• <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>26th-29th of October 2021</b>
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th- 29th:</b><br>Books from XV to XX Century
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Manuscripts and autographs
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Artist books
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Cars & more
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Magazines
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th- 29th:</b><br>Books from XV to XX Century
  • <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> STEVE JOBS REVEALS HIS SPIRITUAL SIDE. Autograph Letter to Tim Brown, 1974. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> DIDEROT, DENIS. 1713-1784; & JEAN LE ROND D'ALEMBERT. 1717-1783, EDITORS. <i>Encyclopedie, ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers.</i> $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. Evanston, Illinois: Library of Living Philosophers, 1949. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> APPLE MACINTOSH PROTOTYPE, 1982. Earliest known to appear at auction. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> TRINITY PROJECT: STAFFORD L. WARREN. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> JIMMY HARE PHOTOGRAPH OF WRIGHT FLYER SIGNED BY BOTH WRIGHT BROTHERS, 1908. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> HAGELIN CX-52 CIPHER MACHINE, Type D, Switzerland, Crypto AG, 1950s, no 33454. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> FEYNMAN WORKING ON QUARK THEORY. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> STEVE JOBS SETS THE STAGE FOR DESKTOP PUBLISHING. Signed document, 1982. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> MEMORYMOOG PLUS, THE CLASSIC ANALOG POLYSYNTH OF THE 1980S. $7,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> WRIGHT BROTHERS: DAYTON 1909, <i>The Nation State and City Welcome the World's Greatest Aviators.</i> $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Ricky Jay Collection<br>October 27 & 28, 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> "Remarkable Persons". A remarkable collection of remarkable characters. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> Scot, Reginald. A serious debunking witchcraft and demonology. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> (Buchinger, Matthias). Buchinger's own family tree. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> Bibrowski, Stephan. Most likely reading A Midsummer Night's Dream. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> Kellar, Harry (Heinrich Keller). Kellar loses his head. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b><center>Hindman:<br>Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>November 9-10, 2021
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> HOOKE, Robert (1635-1702). <i>Micrographia: Or Some Psychological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses.</i> London: for James Allestry, 1667. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [THE FEDERALIST PAPERS]. -- [HAMILTON, Alexander, James MADISON and John JAY. <i>The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution…</i> $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> FUCHS, Leonhart (1501-1566). <i>Histoire des Plantes de M. Leonhart Fuschsius, avec les noms Grecs, Latins & Fraçoys.</i> Paris: Arnold Byrkman, 1549. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Hindman:<br>Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>November 9-10, 2021
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> AUDEBERT, Jean Baptiste (1759-1800). <i>Histoire naturelle des singes et des makis.</i> Paris: Desray, An XIII [1799-1800]. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [UNITED STATES CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. <i>Journals of the Congress...</i>Volume I (Sept. 5, 1774-Jan. 1, 1776) through Volume XIII (November 1787-November 1788). $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [UNITED STATES CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. <i>The Journals of the Proceedings of Congress. Held at Philadelphia, from January to May, 1776.</i> $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b><center>Hindman:<br>Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>November 9-10, 2021
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [TEXAS]. <i>Map of Bexar County, Texas.</i> San Antonio and Austin: Samuel Maverick & John H. Traynham, 1889. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> GARDNER, Alexander (1821-1882). Imperial albumen Photograph. <i>Scenes in the Indian Country</i> [Fort Laramie]. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> WILLIAMS, H. Noel. <i>Madame Recamier and her Friends.</i> London and New York: Harper & Brothers, 1906. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b><center>Hindman:<br>Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>November 9-10, 2021
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [MOSER, Barry, illustrator]. <i>The Holy Bible. Containing All the Books of the Old and New Testaments.</i> North Hatfield, MA and New York City: Pennyroyal Caxton Press, 1999. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [PRINTS]. MOSER, Barry. Alice in Her Sister’s Reverie. [1982]. 433 x 552 mm. Signed and captioned by Moser in pencil, designated artist’s proof (“ap”). $1,000 to $1,500.
    16 <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [MOSER, Barry, illustrator]. A group of 4 wood-engraved plates for the Pennyroyal Press edition <i>The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.</i> [West Hatfield, MA: Pennyroyal Press, 1985]. $600 to $800.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2020 Issue

Madeline Faith Kripke: 1943-2020: An American Original


Madeline Faith Kripke with lifelong friend David Litwin, 12/19. Image by his son

Madeline, the noted dictionary collector and eccentric par supreme, slipped away April 25th, caught between aging and Coronavirus.  Nothing less than two disasters would slow her down.  When passed away she was yet in mid-flight, her life and career on a trajectory to create a collection and database of the history of the ever transitioning meaning of words.  For decades she purchased, one by one, dictionaries in many languages with every imaginable focus, the more the obscure and peculiar the better. 


