Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2014 Issue

50 Cool Things from Brian Cassidy, Bookseller

50 cool things.

Brian Cassidy, Bookseller has issued Catalogue 8, also known as 50 cool things somewhat haphazardly arranged. The catalogue is filled with stuff from beat writers, punk musicians, and others outside of the mainstream. There is even a photo of Allen Ginsberg in a hot tub. Who wouldn't want to frame that and hang it on a wall? Definitely cool things. The times they have a-changed since then, but it's not to late to go back and take one more walk on the wild side. Here we go.

 

Allen Ginsberg in a hot tub is not all you get with item 12. There is William S. Burroughs petting a cat, a total of 33 photographs taken at Naropa in Boulder Colorado, circa 1990. And while the hot tub participants are properly not dressed, they are seated low enough down to enable these pictures to pass through the censors. Others enjoying this obviously fine time include Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, and Norman Mailer. The photographs were taken by Richard Dillon, who has signed each one on the back. Priced at $1,250.

 

Speaking of Mr. Burroughs, who appears to have had the good sense to keep out of the hot tub, item 1 is his first novel, a rare edition of Junkie. Burroughs disguised his identity, the book attributed to “William Lee.” It is a semi-autobiographical work, based on Burroughs own life in the 1940's as a drug user and petty dealer. He did not have an easy time getting the book published, finally getting the cheap paperback publisher, Ace Books, to put it out in 1953. Even then, it was combined with another, clearly anti-drug novel to make sure no one thought they were promoting the habit. However, Brian Cassidy is not offering this edition. Rather, this is a first U.K. edition, much rarer, published in 1957. This was the first separate edition, as it was not combined with the other work. It also was banned, perhaps because it wasn't accompanied by the more redeeming book (Narcotic Agent), or maybe because of the more risqué back cover art with a woman hiking her dress so she could shoot herself up. Since the censor demanded the book be destroyed, only about 50 copies of this edition survived. This copy is rarer still as it is signed and inscribed by Burroughs, the recipient being Bob Wilson of the Phoenix Bookshop. Wilson was an early promoter of “Beat” writers. $15,000.

 

This next piece is not from the Beat generation, but it is sufficiently cool to fit in this catalogue. The title is The Hermit of Siskiyou, or the Twice-old Man by L. W. Musick, published in 1896. This is an overly long poem by a man who apparently was a miner around Mount Siskiyou in California. It is not the Hermit or most the other local tales that make this book of interest, save for one. It is a few verses about a supposed large, ape-like creature that is now said to be one of the earliest descriptions of Bigfoot. As the Musick man rhymes, “You have seen and heard the story, too, / Of how, upon Mount Siskiyou / Was seen an ape, or spook, or tramp / In region near the happy camp / Some years gone by / That was of stature taller than / The ordinary height of man / Who fed on berries, roots and grouse / Nor of abode, had tent or house...” Obviously, this work is a must for Bigfoot collectors, and those who are not will surely enjoy the poetry. Item 50. $1,250.

 

Item 16 is one of those iconic Los Angeles/Hollywood picture books from photographer Ed Ruscha. Ruscha photographed numerous scenes from a location in the area and compiled them in books. He is particularly noted for his books picturing every building on Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip, and his collection of 26 gas stations. Here is another: A Few Palm Trees. For Ruscha, this might constitute but a few, but there are 14 palm trees from around L.A., each set against a white background. Originally he planned a book entitled Seventeen Hollywood Palm Trees, but for whatever reason, scaled the project back to 14. This copy of the 1971 book is signed. $1,250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Closing Time, Advance Readers Copy of Uncorrected Proof with a letter from Heller on his personal stationary
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Gates, Bill, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, N Y: Knopf, 2021; first edition, with a handwritten note from Bill Gates
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, first edition, first printing, first issue dust jacket, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Something Happened, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, first edition, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, London: John Murray, 1818, in four volumes
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD

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