Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2002 Issue

“Sold!,”A New Monthly Feature

PBA Sale254 Lot 184

Second, and even scarcer than the Edward, was lot 130 in the PBA #254 sale, a copy of J. K. Hyer and W. S. Starring’s Lahcotah: Dictionary of the Sioux Language (Fort Laramie, [1866)]. This crudely printed item is a Wyoming incunabulum, having been the first book printed in the area that became part of that state. Apparently printed on a US Army press at the fort, it was printed in no more than fifty copies, of which only five are extant. This copy, however, failed to sell on its estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

Third, and also in the PBA #254 sale among other Montana items in lots 183-188, was a piece of Western fun in lot 184, Helena’s Social Supremacy: Montana’s Center of Fashion, Refinement, Gentility, Etiquette, Kettle Drums, High Fives, Progressive Euchre and Mixed Drinks (Helena, 1894). This little 48-page book is supposedly part of the controversy surrounding the permanent capital of Montana. First fixed at the now abandoned town of Bannack while Montana was still a territory, the location of the permanent capital became a punching bag between some of the biggest political forces in the new state. Marcus Daly wanted it to be in Anaconda, which he practically owned. An arch enemy, William Clark, wanted it to be in Helena, which eventually won out in 1889 after both men spent an estimated $3 million each trying to influence the outcome. This delightful squib on Montana society recalls the contest and is a minor classic in the literature that surrounded the choice of Montana’s capital city. It sold for $126 on an estimate of $250-$350.

Many American males over 50 owned as a child several shelves of the venerable Zane Grey’s Western novels in the series published by Black. That popularity continues to be reflected in the auction rooms. PBA #254 sold a long run of Grey first and early editions in reasonable condition (lots 76-109). One of the items was his The Lone Star Ranger (New York: Harper, [1924]), signed by Grey but in a facsimile dust jacket. In a twist that reminds one of advertisers who market “faux pearls” and “genuine facsimiles,” PBA spent much time describing the photocopied dust jacket and concluded that the book was “very good in a very good facsimile jacket.” The lot fetched $373.00. Over at Swann, the same title (New York, 1915), also signed but in publisher’s cloth, was grouped with a similar signed copy of his Tales of Fishes (New York, 1919). That copy also had problems: “ex-library with faults, sold as is.” Despite those problems, the pair fetched $100.00. One wonders what would have been the price if both of these, too, had been munified with facsimile jackets. Despite the constant emphasis put on condition, it would appear that spending some time at a color photocopier might pay dividends.

Versions of the Declaration of Independence, all of them expensive, were sold by Sotheby’s (lots 190-193). More interesting, however, than the fates of the various contemporary printings, all of which did well, were the fortunes of two facsimile lots, one at Sotheby’s (lot 192) and the other at the PBA #254 sale (lot 57). The former was a copy in fair condition of William J. Stone’s facsimile produced in 1823 and one of 36 vellum copies known. Stone’s work has proven important over the years as the original Declaration has faded; Stone’s facsimile is, in fact, now clearer than the original. This copy sold for $207,300.00 on an estimate of $100,000-$190,000, surpassed only by lot 190, the Newport, 1776, edition that fetched $367,000.00. In the sale was another facsimile, this one pulled by Peter Force about 1848 from Stone’s plate and found as issued in a volume of his American Archives. (These copies lack the Stone imprint.)

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LEBEDEV (VLADIMIR). Russian Placards - Placard Russe 1917-1922. Saint-Petersbourg, Sterletz, 1923. €1,000 to €1,200.
    ALDE, May 28: MARDRUS (JOSEPH-CHARLES). Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris, F.-L. Schmied, 1927. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: TABLEAUX DE PARIS. Paris, Émile-Paul Frères, 1927. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MAGNAN (JEAN-MARIE). Taureaux. Paris, Michèle Trinckvel, 1965. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.

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