Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2006 Issue

"Rotating&quot First Editions from Between The Covers Rare Books

Paul Keller's first editions from Between The Covers.


By Michael Stillman

The most recent offering from Between The Covers Rare Books is A Selection of Books from the Collection of Paul Keller. The late Paul Keller was a Florida collector who specialized in literary firsts. That is most of what is found in this catalogue -- literary first editions from the twentieth century. Offered are over 200 interesting to highly important first editions. Keller was also a stickler for quality, so these copies are generally in exceptionally good condition.

While we are great fans of the printed catalogue, Between The Covers offers an amazing tool on their website which is available for the books in the Keller collection. It is a rotating look at the books. You can either sit back and watch the books spinning around, which enables you to see front, back, spine and fore edge, or use your mouse to manipulate the rotation. You can flip the book upside down or look at the top and bottom edges if you wish. The link to the website appears at the bottom of this article. Now, here are a few of the items being offered in the catalogue.

What better place to start than with item number one, which may be the greatest of all American novels? This one is Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Offered is an exceptionally good copy of the first issue of the first American edition (following the British first), published in 1885. This book makes great reading, but buy another copy to read and place this one delicately on your shelf. Priced at $17,500.

Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, item 41 is Charles Duff's A Handbook on Hanging: Being a short Introduction to the fine art of Execution, and containing much useful information on Neck-Breaking, Throttling, Strangling, Asphyxiation, Decapitation and Electrocution;... All Very Proper to be Read and Kept in Every Family. One suspects this is a tongue-in-cheek book, at least one hopes so. This book is evidently a tome against capital punishment, but written as if Duff was an overzealous supporter. However, he does find room to mention botched attempts at executing people, and cases where innocents were put to death. Though this book was published in 1929, its subject remains as contentious and controversial an issue as it was then. This is the first American edition, following the 1927 British first. $500.

Item 72 is not typical of most books in this catalogue, but is quite collectible nonetheless. It is a signed early reprint of Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy's account of the actions of several courageous individuals. This copy is inscribed by JFK to "Cal and Anne," likely book owner Caleria Schwartz, whom we are not able to otherwise identify. The book was published in 1956, when the future president was a senator from Massachusetts. $4,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.

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