Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2006 Issue

Literature, Poetry, Filmscripts and More from William Reese

Literature from the William Reese Company


By Michael Stillman

The William Reese Company has issued a catalogue of Literature. Included under that heading are poetry and prose, manuscripts, fine printing, filmscripts, and bibliography. This is not the typical Reese catalogue of high end historical Americana. Nor are the items quite as old as those found in most Reese catalogues, the concentration here being on 20th century works. One more difference - those who may find typical Reese material a bit high for their budgets will discover most of the works within this catalogue to be readily affordable by those of more modest means. There is an inscribed F. Scott Fitzgerald work in here for $35,000, but then again, there are items for $24. The number of collectors who do not purchase items somewhere within this price range must be small indeed. Here are a few samples.

From the upper end, item 249 is an inscribed copy of Ernest Hemingway's 1927 collection of short stories, Men Without Women. It says, "To my friend & compatriot Archibald MacLeish a true man without women this book is dedicated - 'Life is real, Life is Ernest' - Hemingway." A second inscription, to Mrs. MacLeish, states, "Dedication to Ada later - Papa." Of course one must wonder how Mrs. MacLeish felt about Hemingway describing her husband as a "true man without women." What was she; chopped liver? Anyway, while not regarded on a level with Hemingway, MacLeish was himself an important writer of the 20th century, writing primarily poetry, along with plays and essays. During Franklin Roosevelt's administration, he took time off to fill several government posts, including head of the Library of Congress, a speechwriter, propagandist, and Assistant Secretary of State for Cultural and Public Affairs. He spent most of his post-Roosevelt years again writing and serving in academia. He was also a great personal friend of Hemingway, whom he met in Paris in 1924. Priced at $20,000.

As we said, most items herein are not so pricey. Item 250 is another Hemingway piece, a Souvenir Book for For Whom The Bell Tolls. This is a 1943 booklet produced for the release of the film version of this book, which starred Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. There are photographs of the stars and articles by the director, along with comments by Cooper and Bergman and others involved with the production. Item 250. $100.

Here are a few more items for those who like movies. There is an early working draft for the 1943 film Tarzan Triumphs. This was one of the films starring Johnny Weissmuller in the title role, and as one might expect considering the date of this film, the British born King of the Apes was fighting Nazi invaders at the time. This copy is signed by Lester Koenig, who helped adapt the printed Ape-man to the screen. Item 95. $450. Item 101 is a mimeographed "Final Draft" (with enough revisions to indicate it was not so final) for the more critically acclaimed film Breakfast at Tiffany's. Everyone knows this Audrey Hepburn classic, adapted from a novella by Truman Capote. It won two Academy Awards, though both of those were for its music (notably, "Moon River"). Hepburn did receive a best actress nomination. Item 101. $3,250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000

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