As the “other child” of an astonishingly brilliant family, the sun shone most brightly on her brother Saul, whose career as philosopher carried him across the pantheons of highest education; Harvard, Cambridge, and Princeton and to the rarest of eminence as a or the greatest philosopher of his lifetime.  For Madeline, when young, felt “disappeared” in the intellectual whirlwind her father and brother would swirl around the dinner table in Omaha in the 1950’s.


She was, however, made of the same genes, a beautiful woman, brought her 153 IQ to Barnard to find a way to juxtapose the anti-materialism of her family with her rising feminine sexuality in the 1960’s.  She was an exceptional young woman and brilliant, as awkward with money as she was keen about ideas, in time becoming a bookdealer in the 1980’s living in Greenwich Village.  There she issued a few catalogues, slim affairs, her descriptions succinct, her prices modest, her focus on dictionaries and related materials.  Her exceptional memory gave her an advantage and the field was narrow, some 25 dealers sharing the same focus in the United States and Europe exhibiting at fairs, issuing catalogues and now and again operating open shops.  She was becoming a specialist.


In 1985 Rulon-Miller’s Catalogue 75:  Dictionaries, Grammars and Works on the History of Language structured the field in the United States, much as Maggs Bros.’ Catalogue 891 Dictionaries and Grammars had done in England in 1964.  These catalogues and others influenced her developing understanding of the field as the depth and scale of related materials were becoming apparent.  She was buying and selling, cautious and careful, occasionally requesting time to pay when needed to balance her cashflow.   She had a business and was also becoming a collector.  She became a regular at book fairs, sometimes only having to go a few blocks and occasionally making trips into the New England roundabouts developing sources and friendships.  It was working, the cashflow sufficient, she careful, her equation oddly juxtaposed with her family’s wealth.


For in those years her family had money, although they expressed little interest in it, and even less desire to share it with her.  Her parents were early investors with their neighbor and friend, Warren Buffet, their small investment in time became $25 million, much of which they gave many years later to the Jewish Theological Seminary to restore and renovate JTS’s library tower that was destroyed by fire in 1966.


In 1998 money was found for her to buy a charming 1,210 sq. ft. home in the Village, her material outgrowing her earlier apartment.  There, her inventory simply became her collection, an obsessive’s beautiful obsession.


It’s been my privilege to know serious book people but no one like her, her love of the material was so appealing.  I began to know her then as a member of Americana Exchange.  If I saw material of interest I’d send her emails.  In this way we became friends.  She lived alone, had had relationships but at that point only memories and no children.  In her fifties she was still beautiful but what was so unique was her mind.  Her day-bed in her public room was obscured by piles of books and boxes, with a table nearby stacked with whatever random group of dictionaries and related paraphernalia she was absorbing. 


In the evenings she would scour online sites and read recently arrived printed catalogues for material of interest.  By dawn her letters, emails and orders would be released.  Sleep would carry her late into the day, her eyes opening with expectation as the early sundown sunlight would begin to cast late afternoon dusty beams across her living space.  Later yet, today’s arriving boxes and packages would be carried up by the concierge.  It was a celebration and a blur, thirty or forty packages landing on her sill each week.


Among them, once or twice a year, would be taped-up bundles with hand scrawled invoices from Peter Luke, the New Baltimore dealer scout, whose skill has long been to deeply understand client interests well enough to accumulate appealing objects while traversing America visiting shops, shows and dealers, sometimes acquiring 30, even 50 examples for his collectors, knowing Madeline would reward his efforts with a very pleased, “YES, thank you” and a check.


