Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2014 Issue

Aleph-Bet Books Offers 500 Books and a Top 100 List

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500 books and a top 100.

Aleph-Bet Books recently released their Catalogue 106 of Children's Books & Illustrated Books. With few exceptions, most books offered are both. This catalogue is slightly different from the typical Aleph-Bet catalogue. There are 500 items offered instead of the usual 600, but that is made up for with Helen Younger's updated list of the 100 most collectible children's books. She originally composed the list 20 years ago. Some changes have been made as a few books are no longer in as high demand, while some more recent titles, favorites of today's collectors when they were young, have replaced them. One thing I immediately noticed about this list is how many of them I have read. Sadly, I doubt the same would be true of the top 100 books for adults. No wonder children's books are so highly collectible. They bring back memories. Here are a few of the 500 being offered for sale.

 

We will start with a follow-up of the first American appearance of the popular Italian marionette, Pinocchio. The title appears a strange combination of titles – Pinocchio's Adventures in Wonderland. When originally published in Italy, the book was simply the Adventures of Pinocchio, but in America, publisher Jordan Marsh figured they could play on the popularity of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, so they gave Pinocchio's neighborhood the same name. However, it is still Carlo Collodi's original work, translated to English. Jordan Marsh, a Boston department store that also published some books at the time, originally published this in 1898, as this book is dated. However, this version includes four color plates by Rene Quentin dated 1899 that were added the following year. As such, it is the first American edition of Pinocchio to contain color plates. Item 101. Priced at $1,200.

 

In the decade before the birth of Peter Rabbit (the 1890's), Beatrix Potter supplemented her income with drawings of animals in her inimitable style for other publications. She also drew more serious, scientific illustrations, notably of fungi. Rabbits and frogs were her favorite creatures for children's books. Among her pre-Peter illustrations were three full-page drawings, signed “HBP,” that appeared in Comical Customers at the New Stores of Comical Rhymes and Pictures, published in 1896. These accompanied a rhyme entitled The Frog Who Would A Fishing Go. The book also contains illustrations of cats by Louis Wain and W. Foster. Item 363. $2,500.

 

Along with all of this children's fiction, it's nice once in a while to find a “true” story. Here is one: Captured by a Gorilla. A True and Startling Account Received from Rev. John Onslow (pseud.) by the Late Rev. Dr. Livingstone. That would be the notable explorer David Livingstone, I presume, though at the time of this publication – 1867 – Dr. Livingstone may have been “late” for some of his appointments in darkest Africa, but was still quite alive. Perhaps the author assumed he was dead since he was out of contact with the outside world at the time. Stanley would set him straight. Returning to the account, this love-crazed gorilla was said to have abducted the beautiful daughter of an African gem dealer. Shades of King Kong. “Truth” is stranger than fiction. More likely, this was a bit of sensationalism intended to boost sales rather than inform the public about gorillas. Item 202. $350.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Les Cigarettes Mekka,</i> 1919. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Plinio Codognato, <i>Cicli Fiat,</i> circa 1910. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> L.N. Britton, <i>Warning! Consider the Possible Consequences,</i> c. 1917. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Leonardo Bistolfi, <i>Première Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs Modernes,</i> 1902. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Paquet Pernot / Biscuits Pernot,</i> 1910. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Francesco Nonni, <i>Font Meo / Acqua Minerale Naturale,</i> 1924. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Frederick Winthrop Ramsdell, <i>American Crescent Cycles,</i> 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> <i>Be a Tight Wad! Own Something!</i> designer unknown, 1925. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Candido Aragonese de Faria, <i>Chamonix–Mont–Blanc,</i> c. 1910. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> W.E.J., <i>Irishmen Avenge the Lusitania,</i> c. 1915. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books<br>Fine Art<br>Antique Engravings & Lithographs<br>Works on Paper<br>Accepting bids until August 7</b>
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Maitres Affiches by MUCHA - Papier a cigarettes Job. 202. $5,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> De Bry - Map of the West Indies (including Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Parts of Central & South America, Sea Monsters, Ships). $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Gould - Short-billed Toucan (Ramphastos Brevicarinatus). $5,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books<br>Fine Art<br>Antique Engravings & Lithographs<br>Works on Paper<br>Accepting bids until August 7</b>
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Redoute, Folio - Pale Iris - Iris flavescens. 375. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Gillray - Light Expelling Darkness or The Sun of the Constitution. $200 to $500.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Gerard - Wild Hemp or Weed, Cannabis. 708. $150 to $450.
    <b>Trillium, Aug. 7:</b> Shaw & Nodder - Head of The Dodo. 165. $100 to $300.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Your Own Sylvia:<br>Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes and other items,<br>Property of Frieda Hughes<br>9 to 21 July 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Family photograph album ("The Hughes family Album"), 1957-1962. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on "my own private doctrine", with a poem, 5 October 1956. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Pen and ink portrait of Ted Hughes, [1956]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Your Own Sylvia:<br>Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes and other items,<br>Property of Frieda Hughes<br>9 to 21 July 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Joint autograph letter signed, to William and Edith Hughes, March 1960. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Photographic portrait by David Bailey, inscribed by Plath, 1961, and another press photo. £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Tarot de Marseille. Deck of cards owned by Sylvia Plath. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Pair of gold wedding rings. £6,000 to £8,000.

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