Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2010 Issue

Film, Theater, Literature from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper192

The latest catalogue from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has printed their Catalogue 192. As usual, it is filled with items relating to film, theater, literature, and detectives. Pepper regularly supplies us with items related to names we know, faces we recognize. If they were known in Hollywood or New York, they will likely find their way into the pages of a Pepper catalogue. Here are a few of them from this latest edition.

Item 8 is a copy of The Funny Men, written and published in 1956 by one of them, Steve Allen. Allen was the original host of the Tonight Show, had his own enormously popular primetime show in the 1960s, and was also a prolific songwriter. This copy is inscribed to one of the "funny men" he writes about, Groucho Marx. Writes Allen. "To Eden [Groucho's third and then wife] and Groucho, From the man who predicted Martin and Lewis would split up." Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis broke up their very successful comedy act that year. Allen's book is about the great comedians of the era, including Marx, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Sid Caesar, and others. Priced at $650.

Item 52 is a copy of Wisdom. Conversations with the Elder Wise Men of Our Day, that "day" being 1958. It was once the copy of famed bandleader Artie Shaw. It is inscribed to him as follows: "To Artie Shaw, with respect & admiration. F.D. Roosevelt, 9/11/61." Wait a minute. It is entirely possible that Franklin Roosevelt would have inscribed a book to Shaw in the 1940s, both being great figures in their fields at the time, but in 1961? Roosevelt died in 1945. Actually, this was not a ghostly visitation from the former President. Shaw had a humorous habit of inscribing books to himself on behalf of authors and other notable people. It was evidently something of an inside joke and as a measure of security. Perhaps Shaw also wanted to wreak havoc on future book collectors as well. The "FDR" inscription is in the handwriting of none other than Shaw himself. $50.

Here's a biography you may not have known existed, but then again, it is new: 'Otay!' The Billy 'Buckwheat' Thomas Story. It was written and signed by the author and son of its subject, of the same name (the same name being Bill Thomas, Jr., not Buckwheat, Jr.). Thomas was one of the stars of the 1930s-40s Our Gang series, portraying the rascal with the somewhat garbled speech and penchant for saying "Otay." Item 102. $75.

If a Buckwheat biography isn't strange enough, how about one of Ozzy? If you respond, "why is an Ozzie Nelson biography strange," you are from an earlier generation. No, this is Ozzy Osbourne's biography, lead singer for Black Sabbath and later solo artist, as well as star of the reality series The Osbournes (a family very unlike Ozzie and Harriet's Nelsons). The book's title is I Am Ozzy, and was written by Ozzy and Chris Ayres (who probably provided a lot of help). Fortunately, the written word by Ozzy is easier to understand than the spoken word. Ozzy could have learned better diction from Buckwheat. This copy has been signed by the iron man. Item 109. $100.

Item 7 is a preliminary sketch in charcoal for one of Charles Addams' cartoons. It depicts four delegates to the United Nations. Three are distinguished looking gentlemen representing France, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. The third delegate is a vampire, with fangs and a fiendish smile. His nameplate indicates he represents Transylvania. The other delegates eye him warily. $4,500.

James Pepper Rare Books may be reached at 805-963-1025 or pepbooks@aol.com. Their website is www.JamesPepperBooks.com.

You will find many of James Pepper's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site.
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Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> NASA archive with 351 photographs, silver & chromogenic prints, 1960-2002. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, suite of 18 cyanotypes, 1910-14. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, <i>Horse Capture, Atsina,</i> unique copper plate for <i>The North American Indian,</i> 1908. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> John Whipple, <i>Harriet Beecher Stowe,</i> salted print from a calotype negative, 1853. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Lewis Carroll, <i>Xie Kitchen,</i> albumen print, circa 1872. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Ansel Adams, <i>Taos Pueblo,</i> limited, signed first edition of the artist's first book, 12 silver bromide prints, 1930. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b><br>JFK in his motorcade about 2 mins before his assassination, chromogenic print, 1963. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Anton Guilio Bragaglia, 6 photomechanical postcards with facsimile signatures, 1911-13, printed 1932. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Société Anonyme, Inc, group of 9 postcards, including 8 real photo postcards, 1920-30. $25,000 to $35,000.
  • <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
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    <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
  • <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> BELON. <i>L’Histoire de la nature des oyseaux.</i> Paris : Corrozet, 1555. $17,000 to $23,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> MIOMANDRE – BARBIER. <i>Dessins sur les danses de Vaslav Nijinsky.</i> Paris. 1913. $23,000 to $34,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> HOKUSAI. <i>Fugaku Hyakkei, Edo : Nishimura Yûzô.</i> 1834-1875. $58,000 to $80,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> EDWARDS. <i> <br>A Natural History of Uncommon Birds…</i> London : Printed for the Author. 1743-1764. $35,000 to $46,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> VESALIUS. <i><br> De Humane Corporis Fabrica libri septem...</i> Basle : J. Oporinus. 1555. $58,000 to $80,000
  • <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>Die Französische Expedition gegen Mexico /Beilagen zum Beiheft des Militair - Wochenblattes
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>The Architecture Of M. Vitruvius Pollio. London, 1791.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Estatuto Provisional del Imperio Mexicano. México: Imprenta de Andrade y Escalante, 1865.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Historia de Méjico... México, 1849 - 1852.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Juárez, Benito - Ogazón, Pedro. Legajos de Bandos del Estado de Guadalajara, 1860-1863.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos. Mapa de las Aguas que por el Círculo de 90 Leguas Vienen a la Laguna de Tescuco... Méx, 1748.
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