Rare Book Monthly

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Letters to the Editor

David November 01, 2018

Being a paleobiologist by education, a collector of Darwin by choice, and single malt imbiber (preferably an islay) by predilection I can testify that the process of aging single malt from good to excellent does not take 60 years, $1.1 million, or an ersatz art label. While doing field work in a desert (in my case many years in the Kyzylkum of Uzbekistan), simply placing bottles of the spirits in a tent at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for a few weeks notably improved the quality of said liquid. Having been in such extremis must be worth something. Any takers? Will entertain offers below seven figures. 


J. David Archibald


book appraiser August 29, 2017

Bruce, Follow up on Mike Stillman's mention about camels in the SW. In 2006 the Huntington Library Press reprinted the 1929 Harvard University Press Journal of Major Hampreys Stacy supplemented by the report of Edward Fitzgeerald Beal, 1857-1859. Beal was the "Camel Brigade" Commander and Stacy was the 19 year old who went along for the adventure from San Antonio, Texas to Bakersfield, CA. Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, wanted to experiment with Asian camels providing transportation across the "Great American Desert."


Alan Aimone


. April 01, 2017

Bruce,

Thanks to your recommendation, my large inventory of rare books and ephemera has effectively has been sold with the assistance of DeWolfe and Wood. They drove hundreds of miles with a truck three times, boxed the books and drove them to Maine where they sold them by book fairs, auctions, private sales....The transaction relieved my mind. I couldn't leave this large inventory to my daughters who have no knowledge of the trade. I am 83 years old and must prepare for the inevitable but I sorely miss my books.

Thank you for your help and the hard work by DeWolfe and Wood.

Tom Cullen, Rockland Bookman


. December 01, 2016

Re:
"A decade later this book was tiptoeing toward oblivion, its passage unknown but its destination determined: Better World Books where, as one of the tens of thousands of books they convert each year from ink and paper to money to be used for charitable purposes, posted it on eBay where I bought it for $4.95."

It should be noted that Better World Books is not a non profit and not a charity. It is a for-profit business posing as a charity. It was started by two Notre Dame MBAs. It does indeed make charitable donations (often unwanted books) but its goal is profit.

Thanks,

Paul Collinge
Heartwood Books


. October 17, 2016

Bruce,

Maybe I have missed earlier versions of this (perhaps I am more focused on the worldwide auction scene these days), but I REALLY like your "16 Auctions Archived, 31 Sales Upcoming - AE Auction Updates." This is a wonderful way to keep abreast of what is going on in today's auction world, which now certainly appears to be "the marketplace" for art, books and works on paper.

Reading about the top 25 lots sold is fascinating and informative, especially for sold material outside the narrow range of the printed book. I think sending an email with these monthly reviews and reminder of the forthcoming auctions is a brilliant move on the part of RBH. Please keep them coming.

I knew about the sale of the E.T. painting -- the mind boggles. But then there is the Harry Potter chair sold by the same house.

Regards, Lloyd

====================
L. W. Currey, Inc. ABAA/ILAB


a October 01, 2015

Michael, thank you for your thought-provoking article on the mold problem in Boston. You're absolutely correct to say that in the digital era, old books just don't seem to warrant proper attention, or the funding necessary to protect this heritage. I have no idea how this dilemma will be solved. It will take dedicated, hard working conservators countless hours over countless years to fix the current state of affairs that libraries and museums across the nation are facing. As a collector, I care for my several hundred items quite carefully. And that makes me think that perhaps these collections don't really belong in moldy old buildings where fewer and fewer people have access to them, but rather they're much better off being in the hands of individuals who know the intrinsic value of these rarities. Thank you for sharing your insight. Scott A. Scanlon Greenwich, Connecticut


Andrew May 06, 2015

I very much enjoyed the conversation with Ed Maggs. I do however need to take mild issue with the statement that "Maggs Bros. Ltd is the oldest continuously operating dealer in rare books and manuscripts in the English speaking world." Henry Sotheran's outdo our good friends in Berkeley Square by 92 years having been in business since 1761.