Peter’s packages were particularly complex, but invariably most of the other arriving boxes had their finds and stories too, so into the evening light she would open her treasures and keep them nearby her chair.  Once welcomed and understood she would place them into a section most appropriate.  These objects came in all shapes, ages, and forms although the unifying concept was faithfully dictionary related.


Her first dictionary was a gift from her parents when she was ten that, in time, she came to understand as a conditional document as every definition committed to paper was only ever temporarily firm and fixed, inevitably, invariably each word transforming over experience, use and need.  Her gift was to recognize, understand and remember use of terms and definitions by subject, era, meaning and purpose; she uniquely understood how words freighted with meanings, and implications changed over time.  This was her genius and dictionaries fuel for her intellectual fire. 


For her words were fingerprints, her dream that her collection of dictionaries could be single-searched across the full texts of all her dictionaries, believing changing meanings measure the pulse of understanding, belief, social convention and emotion.  She was ambitious, that brilliant girl, that beautiful woman, legs folded beneath a comfortable chair in her lexicological palace, her extraordinary mind contextualizing words and references and seeing and feeling the implications of how changing word use and meanings could populate a forest of related references to create instant Ph.D. theses within her random crackling synapses.  History can be flat but within her spectacular mind words and their uses were always adjusting and flexing.


Her brother was correctly famous, a massive intellect.  She too will be remembered for her mind, astounding memory, and capacity to interleave random definitions and references from the thousands of books she read, remembered and simultaneously compared, understanding words, their purposes and contexts, within her complex word history like a dervish plucking random comparisons from air.


Her life was lived in words as a remarkable student becoming scholar, her mind comfortable with complex nuances.  For her father, a rabbi, his book was the Torah, for her it was the dictionary, understanding that words and definitions printed on the page were unnaturally fixed impressions, each a single kinetoscope frame, preceding hundreds of earlier transforming uses arriving firm and printed seemingly forever, then spooling ahead in a perpetual state of transformation.


It was her magic to follow tens of thousands of words across dozens of languages and dialects, to unearth early and transforming usage, believing that in these histories the true nature of human experience is revealed.


She knew how to do this, in stages, to capture usage over centuries by acquiring dictionaries and glossaries, then reading and remembering each word or term as a single thread, understanding they each together wove complex tapestries seen through prisms of time.


In time she focused on acquisition, her home gradually transforming into a temple of words, literally every inch taken by her many thousands of dictionaries.  And had she lived as long as her parents, her mother 88 or father 100, she would have completed her plan to gift her collection to one or more universities and colleges united in their commitments to highest, linguistic studies. 


Fate intervened, leaving mortals to imagine how to build an interactive database of what she collected, that had she lived, she envisioned to become the essential tool to understand language through time, bringing hope and understanding across the planet.


May the angels carry her perspective and ambitions to the hearing and understanding of all open to learn.




The Gifted in Pursuit of the Valued.  Published 1 September 2007 in AE Monthly.



An important Maggs Bros. catalogue issued in 1964 advancing the field in dictionaries, lexicology and linguistics.



The American counterpart:  Rulon-Miller Books, Catalogue 75 issued in 1985



Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Pancho Villa, passport for a news correspondent covering the Mexican revolution, signed, 1914. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Nirvana’s <i>Nevermind,</i> CD insert signed & inscribed days after release by Cobain, inscribed by Novoselic, 1991. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Robert Indiana, <i>The Book of Love,</i> complete portfolio, artist’s proof set, 1997. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Marcel Vertés, Colette, <i>Chéri,</i> two volumes, deluxe edition, signed by the artist, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Orlando,</i> first trade edition, first impression, London, 1928. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Mark Twain, receipt for payment of the Mark Twain Public Library Tax, 1908. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> portfolio, collotype plates, 1918. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <center><b>The 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop<br></b>Catalogue 190:<br>Magnificent Books & Photographs<br><b>Free on request</b>
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> William Shakespeare. <i>The Second Folio</i> (1632).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Abraham Lincoln. Autograph note on Black troops in the Union Army (1865).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Neil Armstrong. The largest known U.S. flag flown to the Moon on Apollo 11 (1969).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> William Henry Fox Talbot. <i>The Pencil of Nature</i> (1844-1846) the first photo illustrated book.
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Albert Einstein. Letter on relativity and the speed of light (1951).

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