Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2017 Issue

Radical Causes from Lorne Bair Rare Books

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Lorne Bair's Catalog 28.

Lorne Bair Rare Books has issued their Catalog 28. Bair specializes in radical literature, mostly from the left. Minority and workers' rights, economic justice, and similar causes dominate the material. This catalogue has been divided into four sections: African American History, Literature & Culture; Radical, Social & Proletarian Literature; Social Movements & Radical Thought; and Graphics, Art & Photography. These are a few of the items offered.

 

The 1930s was a high period for radical causes. Socialists, Communists, and unions found more receptive audiences, the result of the terrible poverty caused by the Great Depression. This book is not from one of the more radical movements, but did more than almost any other such writing to reach the mainstream with its portrayal of economic injustice and poverty experienced by so many ordinary Americans. It is a tale of a family of "Okies," Oklahomans forced from their farms by the Dust Bowl, seeking meager survival in the California farm fields. This book is, of course, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. The travails of the Joad family are well-known. Those who didn't read the book almost surely saw the movie, Henry Fonda playing the lead. The book was published in 1939, and this copy is a first edition, first printing, a fine copy with comparable dust jacket, not even price clipped. It is a good as they come. Item 97. Priced at $7,500.

 

Item 182 consists of a carte-de-viste captioned Mrs. Tennie C. Claflin, Broker, along with an autographed card of Miss Claflin (despite the "Mrs" in the carte-de-viste, she was unmarried). Tennie C. was a radical feminist, of sorts, though certainly not in the image of Susan B. Anthony. She wrote a book promoting women's rights, along with such things as free love, which probably didn't endear her to the movement. She and her sister, Virginia Woodhull, opened the first Wall Street brokerage run by women, and Ms. Woodhull was the first woman to run for President (she lost decisively, to say the least, to Ulysses Grant in 1872). On the other hand, the Claflin sisters were also known as scam artists. Among Tennie's other professions was giving spiritual readings, and who better to have intrigued by your readings, and perhaps other things (Tennie C. was quite attractive), than the aged Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, the world's richest man? Well into his 70s, the Commodore provided the financial backing for the sisters' brokerage firm. When he died, Vanderbilt's son gave the sisters a healthy sum of money to move to England. Tennie C. hooked up with another wealthy elderly gentleman (though not on the Vanderbilt level) and became a Viscountess. $600.

 

Less removed in time is the Vietnam War era. The nation became sharply divided over a war that the government waged, and many, particularly older people, supported. On the opposite side, others, including a large portion of younger people, those who would be asked, and then forced, to go to war, sharply dissented. They at best saw the Vietnam War as serving no purpose, if not being an evil attempt by America to impose its will on others through violent force. Item 228 is an example of the latter point of view, a circa 1967 poster. It throws back an iconic moment in American history at America. It depicts a Vietnamese person riding a horse past a home in the dead of night, only the moon lighting the way, another person watching and listening from the door. Playing on Paul Revere's midnight ride, the caption states, The Americans Are Coming. $300.

 

Next we have a very bizarre comic book from Ovid P. Adams. Published in 1970, the title is The Adventures of Black Eldridge the Panther. It is a fictionalized tale of the life of Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver. On the cover, Cleaver is depicted with the severed head of a white man in his hand (in a sense appropriate for a man named "cleaver"). In the story, Cleaver is exiled in Algeria, which was accurate. After being involved in a shoot-out with police, Cleaver fled first to Cuba and then Algeria. While there, he broke with other Panthers who he felt had become too accommodating with whites. However, in this story, Cleaver covertly returns to the U.S. after hearing of a Black artist killed by a White racist in Utah. In revenge, he decapitates the leader of the conservative Mormon Church. There is great irony in this story that Adams could not have imagined in 1970. When he left Algeria, Cleaver went to France, where he became a born-again Christian and began manufacturing pants meant to make men look more manly. When he returned to America, he made his peace with the law and moved farther and farther to the right. He joined up with Sun Myung Moon's conservative Unification Church, and then, in the ultimate irony with this tale, became a Mormon. Continuing to move right, he became a conservative Republican, unsuccessfully seeking the party's nomination for senate in California. Cleaver died in 1998. Item 1. $850.

