• <b><center>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Old master, modern and contemporary art<br>Maps & Orientalia<br>8th-9th-10th of June 2022
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Giuseppe Aloja, Veduta di Napoli dalla parte di Chiaia. Starting price: € 1650
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Abraham Ortelius, Mappa dell'Atlantico del Nord. Starting price: € 280
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Max Klinger, Für alle. 1884. Starting price: € 360
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Katsushita Taito II, Kacho gaden. Starting price: € 320
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Blub, Galileo Galilei. Starting price: € 100
  • <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>Initial A on vellum, Cologne around 1300. Est: €25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Androuet du Cerceau, <i> Bastiments de France,</i> 1607. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Cerillo, <i>Dipinti murali di Pompei,</i> 1886. Est: €2,500
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>L. de Austria, <i>Compilatio de astrorum scientia,</i> 1489. Est: €9,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>B. Besler, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> around 1750. Est: €50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br><i>PAN,</i> 1895-1900. Est: €15,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Colonna, <i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,</i> 1545. Est: €40,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Schiller, <i>Die Räuber,</i> 1781. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Albers, <i>Formulation : Articulation,</i> 1972. Est: €18,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>G. B. Ramusio, <i>Delle navigationi e viaggi,</i> 1556-1613. Est: €14,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>M. Wied Neuwied, <i>Reise in das Innere Nord-America,</i> 1839-41. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Paolozzi, <i>Bunk,</i> 1972. Est: €25,000
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br> The Library of Henry Rogers<br>Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven<br>Part I<br>18 May 2022</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> John James Audubon and James Bachman. <i>The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.</i> New York: J.J. Audubon, 1845-1848. £150,000 to £250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Thomas and William Daniell. <i>Oriental Scenery,</i> London, 1795-1807 [but 1841], 6 parts in 3 volumes, folio. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Mark Catesby. <i>The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands...</i> London, 1731-1743, 2 volumes. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Gould and Lear. <i>A monograph of the Ramphastidae,</i> 1854; <i>Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae,</i> 1832. £60,000 to £90,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2021 Issue

A Death In The Family: Remembering Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919 - 2021)


Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1919-2021

There was a time when today’s gray beards and white tops were bright-eyed pioneers, forging pathways and persuading American youth to join them in a ‘Great Liberation’ of the soul, body, and mind. They called it freedom from the old ways, death to ‘the Establishment’.


That colorful generation of nay-sayers gave us many heroes: a prince among them was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, publisher, consummate bookman. His famed bookstore, City Lights, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, became a touchstone for those who identified with the so-called Beat generation. But the bookstore was more than that: It was a cultural hub for local literati and curious tourists. As Ferlinghetti himself might say: ‘It’s a happening place, man, it’s jumpin’ – we do readings, music, mime. Personal discovery is bubbling up everywhere. We are where it’s at.’


Ferlinghetti had a long run, dying at the age of 101, ironically outliving almost all of the up-&-comers he promoted and published. To his last day, he continued to live in a rent-controlled walk-up nearby the modest bookstore he made famous 65 years ago.  The scale of his life can be measured by his rising stature in the auction rooms. And, in equal measure, we note the sheer space given his obituary in the newspaper he read daily: the San Francisco Chronicle. In its 30-page edition on Wednesday, February 24th, 2021, the Chronicle ran a spectacular homage to Lawrence Ferlinghetti: a full one-and-a-half pages. Any one in San Francisco who loves books and bookshops read that obituary with wet eyes. I surely did.


Mr Ferlinghetti lived a rich and complex life, a life of variety and brave action. He was an officer in WW2; he earned degrees at Columbia University and the Sorbonne; and he put down literary roots in North Beach, San Francisco, in 1951. Moving forward with courage and resolve, he and his literary tribe – Peter Dean Martin and others -- launched something new and exciting in 1953: they called it the City Lights Pocket Bookshop. It would be a beacon and an anchor for the city he came to love. Soon after, this small, successful enterprise expanded into publishing. Inch by inch, the footprint was being made.


In 1956, Ferlinghetti stepped into something more important than he realized: he published a set of verses by Allen Ginsberg, titled Howl And Other Poems (44 pages, 5” x 6 1/4”, 75 cents; Number Four in Ferlinghetti’s Pocket Poet Series). The collection’s first poem, Howl, gave us some of the most compelling opening lines in all of American poetry:



I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,

starving hysterical naked,                                    

      dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for

an angry fix,                                                         

     angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection 

      expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing  

                obscene odes on the windows of the skull, ….                     


(Courtesy, Mulvihill Collection, Brooklyn, NY / Sarasota, FL.)


But Ferlinghetti’s big success with Howl came at a high price. The poem, the poet, and the publisher quickly became ensnarled in a heated obscenity trial; and, of course, such high visibility cemented the reputation of City Lights as an outpost of free speech.


When the trial verdict came in, protecting the right of self-expression, it was explained that Howl contained “redeeming social significance.” (Sound familiar? Hadn’t we heard this before about an unreadable novel written by some Irishman?) That fig leaf of “redeeming social significance” has since been stretched to cover the vulgarities of the Internet and even presidential gaffes.


