roper. Backstrip slightly darkened, some foxing.   $45.00.
  • Cody, William F. An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill. NY: Farrar Rinehart, nd. Illustrations by N C Wyeth. Jacket states “Popular Edition Ninth Large Printing”. Early ownership inscription on front pastedown, “Freddie Garlow / Grandson of / ‘Buffalo Bill’ / Aug 30th 1941.” VG with good DJ.  $25.00.
  • [Dell Mysteries] see [Paperback collectibles]
  • [Dickinson, Emily] Westfall, Douglas. The Life of Emily Dickinson. Orange, CA: Paragon, nd(2000). Stated first printing. “This book celebrates the 25th anniversary production of the stage play, The Belle of Amherst.” Generic 5-line inscription by star Julie Harris on tp. Together with large stiff covered playbill for the play, copyright 1976 but probably from a later performance. Both very good.  $25.00.
  • Dulac, Edmund, illus. Housman, Lawrence. Stories from the Arabian Nights. NY: Scribner, nd(1907). 50 tipped in illustrations, all with original guards. Red gilt stamped cloth. Pages 1-2, 15-16 separated but present, backstrip darkened.   $50.00.
  • _____. Queen of Roumania. The Dreamer of Dreams. L: Hodder Stoughton, nd(1915). Frontis listed at page 17. 6 tipped in illustrations, ll with original guards.Stamped green cloth, backstrip slightly darkened, otherwise very good.    $200.00.
  • _____. Quiller-Couch, Arthur. The Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tales. NY&L: Hodder Stoughton, nd(1910). 30 tipped in illustrations, all with original guards. Gilt stamped red simulated leather, slightest darkening to backstrip, minimal wear to lower corners.  $250.00.
  • _____. Sinbad the Sailor. [L]: Hodder Stoughton, nd(1911). 23 tipped in illustrations, all with original guards. Gilt and blue stamped brown cloth, backstrip slightly darkened.   $325.00.
  • Guthrie, A B, Jr. NY: Sloane nd(1947). Stated first printing. #177 of 500 copies “signed by the author for American booksellers and reviewers.” Fine, with fine trade DJ and numbered “autographed copy” special DJ, some wear.  $200.00.
  • [Herpetology] In addition to the items on this list we will have a large collection of herpetology books at the sale.
  • Hoffman, Abbie. steal this book. NY: Pirate Editions, nd. Paperback, inscribed inside front cover, yippie! Abbie, in felt tip marker. Slightest wear at top of spine, VG.   $250.00.
  • [Illustration] see Dulac, Rackham, Samivel, Tenngren
  • Keats, John. Lamia Isabella the Eve of Saint Agnes.  Waltham St Lawrence: Golden Cockerel Press, 1928.  #24 of 500. Engravings by Gibbings.  Original quarter sharkskin binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Teg, other edges untrimmed. Interior fine, slight sunning to spine and wear to letters, slight discoloration (from leather stain?) at top of both boards.  $375.00.
  • Kranz, Gene. Failure Is Not an Option. NY: S&S, nd. With Mission Control label signed by Kranz attached to fly. VG in VG DJ.  $75.00.
  • Luening, Otto. The Odyssey of an American Composer.  NY: Scribner, nd(1980). 1st edition. Ffep has been torn out, reattached with tape, with 7-line inscription by Luening, 1981. Except as noted, very good. $65.00.
  • Moffat, Alex. W. The Galley Guide. NY: Motor Boat Publishing, 1923. Slight markings on covers, very good. $45.00.
  • [Motion Pictures] Christianson, Benjamin. The Devil’s Circus: Behind the Scenes of Circus Life, Based on the Motion Picture Story. NY: Jacobsen Hodgkinson, nd(c1926). Produced and Filmed by MGM, starring Norma Shearer. Three stills from the movie. Paperback, very good. $100.00.
  • Navy, U S. Submarine Chaser Manual. Washington: GPO, 1943. 3rd edition. Title page rubber stamped Received U.S.C.G Training Sta. Apr 8 1943 Fairhaven, Mass. Stiff blue covers. VG. $50.00.
