Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2008 Issue

Firsts, Film, and Ephemera from James Pepper Rare Books

Catalogue 171 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Catalogue 171 from James Pepper Rare Books has just arrived. Pepper always has many items relating to theater and film, along with a good collection of literary first editions. This month, they have 145 entries in their catalogue, including some unusual ephemeral items, and many if not most will be familiar to you. Here are a few.

Item 4 is a copy of Carroll Glines' biography of aviator and U.S. Air Force General James "Jimmy" Doolittle, Jimmy Doolittle. Daredevil, Aviator, and Scientist, published in 1972. Doolittle has inscribed the book as "J.H. Doolittle." Doolittle was certainly a daredevil, with two particularly notable achievements. In 1929, he was the first aviator to complete a totally instrument flight, that is, he conducted the entire flight using instruments alone, never looking out the window. This allowed for developments in flying in fog and bad weather. His other famous achievement was leading America's bombing raid on Tokyo early in the Second World War. It was a major psychological victory for America, an apt response to Pearl Harbor. Doolittle would win many awards for his service including the Medal of Honor during a lifetime which spanned 96 years. Along with the biography several items of memorabilia are included, among them a couple of photographs, a Christmas card from Doolittle, a remembrance card from the passing of Doolittle's wife Josephine, and a 45th anniversary commemorative of his "blind flight." Priced at $750.

As long as we're on generals, here is a surprising item: The Poems of General George S. Patton, Jr. - Lines of Fire, by, naturally, Patton, and edited by Carmine A. Prioli. Who would have known Patton was a poet? Indeed, who could have imagined someone with the nickname "Old Blood and Guts" being a poet? This is no sensitive, tear-jerking verse. It is more oriented toward the glory of war than its horrors, in keeping with Patton's well-established image. Though not published until 1991, this is the first collection of all of Patton's poetry, and includes the historical context of his poems. Item 99. $195.

To return to aviation, item 109 is a 1926 aviator's certificate made out to Mr. F. Gerald Philips. What is notable are the signatures on it. Not that of Mr. Philips, but the certificate is signed by both aviation pioneer Orville Wright and humorist Will Rogers, who ironically would lose his life a few years later in a plane crash. $3,000.

Item 11 is sort of a sports novel: The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, by Douglas Wallop. No, this isn't about last year, and the protagonists aren't the Red Sox. The book was published in 1954, which was actually one of the rare years of that era the Yankees did lose the pennant. However, the protagonists were not that year's pennant winners the Cleveland Indians either. No, in the book, it was the lowly Washington Senators. The Senators were long the lowest of the low among baseball teams, so their winning the pennant immediately tabbed this as a work of extreme fiction. In the story, a long-suffering Senator's fan sells his soul to the Devil to become the star hitter who leads the hapless losers to the pennant. The story is perhaps better known for its theatrical and film adaptations, which appeared under the name Damn Yankees. $550.

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

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