Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2015 Issue

50 Rare Books & Manuscripts from Peter Harrington

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Fifty Rare Books & Manuscripts.

Peter Harrington has issued Catalogue 111. Fifty Rare Books & Manuscripts. While these books and manuscripts are rare, they are not obscure. They include some of the most important books written, and most of the personalities who wrote the books and other items are familiar names, even if they lived long ago. This is a catalogue for those who collect on the highest level. Here are a few examples.

 

Winston Churchill gave a lot of speeches, wrote a lot of books, and still managed to find time to save the world. Item 6 is Blood, Sweat and Tears, the first U. S. edition, published in 1941. It is a collection of Churchill's speeches from early in the war, and he certainly would have wanted an edition published in America. He was trying to convince the American public that the world's survival depended on their joining with the British to defeat Germany and its allies. This is a remarkable copy as it not only is signed by Churchill, but over 50 other people relevant to the times. Among those are Churchill's wife, Clementine, Field-Marshal Montgomery, the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII), future Prime Minister Anthony Eden, and many others, from government, military leadership, and combat. The signatures were gathered by Arthur Hostler, a member of the British Air Commission during the war who later worked for BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation, today's British Airways). As such, he was in contact with many important individuals. Priced at £32,500 (British pounds, or approximately $50,363 in U.S. dollars).

 

The irony in the provenance of this book matches the irony of the world's major Marxist-Communist country being the very capitalistic China. Item 30 is the first volume of Karl Marx's Das Kapital, published in 1867. It is Marx's study of economics, though it is more an indictment of the capitalist system. While his theories were just theoretical in the century in which Marx lived, in the 20th century, vast swaths of the world were covered with nations that followed his theories. Few are left today. What makes this copy particularly interesting in a most ironic way is its history. It was bound for the Hamburger Borsen-Clubb, the club of the Hanseatic Stock Exchange. Item 30. £77,500 (US $120,137).

 

One of the most valuable of 20th century books is the first edition of James Joyce's epic day-in-the-life novel Ulysses. Set in his native Ireland, which Joyce left for Europe, the entire lengthy novel takes place in just one day of 1904. Ulysses was considered obscene by many, notably censors, the result being that most publishers shied away. Joyce was finally able to get his opus published by Shakespeare & Co. in more liberal Paris in 1922. A total of 1,000 copies were published, but this is one of only 100 copies that were signed by Joyce and printed on Dutch handmade paper. This one belonged to, and has the remnants of the bookplate of, Annie Winifred Ellerman, better known by her pen name "Bryher." She came from a wealthy family, her father being a wealthy Englishman, the richest Englishman ever at the time. It afforded her the opportunity to write, and she wrote many books over the course of her life, more popular in their time than today. Bryher and her husband at the time, Robert McAlmon, became friends with Joyce in Paris in 1921 and McAlmon was Joyce's typist for sections of the manuscript. Item 24. £250,000 (US $388,217).

 

We know this classic as Black Beauty, though the first edition's complete title is Black Beauty: His Grooms and Companions. The Autobiography of a Horse. Translated from the Original Equine, by Anna Sewell. I'll let you in on a secret. After all these years it can be revealed. It was not the horse's autobiography. It was actually written by Anna Sewell, not translated by her. Anna Sewell lived a tragic life. At the age of 14, she suffered a terrible fall, breaking both her ankles. She could never stand again without a crutch and only walk short distances. Later in life, her condition deteriorated and she became mostly bedridden. It was during this period that she wrote Black Beauty, her one and only published work. Due to her difficulty walking, Miss Sewell, who never married and spent most of her life with her parents, did much riding in horse-drawn carriages. She developed a love for horses, and in particular, sympathy for them, having seen many mistreated. Her aim in writing Black Beauty was not to create a children's story. It was to raise awareness of mistreatment of horses, and teach people not just to love animals, but to love their fellow humans as well. The Sewells were a very religious family, and Anna focused not so much on the theological part as on the importance of love for animals and other people. Anna had already passed the age of 50 when she began writing her book. She died at the age of 58, only a few months after it was published. She did not live to see it become one of the best selling books ever, though she did see that it received a good initial response. This copy is inscribed to "The Revd J Drake, from his sincere friend, Mary Sewell." Mary was Anna's mother. Most inscribed copies are from Mary. Anna did not live long enough, nor was her health such as to enable her to inscribe many copies. Mary was also an author, a writer of popular children's books, whose output far exceeded the one book of her daughter. Item 36. £12,500 (US $19,393).