With best wishes

Andrew McGeachin

Managing Director
Henry Sotheran Limited

www.sotherans.co.uk


George Kolbe December 01, 2014

I look forward every month to reading AE Monthly. Why lessen the enjoyment by including leftist political orthodoxy into otherwise delightful articles.

The latest offender::

"He continued through life to support political candidates who were focused on helping the needy, rather than those who sought to reduce taxes on the wealthy…"

—The Greatest Book Collector Dies at 100

Had the collectors forebears been of like mind, the collection receiving accolades likely would never have been formed.


John November 09, 2012

I am an attorney who has been monitoring this case. Mr. Fraser has not contacted anyone in regard to selling the Mahler photo, as the individual who posted the last message claims. Furthermore, Mr. Fraser's grandmother does not have Alzheimer's disease and any such false claim shows malicious intent. The grandmother's declaration is 100% valid. Lastly, the Fraser family has no intention of giving the photo to the Schoenberg family for free; Mr. Fraser's father is the only one who has made such a statement. Unfortunately, the father has estranged himself from his family for almost a decade and his comments do not reflect the opinions of the Fraser family.


Reader001 November 08, 2012

In response to the letter to the editor regarding the Mahler photograph. I have been following this story since I first saw it. I would like to rebut the statements made by saying that the grandmother is never stated to be suffering from Alzheimer's disease, in no article does it ever make any statement regarding her mental health. This person has been vagrantly slandering them since I read this article on the Huffington post. There is definitely some personal bias there.

I would also like to point out that the father has estranged himself from the family, so if the grandmother gave the photograph as a gift to the grandson, the father would have no claim to it.

If there was truly no right to possession than a suit would have been filed by now. The fact that there is not, means that there is really nothing to go on other than hearsay.


A reader November 01, 2012

I read the Michael Stillman article on the Mahler photograph which was inscribed to Arnold Schoenberg and the situation which legally revolves around the item. As I have been approached by the seller in this case and asked questions and did background research, I would suggest three additional facts be added as fact to this case, which further cloud Mr. Fraser's claim.



 1. His nonengerian Grandmother is suffering from Alzheimers disease.




 2. In the affadavit which he purports to have, he blacks out the name of the notary when he has shown it. I know of two such incidents, one to the Schoenberg Family, the second was reported by the New York Times. Therefore the affadavit is of dubious provenance.



 3. The rest of the family, including the logical heir, his Father, wants the item returned to the Schoenberg family without compensation of any sort.




As the Grandmother is not in a proper state of mind where she can legally give an item of this value away to anyone, it is highly questionable whether Mr. Fraser has any rights to the piece if it were legally his to sell. At this point, the piece will not sell for the price Mr. Fraser seeks, which is well beyond tolerance for any buyer of this sort of material.
I recommend that anyone interesed in this case read the Schoenblog articles. http://schoenblog.com/




 Thank you.


. September 01, 2012

Dear Mr. Stillman,



Re your article on the latest scam, the first indication that this is a scam is the "I am Barrister Willliam" so and so. A barrister in England does one thing only - he argues cases in court, or to put it more formally, before the bar; hence the bar-rister. Mr. Johnson would have been more believable if he had called himself Solicitor so and so. When one has a legal matter in England he engages a solicitor who in turn engages the barrister, if necessary, since the former cannot argue cases before the bar and the latter cannot solicit business.



Just my two cents worth. I enjoy reading the AE Monthly very much.



Best wishes,


scrapslady September 01, 2012

Thank you for all your interesting articles, but particularly those from Susan Halas - always something different and fascinating. By the way, we do get taught about the double negative here in the UK, but what about split infinitives? - Michael Stillman take note!




Mr. Stillman replies:  "But... we fought a revolution here for the right to occasionally split our infinitives!"


mrsmouse July 01, 2012

I am a volunteer sorter of gifts/donations at my library and I can fully appreciate the problem of catching the jewel in the dross. Most volunteers have limited knowledge, (myself included) the library staff hasn't the time, and there we are, sending 1st editions of Noel Coward to the book sale for 1.00, 1st U.S editions of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats to the shredder and who on earth knows what else we don't catch. If there is a solution I'd be pleased to hear it.


. April 04, 2012

Hello AE,



 Thanks for another informative article by Susan Halas !



