Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2008 Issue

More Works of Film, Literature, Mystery and More from James Pepper Rare Books

Catalogue 170 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books
has issued their Catalogue 170, otherwise unnamed, likely because of the diverse offerings. As usual, there are many items related to the theater and film, literary first editions and mystery, but where do you categorize We Saw Lincoln Shot. One Hundred Eyewitness Accounts? We'll let you contemplate that mystery, and proceed to a few examples of what is offered, with the caveat not to assume that we are at all covering all of the subjects you may find within the pages of this catalogue.

Item 126 is a copy of the first edition (in the spring issue of Pharos, published in Murray, Utah) of Tennessee William's first published full-length play and book. It is Battle of Angels, not his most successful work, printed in 1945. In the following decade, it was republished under the title "Orpheas Descending." However, while this work was more obscure, Williams was bursting into the public eye at the time as "The Glass Menagerie" had just made its debut on Broadway. Offered for $750.

Item 5 is the biography of a poet who suffered terribly through most of his life and was rewarded by being, essentially, forgotten. What a happy story this is! The book is The Life of Sumner Lincoln Fairfield, Esq., written and published by his wife, Jane Fairfield, in 1847. Fairfield was an only child, dominated by his mother, who achieved little financial success and was unable to cope with his failure, exacerbated by the fact that he had five children to support. That eventually fell to Jane while he wallowed in misery and died at a relatively early age (40). You can read his depressing story and three of his lengthy poems, including "The Sisters of Santa Clara," and what his wife describes as the "pathetic and beautiful poem" he wrote for her shortly before he died. This copy is inscribed by Mrs. Fairfield. $125.

How many of you remember Jim Backus? He was a character actor of the mid-20th century, playing the stuffy Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island and James Dean's father in Rebel Without a Cause. He even had his own television program, the Jim Backus Show, for one year. However, he is probably best remembered for his invisible role, as the voice of Mr. Magoo (he looked a little like Magoo). Backus (with his wife) also wrote a few books, and recorded a couple songs. His record, Delicious, from the 1950s, where an inebriated Backus and equally drunk lady friend enjoy a glass of champagne is a classic. Item 10 is Backus Strikes Back, inscribed by authors Jim and Henny Backus, with a forward by George Burns. Published in 1984. $150.

Certainly you must remember the television show Manolo of the Seven Seas. It featured actor Jon Hall, who had appeared in several South Seas movies in the 1940s and starred in the early television show Ramar of the Jungle, as Dr. Tom "Ramar" Reynolds. If you're still drawing a blank on Manolo, it's understandable. It never made it to the small screen. And if Hall is kind of obscure, his wife of several decades, Frances Langford, was a well-known singer and actress of the era, as well as half of the famous feuding Bickersons. Item 88 is Hall's copy of the never-produced Manolo of the Seven Seas. $250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • 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
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000

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