 

Item 18 is a presentation copy of Ernest Hemingway's Winner Take Nothing, published in 1933. It is the nature of the presentation that is notable. There are two inscriptions. The first is "To M. Gellhorn my old Professor in aesthetics from E. Hemingstein." Hemingway used many aliases among friends, and one can speculate why "Hemingstein" was one of them. M. Gellhorn was Martha Gellhorn, and she would become Hemingway's second wife in 1940. However, this was likely inscribed in 1936 when they had newly met and Hemingway was still married to his first wife. There is then a second inscription which reads, "PS 1939 I love you EH." It was a stormy marriage that would end in divorce. These were two strong personalities, neither about to give in. Gellhorn was a writer and journalist, most notably a war correspondent. They got married just as the Second World War had begun, and Gellhorn soon went off to report on the war. Hemingway was not pleased that his bride was rarely at home. The war and their marriage ended together in 1945. £42,500 (US $65,873).

 

Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 or mail@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 817. Bellin's complete five-volume maritime atlas with 581 maps & plates (1764). $24,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 325. An early and important map of the Republic of Texas (1837). $11,000 to $14,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 45. De Bry's early map of North Pole depicting Willem Barentsz' expedition (1601). $3,500 to $4,250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 154. Poignant map of the United States documenting lynchings (1931). $250 to $325.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 457. Extremely rare matching set of pro-German propaganda from WWI (1914). $2,000 to $2,400.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 815. Homann's world atlas featuring 110 maps in contemporary color (1751). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 60. Miniature pocket globe based on Herman Moll (1785). $3,500 to $4,500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 8. Visscher's rare carte-a-figures world map (1652). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 158. Matching satirical maps of the US by McCandlish: "Ration Map" & "Bootlegger's Map" (1944). $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 820. One of the finest English atlases of the early 19th century (1808). $4,750 to $6,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 59. Important milestone in preparation for 1969 moon landing (1963). $750 to $900.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 805. Superb bible leaf with image of crucifixion of Jesus with gilt highlights (1518). $800 to $950.
  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>including Americana<br>February 16, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works…now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [EINSTEIN, Albert (1879–1955)]. –– ORLIK, Emil (1870–1932), artist. Lithograph signed (“Albert Einstein”). N.p., 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. <i>[The Lord of the Rings trilogy:] The Fellowship of the Ring.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Two Towers.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Return of the King.</i> 1955. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") and Charles Dudley WARNER. <i>The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.</i> Hartford and Chicago, 1873. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> LOVECRAFT, Howard Phillips. <i>Beyond the Wall of Sleep.</i> Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1943. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Gideon Welles, <i>Extensive archive of personal and family papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy,</i> 1791-1914. Sold September 29 — $281,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Rock Climbers,</i> cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> watercolor, ink and gouache, 1954. Sold December 15 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Brontë, <i>Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell,</i> three volumes, first edition, 1847. Sold June 16, 2022 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, <i>The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed,</i> London, 1542. Sold October 13 — $106,250.
    <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32),</i> silver print, 1936. Sold October 20 — $305,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> George Washington, Autograph Document Signed, with two manuscript plat maps in holograph, 1751. Sold October 27 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Winfred Rembert, <i>Winfred Rembert and Class of 1959,</i> dye on carved & tooled leather, 1999. Sold October 6 — $233,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> M.C. Escher, <i>Relativity,</i> lithograph, 1953. Sold November 3 — $81,250.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Original Film Posters<br>27 January - 10 February 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Vertigo (1958), poster, US. The ultimate poster on this classic Hitchcock title, one of three known examples. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Lawrence of Arabia (1962), roadshow poster, US. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Star Wars (1977), style C poster, printer's proof, US. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> The Navigator/ La Croisiere du Navigator (1924), re-release poster (1931), French. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Bullitt (1968), special test poster, US. £3,000 to £5,000.

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