Rulon-Miller Books has released their Catalogue 166 for winter 2022. They are getting a jump on the new year. This is not a catalogue to be categorized. There is something for everyone here. The picture on the cover is from a collection of yachting photographs, 475 of them for those whose collecting interests take them to the sea, but this is not a yachting catalogue. It's just one of many subjects. I think that must be ice on the boat. That's believable for Portland, Maine, in winter. Spectacular and beautiful. Here are some more of the varied items you will find in this catalogue.
We begin with a book by A. A. Milne, but it has nothing to do with Winnie-the-Pooh or any of the other characters in the Hundred Acre Wood. Rather, it is Milne's first novel, published in 1917, a fantasy tale intended as much for adults as children. The title is Once on a Time. In the Preface, Milne explains it is “for yourself (his wife) and the Colonel's children to act.” Not his own children? No. Christopher Robin Milne was not born until 1920. The illustrations were by H. M. Brock, not E. H. Shepard. Milne wrote plays, novels, and poems before Winnie-the-Pooh came around, and while his other work is respected, the “silly old bear” came to overshadow everything else. This copy is a one-of-a-kind because of the inscription it contains - “To my dearest father and mother from their always loving son A. A. M. 27/11/17.” Item 101. Priced at $2,500.
This is an archive from an odd but apparently popular type of “entertainer” in the 1950s and 1960s, a Christian ventriloquist. Katheryn Rea and her husband operated an electronics store and a drive-in theater in Columbus, Ohio. It does not appear she achieved much notice outside of her home area, but she was a dedicated messenger of the good word who used the novelty of ventriloquism to spread the message. The archive includes her dummy, “Chubby,” who stands 32 inches tall. There are also 25 pages of scripts and notes, publications related to ventriloquism, ephemera, correspondence, and a hard-backed suitcase obviously used to transport “Chubby” and other items to her performances. There are even lyrics to her song beginning “Jesus is coming and the time is near,” sung to the tune of “Davy Crockett.” Ventriloquism has not always been associated with wholesomeness, but Mrs. Rea performed it in keeping with 1950s Midwestern values. Item 30. $2,000.
Now for an entertainer not quite so wholesome. Victoria Vetri, also known as Angela Dorian, was an actress, landing roles is several movies and television shows, including Rosemary's Baby, though never in a leading role. She is also known for being Playboy's Playmate of the Year for 1968. The archive runs from 1959-2010 though there are some gaps. She had a promising career, but it never went that far because of the usual problems, drugs, alcohol, abuse, exploitation, sex of various sorts, all the roadblocks you might expect for a beautiful young lady trying to make her way in Hollywood. There are 7,500 pages about her life, consisting of journals, letters, poetry, drawings, doodles, and illustrations. It ends in 2010 though Ms. Vetri is still with us because in that year, she shot to kill her fourth husband. He survived. She was sentenced to nine years in prison most of which she served before being released. Item 153. $65,000.
This book recounts one of the earliest internal explorations of America, the last visit of Antoine Charles Louis de la Salle, Journal historique du dernier voyage que feu M. de la Sale [sic] fit dans le Golfe de Mexique... published in 1713. La Salle traveled down the Mississippi River, not just to explore it, but to claim the territory for France. Spain was its rival in the deep interior of America at the time. La Salle named it for King Louis XIV, it becoming the Louisiana Territory Thomas Jefferson purchased from France a century later. The explorer had returned to France for supplies and men when he returned to America. However, he missed his mark, the mouth of the Mississippi, instead ending up in Texas. His men were disappointed, and after a long time wandering around they took it out on their leader. They killed la Salle. That is why Henri Joutel is the author of this book, not la Salle. Joutel, second in command, expected the men to treat him the same, but they relented, and eventually he led a group back to the river's mouth and all the way up the Mississippi and on to Quebec. That was quite a recovery. Item 81. $12,500.
This is an invitation to see a play few people took up. The play itself appears to be lost, but the broadside invitation has survived. It was scheduled for Leeds, in Great Britain, in 1838. The title was Beacon Hill America in 1775. It lasted for all of one performance. The author was Morris Barnett, known more as an actor than a playwright. Perhaps the subject matter was still touchy for the British, or maybe the play was just bad. Whatever the reason, it never made it to Broadway, bombing in Leeds. Item 149. $2,500.
Here is an item you do not have in your collection. I am confident of this though I know nothing about what you collect. The title is Pagalagadan iti pal-lutan by Martino N. Gaerlan, published in 1910. It is a set of rules for cockfighting written in the Philippine language of Iloko. OCLC located only one copy of it. Now you can own the other. Item 34. $1,250.