Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2011 Issue

Film, Literature and More from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper199

The latest from James Pepper Rare Books.

James Pepper Rare Books has released Catalogue 199 in their almost monthly series. The formula is similar, and obviously successful. They offer a mix of material related to film and theater, with literature, science fiction and detective mystery, and a smattering of other fields, such as sports. Here, now, is a look inside number 199.

 

Item 15 is a look at several of the stars of the 20th century by one of them - Eddie Cantor. Cantor was a comedian, but he was also a singer, songwriter, actor, dancer, and huge radio star of the 1930s and 1940s. Before that (and continuing into that era) his recordings were best sellers. He also starred in early television, but for whatever reason, his enormous popularity and fame ebbed quickly, and he is not as well remembered as are many of his contemporaries. Cantor's book is entitled As I Remember Them, published in 1963, and it has chapters on stars of his era such as W.C. Fields, Al Jolson, Greta Garbo, Groucho Marx, Judy Garland and Will Rogers. However, the one with which this copy is most connected is Cantor's longtime friend Jack Benny. Benny was the master of the pregnant pause, along with the exasperated look and legendary stinginess, all an act. Writing about Benny, Cantor says, "I told him once I'd give him the shirt off my back. 'And do you know what I'd do for you Eddie?' he said. 'I'd wash it, iron it, and charge you only thirty-five cents!'" Cantor has inscribed this copy to Benny, "One of the all-time greats of show business." Priced at $1,250.

 

Item 130 is Show Business, by Thyra Samter Winslow. Winslow made her way from small-town Arkansas to the big cities via her writing skills. Her name is obscure as most of what she wrote was for magazines, articles long since forgotten, though she did write some books (including compilations of her magazine articles) and at least one screenplay. Her writing about show business evidently brought her in contact with some its biggest names as this copy is inscribed to Florenz Ziegfield of Ziegfield Follies fame and his wife Billie Burke, best remembered as Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz. To continue the name-dropping, the book later made its way to the library of Marx Brother Harpo and his wife Susan, an actress and one-time member of Ziegfield's review. $650.

 

Here's the ultimate "for dummies" book:  Dummy Days:  America's Favorite Ventriloquists from Radio and Early TV, by Kelly Asbury, published in 2003. Probably the most famous ventriloquist/dummy pairing was Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Along with the sharp-tongued Charlie, Bergen had other dummies, such as dimwitted Mortimer Snerd. What is something of a mystery is that Bergen and Charlie rose to fame on radio, where the dummy can't be seen, nor the ventriloquist's skills appreciated. The book also looks at other famed pairings, including Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, and Senor Wences and Johnny. Not to mention Pedro, the head in a box. S'all right? S'all right. S'okay? S'okay. Item 1. $125.

 

Item 113 is a book about a book. It is Lost on the Titanic - The Story of the Great Omar - A Jeweled Binding of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in 1911 That Went Down with the Titanic. Rob Shepherd's account of this tragedy (admittedly, the tragedy of this loss pales in comparison with the human life lost on the Titanic) was published in 2002. Sangorski and Sutcliffe were known for fine, at times extravagant bindings, and this one certainly qualified as taking the art to the extreme. It took two years to make the binding, which contained over 1,000 precious and semi-precious stones. Unfortunately, it sank so soon after being created that there was only one known old black and white photograph of it. However, Shepherd discovered archives about it, which he used to recreate its appearance in color. $375.

 

Item 19 is an original Herald Pamphlet for London After Midnight, the 1927 silent film starring Lon Chaney. It features Chaney as a vampire in this murder/horror film, though it is impossible to go into great detail. The film is "lost," perhaps the most famous of all the old silent movies for which no copies are known to still exist. $850.

 

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

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 Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <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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