  • New York Lyceum of Natural History. Annals.  NY: Lyceum, 1824-25. Volume I, Parts I and II. Iv, 192, 12 (Catalogue of Books in the Library), iv, [193]-410. 30 Plates (#29 misnumbered), 3 of them colored.  Some foxing throughout but largely on end papers. Marbled boards, half leather, backstrip slightly rubbed.  $250.00.
  • Nielsen, Kay, illus. Quiller-Couch, Arthur. In Powder and Crinoline. [L]: Hodder Stoughton, nd[1913]. 24 tipped in illustrations, all with original guards. Red and gray stamped pictorial cover. Early owner’s name date 1914. Backstrip darkened, slight wear to covers.   $400.00.
  • [Olympics] One World One Dream. In Commemoration of the Theme Slogan of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Stiff pages, apparently designed to serve stamp collectors as well as Olympics visitors. A number of Chinese postal stamps have been loosely inserted in presumably the correct places, one space remains empty, with an unseparated sheet of 10 stamps loosely inserted at the beginning. Stamps not guaranteed complete. Very good with slipcase. $15.00.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Autographs & Memorabilia. February 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Autograph album featuring signatures by prominent actors, politicians, musicians and authors, including Rudolph Valentino. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> An extremely rare working radio script for Crazy People No 29, the first series of <i>The Goon Show.</i> £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Manuscript prayer book, in German. 8vo, 1755 £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Italian Manuscript on Geometry, with diagrams, 18th century. £500 to £700
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Thorburn (Archibald). Sparrowhawk, original watercolour & gouache, signed & dated lower right, 1917. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Burton (Sir Richard Francis). <i>Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.</i> 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, 1855-56. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> [Mount (Richard) & Page (Thomas)]. <i>The English Pilot. Describing the Sea-Coasts…</i> 31 engraved maps, W. & J. Mount, T. Page, 1756 £4000 to £6000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> D’apres De Mannevillette (Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denis). <i>Le Neptune Oriental.</i> Paris & Brest, [1775 – 1781]. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Loring (Josiah). Terrestrial Globe Containing all the Late Discoveries and Geographical Improvements. Boston, Gilman Joslin, 1846, £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Shelley (G. E., Capt.). <i>A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-birds,</i> FIRST EDITION, by the Author, 1876-80. £4,000 to £6,000
  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Smith, Joseph. <i>The Book of Mormon.</i> Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin for the Author, 1830. First printing. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Last Words of Joseph Smith. Autograph Letter Signed from a Mormon disciple, conveying a contemporary account of the Prophet's final words, Nauvoo, July 27, 1844. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> John Brown's Body. Autograph Letter Signed from the daughter of John Brown attempting to arrange the return of her father's body, North Elba, Essex Co, NY, November 29, 1859. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Powell Expedition. Autograph diary of Rhodes C. Allen kept during the Powell Expedition of 1868, June 29, 1868 - November 16, 1868. $20,000 to $40,000
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, <i>El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha . . . Nueva Edición,</i> first Ibarra edition, Madrid, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French, France, 1530-40s. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b><br><i>Die Ernsthaffte Christenpflicht,</i> earliest known edition of the first complete Mennonite prayer book, 1708. $300 to $500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Georg Agricola, <i>De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib V.,</i> first edition, Basel, 1546. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Frederick Ruysch, <i>Icon durae matris in concava [convexa] superficie visae,</i> with 2 mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral, first edition, Amsterdam, 1737. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, <i>Eine Neue Art von Strahlen,</i> Würzburg, 1895. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pietro Carrera, <i>Il Gioco de gli Scacchi,</i> first edition, Militello, 1617. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> William Lithgow, <i>The Totall Discourse, of the Rare Adventures</i> [etc.], London, 1632. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Michel de Nostradamus, <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> first complete edition in English, London, 1672. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pseudo-Methodius, <i>De revelatione facta . . . beato Methodio,</i> Basel, 1504. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Hrabanus Maurus, <i>De laudibus sancte crucis opus,</i> Pforzheim, 1503. $1,000 to $2,000.

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