Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2008 Issue

Film, Writer, and an Early New Mexico Collection from James Pepper Rare Books

Fifteen collections from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has issued an unusual catalogue. It contains just 15 items, but then again, it contains many times that number. The paradox is resolved by the catalogue's title: Fifteen Interesting Collections & Archives. Each item contains multiple pieces, sometimes dozens of them. The collections range from those pertaining to films or authors to a large and unexpected group of documents from the then new territory of New Mexico, a few years after ceded to the United States following the Mexican War. There is much unpublished and unseen material to be found in these archives. However, we will take a look.

Item 2 is a shooting script archive for the classic film Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean. The collection belonged to Jack Grinnage, who played the role of one of the three hoods, "Moose." Included is Grinnage's script, which he had hardbound, his Warner Brothers studio pass mentioning Rebel, and 16 still photographs. The script contains rewrite pages and numerous changes that were made as the film was upgraded from a second-tier black and white movie to a major color release. One of the photos shows Dean wearing his glasses, Grinnage intently studying his script, Jim Backus struggling to stay awake, and Natalie Wood looking beautiful. Priced at $30,000.

The New Mexico archive, which deals extensively with issues the government of the newly acquired land faced with the native tribes, is an amazing collection of likely otherwise unrecorded history. The 68 manuscript letters and documents pertain to the first six months of the administration of territorial Governor David Meriwether in 1853. Among the documents are:

Eight lengthy letters from Indian agent James M. Smith, covering livestock stolen by the Indians, corruption by his predecessors, illegal sales of liquor to the Indians, Mexican incursions into the territory, and Indian attacks on travelers and settlers. However, Smith recognized the terrible plight of the natives which led to their actions, and movingly writes, "They are really poor...I plead for the Apache - He is a noble, fine-looking, though naked Indian. Save him, I beseech you, from starvation."

Ten letters and five other documents from Indian agent Capt. Edmund A. Graves, Meriwether's son-in-law. He writes of conflicts between various tribes of Indians and between Indians and Mexicans, stolen horses, and other issues. Graves advises that the Indians must be brought under control, but he, too, recognizes that their actions are the result of a desperate situation, and that whites would act no differently if faced with the same conditions. He says, "they [the Indians] have for a great length of time subsisted merrily by the chase and by robberies and murder of the most revolting character - but as they must live and as both civilized as well as the savage man will plunder and rob before he will die by starvation when the means of subsistence is within reach, it is nothing remarkable or strange."

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
  • 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

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