Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2008 Issue

Books About Books and Bibliography from Oak Knoll

Oak287

Catalogue 287 from Oak Knoll Books.


By Michael Stillman

Oak Knoll Books has issued its Catalogue 287 featuring "books about books" and bibliography. These are great catalogues for those who are interested in information about books or who collect within the field of the book arts. However, there is also an occasional first edition classic thrown in, so once in awhile, you may be surprised by what you find. Nonetheless, if you are looking for artistic books, bibliographies, limited editions and such works as usually carry the "books about books" moniker, this is the place. Here are a few.

Item 35 is an example of a thorough review of a very targeted subject: The Craftsman's Guide to Edge Decoration, by John Mitchell, published in 1993. Edge decoration is a major feature of books as art, ranging from simple coloring all the way to fore-edge paintings, but there aren't too many books about it. This one covers equipment and techniques of edge decoration, along with coloring, marbling, gold, gilding, painting, and more. Priced at $225.

Item 408 takes a look at early American children's books: A Bibliography of American Children's Books Printed Prior to 1821. This bibliography is found within six volumes of the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society from 1963-1967. Compiled by D'Alte Welch, Oak Knoll notes that there are more entries in the listings within the Proceedings than appeared in the book form issued later. Over 1,000 complete descriptions are present. $350.

Here is a book which would have appeared in that bibliography had it been published just 141 years earlier. It is one of the classics of children's literature: James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl. This is a first edition, published in 1961. While Dahl was British, this counts as an American work, as the first edition, published in New York, preceded the first British edition by six years. Item 64. $5,000.

It's always nice to hear from Mom, but perhaps there is a point where she should leave you alone. Item 180 is Letters from the Marchioness de Sevigne to Her Daughter the Countess de Grignan. There are ten volumes of these letters, published in 1927. Oak Knoll describes this as "one of the most celebrated correspondence in French literature," which surely it must be as who else could write so many letters? $100.

Item 282 is an oddly titled limited edition (249 copies) from the Black Cat Press: Oriental Encounters, Two Essays in Bad Taste. Indeed, the title is appropriate for the two subjects discussed, eunuchs and "honeycarts." The latter refers to those carts that collected human waste in the days before indoor plumbing. You think you have a tough job. This book, published in 1938, is inscribed by author Vincent Starrett to Mrs. Charles Phelan, "for furtive reading." $135.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>The Railroad,</i> etching, 1922. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Sheet of Studies with Men in Hats and a Saloon Keeper,</i> pen, ink & pencil, circa 1900-05. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Night Shadows,</i> etching, 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> John Marin, <i>Woolworth Building, No. 2,</i> etching & drypoint, 1913. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Charles Demuth, <i>Tulips,</i> watercolor & pencil, 1924. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Under Control,</i> gouache, ink & wash, circa 1907-10. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JESSE JAMES. Autograph Letter Signed on the attack at his home which maimed his mother and killed his nephew Archie, 6 pp, March 23, 1875. THE MOST IMPORTANT JESSE JAMES LETTER EXTANT. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> THE LETTER THAT ARRIVED TOO LATE: An important letter from Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant across the battlefield at Cold Harbor, June 6, 1864. $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> DAVY CROCKETT. Autograph Letter Signed on his political philosophy and his dispute with Andrew Jackson, "at home Weakley County," August 18, 1831. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> GEORGE WASHINGTON. Letter Signed to Colonel Richard Gridley, the first engineer of the American Army, Morris Town, January 9, 1777. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> SCOTT FITZGERALD. <i>Tender is the Night.</i> FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED to H.A. Swanseid. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS. <i>Tarzan of the Apes.</i> FIRST EDITION. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> J.R.R. TOLKIEN. <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again.</i> FIRST EDITION. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NATHANAEL WEST. <i>The Day of the Locust.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed to director Richard Wallace in the year of publication. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> FRANCIS PICABIA. Archive of 17 Autograph Letters signed to Jennie Thiersch on art and life, 1948-1951. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JOHN HANCOCK. Autograph Letter Signed to his wife Dolly from the Continental Congress, 4 pp, Philadelphia, March 10-11, 1777. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NIGHTGOWN WORN BY CHARLOTTE CARDEZA DURING THE TITANIC DISASTER AND RESCUE. $40,000 to $60,000

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