• <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> C.F. Payne, <i>Micawber—Imitating Norman Rockwell's "Triple self-portrait,"</i> acrylic, watercolor & colored pencil, 2002. Sold June 2021 for $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jane Russell, archive of letters written during a whaling voyage, 1840s. Sold July 2021 for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Guild of Women Binders, exhibition binding of A.F. Pollard’s <i>Henry VIII,</i> London, 1902. Sold July 2021 for $12,350.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Robert Frost, <i>Collected Poems,</i> author’s presentation copy, signed, with entirety of <i>Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening</i> inscribed, NY, 1930. Sold June 2021 for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> James Joyce, <i>Ulysses,</i> deluxe limited issue, signed, London, 1936. Sold June 2021 for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Mercator [family], <i>[World and Continents],</i> 5 double-page maps, Amsterdam, c. 1633. Sold June 2021 for $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Schlegel, <i>New York, Taken from Central Park,</i> hand-finished color-tinted lithograph, 1874. Sold June 2021 for $11,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolaus Copernicus, <i>De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium,</i> second edition, Basel, 1566. Sold April 2021 for $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Book of Hours, Use of Utrecht, illuminated manuscript, c. 1435-45. Sold April 2021 for $60,000.
  • <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>September 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 20. ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY. Letter to the editors of the Boston Atlas on slavery and its political ramifications, 1842. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 208. HEMINGWAY, ERNEST. <i>A Farewell To Arms.</i> New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929. First edition. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 237. ADDAMS, CHARLES. Original drawing "Now Remember-act casual." $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>September 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 4. SMITH, ADAM. <i>An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations.</i> Philadelphia, 1789. The first American edition. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 131. BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VON. <i>Cinquieme Sinfonie en ut mineur: C Moll de Louis Van Beethoven. Oeuvre 67.</i> First edition of the complete score. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 73. Chinese Export Painting. Album of twenty-three original Chinese natural history studies of flowers and insects. Likely Canton: circa 1850. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Doyle<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps<br>September 23, 2021</b>
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 241. GOREY, EDWARD. Original drawing "Cat Drawing Wallpaper." Signed in Pencil in lower right margin. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 36. LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. Autograph note signed instructing Edwin Stanton to meet with the important African American abolitionist and officer Martin Delany. [Washington:] 21 February 1865. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 112. JONSON, BEN. <i>Workes</i>. London: William Stansby, 1616; Together with <i>Workes.</i> London: Richard Meighen,1640-41. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Doyle, Rare Books, Autographs & Maps:</b> Lot 161. STURGIS, LEE. <i>Salmon Fishing on Cain River, New Brunswick.</i> (Chicago:) Privately printed (for the author by Ralph Fletcher Seymour), 1919. First edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <b><center>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>The Library of Howth Castle<br>September 22nd & 23rd, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Rosellini (Ippolito). <i>I Monumenti dell Egitto e Della Nubia,</i> Plate Volumes 1, 11 & 111, 3 vols. Elephant folio. €50,000 to €80,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Curtis (William), 1746 - 179, & other Editors. <i>The Botanical Magazine: or, The Flower Garden Displayed.</i> London 1793 - 1982-83. Together 184 vols. [with] other botanical material. €30,000 to €40,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Berkeley (George). <i>A Treatise Concerning the principles of Human Knowledge, wherein the chief Causes of Error and Difficulty in the Sciences…</i> Part I, Dublin, 1710 Rare First Edn. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b><center>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>The Library of Howth Castle<br>September 22nd & 23rd, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Ruskin (John). A large finely executed Pencil Drawing, captioned <i>Oxford Cathedral, The Choir,</i> & Signed 'J. Ruskin Ch. Ch. 1838. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Sir Edward L. Lutyens. Howth Castle Plans: A Series of 10 Original Architects Drawings and Sketches, Alterations and Additions for J.C. Gaisford St. Lawrence, County Dublin, Ireland. €8,000 to €12,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Newman (Rev. Fr. John Henry, later Cardinal, now Saint) A very good collection of 24 A.L.S. to [Thomas] Gaisford of the Gaisford St. Lawrence family of Howth Castle. €10,000 to €15,000.
    <b><center>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>The Library of Howth Castle<br>September 22nd & 23rd, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Manuscript Atlas: Hodges, Smith & Co. <i>The Estate of the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Howth Situate in the County of Dublin,</i> lg. atlas folio Dublin (Hodges, Smith & Co.) 1863. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Anon. <i>Herbolario Volgare: nel quale se dimostra conoscer le herbe et le sue vrtu…</i> Sm. 8vo Venice (Gio Maria Palamides) 1539. €3,000 to €4,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Baron (Caesar). <i>Annales Ecclesiastici</i>. [With] <i>Annalium Ecclesiasticorum Caesaris Baronii... Apparatus.</i> [With] <i>Index Universalis Rerum Omnium</i> [and one other]. 38 vols total. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b><center>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>The Library of Howth Castle<br>September 22nd & 23rd, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Log Books of Three British Warships. Three folio Volumes, containing meticulously arranged logs of the voyages of Royal Navy Ships from 1876 – 1881. €1,200 to €1,800.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Walpole (Robert). <i>Memoirs Relating to European and Asiatic Turkey,</i> lg. 4to Lond. 1817. €1,000 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, Sep. 22-23:</b> Bosio (Antonio). <i>Roma Sotteranea,</i> Opera Postuma. Large thick folio Rome (Guglielmo Facciotti) 1632. €1,000 to €1,500.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2019 Issue

Marie Kondo Gets Herself in a Mess by Recommending Disposing of Books

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Marie Kondo to the rescue, none too soon (Netflix trailer).