 Dave Shoots, Bookseller


. March 07, 2012

Thank you for the generous mention of my book. Michael Stillman was puzzled by quote
from Richard Burton. I would have liked a puff from the explorer but I don't think
he had much of a sense of humour; in fact my RB is an old friend mentioned in the
book's index - a well known UK architect.


. March 01, 2012

Another great AE Monthly. Can't wait - when's the next one?! Just Kidding.


Thanks much.


. January 04, 2012

Hi Bruce,

 

I read with sadness your piece on Bob Emerson. I was unaware of his passing but had lost contact with him ever since his move to Ohio. I live not far from Falls Village, Ct. and would often drive to their old church building to search through their books. They were a beautiful and wonderful couple. There was always the aroma of whatever Dorothy was cooking or heating up behind a partition.



This also very well coincides with your article on the loss of old time bookshops and the opportunity to meet "grey-haired mystics, guards and guides." I sorely miss that. I would often spend a weekend driving throughout Ct. New York and Ma. with my booksellers guides seeking out open shops and out of the way booksellers operating out of their homes. Even with them now it has become "by appointment." Nothing these days is spontaneous or adventurous. The Internet has definitely done the world of book collecting a massive disservice which will never be amended.

 

Best regards,

 Ted Dunn


. January 02, 2012

Bruce,



Keep up the good work.
I enjoy your monthly newsletters throughout the year. My love of books was instilled by my father who worked for Connecticut Printers…. The old Lockwood, Brainard, Day dynasty out of Hartford CT.
Long live the book,



 Caroline Welling VanDeusen


. January 02, 2012

Just wanted to let you know how much i have enjoyed studying the Top 500 auction items list for 2011. It made me remember a lot, ponder a lot, and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, at no point could I say, "Oh, i have one of those!". I greatly appreciate your efforts!



John Via


. December 07, 2011

Dear Bruce:



 Thanks for the nice piece on the Library of America. I am on its board of
trustees, and we appreciate all the advertising we can get.



 Besides reprinting classics, LOA has done a number of anthologies of
material not easily brought together in one place. Two of the most
celebrated are the two-volumes sets devoted to war journalism of World War
II and the Vietnam War.



 An exciting project now underway is an anthology of writing during the Civil
War, which will proceed year by year as the 150th anniversary progresses.
The first volume came out this spring, and the second is on the way.



 All best,




 Bill


WRAF November 01, 2011

Forwarded the FIRST article to several friends, readers..Never knowing of anyone spending all that time to put together such a challenging task!
Printed out for reading later, I stopped at Monroe..and thought I'd share what I have in my collection..as obviously I like the star.
Have the HIGH SCHOOL YEAR BOOK of Paul Newman..Who's cover has a photo of the building and HIM WALKING ALONG...
Bet a lot of people will now start searching for year books!
Constantly enjoy reading on the first of the month ! Well done !


. October 02, 2011

Hi Bruce,


I just finished reading your review of Part I, “How History…” Swann (my wife Eydie reading over my shoulder said “He writes very well”) and I felt very proud. I am sure that your writing will contribute to people thinking outside of the box and for themselves when it comes to collecting and purchasing in our fascinating field. Americana Exchange has changed the world of collecting printed and manuscript material in a way that is no punches pulled, in your face truths disregarding cliques and “old boy networks” and has evened the playing field for everyone from novices to experts! I return Congratulations to you! There was one startling omission. You failed to note how I look half my age and half my weight!


Best,


Eric


. October 01, 2011

Dear Bruce


Many thanks for the wonderful article about the Chelsea Book Fair in AE this month and being so supportive of the ABA fairs once again. We already received emails from some UK dealers mentioning the article.


Angelika Elstner


. September 01, 2011

Handwriting matters ... But does cursive matter?



Research shows: the fastest and most legible handwriters avoid cursive. They join
only some letters, not all of them: making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and
using print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree.
(Citation on request.)




Reading cursive still matters -- this takes just 30 to 60 minutes to learn, and can
be taught to a five- or six-year-old if the child knows how to read. The value of
reading cursive is therefore no justification for writing it.




