Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2007 Issue

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

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

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.

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