Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2006 Issue

Books About More Than Just Books From Oak Knoll

O273

Oak Knoll's Catalogue 273.


By Michael Stillman

Oak Knoll Books
has issued its 273rd catalogue, and this fits the Oak Knoll mold. The firm specializes in "books about books" and bibliography, and its catalogues are always among the most extensive we receive (this one has almost 900 items). However, some of the items seem hard to categorize as "books about books," so collectors not focused on this field should also take a look at their catalogues. Some of the items are a bit unexpected.

This edition includes many biographies written by booksellers, or books about them. There are too many to mention, and we would not want to be partial anyway, but if you are interested in the careers of famous booksellers, or perhaps are looking for some tips from them, you should get a copy of this catalogue. There is also a good selection of children's books, and again, for the sake of impartiality, we don't want to mention any names (but how could we ignore that of Babar, the French elephant?). Additionally, there are several local histories and genealogies, particularly from around Oak Knoll's neighborhood (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey). Here are a few books we found in their latest catalogue.

Item 49 is not the typical Oak Knoll Book. It is Point Lookout Prison Camp for Confederates, by (and signed by) Edwin Beitzell, published in 1972. This book looks at the Civil War prison camp through which some 50,000 Confederate prisoners passed. When prisoner exchange programs were discontinued in 1864, the population swelled far beyond official capacity, and conditions became horrific. Additionally, rations were cut to prisoners in retaliation for poor conditions in Confederate prisons. Almost 4,000 prisoners died there, at least according to official statistics, though some people believe the number was higher. This book contains the names of those known to have died in the prison, along with information gathered from many sources, including personal diaries, to tell the story of this most unhappy place. $75.

Item 381 is John Peter Zenger and his Fight for Freedom of the American Press. Zenger was the 18th century crusading New York newspaperman who established the right to print the truth, even if it was unpleasant to those in authority. This book was edited by Charles Heartman, the famed bookseller from the first half of the twentieth century (many of his catalogues and auction records are available to subscribers of the AE database). This book was published during the bicentennial celebration of Zenger's famous trial (1934), and includes bound in a copy of one of Zenger's four-page newspapers. $250.

For those who like fakes, item 542 is The Third Eye, the Autobiography of a Tibetan Lama, by Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, published in 1957. Rampa was supposedly a well-studied Tibetan who had trained to become a lama. He had then undergone an operation to open a third eye in the middle of his forehead which gave him amazing psychic powers. One can only wonder how anyone could have taken this story seriously, but apparently people did. However, some suspicious British scholars hired a private investigator to check up on Rampa, and the investigator found that he was actually Englishman Cyril Henry Hoskins, son of a plumber, who had never been to Tibet nor had any surgery on his forehead. He was no more a lama than a llama. $35.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Extensive archive of papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> George Catlin, <i>North American Indian Portfolio,</i> 1844. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> The Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures, Carefully Translated…after the Best Jewish Authorities, Philadelphia, 1853-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Wedding book of Eleanor Roosevelt’s bodyguard, Earl Miller, signed by the Roosevelts, 1932. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Textile titled <i>The Resignation of Pres’t Washington,</i> Scotland, circa 1800. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Gideon Welles, Pass for President Lincoln’s White House funeral, 1865. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Confirmation of arms and nobility in favor of the Diez y Mora family, Madrid, 1710. $2,500 to $3,500.
  • <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> JOYCE, James. <i>Ulysses.</i> London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1937. PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION PRINTED IN ENGLAND. $50,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [SHACKLETON, Ernest]. –– BROWNING, Robert. <i>Poetical Works of…</i> London: Smith and Elder, 1906. PRESENTED TO SHACKLETON AND THE OFFICERS OF THE NIMROD BY A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York: George R. Lockwood, [1870]. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> ARISTOTLE. Opera, in Greek, parts one and two only: Organon and Natural Philosophy I. Edited by Aldus and others. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1 November 1495–February 1498. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> COOK, James, Capt. [Collected Voyages]. First and Second Voyages: London: W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1773, 1777; Third Voyage: London: H. Hughes for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1785. $14,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne (“Mark Twain”). <i>The Writings of…</i> Hartford: American Publishing Co., 1899–1900. $12,000 to $16,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>The Poems of…</i> Edited by Frederick S. Ellis. Hammersmith: William Morris for the Kelmscott Press, 1893. $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> LONDON, Jack. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> New York: The Macmillan Company, 1905. PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY LONDON. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CROWLEY, Aleister (1875–1947). <i>The Winged Beetle.</i> London: privately printed, 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> WILDE, Oscar (“C.3.3.”). <i>The Ballad of Reading Gaol.</i> London: Leonard Smithers, January 1898. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> DRYDEN, John. <i>Fables Ancient and Modern; translated into verse from Homer, Ovid, Boccace, & Chaucer: with original poems.</i> London: John Tonson, 1700. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [MAP]. LINSCHOTEN, Jan Huygen van. <i>Delineatio Orarum Maritimarum…</i> London: John Wolfe, 1598. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Antiquarian Books<br>Including a series of views of Milan<br>September 27 to October 4</b></center>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Livius, Historia Romanae decades, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1470, contemporary Morocco. €30,000 to €40,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Blaeu, Nieuw Stedeboeck van Italien (Piemont), The Hague, 1724-1725, 8 volumes, marbled calf gilt. €70,000 to €90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Baysio, Rosarium decretorum, Venice, 1481, later vellum. €10,000 to €15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> [Niccolò da Poggibonsi], Viaggio da Venetia al santo Sepulchro, Venice, 1529, later half calf. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Hieronymus, Epistole [Italian], Ferrara, 1497, blue crushed morocco with the Rocco di Torrepadula arms. €12,000 to €15,000.

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