Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2009 Issue

<i>In The News:</i> Shakespearean Gifts & Thefts, a Gift Gone Wrong, Abe's Top 10

Clarklibrary

UCLA's Clark Library receives a major Shakespeare collection.


By Michael Stillman

UCLA's Clark Library was the recipient of a major Shakespeare collection. Valued at just under $2 million, it is the largest gift ever received by UCLA's rare book library. It was the gift of Paul Chrzanowski, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a 20-plus year Shakespeare collector. However, the collection is not limited to works of the bard himself, but includes many books that likely influenced Shakespeare as he prepared his own works.

There are the first and second volumes of Holinshed's Chronicles, published in 1587. This is where Shakespeare learned much of the English history used in his plays, notably MacBeth. There is a 1603 first English translation of the works of French philosopher Michel de Montaigne. This translation is credited with adding hundreds of new words to the English vocabulary, such as "miraculous," "scandalous," adulterous," and "depraved," words that worked their way into Shakespeare's plays. Another title in the collection is an English translation of the Italian work Rhomeo and Julietta, and it is not hard to guess which Shakespeare play was based on this item. Additionally, there are some works by Shakespeare himself, including a 1619 quarto of Henry the Sixth, and a Fourth Folio, published in 1685.

In totally unrelated Shakespearean news, Raymond Scott, accused thief of the Durham University (UK) copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, has had his trial date set. It will begin on June 14, 2010, and could last for many weeks. Scott is the man who showed up at the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., with a First Folio he claimed to have received from a Cuban family, but which an "expert" hired by the Folger identified as the Durham copy. The colorful Scott has denied all charges. He arrived for his first court hearing in a stretch limousine, and for the second one in a carriage, dressed in a kilt and sipping Drambuie with his attractive "research assistant." This time, Scott arrived in the most proper of attire, a sharp looking dark suit, blue tie, striped shirt, gray raincoat, bowler hat, umbrella and attaché case. Scott knows how to make a dramatic appearance, but he will still have to give the performance of his life next year when the courtroom becomes much more serious.

The New York State Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a university versus its donors in one of the uglier disputes in the world of libraries. Several years ago, Paul and Irene Bogoni pledged $2 million to St. Bonaventure University to construct a rare books addition to their library. Ground was broken in 2006, and construction began in 2007, but in 2008, $1.1 million into the project, the Bogonis sued the university, demanding a full accounting or refund of their money. Naturally, they discontinued further contributions to the project. The Bogonis believed it was running seriously over budget and they were not being told why. St. Bonaventure denied both claims. The New York court agreed with the university, refusing to return the Bogonis earlier contributions, and requiring they donate the remaining $900,000 of their pledge. One can guess that these large-scale donors are even less happy today with the recipients of their largesse. Meanwhile, construction has been completed on the new wing, which at least as of this moment, does not carry the Bogonis' name. The Bogonis still have the option to appeal this decision as in New York, the Supreme Court is only the second highest court.

AbeBooks has released its list of the top ten highest prices paid on their website during September:

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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