Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2022 Issue

Sherlock Holmes In 221 Objects Exhibited from the Collection of Glen Miranker/Miranker Interview

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The first Sherlock Holmes show in NYC in 50 years is free and open to the public at the Grolier Club through April 16. It may also be viewed online.

Exhibit is free at the Grolier Club in NYC through April 16 and also online

 

Sherlock Holmes in 221 Objects draws upon selected items from the impressive collection assembled by Glen Miranker of more than 8,000 rarities including manuscripts, books, correspondence, and artwork, all with intriguing stories to tell beyond their significance as literary and cultural landmarks.

 

The show, named for the famous address of the Holmes’ Baker Street lodgings, presents items that will engage both the specialist and the general enthusiast. This is the first comprehensive Sherlock Holmes exhibition in Manhattan in more than half a century and features an unrivaled number of objects in Conan Doyle’s hand.

 

The event is free and open to the public at the Grolier Club through April 16th in the ground floor gallery. See details on visiting the Grolier Club at the end of this article.

 

Most of its treasures can also be viewed online. 

 

Doyle produced four Sherlock Holmes novels and 56 short stories. Miranker’s extensive collection includes all that and more. “I also collect backstories about items in my collection, for what they reveal about the friendships, rivalries, ambitions, and business dealings at play as stories were written or published.”

 

The show takes a cluster approach to showcasing his collection: “I like to assemble objects that are more significant in a group than they are individually…They offer more insight together, imparting a more complete understanding than one object can do singly.”

 

Some examples cited in the media kit provided by Grolier include:

 

Writing about the celebrated Hound of the Baskervilles displayed in both a UK and US sections the press kit points out: “By itself, the Newnes Sixpenny edition of the Hound (of the Baskerville) is a striking book, but its impact is more complete when one reads Conan Doyle’s note agreeing to its publication and also sees the original artwork for its cover. It’s a cluster that provides a richer view of a moment in the life of the author and in the ongoing publication history of the Hound.”

 

Sections on the Hound of the Baskervilles in the UK

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/hound-uk

 

And the Hound in the US

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/hound-us

 

Other selected cluster groups and their links are at:

 

Study in Scarlet

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/a-study-in-scarlet

 

Sign of Four

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/the-sign-of-four

 

Adventures and Memoirs

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/adventures-memoirs

 

Death of Holmes and Rebirth of Conan Doyle

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/the-death-of-holmes-rebirth

 

Sherlock Holmes on Stage

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/the-plays-the-thing

During the three decades that William Gillette performed in the play Sherlock Holmes, his phenomenal publicity machine cranked out all manner of souvenirs, posters, and programs—all represented in the collection. But for a human side to the business of show business, Miranker prizes Gillette’s correspondence with Conan Doyle, including a 1901 Christmas card with this note: “Did you ever imagine that Sherlock would be sending his compliments to his maker?”

 

Conan Doyle’s Return to Sherlock Holmes

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/conan-doyles-return-to-sherloc

This cluster that attests to the frenzy accompanying Holmes’s return. It includes Conan Doyle’s letter updating P. F. Collier on his progress with his new stories for Collier's Magazine; a wealth of original artwork that Collier’s commissioned from Frederic Dorr Steele; the manuscripts of four stories from The Return of Sherlock Holmes; and more.

 

Pirate editions:

https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/sherlock-holmes/pirated-editions

Of more than casual interest are the multiple “pirated” editions on display.These rogue publishers ingeniously exploited the popularity of Sherlock Holmes to sell books. Pricing was paramount, but eye-catching cover art was a crucial come-on. The Westbrook covers can’t be topped for color, drama, and their total disconnect from the titles’ storylines.

 

Again the club provides a helpful synopsis to navigate the knock off editions:

 

The Sign of Four, first US book edition, Collier’s Once A Week Library, March 15, 1891. The Sign of Four made its first US book appearance in this 25¢ pirate imprint of Collier’s Once A Week Library, two years before Lippincott published the first authorized US book edition.

 

• “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” first US magazine piracy, Arthur’s New Home Magazine. “The Speckled Band” appeared in one of the magazines published by T. S. Arthur, a leading figure in the American temperance movement, just two months after its first publication in the Strand. This is the only instance of the rarely pirated “Speckled Band” in Miranker’s collection.

.

The Sign of the Four | A Study in Scarlet, Red Seal Library of Standard Books
This Red Seal Library Sign and the Red Seal Study are the lowest-priced piracies on his shelves; it is scarcely conceivable that they could be printed, distributed, and sold for just 2¢ apiece.

 

The Sign of the Four, A Case of Identity, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-Headed League, Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, published by the Arthur Westbrook Company.

Snazzy hardback catalog in a short run at $60

Accompanying the exhibition is a 168-page hardback catalog with 238 color images, published by the Grolier Club and distributed by the University of Chicago Press. The volume retails for $60 and according to Miranker has a first press run of 600 copies. Those have almost sold out with a second printing planned shortly.

 

VISITING THE GROLIER CLUB,

47 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022

(212) 838-6690, www.grolierclub.org

 

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, with the exception of holiday closures

Admission: Exhibitions are open to the public free of charge. Masks are required. In accordance with New York City Guidelines all visitors age 12 and over are required to show proof of vaccination. Visits should be reserved in advance via EVENTBRITE.

 

Go to the next page to read the interview with Glen Miranker

Rare Book Monthly

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    <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.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Graphic Design<br>May 19, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, <i>Triplex,</i> pencil maquette, 1930. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Claude Fayette Brandon, <i>The Chap Book,</i> circa 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Various Artists, a complete set of <i>Das Plakat,</i> set of 10 hardcover volumes, 1912-21. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Javier Gómez Acebo & Máximo Viejo Santamarta, <i>San Sebastian / XI Circuitto Automovilista,</i> 1935. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Ephraim Moses Lilien, <i>Berliner Tageblatt,</i> circa 1899. $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <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.
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    <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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    <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
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    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Colonna, <i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,</i> 1545. Est: €40,000
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