Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2020 Issue

Virginia Man Sentenced to 3 Years 7 Months in Prison in Book Theft

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Matthew David Morris was no Einstein.

A Virginia man has been sentenced to 3 years and 7 months in prison for the theft of some books along with collector cards, some jewelry, cash and rolls of coins. The variety of types of stolen goods reflects the different types of businesses from which he stole.

 

Matthew David Morris pleaded no contest to charges of burglary, grand larceny, attempted burglary and destruction of property in two Virginia cities, Roanoke and Salem. Places he hit were Too Many Books, Bob Anderson Antiques, Blade Gaming, and Now, Then and Again.

 

The books included what was described as “an incredibly rare edition” of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. There were two naval ordnance guides dated 1920 and 1943, valued at $500 each. The collectible cards were binders of Pokemon cards. Coins consisted of 40 rolls of Susan B. Anthony dollars which we estimate are worth at least $1 each. Some items have been returned intact, including the Tolkien book, but the navy guides were damaged and as a result, have lost most of their value.

 

In addition to prison time, Morris will be required to make restitution in the amount of $13,700. Investigators said that when confronted with the evidence, Morris took responsibility and has already taken steps to make restitution. He has paid $4,000, about a third of what is owed in Roanoke, and $1,000 back to Salem victims, over half the amount owed there.

 

A few days later, the defendants in the Carnegie Library theft case were also sentenced. Over an almost 20-year period, Gregory Priore, the head of the rare books department, stole books, or sliced valuable plates and maps out of books, in the rare book collection. He brought them to John Schulman of Caliban Books, a local dealer who sold them. Their value was estimated at $8 million or more. The defendants may have believed that was an exaggeration, but not by much, as the library has already been reimbursed $6.5 million by their insurer. Schulman was sentenced to 4 years of home confinement, 12 years of probation. He also must make $55,000 of restitution, unlike Morris who must pay the full value of what was stolen. Priore was sentenced to 3 years of home confinement and 12 years of probation with no restitution. Also unlike Morris, neither received any time in prison. The judge indicated they would have faced jail time were it not for concerns about the risks of catching the caronavirus in prison, but Morris received no such consideration.

 

There have been many rallies lately protesting unequal justice. They may have a point.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> DARWIN, Charles Robert. <i>On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.</i> London: W. Clowes and Sons for John Murray, 1859. [With] autograph note signed. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> [FINE PRESS & LIVRE D'ARTISTE]. -- [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works ... now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward. <i>Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a triumph.</i> [London: Privately Printed], 1926. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies…</i> London, Printed for H. Herringman, E. Brewster, R. Chiswell, and R. Bentley, 1685. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America…</i> [1839-] 1840-1844. -- AUDUBON, John James and John BACHMAN. <i>The Quadrupeds of North America.</i> 1849-1854. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> OGILBY, John, trans. [MONTANUS, Arnoldus]. <i>America: being the latest, and most Accurate Description of the New World…</i> London: Printed by the Author, 1671. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> HOBBES, Thomas. <i>Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill.</i> London: printed for Andrew Crooke, 1651. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> BLACKWELL, Elizabeth. <i>A Curious Herbal, containing Five Hundred Cuts of the most useful Plant which are now used in the Practice of Physick…</i> London: John Nourse, 1739. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> MILTON, John. <i>Paradise Lost.</i> London: Printed by S. Simmons ... to be sold by T. Helder, 1669. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> MALCOLM X. Typed letter signed ("Malcolm X"), to Alex Haley. Cairo, Egypt, 18 September 1964. " 1 page, 8vo. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. Autograph letter signed (“JRRT”). To George Sayer, Oxford, 7 August 1952. 2 pages, 8vo, creased; morocco folding case. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd. Autograph manuscript signed ("Frank Lloyd Wright"), entitled "To the Countryside." N.p. [Taliesin?], [June 1926]. 2 pages, 4to, creased. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Paul George Lawler, <i>San Francisco – Hawaii Overnight,</i> 1939. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Around the World, <i>North German Lloyd,</i> designer unknown, circa 1910. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Michael Rudolf Wening, <i>Siam,</i> circa 1920s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Sigismunds Vidbergs, <i>Spend Your Holidays at the Wonderful Seaside of Riga,</i> circa 1925. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Jean Dupas, <i>“Where is this Bower Beside the Silver Thames?”</i> 1930. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Charles-Léonce Brossé, <i>Meeting d’Aviation, Nice,</i> 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> John Held Jr., <i>Nantucket,</i> 1925. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Seaverns W. Hilton, <i>Lewis and Clark, Northern Pacific,</i> 1920. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Fred Powis, <i>Jasper, Canadian National Railways.</i> $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>October Sale<br>October 10, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> LA HARPE, Jean-Baptiste Benard de. 'CARTE NOUVELLE DE LA PARTIE DE L'OUEST DE LA LOUISIANNE'. $800,000 to $1,200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> AUDUBON, John James. Great Blue Heron, Plate 211. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> REDOUTE, Pierre-Joseph. Watercolor for plate 456: Bromella ananas (Cultivated Pineapple). $450,000 to $550,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> COOK, Captain James. <i>A set of the three voyages comprising...</i> London: 1773-1785. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> KEY, Adrien Thomaszoon. Abraham Ortelius. Oil on Panel. $400,000 to $450,000.
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Travel, Science & Engineering <br>7 October 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> John Wallis (1616-1703). <i>Letters collected in cipher during the late warres,</i> 1653. Unpublished holograph manuscript. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Isaac Newton. <i>The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,</i> 1st edition in English, 1729. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Stephan Broelmann. <i>Epideigma,</i> 1st edition, Cologne, 1608. Hand-coloured presentation copy to Scipioni Borghese (1577-1633). £5,000 to £8,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Travel, Science & Engineering <br>7 October 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> John West (1788-1845). <i>Journal of a Voyage to Hudson’s Bay, and the Red River Settlement,</i> 1820-21. Manuscript journal. £3,000 to £5,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> R. Lambert Playfair. <i>The Fishes of Zanzibar,</i> 1st edition, 1866. Presentation copy to Sir Bartle Frere (1815-1884). £3,000 to £5,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> William Ellis (1794-1872). <i>Polynesian researches,</i> c.1820. Collection of holograph micrographic notes for his pioneering ethnography. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Travel, Science & Engineering <br>7 October 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Edmond Halley. <i>Menelai Sphaericorum,</i> 1st edition, 1758. Given by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) to Scottish mathematician Robert Simson (1678-1768). £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Hawaii. Illuminated testimonial for retiring consul-general W. R. Hoare, 1905. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> J. Hill. <i>Broadway, New-York, shewing each Building,</i> c.1836. A fine hand-coloured aquatint. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Travel, Science & Engineering <br>7 October 2020</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Apollo 11. First day cover signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, 20 July 1969. £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> Peter Mazell. <i>A View of the Chohoes, or Great Cataract of the Mohawk River,</i> 1768. Rare copper-engraving after Thomas Davies. £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Oct. 7:</b> South Sea Bubble. <i>Summary of accounts of the masters and usher of the Court of Chancery,</i> 1724. Original clerical manuscript. £1,000 to £1,500.

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