Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2010 Issue

Sacramento's Spring Book Fair, Eugene's Spring Book Sale... and a Word About Pricing


Liz Pollock's The Cook's Bookcase.

I sold a complete mish mash of things, so now I still don't know what to bring next time. I think we broke even, but of course, we bought books, too, so there went the profit. We found a couple of new restaurants; The Squeeze Inn, which has smashingly good cheesy, cheeseburgers and the downtown Sacramento P.F. Chang's, which is a chain, but really good food and wines.

The following week, we headed to Eugene, Oregon, for the Eugene FOL Book Sale. It was interesting, and I think it may bring in more people than even the Palo Alto Friends sale does. However, they do a couple of things that drove me to scream. First, they expect you to show up at 5 a.m. to get your early number so you can get in line at 9 a.m. There were actually 5-6 people who spent the night in the line, sleeping in bags in chairs in the damp, cold, Pacific Northwest so they could get the first five or six numbers and they looked pretty rough in the morning. I think that is a bit too much for me. One of them was a very annoying, pushy woman who, when she wanted a book, would sort of hip-shove someone else out of the way. No manners, that one! We came at 4:30 a.m., got numbers 39-40, and went back to the hotel to sleep a couple of hours. We were damn glad we had done that awful awakening when we got there at 8:45 and were the 40th in a line of 300+ eager beaver booksellers. Yikkes!

They let a hundred or so in at a time, so we got in early and there were lots of quality books, many of which were overpriced, but in very nice shape. I bought four boxes, mostly western Americana and miscellaneous odd stuff that I couldn't resist. They have a terrible way of pricing the better books, however. They use those yellow dot stickers and then put scotch tape over those. They usually stick them under the Mylar covers on the good books or on top of the Mylar. But, in some cases, they stuck them directly on the d.j.s and they are a #$%^& to get off without trashing the covers. And, since I scan all covers for pictures before I take them downstairs to the bookstore, and all my Goo-Gone and stuff is downstairs in the store, I have to take them down, clean them up, then drag them upstairs again to scan them. It's damn nuisance and I know many better ways of protecting books from shop lifters.

They do have a really good check-out system. Dealers had their own checkout desk and a place to back in the cars to load without having to stand in the general sales line for an hour. I recommend checking it out if you are anywhere nearby as they did have a good selection. By the time we left to head to Portland, they were down to mostly OK books, but nothing great and there was still a long line of folks waiting to get into the sale.

We went to McMennamin's in Eugene right by the Willamette River for dinner. McMennamin's has dozens of restaurants in Oregon and Washington and the food is always good. They take historic landmark buildings and turn them into restaurants, theaters, or both. You'll find them online. So, the food was good, but Motel 6 was very noisy (too close to the freeway) and next year we will go to a different one, but that night we and the dog were too sleepy to care.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.

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