Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2006 Issue

Books About More Than Just Books From Oak Knoll

One of the many catalogues in the Thomas Nelson and Sons collection.


For those who collect a more serious type of fraud, item 235 is the auction catalogue for The Library of the Late H. Buxton Forman (3 volumes). Forman was master forger Thomas Wise's comrade in unarmed frauds. However, his forgeries would not be discovered until more than a decade after Forman's death. At the time Anderson Galleries auctioned Forman's library (1920), the revelation of Wise's fraud and Forman's complicity was still a long way off. In looking over the catalogue, Oak Knoll notes that "even a brief spot check using one of the standard lists reveals the presence of several forgeries in this sale." One of the books in this sale contained correspondence between Wise and Forman tucked inside the cover which clearly established their conspiracy, though the buyer, noted collector Carl Pforzheimer, kept it under wraps for many years. $120.

Speaking of these frauds, item 718 is a genuine Wise forgery, if that isn't an oxymoron. The book is The Devil's Due, A Letter to the Editor of "The Examiner." The pamphlet is dated 1875. Bound in is a letter to the original buyer, John Spoor, stating that "less than" six copies are known, and that it was suppressed, no copies being known until 1897. "It is still quite unknown to many collectors." Oak Knoll points out that the reason this "1875" work was unknown until 1897 was that Wise didn't create the forgery until 1896. $1,000.

After his death, the library of the duped Mr. Spoor went up for sale at Parke-Bernet in 1939. Spoor purchased some 50 Wise forgeries. His auction catalogue is titled First Editions of English XVIII-XIX Century and American XIX Century Authors. Item 866. $65.

One more Wise item. It is a 1930 edition of his Ashley Library, a Catalogue...Collected by Thomas James Wise. This one includes an inscription by Wise to legendary bookseller A.S.W. Rosenbach. Rosenbach later revealed that he had known Wise to be a forger fifteen years before he was exposed, but did not want to say anything which would damage the reputation of a friend. Rosenbach was indeed a good friend to Wise, but perhaps not so to the others who unwarily purchased his forgeries. Item 887. $750.

Item 618 is Lester Sobel's Pornography, Obscenity and the Law (1979). We know at least two of those topics are of great interest. $25.

Item 830 is a large collection of catalogues and other material from British publisher Thomas Nelson and Sons. Items run from 1878-1973. This will be a wonderful resource for anyone who handles many of Nelson's books. Among their specialties were religious, educational and children's books. There are over 170 items in the collection. $850.

Oak Knoll Books may be found at www.oakknoll.com, phone number 302-328-7232.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900

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