Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2008 Issue

More Children's Books from Aleph-Bet Books

Aleph87

Catalogue 87 from Aleph-Bet Books.


By Michael Stillman

Aleph-Bet Books
welcomes the new year with a wonderful new collection of Children's Books and Illustrated Books. Offered in Catalogue 87 are almost 600 new items that will bring you back to the days when you were very young. It is impossible to read this catalogue without traveling back to a time we all would like to relive, but cannot. Fortunately, Aleph-Bet presents us with the opportunity to reminisce. Each of the descriptions comes with a color image of the book or artwork, and many will still be familiar from memories of long ago. Here are a few of these old books for the young.

We start with a physics text, and you might wonder what such a work is doing in a collection of children's books. Item 507 is Atomics for the Millions, by Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff and Hyman Ruchlis. This was a most timely subject matter when the book was published in 1947, shortly after the first atomic bomb was dropped. Still, what is it doing here? The answer is that it was illustrated by one of the greatest children's book writers and illustrators of the century, Maurice Sendak. This was the first book in which he appeared as either illustrator or writer. Sendak was still in high school when his physics teacher, Ruchlis, asked him to provide drawings for a book designed to make atomics understandable to ordinary people. Priced at $700.

This takes us to the early days of another giant of children's books -- Dr. Seuss. Item 521 is a circa 1930s jigsaw puzzle, 150 pieces which when put together reveal a car and its riders escaping various Seussian monsters. Characters such as "Moto-munchus" and "Karbo-nockus" unsuccessfully attack the poor vehicle. The caption notes, "Foiled By Essolube." Dr. Seuss would go on to become one of the most successful children's writers ever, while Esso became Exxon and went on to become the most profitable corporation in the history of the world. And to think it all happened on Wall Street. $750.

Quickly, what was the name of the mystical land Alice visited? Item 153 provides the answer: Alice in Baking Powder Land. This 1924 publication by the Davis Baking Powder Co. recounts Alice's tour of a baking powder factory, where she watches the magic powder being produced, start to finish. It includes photographs that can only be viewed through the colored glasses attached to the cover. This Alice story proved to be less successful than the earlier one, for obvious reasons, its tin can no match for a tin man. $200.

Item 185 is the true first edition of Pinocchio. Prior to the book being published, Carlo Collodi's story appeared as a serial in the Italian children's magazine Giornale per i Bambini (journal for children), under the title La Storia di un Burattino (the story of a puppet). The Giornale was Italy's first children's magazine, and Collodi began his story of the puppet with the first issue. The story appears sporadically in installments over the next two years, with the name changed to Le Avventure di Pinocchio in the second year. Offered are 26 issues of the magazine, from the first issue of July 7, 1881, to the final installment of the story in 1883. After that, the story was published in book form. $32,500.

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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