Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2019 Issue

AbeBooks Top 20 Highest Prices for April-June 2019

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We have selected Newton's book for our cover image in the belief it will get the greatest number of people to look at the article.

AbeBooks has released its latest quarterly list of the Top 20 or so books that brought in the highest prices on their website. These are actual sales, not asking prices. Sometimes, these lists are dominated by particular types of books. Not this time. The types of books are diverse and if this list reveals something about the direction of collecting interests, it does not reveal it to me. We will leave it to the reader to detect a pattern. Here it is.

 

17 (tie). Barack Obama printed manuscript with hand corrections. Obama was writing an editorial concerning lobbyists, special interest groups, and campaign financing in 2007, a year before his election as President. A lot has changed since he was President. $7,500.

 

17 (tie). The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, by Frederick Engels & Florence Wischnewetzky. In a word, it was tough. $7,500.

 

17 (tie). The Natural History of North Carolina by John Brickell, printed in Dublin in 1737. Brickell spent six years in the colony as one of its first doctors. $7,500.

 

17 (tie). Book collection belonging to Carolyn D. Wright. Carolyn Wright was an American poet who died in 2016. It includes numerous modern first editions. $7,500.

 

17 (tie). Dracula by Bam Stoker. May I kiss you on the neck? $7,500.

 

17 (tie). Mechanismus der menschlichen Sprache nebst Beschreibung seiner sprechenden Maschine, by Wolfgang von Kempelen. What else is there to say? $7,500.

 

16. Sumo by Helmut Newton. A 1999 book of Newton's fashion photography that is a regular AbeBooks top seller. $7,637.

 

15, L'Oaristys by Theocrite. An 1896 French edition of this 3rd century Greek poet's work with illustrations by Georges Bellanger. $8,136.

 

14. Works of Virgil. A more modern poet (1st century BC). This is a 1529 French edition with 205 woodcuts. $8,164.

 

13. An Explanation of the Observed Irregularities in the Motion of Uranus on the Hypothesis of Disturbances Caused by a More Distant Planet, by John Couch Adams, published in 1846. The more distant planet proved to be the discovery of Neptune. $8,407.

 

11 (tie). Aspen Magazine numbers 1-10. A complete run of this 1960s art and culture magazine published in Aspen, Colorado. $8,500.

 

11 (tie). The Holy Bible, translated by Julia E. Smith, an 1876 American edition. This was the first translation of the Bible by a woman. $8,500.

 

10. Sumo by Helmut Newton. Once again. Comes with its own book stand. $8,525.

 

9. Nobiliario Genealógico de los Reyes y Títulos de España, by Alonso Lopez de Haro. A 1622 book about the bloodlines of Spanish royalty and aristocracy. $8,973.

 

7 (tie). The Wood Beyond the World, by William Morris. One of 350 copies of the 1894 first edition of this fantasy novel famous for its wood engravings from Morris' legendary Kelmscott Press. $9,000.

 

7 (tie). The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle. The George Newnes 1902 first edition with a laid in letter by Doyle. $9,000.

 

6. Canto General, by Pablo Neruda. Signed 1950 limited first edition by the Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet. $9,200.

 

5. We Seven by "The Astronauts Themselves." This is a 1962 book written and signed by America's original astronauts, the Mercury Seven. Those "astronauts themselves" were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton. Each contributed at least three essays. $12,000.

 

4. Sanctuary, by William Faulkner. A 1931 first edition with a laid-in author signature. $12,500.

 

3. Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, by Denis Diderot & Jean le Rond d'Alembert. Lighting up the Enlightenment. Generally known simply as the Encyclopédie, published in 17 volumes 1751-1772, this was not only an encyclopedia but an advocate for intellectual and democratic institutions. $16,868.

 

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Move over, Faulkner. One good southern author deserves another. This is a 1960 signed first edition. $17,000.

 

1. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, published in 1953. James Bond just killed the mockingbird. He finishes number 1. $19,600.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800

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