Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2008 Issue

Firsts, Film, and Ephemera from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper171

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

  • <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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