Mr. Ferlinghetti, long regarded as a local luminary (Poet Laureate, 1998), is the subject of a documentary film, Ferlinghetti by Christopher Felver in 2009.  And faithful to its tradition of honoring  distinguished citizens, San Francisco has given its most famous bookman his own street: a block now known as Via Ferlinghetti.  As a published author, and because of his association with the Beat generation, Ferlinghetti’s books, correspondence, and ephemera are both read and collected today. Teachers of American literature and Book History will now give special attention, we hope, to Ferlinghetti’s deep contribution to the Small Book Movement and especially the Small Press Movement in American publishing.


A search today for auction records for Ferlinghetti in Rare Book Hub’s Transactions Database finds 737 answering entries. One can safely predict that the name Ferlinghetti will echo in the auction rooms for ages to come.   


As well, in our Upcoming Auctions Database we find that PBA (Pacific Book Auctions) is holding a sale on March 18th, Fine Literature with Beats, Bukowski & the Counterculture. This event is offering some lots related to Ferlinghetti imprints.


As you run those search results, you’ll also find one at Leslie Hindman in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Florida, on the 19th:  Lot 7. A group of works by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, many Signed or Inscribed, including:


Pictures of the gone world. San Francisco: City Lights, 1955. -- A second copy, the second edition, published March 1956. -- A Coney Island of the Mind. Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1958. -- Starting from San Francisco. Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1961. With original 33 1/3 RPM record. Also with a duplicate copy of the original record. SIGNED. -- Unfair Arguments with Existence. Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1963. SIGNED. -- A second copy. SIGNED. -- The Secret Meaning of Things. Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1968. SIGNED. -- Moscow in the Wilderness, Segovia in the Snow. San Francisco: City Lights, 1967. SIGNED. -- Over All the Obscene Boundaries. Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1984. SIGNED. -- And 5 others. Together, 13 works in 13 volumes, in original publisher's bindings or wrappers, condition generally fine, complete list available on request.


Estimated USD300.00 – 400.00


It’s never too late to add to your collection or to start a new one! I think Mr. Lawrence Ferlinghetti would approve.


Say, let’s have a Ferlinghetti moment on the Via Ferlinghetti. I’ll bring the bongos and weed – you bring some Howl. Lawrence is smiling.



Posted On: 2021-03-01 08:27
User Name: bukowski

Ginsberg was not charged in the obscenity trial. He was traveling outside the U.S.

Posted On: 2021-03-05 06:03
User Name: mairin

An enjoyable, informative piece.
My special thanks to Bruce McKinney for a pleasant collaboration on this article
and especially to Michael Stillman for 'tending to some technical fussiness
& also for adding a few 11th-hour refinements.
Thanks, as well, to Bruce Johnson of Veery Books, NY /
Member, IOBA / for directing me to the YouTube video of Ferlinghetti's poet-laureate installation, 1998 -- that link now added, courtesy Mike Stillman.
Keep well, all, Maureen E. Mulvihill (Rare Book Hub, Guest Writer).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Focus on Women<br>June 2, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann June 2:</b> Susan B. Anthony & Ida Husted Harper, <i>The History of Woman Suffrage,</i> first edition set, New York, 1881-1922. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann June 2:</b> Georgia Douglass Johnson, <i>Bronze: a Book of Verse,</i> first edition, Boston, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann June 2:</b> Elaine Fried de Kooning, small archive of material. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Focus on Women<br>June 2, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann June 2:</b> Helena Bochoráková-Dittrichová, <i>Z Mého Detství Drevoryty,</i> first edition, Prague, 1929. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Swann June 2:</b> Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective, <i>Cry Out,</i> silkscreen poster, Chicago, 1972. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann June 2:</b> Pearl S. Buck, <i>The Good Earth,</i> first edition, New York, 1931. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Birds.- Gould (John). <i>The Birds of Great Britain,</i> 5 vol., first edition, [1862-]1873. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Canadiana.- Cockburn (Maj. Gen. James Pattison, 1779-1847), After. [Six Landscape of Quebec City and Six Views of Niagara Falls], 2 suites in 1 vol., comprising 12 aquatints, 1833. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses,</i> number 218 of 150 copies on verge d'arches, Paris, Shakespeare & Company, 1922. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first paperback edition, signed by the author, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Du Maurier (Daphne). <i>Rebecca,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to her governess, 1938. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Magna Carta.- An exact copy of King John's Great Charter of 1215, transcribed from the fire damaged but legible manuscript in the Cottonian Library, British Library, J. Pine, 1733. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Woolf (Virginia). <i>Mrs Dalloway,</i> first edition, Hogarth Press, 1925. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Tudor exiles opposed to the Marian regime.- Mary I (Queen of England) Letter signed "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, signed at head, titled at head "By the King and Quene", 1556. £8,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> America.- Newfoundland.- Whitbourne (Sir Richard). <i>A discourse and discouery of Nevv-found-land…,</i> second edition, By Felix Kingston, 1622. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cervantès Saavedra (Miguel de). <i>El Ingenioso Hidalgo Do Quixote de la Mancha,</i> 4 vol., Madrid, Por Don Joaquin Ibarra, 1780. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Stubbs (George). <i>The Anatomy of the Horse,</i> first edition, first issue, Printed by J. Purser, for the Author, 1766. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cardiology.- Lower (Richard). <i>Tractatus de Corde item De Motu & Colore Sanguinus et Chyli in cum Transitu,</i> first edition, 1669. £5,000 to £7,000.

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