Marie Kondo, the "tidying up" expert, recently got herself in a mess of trouble with book lovers when she suggested books, like all the drek we keep around our homes, could use some tidying up too. Just to be clear, "tidying up" isn't limited to straightening up the book shelves. It also refers to getting rid of stuff that no longer is of use, or to use her words, "don't spark joy."

 

Marie Kondo is an author who, as a young girl, was obsessed with neatening everything up. Right away, that sets her off as unusual if not unique among young people. Like people who can twist themselves into a pretzel, or become independently wealthy flipping real estate, she turned her improbable skill into a career. In 2011, she published her first book (three more have followed) entitled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In the past year, that has led to a successful Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

 

I have a few confessions to make. I have not read her book. Likewise, I have never seen her TV show. I don't subscribe to Netflix. My standard cable subscription already gives me something like 800 channels I never watch. I see no reason to incur additional charges for yet another. In fact, before this "scandal" erupted, I had never even heard of Marie Kondo. Then again, I knew nothing about tidying up either. I needed an introduction.

 

Evidently, Marie Kondo stirred little controversy when she told people to toss out those old clothes they never wear, gadgets they never use, various papers and such they never look at. However, when she hinted at the same for books they never read, the sparks sure flew on social media from all of those people with books they never read. They were not sparks of joy. After all, maybe they will read them someday, just like maybe they will someday make bread with that breadmaker, or once again use the $500 exercise machine that has lain dormant since the week it arrived.

 

Having already committed the original sin of suggesting any books at all should be discarded, Kondo further aggravated book lovers by saying that, practicing her method, she was able to trim her collection to 30 volumes. She considers that an ideal number to own. Rather than sparking joy, that comment kindled sparks of outrage. Thirty books? That's all? In fairness to Marie Kondo, she did not say 30 books is all that anyone should own, only that this is an appropriate number for her. The test remains whether the books "spark joy," and if you have more than 30 joyful sparklers, you may keep them.

 

Rather than rushing to judgment, attacking or supporting Ms. Kondo, it is necessary to understand how she sees books. From her world view, her opinion makes sense.

 

1. Ms. Kondo is not a book collector. You probably figured that out already. She sees books as objects that convey information. That is not unreasonable, since that is their basic purpose. However, for many they take on more expansive roles. Some collect books that are physically beautiful, works of art. Whether they will ever reread the text, or even read it for the first time, is beyond the point. They are more like paintings. They "spark joy" for reasons unrelated to their textual content.

 

For others, it is the historic value of old texts. Coming into physical contact with a piece of history is a joy beyond simply reading the words, which can be accomplished through a reprint or even an electronic book. In these contexts, books are something like a Shaker chair. Shaker chairs were designed to be uncomfortable. Shakers believed you weren't being properly attentive to God if you were too comfortable. Their chairs were designed to make you more than uncomfortable enough to please even an angry God. No one thinks that is a proper design for a chair any more, but people still like Shaker chairs. That is not because they want to sit on them, but because they find them beautiful, or like being in touch were their history. They are a "joy" for reasons other than their original purpose.

 

2. Sparking joy is not the best way to describe the purpose of many books anyway. How about reference books? Do dictionaries "spark joy" in their beholders? If so, it doesn't take much to please you. Some books tell of horrible events. They don't spark much joy, but it is important to learn about the bad as well as the good. That's the old saw that people who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If learning about the horrors of war helps keep us out of another, that learning is extremely useful, even if not a lot of fun.

 

3. If you have books that bring no joy, will not be read, provide no access to useful information, or serve any other purpose, then Ms. Kondo has a good point. Too many of us, and I am as guilty as anyone, keep books that serve no purpose because no one else wants them, and I somehow feel there is something bad about disposing of any book at all. That is a guilt trip we should dispose of, along with the useless books. Your heirs will appreciate it if you don't stick them with disposing of your lifetime worth of junk.

 

Perhaps the best response to Marie Kondo came from a tweet delivered by the American Library Association, which had the good sense not to treat this too seriously. Spoke the ALA tweeter, "Librarians reading Marie Kondo's book advice: 50% are confused by the concept of a book that doesn't spark joy, 40% are fangirling about her organizational powers. And 10% are preparing for the inevitable increase of encyclopedia donations this weekend."

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Il Ponte, Sep. 21:</b> ZEILER, Martin - <i>Topographiae Italiae.</i> Francoforte: Mattheus Merian, 1688. €3,500 to €4,500.
    <b>Il Ponte, Sep. 21:</b> HAMILTON, William, Sir -- HANCARVILLE, Pierre-Francois HUGUES - Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Cabinet of the Hon. William Hamilton. Napoli: Francois Morelli, 1766-67. €38,000 to €48,000.
    <b>Il Ponte, Sep. 21:</b> [ASTRONOMIA] - Manoscritto astronomico. Italia: 1650. €1,000 to €1,500.
    <b>Il Ponte, Sep. 21:</b> DALI, Salvador - <i>Biblia Sacra vulgatae editionis.</i> Edizione “Ad Personam” Milano: Rizzoli, 1967. €40,000 to €60,000.

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