Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2019 Issue

A Miscellany from Ursus Rare Books

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A holiday miscellany.

Ursus Rare Books recently issued a Holiday Miscellany 2018. We may be at the tail end of the holiday season now, but the books are still rare and collectible. They will serve equally well as gifts to start the new year. These are a few of the items we found.

 

We begin with a photographic classic, Paris de Nuit, a look at Paris at night. It was published in late 1932, the heart of the Depression, a difficult time for people everywhere. The photographer was Brassai, who emigrated from Hungary and spent the remainder of his life in France. The text was provided by Paul Morand. Brassai wandered the streets at night, capturing some of the seedier sides of Paris. He has photographed deserted squares, darkened gardens, ladies of the night plying their trade, smoke-filled bars and cafés. Brassai also befriended an upper class family, so his photography shows the other side of Paris life as well. This book has often been reprinted, but it is hard to find a first edition in collectible condition any more. Item 3. Priced at $4,750.

 

Next is a statement of principles promulgated by the United States and Britain, later adopted by other allies as well, resulting from a meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The two secretly met in Newfoundland in August of 1941. The Second World War was raging, and Britain bore the weight almost alone. It would not be until later that year, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, that Roosevelt would finally be able to convince Americans to join the battle on the British side. The parties set down eight principles, including that the parties did not seek any territorial gains from war, boundary changes needed the approval of those living there, all people should have the right to self-government, there should be free trade among nations, there should be peace and freedom of movement among nations, and improved living standards available to all. Today, this statement is known as the Atlantic Charter, though it was not so known at the time, nor was this printing from the Office of War Information in Washington published until 1943. It appears on a large broadside. Item 9. $675.

 

Here is an ode to American business, One Hundred Years of American Commerce, by Chauncey M. Depew, published in 1895. It consists of 100 articles on various American businesses, with portraits and facsimile signatures of the writers. Interestingly, if the writers themselves are not always well remembered, their names often are as they are synonymous with the company name. There is a discussion of powder and explosives from Francis DuPont, flour by Charles Pillsbury, publishing by John W. Harper, brewing by Fred Pabst, tobacco by Pierre Lorillard, soap by Samuel Colgate, musical instruments by William Steinway, and jewelry by Charles Tiffany. Item 13. $1,250.

 

This one may not go down in the annals of great literature. It is short, irreverent, and very funny. It was the first book by Groucho Marx, known more as an actor than writer. Still, it features much of Marx's typical deadpan humor, the topic being the same as the book's title - Beds. Marx is able to find many jokes centered around this sleeping apparatus. This is a first edition, published in 1930. The cover shows Groucho in a nightgown, candle in hand, and trademark cigar between his teeth, standing in front of a bed. Item 39. $2,250.

 

Here is a book that will appeal to Chevy aficionados. It is a 1956 dealer's showroom sample catalogue for the 1956 Chevrolet. It contains 136 pages, with 200 color illustrations, diagrams, and 37 printed sample paint color combinations. This was the era when two-tone colors were popular on cars. There are also 78 interior upholstery samples on vinyl and cloth. Ursus notes that this was the year Chevrolet began using its famous advertising jingle, "See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet." Item 8. $3,500.

 

Ursus Books may be reached at 212-772-8787 or pkraus@ursusbooks.com. Their website is www.ursusbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <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>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini. June 27</b>
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KENNEDY ONASSIS, JACQUELINE Typed letter signed to Oleg Cassini. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> [CASSINI-KENNEDY FASHIONS] Important archives related to the development of fashions for Mrs. Kennedy… $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> [CASSINI-KENNEDY FASHIONS] Detailed ledger of the Kennedy White House years… $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KELLY, GRACE. Four autograph letters to Oleg Cassini. $5,000 to $8,000
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini. June 27</b>
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> CASSINI, OLEG. Group of Kennedy-era original fashion sketches. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KENNEDY ONASSIS, JACQUELINE. Autograph letter signed to Oleg Cassini. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> CASSINI, OLEG. Fashion sketch titled “Mrs. Kennedy-Palais de Versailles-State Dinner.” $800 to $1,200
    Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini: [CASSINI, OLEG - KENNEDY, JACQUELINE.] Group of approximately 130 original fashion designs… $800 to $1,200.
  • <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, <i>La Fin du monde filmée par l’ange N.-D.,</i> Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1919
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> André Breton, <i>Second manifeste du Surréalisme,</i> Paris, Editions Kra, 1930
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Paul Eluard and Pablo Picasso, <i>La Barre d’appui,</i> Paris, Editions « Cahiers d’Art », 1936
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, <i>La Fin du monde filmée par l’ange N.-D.,</i> Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1919
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Hans Bellmer, <i>Die Puppe,</i> Paris, G.L.M., 1936
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Salvador Dali, <i>La femme visible,</i> Paris, Editions Surréalistes, 1930

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