Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2014 Issue

50 Cool Things from Brian Cassidy, Bookseller

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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

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Frederick Douglass, ALS recruiting help for his paper after schism with Garrison, Rochester, 1851. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> James Dean, photograph by Sanford H. Roth, signed & inscribed by Dean. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Richard Wagner, ALS requesting confirmation that the Grand Duke received his letter, 1863. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Benjamin Rush, ALS, doctor’s note for a Revolutionary soldier, 1780. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Lord Byron, ALS to Cambridge classmate, “your friendship is of more account to me than all these absurd vanities,” c. 1812. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author’s first book, Paris, 1923. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Ralph Ellison, <i>Invisible Man,</i> first English edition of the author’s first novel, signed, London, 1953. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Margery Lawrence, <i>The Madonna of Seven Moons,</i> first edition in unrestored dust jacket, Indianapolis, 1933. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Joseph Albers, <i>Interaction of Color,</i> 80 color screenprints, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1963. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 25:</b> Albert Einstein, autograph manuscript, unsigned, likely a draft discarded while working toward a unified field theory. $10,000 to $20,000.
  • <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Verlag, Luzern, Publishers: <i>The Book of Kells,</i> the most precious illuminated manuscript of the early Middle Ages, now reproduced, the FIRST AND ONLY COMPLETE FINE ART FACSIMILE EDITION. €5,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone,</i> 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1997, First Deluxe Edn., Signed by the Author on title page. €4,000 to €5,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Gilbert (John T.) Account of Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland, from the earliest extant specimens to A.D. 719. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> <i>The Georgian Society Records of Eighteenth-Century Domestic Architecture in Dublin [-Ireland],</i> 5 vols. lg. 4to D. 1909 - 1913. Limited Editions. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Yeats (W.B.) <i>The Poems of W.B. Yeats,</i> 2 vols., roy 8vo, L. (MacMillan & Co.) 1949, Limited Edn., No. 185 (of 375 copies). Signed. €1,500 to €2,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Crone (John S.)ed. <i>The Irish Book Lover, A Monthly Review of Irish Literature and Bibliography.</i> Vol. I No 1 August 1909 - Vol. XXXII No. 6, September 1957. €1,250 to €2,000.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Yeats (John Butler) <i>An original self-portrait Sketch,</i> Signed and dated April 1919, N[ew] York. €1,200 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Photograph Album. Entitled ''A Souvenir of the Visit to Jeypore Samasthanam of His Excellency the Right Hon'ble Viscount Goschen of Hawkhurst… 14th December 1927''. €1,000 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Pistolesi (Erasmo) <i>Il Vaticano,</i> 8vols. large atlas, folio Rome (Tipografia della Societa..) 1829. €500 to €600.
    <center><b>The Collectors’ Sale<br>March 3, 2021</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Chagall (Marc)illus., Legmarie (Jean) comp., <i>The Jerusalem Windows,</i> folio N.Y. (George Braziller) 1962. €400 to €500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Bullitt (Thos. W.) <i>My Life at Oxmoor,</i> Life on a Farm in Kentucky before the War. Roy 8vo Louisville, Kentucky, 1911. Privately Printed No. 86 of 100 Copies Only. €300 to €400.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Mar. 3:</b> Popish Plot: Oates (Titus) <i>The Popes Whore House or The Merchandise of The Whore of Rome,</i> folio L. 1679. First Edn. €100 to €150.

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