Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2007 Issue

World's Fairs and Expositions from Marc Selvaggio

World's Fairs and Expositions from Marc Selvaggio.


By Michael Stillman

This month we have our first review for Marc Selvaggio, Bookseller. The Berkeley, California, bookseller starts us out with an exciting collection of fair books, World's Fairs and Expositions, 1851-1940. Nothing can generate excitement like a world's fair, and Selvaggio has over 500 pamphlets and other pieces pertaining to a century's worth of them. Here is a chance to relive the thrills.

The most represented fairs are: 1851 London, 1876 Philadelphia, 1888 Barcelona, 1889 Paris, 1893 Chicago, 1901 Buffalo, 1904 St. Louis, 1915 San Francisco, 1929 Barcelona, 1933-34 Chicago, 1937 Paris, 1939-40 San Francisco, and 1939-40 New York. However, smaller exhibitions are also represented, including ones held in Denver, Cincinnati, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Portland (Oregon), Seattle, Omaha, Ottumwa (Iowa), San Diego, Vienna, Moscow, Madrid, Stockholm, Brussels, and even the Philadelphia Sanitary Commission Fair held during the midst of the Civil War. Here are a few samples.

Item 31 is an album containing 212 photographs and captions (in English) from the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris. This fair produced the most famous of fair buildings, the eyesore that came to be beloved by Parisians, the Eiffel Tower. It is shown in one of those pictures. Priced at $400.

Also from that Paris Fair comes Le Kansas en 1889. The copy was written by Emile Fermin, a French immigrant who helped settle Florence, Kansas. No, this wasn't Dorothy's Le Kansas. Item 29. $200.

Item 5 is a notebook prepared for America's centennial celebration in Philadelphia in 1876. The notebook points out that while there will be many printed reports on the centennial, "a diary or personal narrative of one's own observations and impressions may be made a most interesting souvenir." No one ever made this souvenir "interesting" as the pages are blank. You could still fill them in, but we would know you didn't really attend. $65.

Item 356 is the third volume of a three-volume set, Participations etrangers, covering foreign participants at the 1937 Paris International Exposition. This volume includes the German pavilion, designed by Hitler's personal architect Albert Speer. The Germans would return a few years later under much less welcoming conditions. $450.

By the time of the Golden Gate International Expo in San Francisco of 1940, war had broken out in Europe. Under the circumstances, the fair's theme of "Fun in the Forties" was a bit ironic. Item 364 is a four-page brochure marking Czechoslovak Day. Saturday, July 6, 1940. Czechoslovakia had been the first to fall to the German onslaught, and so this exhibit, first planned by the "Fallen Republic," was maintained by the "Committee for the Czechoslovak Cause." $20.

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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