Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2008 Issue

Books About Books and Bookmen (Good and Bad) from Oak Knoll

Oakknoll286

Catalogue 286 from Oak Knoll.



By Michael Stillman

Oak Knoll Books has issued its Catalogue 286 in its continuing series of books about books and the book arts. Titles cover book collecting, selling, design, printing, binding and just about everything else pertaining to the book. There are also numerous items from private presses, and a section on bibliography. Here are some of the almost 400 items available in this latest collection.

Color printing was not that old when John Earhart published The Color Printer, a Treatise on the Use of Colors in Typographic Printing. This first and only edition, published in Cincinnati in 1892, contains many examples of color printing, including mixed colors, metallic colors, gold ink on colored enameled papers, and much more. "A magnificent book," says Oak Knoll. This is a presentation copy from the author, and comes with a Christmas card and letter from the Earhart, along with a memorial card for his wife. Item 66. Priced at $1,250.

Item 24 is the catalogue A Selection of Books, Manuscripts, Bindings, and Autograph Letters Remarkable for Their Interest & Rarity... from Maggs Brothers. This catalogue, containing 273 items, was published in 1931, catalogue number 550 from the venerable London bookseller. Elsewhere in this month’s AE Monthly, we review their latest catalogue, number 1,416. $140.

Item 51 is a biography and bibliography of The Unspeakable Curll, Being Some Account of Edmund Curll Bookseller, to which is Added a Full List of his Books. The unspeakable Mr. Curll was an English bookseller and publisher of the early 1700s, with scruples to make a politician blush. He specialized in publishing works of scandal, slander, pornography, pirated works, personal letters (real and fabricated) and the like. In other words, he published the type of books people like to read. The libel and obscenity got him thrown into the pokey a couple of times, but essentially, and fittingly, he made out like a bandit. This limited edition biography, written by Ralph Straus, was published in 1928. $125.

Item 74 comes from another bookman of questionable scruples, Proposal for Putting Reform to the Vote through the Kingdom. Facsimile of Shelley's Manuscript. With an Introduction by H. Buxton Forman. It was not the writer Percy Bysshe Shelley who was ethically challenged, but the introducer, Buxton Forman. Forman knew all about facsimiles as he and master forger Thomas Wise for years created fake old works and pawned them off as the real thing. This copy of Forman's publication is inscribed by him to "G.J.F. Tupper with kindest regards from H. Buxton Forman." Tupper was an expert at producing facsimiles, and one wonders if Forman studied Tupper’s techniques to use for his own nefarious purposes. $350.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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