Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2013 Issue

A Spring Miscellany from Sotheran's

Sotheranssp2013

Sotheran's Spring Miscellany and Fleur Cowles' Library.

Henry Sotheran Limited, aka Sotheran's, has issued a Spring Miscellany 2013, Including a Supplement of Books from the Library of Fleur Cowles. Along with the library of Ms. Cowles, there are also several books that came from the library of the great movie actress Marlene Dietrich. This catalogue is truly a miscellany, with a great variety of material. Even the section dedicated to Ms. Cowles' library is a miscellany, as she collected a wide range of books. So, without further attempt to describe the catalogue, we will move on to describe a few of the items found within its pages.

Speaking of Ms. Dietrich, item 14 is her copy of Cecil Beaton Diaries 1922-1939. Beaton was a notable portrait and fashion photographer, which brought him into contact with many famous personalities of his day. Among them was Ms. Dietrich. They became good friends and admired each other's work. Beaton also kept diaries, which he generously published. Not everyone named in them necessarily appreciated the publicity. Ms. Dietrich didn't have to worry, as she does not appear in this volume. This copy has a posthumous bookplate of Ms. Dietrich's library, along with a letter of provenance from her grandson. This book has the stamp of the Cunard Steamship Company dated July 1961, along with a note written in Dietrich's hand - “Nyce B-58/Please return!” Evidently she did not return it to the Cunard library, but we will assume it was a gift to her for traveling with them. Priced at £398 (British pounds, or approximately $606 in U.S. currency).

In the first few years after the First World War, fought from the air with what was still the most primitive of airplanes, Winston Churchill was already foreseeing the horrors that advanced technology would eventually bring to warfare. Item 31 is a copy of his Shall we Commit Suicide? published in 1924. This is a first separate edition of the essay originally published in a magazine. Writes Churchill, “Might not a bomb no bigger than an orange be found to possess secret power to destroy a whole block of buildings nay, to blast a township at a stroke?” Welcome to the nuclear age, beginning in about 20 more years. Churchill goes on to say, “Could not explosives...be guided automatically in flying machines...?” Yes they could, as the development of guided missiles and drones has displayed. He also expresses his concerns about future developments in poison gasses and chemical warfare. £750 (US $1,142).

Item 140 is an unusually formatted book by children's author Beatrix Potter. She only used it twice. It is an accordion folded book, that opens up into a panorama of 14 illustrations and 14 pages of text. The format was popular, though unwieldy, and booksellers did not like it, hence it only being used twice. This one is The Story of Miss Moppet, the first U.K. edition, published in 1906. £1,200 (US $1,827).

This next item is filled with irony, and probably inspiration for its author: Fake! The story of Elmyr de Hory the Greatest Art Forger of our time. Mr. de Hory was about to matched by the author, Clifford Irving. De Hory was an artist who claimed to have sold a thousand forged artworks to various galleries around the world. Irving and de Hory became friendly with the latter asking Irving to write his biography. That he did, with this biography being published in 1970. Irving's next work would be one to top de Hory's forgeries. He set out to write the “autobiography” of the extremely reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Irving figured Hughes was so fanatically publicity shy that he would not even come out publicly long enough to denounce the fake. Irving did extensive research into Hughes life and was able to sneak in to archives of private material to learn even more. He then presented documents approving the project with Hughes' neatly forged signature to publisher McGraw Hill. The publishing house was fooled. It provided Irving with advances, and even larger ones to “H.R. Hughes.” Irving's wife set up a Swiss bank account under the name Helga R. Hughes. When Hughes found out, he came out of hiding long enough to conduct a telephone interview with journalists who knew him from before his reclusive days, and the Swiss bank determined the fraud. Irving was finally forced to admit the hoax and spent 17 months in prison for his efforts. This copy of the de Hory biography also came from the library of Marlene Dietrich, who as far as we know was an honest woman. It comes with an ink portrait of Dietrich inscribed to her by de Hory. Item 81. £750 (US $1,142).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman<br>Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana<br>April 13, 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> The first book-form printing of the Declaration of Independence. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Paine, Thomas) <i>The American Crisis. Number I.</i> "These are the times that try men's souls." $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> First printing of the Treaty of Paris, with distinguished contemporary provenance. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman<br>Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana<br>April 13, 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> Washington, George. Letter signed as first President-Elect. Washington prepares to embark "again on the ocean of publick affairs." $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Hamilton, Alexander). Manuscript document. The launch of one of the most consequential careers in American public life. $180,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Lexington & Concord). <i>A Bloody Butchery, by the British Troops…</i> $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Apr. 13:</b> (Yorktown Campaign—Jean-Nicolas Desandrouins). A Yorktown Campaign map from the personal archive of the Comte de Rochambeau. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Lyscosthenes, Conrad. <i>Prodigiorum ac ostentorum chronicon,</i> Basilea: Henricus Petrus, c. 1557, first edition, folio. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Collection of Ethiopic Religious Texts, in Ge'ez , illuminated manuscripts on vellum, c. 1700-20th c. (5 pcs.) $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Augustinus, Aurelius Sanctus.<br><i>De Civitate Dei,</i> Venice: Bonetus Locatellus per Octavianus Scotus, 9 Febbraio, 1486, 4to. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Choiseul-Gouffier, Marie Gabriel Comte de. <i>Voyage Pittoresque de la Grece,</i> Paris, J.J. Blaise, 1782-1809-1822, first edition. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Rufinus, Tyrannius (c. 345-411). <i>Expositio in symbolum apostolorum,</i> [Cologne, Ulrich Zel, c. 1472], first edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Magnus, Albertus. <i>Summa de eucharistiae sacramento,</i> Ulm: Johann Zainer, 1474. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Strabo. <i>Rerum geographicarum libri septemdecim. A Guilielmo Xylandro Augstano magna cura recogniti…,</i> Basel, Henricpetri, (August 1571). $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Riou, Stephen (1720-1780). <i>The Grecian Orders of Architecture. Delineated and Explained from the Antiquities of Athens,</i> London, 1768. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Mair, Paul Hektor. <i>Geschlechter Buch...der...Statt Augspurg,</i> Frankfurt am Maim, Sigmund Feyerabend, 1580. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Polybius (c. 200-118 B.C.). <i>Historiarum libri priores quinque,</i> Basel: Johann Herwagen, 1549. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Bellori, Giovanni Pietro. <i>Columna Antoniniana Marci Aurelii Antonini Augusti rebus gestis insignis Germanis simul...,</i> Rome, [1672]. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> <i>Ecclesiasticae Historiae, Eusebii Pamphili...Eiusdem de vita Constantini...Socratis...,</i> Paris, Robert Estienne, 1544. $800 to $1,200.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>

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