Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2007 Issue

Literature, Cinema, and Eclectic Offerings from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper164

Catalogue 164 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Catalogue 164 from James Pepper Rare Books is described as a collection of "literary first editions, mystery and detective fiction, rare cinema material, and assorted eclectic offerings." That says it all, except that not all items are books. From the field of film there are scripts, plus signed photographs of well-known actors and actresses. From literature there are first editions of important books, some of which are signed. As for eclectic, how about a check signed by Edgar Rice Burroughs? Tarzan may have lived free in the trees and picked bananas, but Burroughs had to pay for things the same as the rest of us. Or how about a book written by early western film star William S. Hart's horse? Actually, this is an "as told to" book written down by Mr. Hart. Perhaps this horse was Mr. Ed's grandfather. The inscription comes from "the Little Pinto Hoss and his Cruel Master. Bill Hart." Here are some more items you will find in this catalogue.

Item 35 is a most fascinating biography and very rare one at that. The title is Charlie Chaplin's Own Story -- Being the Faithful Recital of a Romantic Career, Beginning with Early Recollections of Boy-Hood in London and Closing with the Signing of His Latest Motion Picture Contract. The book was published in 1916, just two years after Chaplin had burst on the scene. He was already very popular by the time, though his greatest work still lay years ahead. The author was Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of "Little House" novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder. Some say Lane ghostwrote her mother's books (she was, at times, a ghostwriter); others say her mother wrote hers. Perhaps each wrote her own. Chaplin had consented to a series of interviews by Lane in 1915. Just recently a star, much of the book is focused on Chaplin's earlier, difficult days growing up in London. Lane's style was to be dramatic, exaggerating, perhaps fictional in her writing. Her interviews were published serially in the San Francisco Bulletin, but when she attempted to publish them in book form, Chaplin put his foot down. The book was supposedly written by him, with a thanks to Wilder for "editorial assistance," the reverse of what was actually the case. It was replete with dialogue from Chaplin's early life no one could possibly remember. Chaplin threatened legal action, publisher Bobbs-Merrill agreed to withdraw the book (despite Lane's plea to Chaplin), and most copies were destroyed. The result is it is quite rare today. This copy includes a card with an early signature of Chaplin, though obviously he did not sign the book itself. Priced at $5,500.

Here is a very odd item for collectors of the old Confederacy: The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book. I'm not sure how much of the cooking and housekeeping the Lee family did themselves in the old days, but the Confederate military commander's wife, Mary Anna Custis Lee, kept a notebook of such household information. In 1997, the Lees' great-granddaughter, Anne Carter Zimmer, published a book based on Mrs. Lee's notebook. This copy is inscribed by Ms. Zimmer. Item 83. $150.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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