Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

Major Literary Works from Whitmore Rare Books

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A catalogue of important literature.

Whitmore Rare Books recently completed their Catalogue 10. They describe their field as “offering literary first editions and other books of merit.” This explains well what you will find, with one further detail. They also focus on condition. Most of what you will find is in fine or near fine condition, even dust jackets (where applicable) being in amazingly good shape for dust jackets. The great majority of what is offered are first editions of important literary works, with a few exceptions, such as a couple of letters written by authors, a poster, and I'm not sure whether children's books qualify as also being literature or stand apart. Here are a few examples of what you will find in this tenth Whitmore catalogue.

 

We will start with one of those works that could be called a children's book, but it is enjoyed at least as much by adults. It is the timeless classic of logic, albeit turned upside down: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, writing under the pen name Lewis Carroll, produced his masterpiece of twisted logic that makes all of us, young and old, think, a useful if often forgotten skill. Offered is a copy of the rare 1866 first American edition, essentially the earliest obtainable printing. The book was first printed in England in 1865. Carroll sent out 50 copies to his friends. However, illustrator John Tenniel was displeased with the quality of the printing, and Carroll acquiesced to his request to have the copies recalled. Carroll wrote those to whom he had earlier sent copies to send them back, and promised to give them new copies once they were printed. Meanwhile, the rest of the copies were sent to America, where they were given a new title page and published as the first American edition, herein offered. American readers, evidently, are not so fussy. Only around 20 copies of the London edition with the 1865 title page still exist, essentially making it unobtainable today. Item 14. $21,000.

 

Next up is the book that forever made us rethink our assumptions about rabbits. They aren't always gentle little critters. Item 2 is an inscribed first edition of Richard Adams' Watership Down. It is the story of a group of rabbits who leave their warren on the advice of one who foresees its destruction. They have to endure attacks by others from their own warren who do not believe them, and other rabbits along the way. Yes, there are killer rabbits out there. Somehow, they do find a new home and survive the various obstacles they encounter along the way. And yes, their original warren is destroyed, as foreseen, and it was none other than humans, like us, who did it. The book seems full of allegorical references and lessons for humans based on these anthropomorphized rabbits, but Adams has strenuously maintained that there is no deep meaning here, just a story he made up for his girls, who encouraged him to write it down. $1,250.

 

Many consider this book to be Ernest Hemingway's masterpiece, not a small compliment considering his body of work. Item 37 is a first edition, first printing of The Sun Also Rises. Published in 1926, it is the story of American and English expatriates in Europe in the 1920's, a thinly disguised account of his own time there. The Paris-based characters take a trip to Spain, to watch the bullfights and the running of the bulls, their interactions perhaps epitomizing life of the “Lost Generation.” Those were people who came of age during the First World War, and had a hard time finding themselves in the years ahead. Item 37. $2,850.

 

From the Lost Generation we go to the Beat Generation. If Hemingway's book was the signature description of the former, this one is the quintessential tale of the latter – On The Road. Published in 1957, it recounts author Jack Kerouac's journey across the country in the late 1940's. While there are few representatives of the Lost Generation still around anymore, those of the Beat Generation can readily be found at the Social Security office or Denny's early bird special. We know who we are. Kerouac, on the other hand, will never grow old. His drinking did him in first. Still, he remains a generation's voice. Item 42. $9,500.

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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