Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2007 Issue

Cinema, First Editions, and the Eclectic from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper165

More firsts, cinema, and oddities from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books
recently issued their Catalogue 165 of Literary First Editions, Mystery and Detective Fiction, Rare Cinema Material, and Assorted Eclectic Offerings. The catalogue is similar in format to others offered by Pepper, but the material is new. For those who collect first editions, mystery and items related to films, here is a whole new group of items to consider. For example...

Item 95 is a rarity, the first edition of the first Mr. Moto mystery by John P. Marquand, No Hero. Mr. Moto was a fictional Japanese secret agent who became popular in a series of films in the late 1930s, with Peter Lorre playing the title role. Moto fell out of favor in America after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (as might be expected), but staged a modest comeback in the 1950s. This copy is inscribed to Hart F. Pantzer, whom I have not been able to identify despite his distinctive name. He and Marquand shared some memories from 7 Landis Street in Cambridge. Pepper notes that while Marquand signed some limited editions, he rarely signed regular trade copies such as this. Priced at $16,500.

You will find lots of items you like in Peppers' catalogue, but there is only one place you can get anything you want (excepting Alice). That, of course, is Alice's Restaurant. Item 4 is the Doubleday first edition screenplay for the film version of Alice's Restaurant, by Venable Herndon and Arthur Penn. The movie, of course, was based on the song of the same title by Arlo Guthrie. It starred Guthrie, Pat Quinn, James Broderick, Tina Chen, and even Arlo's Dad's (Woody Guthrie) old cohort Pete Seeger, appearing as himself (to this day Seeger is still singing his songs and trying to make the world a better place). This 1970 paperback is signed by director, co-writer Penn. $125.

Here is a strange association copy -- Mao Tse-Tung and Marlon Brando. Brando was always interested in politics and causes, so perhaps it is not that surprising he would have owned this copy of the Quotations of Mao Tse-Tung, once one of the most well-read books in the world. This copy contains Brando's bookplate plus a signed letter from his former girlfriend Pat Quinn (who played Alice in the aforementioned film) stating she gave him the book. Brando got anything he wanted at Alice's. Item 15. $1,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions