Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2007 Issue

Actors, Celebrities and Others from James Pepper Rare Books

Catalogue 156 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from James Pepper Rare Books of Santa Barbara, California. This is an intriguing group of books, but Pepper does not provide us with a theme for the catalogue. So I'll have to figure it out. Here we go. Most of these works are in some way related to actors and films, and those that are not still are generally connected to some type of celebrity. One more common string that runs through a great many of the works is that they come signed or inscribed. Now these are not rules. There are exceptions. However, this does appear to be the focus of this collection which bears only the title Catalogue 156. Here are some examples of what you will find inside.

It was perhaps the greatest work ever of animated art. The film, that is, as the book could hardly be animated. However, the book comes with numerous striking illustrations, and while it also lacks a musical score, it does come with a forward by conductor Leopold Stokowski who provided the film with its music. The book, published in 1940, is Walt Disney's Fantasia, and this copy was inscribed to someone named "Barbara" and signed by Disney himself. Item 32. Priced at $7,500.

It is always tragic to see celebrity romances fall apart, but it is even more heartrending when the couple has been together for some 40-plus years. Such was the sad fate for Barbara Millicent Roberts and Ken Carson. Perhaps you don't recognize their full names. You may simply call them Barbie and Ken. Back in 1962 when they were still truly young, rather than forever young, Cynthia Lawrence wrote the book Barbie's New York Summer. It undoubtedly recalls a wonderful, romantic summer, something I will claim based on my knowledge of the characters and 1962, never having actually read the book. This copy is signed, though unfortunately not by Barbie or Ken, but by the book's lesser-known author. Item 6. $200.

Buddy Ebsen appeared in many movies from the 1930s until the 1990s. He almost made the big time early in his career when he was cast as the Tin Man in 1939's The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, Ebsen became seriously ill from the aluminum dust in his outfit, and had to be replaced. Still, this role is featured in his autobiography published many years later in 1993: The Other Side of Oz. An Autobiography. He would return to appearing in many obscure movies until almost securing the lead role in Disney's Davy Crockett, an enormously popular television show with children in the 1950s. Alas, that role went to Fess Parker, and Ebsen had to settle for the role as his sidekick. However, he landed the minor role of Doc Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's and this led to the one for which we all remember him -- Jed Clampett in the Beverly Hillbillies. Item 37 is a signed copy of Ebsen's autobiography. $45.

Item 69 is an odd coupling -- horror writer Stephen King and New Orleans jazz musician Pete Fountain. Offered is a first edition of King's first book, Carrie. Evidently Fountain must have liked it, as this copy contains his bookplate and signature. If there is any other connection between these two, I am unaware of it. $2,500.

Here is another odd couple, though this time there was a real connection. This couple is writer W. Somerset Maugham and speechless actor/harp player and Marx brother Harpo Marx. These two actually became good buddies. They were introduced by another writer, Alexander Wolcott, and for whatever reason, the two just hit it off. The clowning relationship might be expected of Marx, but Maugham? Item 87 is a copy of Maugham's Ah King from 1933, inscribed, "For Harpo Marx, W. Somerset Maugham, grateful to him for a world of fun." The bookplate includes a drawing of Harpo by his wife Susan. $9,500.

James Pepper Rare Books is located online at www.JamesPepperBooks.com, telephone 805-963-1025.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.

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