Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2021 Issue

In Memoriam Antiquarian Bookseller Dorothy Sloan

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Dorothy Sloan (1943-2021). Courtesy of Dorothy Sloan Books

Dorothy Sloan, whose career in the rare book field closely paralleled the post-World War II expansion, saw it come to a close recently.  She was an early advocate of the Americana Exchange and for almost 18 years a continuing member of Rare Book Hub.  She was warm, supportive and open on the questions of the day.  While her heart no longer beats, those who knew and loved her will remember and appreciate her authority over the many books and documents she wrote about over her career. -  Bruce

 

Sloan’s daughter, Jasmine Star, penned the followed obituary, which she is allowing us to share.

 

The rare book world has lost another giant. Dorothy Sloan (1943­-2021) died on March 14. A fifth-generation Texan, Dorothy was born and raised in Houston, where she met her first husband, Stephen M. Sloan, and where both of her children, Julia Ann Sloan (now Jasmine Star) and Anthony Vail Sloan, were born. After Anthony, her youngest child, started school, Dorothy returned to her own education, ultimately earning a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin, graduating with high honors. The family then moved to San Francisco, where Dorothy fell headlong in love with rare books—a passion that remained paramount for the rest of her life.
 
In San Francisco, she took her apprenticeship at the venerable firm John Howell Books. In her own words, “I was immediately thrown into the heady inside track on rare books, deals, dealers, and clients. Every single day was exciting to me, and I threw myself wholeheartedly into doing the best job I could”—an ethic that remained with her throughout her career, as all who knew her would attest.
 
In 1979, she returned to Texas, where she worked for the Jenkins Company until 1984. To cite Dorothy, “Again, I stumbled into an accidental learning experience of unusual depth and opportunity. Jenkins had purchased the Eberstadt collection [and] there were mountains of unprocessed books. It was such a thrill to go through a pile of what appeared to be late nineteenth-century dilapidated atlases and suddenly find things like a Choris.”
 
Dorothy met her second husband, Peter Oliver, in 1983, and with his support, she established her own business, Dorothy Sloan Rare Books, in 1984, a challenging endeavor in a trade dominated by men. Never one to be limited by others’ expectations, Dorothy applied herself ceaselessly. Thanks largely to her unparalleled scholarship, persistence, and ethics, she rose to become one of the leading lights of the rare book trade in the United States and beyond.
 
Over the next thirty-six years, she was both thrilled and honored to handle many incredible items, from magnificent imperial folio Audubon prints to, not one, but two complete collections of the elusive Zamorano 80, along with many other invaluable materials, from manuscripts and artworks to countless maps, many of them seminal and groundbreaking. Among her many achievements, perhaps one of the most impressive was becoming an auctioneer—amazing given how shy she was.
 
Although Dorothy Sloan is gone, her legacy will live on through her incomparable catalogues and her website. As long as rare books, bibliographers, and rare book dealers exist, she will be remembered, and her body of work will illuminate the way forward.
 
Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Jasmine Star, and her husband, Peter Oliver. The cause of death was advanced dementia. The progression of the disease was shockingly rapid—mercifully so for Dorothy, who would not have wanted to linger in that state. Those who knew her will be glad to learn that, in her final months, she was peaceful and even cheerful. Should you wish to contact the family, you can reach Jasmine at jasminestarconsulting@yahoo.com. Should you wish to memorialize Dorothy, consider donating to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (www.curealz.org) so that, in the future, others might be spared the ravages of this terrible disease.

Alternatively, memorial gifts may also be made to the Dorothy Sloan Fellowship Fund at the DeGolyer Library, SMU. Proceeds from this fund will be used to support visiting scholars at any stage of their careers who plan to pursue research on bibliographical projects or women’s history at the DeGolyer Library. Anonymous individuals have pledged a 1:1 matching gift of up to $30,000. Donors may send checks to the DeGolyer Library, Box 750396, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275. Please add  “Sloan Fund” to the memo line. For more information, contact degolyer @smu.edu. Contributions are fully tax deductible.


Posted On: 2021-04-01 17:31
User Name: davereis

The rare book world has lost one of its greatest. Dorothy helped get me started in the book business years ago. She never tired of answering my many questions, and was always supportive of me. Whether meticulously researching and cataloging exceptional material for her business or auctions, donating her time in so many ways to various institutions, or helping people like me navigate the book world, she never seemed to tire of her calling. Her strong belief in win-win scenarios for consignors and buyers alike made her auctions major yearly events. She always will be my favorite book person to deal with, as well as a person I liked and admired greatly. Jasmine and Peter, I am very sad for your loss.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman<br>Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana<br>April 13, 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> The first book-form printing of the Declaration of Independence. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Paine, Thomas) <i>The American Crisis. Number I.</i> "These are the times that try men's souls." $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> First printing of the Treaty of Paris, with distinguished contemporary provenance. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman<br>Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana<br>April 13, 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> Washington, George. Letter signed as first President-Elect. Washington prepares to embark "again on the ocean of publick affairs." $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Hamilton, Alexander). Manuscript document. The launch of one of the most consequential careers in American public life. $180,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Lexington & Concord). <i>A Bloody Butchery, by the British Troops…</i> $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Yorktown Campaign—Jean-Nicolas Desandrouins). A Yorktown Campaign map from the personal archive of the Comte de Rochambeau. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Lyscosthenes, Conrad. <i>Prodigiorum ac ostentorum chronicon,</i> Basilea: Henricus Petrus, c. 1557, first edition, folio. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Collection of Ethiopic Religious Texts, in Ge'ez , illuminated manuscripts on vellum, c. 1700-20th c. (5 pcs.) $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Augustinus, Aurelius Sanctus.<br><i>De Civitate Dei,</i> Venice: Bonetus Locatellus per Octavianus Scotus, 9 Febbraio, 1486, 4to. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Choiseul-Gouffier, Marie Gabriel Comte de. <i>Voyage Pittoresque de la Grece,</i> Paris, J.J. Blaise, 1782-1809-1822, first edition. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Rufinus, Tyrannius (c. 345-411). <i>Expositio in symbolum apostolorum,</i> [Cologne, Ulrich Zel, c. 1472], first edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Magnus, Albertus. <i>Summa de eucharistiae sacramento,</i> Ulm: Johann Zainer, 1474. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Strabo. <i>Rerum geographicarum libri septemdecim. A Guilielmo Xylandro Augstano magna cura recogniti…,</i> Basel, Henricpetri, (August 1571). $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Riou, Stephen (1720-1780). <i>The Grecian Orders of Architecture. Delineated and Explained from the Antiquities of Athens,</i> London, 1768. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Mair, Paul Hektor. <i>Geschlechter Buch...der...Statt Augspurg,</i> Frankfurt am Maim, Sigmund Feyerabend, 1580. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Polybius (c. 200-118 B.C.). <i>Historiarum libri priores quinque,</i> Basel: Johann Herwagen, 1549. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Bellori, Giovanni Pietro. <i>Columna Antoniniana Marci Aurelii Antonini Augusti rebus gestis insignis Germanis simul...,</i> Rome, [1672]. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> <i>Ecclesiasticae Historiae, Eusebii Pamphili...Eiusdem de vita Constantini...Socratis...,</i> Paris, Robert Estienne, 1544. $800 to $1,200.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>

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