Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2012 Issue

From the Counterculture to Whatever Else from Brian Cassidy, Bookseller

Cassidy6

Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten graces the cover of Brian Cassidy's sixth catalogue.

Brian Cassidy, Bookseller, has issued Catalogue Six. Cassidy's catalogues are hard to describe, being a mix of subjects, some a bit out of the mainstream. There are items that might be considered part of the counterculture, be it art, music, or radical politics. Other items are simply first editions, perhaps slightly off center, but not too far away. There is a group of personally collected albums, with such things as photographs, handwritten stories, scrapbook collections, and pressed flowers. An occasional piece can be downright ugly, such as the blackface Christmas pageant. Then there is the book I won't even try to explain or understand – Snatch 'N' Sniff: Vagina Poem and Picture Book. Yes, it has a scratch and sniff patch, and no, I don't know the answer to the next question you are about to ask. Let's just move on to see what else is here.

We will start with the item pictured on the catalogue's cover. It's a flyer promoting appearances by England's seminal punk band, the Sex Pistols, at the 100 Club on June 29 and July 6, 1976. The Pistols had formed the previous year, but didn't start publicly performing on much of a regular basis until that spring. By the time they began performing at the 100 Club, they had already been thrown out of a couple of other venues. Their angry, punk persona, unpolished music, and penchant for getting into fights did not comport well with expected musical standards. Their followers didn't mind. The anger struck a nerve. By the end of the year, the Pistols would release their first record, Anarchy in the U.K., and soon the entire nation would have the opportunity to appreciate their unconventional message and attitude. Item 116. $3,000.

Item 15 is an S&H Green Stamp invitation to Andy Warhol's exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. The exhibition opened on October 8, 1965, and was curated by Sam Green, who had managed a gallery in New York a short time earlier and was friendly with Warhol. The artist had suggested using the Green Stamp motif, which he had previously painted, for the invitation, in honor of Sam Green's name. Warhol was already well-known for his cutting edge pop art, and Green saw an opportunity for a major success. He whipped out 6,000 of these invitations, mainly for students, hoping to fill the gallery which held 300. He could not have imagined how successful he would be. Warhol himself, and Edie Sedgwick, who acted in several of his underground films, attended. A huge crowd came out to see the stars. They, and Green, had to escape through a hole in the ceiling. The Green Stamp invitation comes with the smaller, shorter run Campbell Soup invitations. Green obtained 350 tomato soup and 350 cream of mushroom soup labels from Campbells, the company being happy to play on the publicity Warhol had given them. Invitations were printed on the back of the soup labels. $7,500.

Andy Warhol brought his camera to Boston for a performance by his favorite band, the Velvet Underground, at the Boston Tea Party, August 11-12, 1967. Despite the Velvets' enormous musical influence and popularity with major artistic figures such as Warhol, there is almost no film of them in their early, or even peak years. Warhol's film from this concert was “lost” until 2009. Cassidy notes that it is one of only two performance films of the Velvet Underground with synched sound, and the only one in color. Item 17 is a poster promoting the event, announcing both the band's appearance and that of “underground filmmaker” Warhol. It belonged to the late guitarist of the Velvet Underground, Sterling Morrison. $9,500.

Here is a piece that looks like a more traditional, family values sort of thing. It is a pamphlet seemingly promoting Scouting and the Boy Scout Jamboree. The Boy Scouts were scheduled to hold a jamboree in Washington in 1935. This very wholesome looking item was written by Martha Millet and Sam Strong. However, look inside, and it is somewhat different from what it appears. It was produced by the American Communist Party, and they wanted to make sure the scouts heard their side of the story. The pamphlet attacks President Roosevelt for his record on child welfare, questions the ethics of holding such a jamboree while so many people in the country are starving, and attacks the Boy Scouts as a Fascist, “Jim Crow organization,” which encourages the boys to aspire to a life where they “work like hell, for all kinds of hours, for little pay...” Sure can take the fun out of scouting! The Jamboree was canceled, but not because the scouts rebelled against their capitalist oppressors. It was in response to a polio epidemic. Item 93. $475.

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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