 

Item 98 is a compilation of early writings by H. G. Wells with a brief, but most intriguing, inscription. Wells grew up in a struggling family. His father, Joseph Wells, was not a successful man. A modest inheritance enabled him to open a shop, but it was no more successful than his other endeavors. Joseph set his son up with some apprenticeships. They did not work out. The result was Wells was a disappointment to his father, who was not much impressed by his son's interest in books and learning. In the early 1890s, Wells began writing short stories and essays for magazines, many of them humorous. He was a prolific writer, with some of these later culled to create this volume entitled Certain Personal Matters, dated 1898 (actually 1897). They were popular, and in 1895, he published his first novel, The Time Machine. While he had not yet reached his peak of recognition at this point, Wells was already reasonably successful and supporting his parents. This copy of Personal Matters has been inscribed by Wells to his father, with the brief words, "from his unworthy son." While it might be just a case of extreme self-effacement, it may also be a bit of a dig, as his father had made him feel unworthy, but by this time, Wells was far more successful than his father ever had been. $4,500.

 

Lorne Bair Rare Books may be reached at 540-665-0855 or info@lornebair.com. Their website is www.lornebair.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Fall 2019 Auction<br>September 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> AUDUBON, John James. Snowy Owl, Plate 121. Aquatint Engraving with original hand color. London: Havell Jr., 1827-1838 from <i>Birds of America.</i> $225,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> JEFFERYS, Thomas. <i>The American Atlas...</i> London: Sayer and Bennett, 1776. $65,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> RACKHAM, Arthur. Original Illustrations for <i>Jack and the Beanstalk.</i> Pen and ink with watercolor on paper. C. 1913. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> AUDUBON, John James. Ruffed Grous, Plate 41. Aquatint Engraving with original hand color. London: Havell Jr., 1827-1838 from <i>Birds of America.</i> $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> ROESSLER, A. R. Latest Map of the State of Texas. Lithograph with original hand color. New York: Mittendorfer, 1874. $50,000 to $65,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>Fall 2019 Auction<br>September 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> AUDUBON, John James. American Bison or Buffalo (Male), Plate 56. Lithograph with original hand color. New York, 1845-1848 from <i>Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.</i> $18,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> HOOKER, Sir William Jackson & FITCH, Walter Hood. Victoria Regia. Lithograph with original hand color. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1851. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> AUDUBON, John James. Pin Tailed Duck, Plate 227. Aquatint Engraving with original hand color. London: Havell Jr., 1827-1838 from <i>Birds of America.</i> $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> LEWIS, Meriwether and CLARK, William. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River and Across the American Continent...</i> London, 1814. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Sep. 28:</b> AUDUBON, John James. American Black or Silver Fox, Plate 116. Lithograph with original hand color. New York, 1845-1848 from <i>Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.</i> $18,000 to $25,000.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Dubliners,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1914. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> The Beatles.- Baker (Geoffrey.) 3 Autograph Letters and 1 Autograph Card signed to Ann Gosnell, addtionally sgn’d by George Harrison, John Lennon, Cynthia Lennon and others, 1968. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Pilgrim Press.- Dod (John). <i>A plaine and familiar exposition of the tenne commandements ...,</i> [Leiden], [William Brewster], 1617. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Automaton Chess Player & Mechanical Illusion.- Reynell (H., printer). “The Famous Chess-Player, No.14, St.James's-Street, next Brooks's,” broadside advertisement for "The famous Automaton", [1784]. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Clemens (Samuel Langhorne). <i>Life on the Mississippi,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1883. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Arctic Sledge Flag.- Fulford (Reginald Baldwin). Sledge flag... HMS Discovery, 1875. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first edition, first printing, 1997. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Piranesi (Giovanni Battista). <i>Le Antichità Romane,</i> 4 vol., 1756. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal, called). <i>Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus Celebriores,</i> 3 parts in 1, Richard Ford's copy, Venice, Giovanni Battista Pasquali, 1751. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Atlases.- Speed (John). <i>A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World,</i> bound with <i>The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine,</i> 1631-27. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Anatomical illustration.- Aselli (Gaspare). <i>De lactibus sive lacteis venis... dissertatio,</i> first edition, Milan, Giovanni Battista Bidelli, 1627. £20,000 to £30,000

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