Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2006 Issue

Inscribed Books from James Cummins Bookseller

James Cummins offers inscribed books.


By Michael Stillman

The 96th catalogue from James Cummins Bookseller is entitled Inscribed. This is a collection of just over one hundred works that have been inscribed, most often, though not necessarily, by the author. The greatest number of the books are literary works, but again, not all. There are artists, poets, actors and politicians who have put their names and comments to these pages. For those who collect just a bit more than the printed word, Cummins has a catalogue for you. Here are a few examples.

Ernest Hemingway was undoubtedly still very much in love with second wife Pauline Pfeiffer in September 1928, when he inscribed a copy of Grabados y Litografus de Goya to her. It is a book which reproduces Francisco de Goya's drawings. They had been married less than a year, and Hemingway was still a struggling writer at the time. Ms. Pfeiffer, on the other hand, had a healthy trust fund and a doting uncle who purchased a Key West home for the couple. She was a magazine writer and editor herself, and she captured the heart of "Papa" while the latter was still married to his first wife. States his inscription, "Pauline Hemingway with love from Ernest." Of course those with a roving eye tend to rove again, and in time Pauline too would be replaced by a younger, third (of four) wife. They were divorced in 1940. Item 41 is the Hemingway inscribed Goya to Pauline. Priced at $6,000.

Charles and Jane Engelhard were wealthy benefactors of numerous causes, and friends with some of the leading politicians of their day. Jane, born in China, had married Charles, a wealthy industrialist, in 1947. Among their friends was President Lyndon Johnson, a man as colorful as Hemingway. LBJ sent copies of books to both of his friends, The Vantage Point, which he authored, to Jane, The Professional. Lyndon B. Johnson, by William S. White, to Charles. In a tipped in card to Jane, Johnson, in typical style, inscribes, "For Jane Engelhard. My dear friend-Counselor-Companion and Sweetheart whom I deeply love." To Charles, he writes, "To Charles Engelhard -- with best wishes." Well, we can see which of the two LBJ liked better! Item 49 is the book and card to Jane. $1,500. Item 50 is the book for Charles. $1,000.

In 1975, Mrs. Engelhard would accompany Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield on a trip to China to help the government formulate foreign policy. Mansfield would present her with a copy of their report - China: a Quarter Century after the Founding of the People's Republic. Mansfield was a great mind, though not quite the charmer that LBJ was. His inscription is appreciative and friendly, though not quite so familiar: "To 'China Born' Jane B. Engelhard, who did so much to make the mission to China worthwhile ... With my deepest personal thanks & appreciation to a great & knowledgeable lady & associate." Two different styles. Item 60. $1,000.

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

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