Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2020 Issue

Peter Harrington's Christmas Catalogue for 2020

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Christmas from Peter Harrington.

Peter Harrington has created a catalogue for Christmas 2020. This is not a subject-specific catalogue. There is something that everyone would like for Christmas. The selections are divided into two categories – main catalogue and gift selection. The difference appears to be price – main catalogue items are priced over £1,000, gift items under £1,000. At over £1,000, it is best to keep the books for yourself. These are just a few of the almost 300 selections being offered.

 

This was one of if not the most important of voyages of discovery, but not for the typical reasons. It did not find any new lands. Its importance was not obvious until many years later. Item 37 is Narrative of a Surveying Voyage of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, published in 1839. There were two voyages between 1827-1838. The first volume recounts the first voyage and was written by its captain, Philip Parker King. The second volume comes from the second and momentous voyage, by its captain, Robert Fitzroy. The third comes from the naturalist on the Beagle for the second voyage, the man whose name we all know, Charles Darwin. He described natural findings primarily in southern South America and nearby islands. He noticed similarities, yet differences, between species found in different locations. He provided no groundbreaking theories for what he saw, at least not immediately. Back home in the years ahead he developed a theory which he finally disclosed to the public two decades later. He explained it in his book On the Origin of Species, one of the most significant, and controversial, books ever written. Priced at £85,000 (British pounds, or approximately $112,890 in U.S. dollars).

 

Charles Darwin was not the first person, not even the first Darwin, to come up with the idea of evolution. Half a century earlier, Erasmus Darwin thought of the same thing. However, his theory had not evolved, so to speak, as far as did Charles'. Erasmus did not have an explanation as to why species evolved, whereas Charles attributed it to natural selection. Erasmus Darwin was a physician and poet, an inventive and highly respected man in the late 18th century. He was also Charles' grandfather. Interestingly, Charles was not elaborating on his grandfather's beliefs. Erasmus had died before Charles was born and it was not until years later that Charles understood his grandfather's genius and began to seriously research his family's past. Item 38 is The Poetical Works of Erasmus Darwin, published posthumously in 1806. Darwin's poems include his ideas about evolution, described poetically. It includes 24 plates, five engraved by William Blake. £2,250 (US $2,990).

 

If you are a collector of James Bond, you will want this set of Bond novels, although it is not likely you can afford it. Ian Fleming's James Bond novels have become enormously (as in expensively) popular in recent years, though they are not all that old. There are 14 of them, published from 1953-1966. They were popular, but likely would not be all that well known today were it not for the movie adaptations, starting with those which had Sean Connery in the lead role (Connery died just a month ago). Each of these books is a first edition, first issue, and each was inscribed by Fleming except for The Man with the Golden Gun, which was issued posthumously. We won't list the titles because if you are ready to invest this much on the perfect set of Bond novels, you undoubtedly know them all already. Item, 56. £500,000 (US $663,500).

 

This one isn't even a book. It's a record. Actually, while the vinyl is quite valuable, most of the value is in the paper here, the album cover. This is from the first pressing of The Velvet Underground & Nico, by, well... that is obvious. Released in 1967, it was the first album from the Velvets. They joined up with German singer and model Nico for this one album at the behest of their manager, Andy Warhol. The album was not a commercial success, nor was any of their follow-up albums. They were critically ignored. Even if the music had been radio-friendly, and it wasn't, it still wouldn't have received any airplay, the lyrics often describing drugs and the decadent lifestyle of 60's New York. Still, the creative genius of one art form, Warhol, recognized it in another art form, music. If not a success by traditional standards, their influence was enormous, and even if their music is still obscure to much of the general public, it would not be an exaggeration to say they were the most influential rock band ever, more so than even contemporaries the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Punk, and the whole collection of styles under the alt. rock banner, trace themselves to the Velvet Underground, a band way ahead of its time. The iconic album cover features the peel off banana art created by Andy Warhol for them. Warhol, who also served as producer of the album, has signed the front cover. Item 146. £15,000 (US $19,900).

 

These aren't books either but rather, holiday-type cards. One has a Christmas type of family scene on the front, the other a holly border with the word “Peace” written on the cover. These are not quite so harmless and endearing as they appear. They are actually propaganda leaflets dropped from an airplane on allied troops during the Korean War. The single sheet Christmas card was targeted to British soldiers, encouraging them to abandon their American allies. It says, “It is 28 months since the Yanks dragged Britain into this war. Nearly 10,000 British lads have been killed or wounded in this period,” continuing, the “Glosters” (Gloucester Regiment) have “suffered particularly high casualties as a result of American selfishness.” The four-page “Peace” card targeted to American soldiers says that they have been told they are fighting “Communist aggression” and yet everywhere they hear people yelling “'Yanks go home!' This wasn't the way GI's were greeted everywhere in World War II, when they were really fighting against aggressors – the Nazis and Japanese warlords. Then they got flowers. So something went wrong. What is it?... the American government has been stolen from the American people by greedy Big Business.” Item 219. £375 (US $498).

 

Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 (USA 011 44 20 7591 0220) or mail@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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.
  • <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STEINBECK, John (1902-1968). <i>The Pastures of Heaven.</i> New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> FITZGERALD, F. Scott (1896-1940). <i>Tender is the Night.</i> New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STOKER, Bram (1847-1912). <i>Dracula.</i> Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1897. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> GOLDING, William (1911-1993). <i>Lord of the Flies.</i> London: Faber and Faber, 1954. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> SALINGER, J. D. (1919-2010). The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HEMINGWAY, Ernest (1899-1961). <i>The Torrents of Spring.</i> New York: Scribner's, 1926. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HUXLEY, Aldous (1894-1963). <i>Brave New World.</i> London: Chatto & Windus, 1932. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> WELLS, H.G. <i>The Time Machine, an Invention.</i> New York: Henry Holt, 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> DAHL, Roald (1916-1990). <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HERBERT, Frank (1920-1986). Dune. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> KESEY, Ken (1935-2001). <i>One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.</i> New York: The Viking Press, 1962. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> VONNEGUT, Kurt, Jr. (1922-2007). <i>Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade.</i> New York: Seymour Lawrence Delacorte Press, 1969. $2,000 to $3,000.

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