Remember, too: whatever your elementary school teacher may have been told by her
elementary school teacher, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over
signatures written in any other way. (Don't take my word for this: talk to any
attorney.)




 Yours for better letters,




Kate Gladstone — CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works

Director, the World Handwriting Contest


Co-Designer, BETTER LETTERS handwriting trainer app for iPhone/iPad


http://www.HandwritingThatWorks.com


Albany, NY


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Greco (Gioachino). <i>Primo modo del gioco de Partito…</i> Manuscript, France, 1624 or 1625. A collection of partiti, or 'chess problems' by one of the most important figures in the history of chess. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Herodotus. <i>Historiae,</i> translated into Latin by Lorenzo Valla and edited by Antonio Mancinelli. Venice, 1494. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Darwin (Charles). Autograph Letter signed to his cousin Reginald Darwin, Down, Beckenham, Kent, 27th March 1879. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Nicolay (Nicolas de). <i>The Navigations, peregrinations and voyages, made into Turkie,</i> first edition in English, Imprinted at London by Thomas Dawson, 1585. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Saint-Exupéry (Antoine de). <i>The Little Prince,</i> number 66 of 525 copies signed by the author, 1943. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Catlin (George, 1796-1872). Tuch-ee, A Celebrated War Chief of the Cherokees, watercolour, [circa 1834]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Genetics.- A collection of c.300 pamphlets on genetics comprising many of the major contributions from the first half of the 20th century. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> India.- Rajasthan.- Kota School (probably late 18th c.). Elephant in a landscape with chains around his feet, brush and black ink with opaque pigments. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Commelin (Caspar). <i>Horti medici Amstelaedamensis plantae rariores et exoticae,</i> first edition, 48 finely hand-coloured engraved plates, Leiden, F.Haringh, 1706. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Plague-water and cookery & medical recipes.- Jackson (Mrs Sarah). Medical and cookery recipes, manuscript in several hands, title and 134pp., 1688-1755. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Vernet (<i>After</i> Joseph, 1714-1789). <i>[Vues des ports de France],</i> sixteen plates (of 18), etchings and engravings by Charles Nicolas Cochin fils and Jacques Philippe Le Bas, [c.1760-1780]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Detmold (Edward Julius, 1883-1957). Parrots and Butterflies, watercolour. £2,500 to £3,500.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Princess Diana, group of 6 ALS to the editor of British Vogue, 1989-92. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing with news after pledging support to King George III against the American rebels, 1776. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Ulysses S. Grant, photograph dated & signed as President, portrait by Brady, 1875. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Alexander Graham Bell, ALS, accepting an invitation to tea during his only trip to Japan, 1898. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Nikola Tesla, signature & date on his monogrammed correspondence card, 1935. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Richard Wagner, ALS, concerning his opera Rienzi, 1869. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, autograph note signed, requesting the address of Yvette Guilbert, 1895. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Claude Monet, ALS, to painter Harry Lachman, complaining that his vision has not improved, 1920s. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Friedrich Hölderlin, autograph manuscript, unsigned, 7 lines quoting Michael Denis's <i>Ossians und Sineds Lieder.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Guestbook for Lüchow's restaurant, over 400 signatures, including W.H. Auden, Grace Kelly & drawings by Charles Addams, NYC, 1950-56. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> George Washington, lottery ticket, signed, 1768. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Vaslav Nijinsky, postcard dated & signed, showing a drawing of him in <i>Schéhérazade,</i> 1916. $2,500 to $3,500.
  • <b>Koller Auctions: Books & Autographs. March 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Jacques Gamelin. <i>Nouveau recueil d'osteologie et de myologie, dessine d'apres nature...</i> 2 parts in 1 vol., large folio, 82 copper plates. CHF 12,000 to 18,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Melchior Pfintzing. <i>Die geverlicheiten und einsteils geschichten des loblichen streytparen...</i> 118 woodcut engravings, first edition. CHF 30,000 to 50,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Book of hours. Handwritten Latin text on vellum. With 17 large miniatures, Flanders, c.1460. CHF 70,000 to 90,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Maria Sibylla Merian. <i> Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium,</i> 72 copper plates, Den Haag, 1726. CHF 60,000 to 90,000
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000

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