Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2008 Issue

The Latest in Film and Literature from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper175

Catalogue 175 contains the latest offerings from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Catalogue 175 from James Pepper Rare Books has arrived, and it contains the type of material we would expect from a Pepper catalogue. There are many items related to film and theater, first and other early editions of literature, some mysteries, and always a few unexpected works. Here are a few from this latest offering.

Would you like to hire Allen Ginsberg? He attended Columbia University, where he learned about market research and journalism. He has traveled quite a bit, and is proficient in French. Oh yes...he also won some poetry awards at Columbia. Item 39 is Ginsberg's resume from 1952, while he was seeking employment as a 26-year-old market researcher. His references are Lucien Carr, close friend of Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs, an odd choice as he had spent two years in prison for manslaughter though now working for UPI, and Mark Van Doren, a poet and Ginsberg's professor at Columbia. Apparently, this one-page resume did not land Ginsberg any compelling job offers, and he instead became a full-time poet. Item 39. Priced at $450.

While Ginsberg and the other "Beats" were perfecting their new forms of poetry and prose in relative obscurity, mainstream America was focused on other forms of entertainment. Young Americans in 1955 were more interested in coonskin caps and mythical heroes than Beat poetry. Item 30 is Walt Disney's Davy Crockett and Mike Fink. The Adventures of the King of the Wild Frontier and the King of the River... Disney managed to seamlessly mix the very real, but grossly fictionalized Davy Crockett, with the purely fictional Fink. Fink played second fiddle as Crockett became the rage of the day. Crockett was actually a remarkable frontiersman and former Congressman, one who defended the Indians when their cause was not popular, and, as all Texans well know, gave his life at the Alamo. However, by 1955, he had been transmuted into this strange Disney frontier superhero, who bore as much resemblance to the real Crockett as Superman did to Clark Kent. This item is a compilation of several Davy Crockett television stories, where he takes on outlaws, river pirates, and various scofflaws. It includes color photographs from the show, and is signed by its stars, including Fess Parker (as Crockett), Buddy Ebsen, who in the following decade would pack up and move his hillbilly family to Beverly, and Bill Hayes, who (along with Parker) recorded 1955's smash hit recording The Ballad of Davy Crockett (Hayes did a much better job than Parker). Hayes also moved to Beverly to become a star of the soap Days of Our Lives. $175.

Oh what webs we weave! But no one could weave them like Charlotte. Of course, Charlotte had the advantage of being a spider, but still, her webs with written messages are remarkable even for a spider. Item 138 is a 1952 first edition of E.B. White's children's classic, Charlotte's Web. $1,100.

Here is an animal from the children's book world who could have crushed Charlotte in an instant, but undoubtedly he was much too refined to do such a thing. No self-respecting Frenchman would be so uncivilized. Item 26 is Le Voyage de Babar, a 1932 first edition in French of Jean de Brunhoff's tale of the kindly French elephant. This copy is signed by Jean's son Laurent de Brunhoff, who took over the series after his father died at just 37 years of age. $550.

Bette Davis was one of the greatest actresses of the 20th century. Not naturally beautiful, she combined determination, ambition, and a willingness to portray dislikeable characters into one of the greatest film careers ever. Of course, she also had Bette Davis eyes. Item 6 is an original souvenir program for the film All This and Heaven Too. Davis starred in this 1940 movie and has signed this promotional book. $225.

James Pepper Rare Books may be reached at 805-963-1025 or pepbooks@aol.com. Their website is www.JamesPepperBooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jean de Mandeville, <i>Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land,</i> Strassburg, 1488. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> José González Cabrera Bueno, <i>Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica,</i> Manila, 1734. Sold for $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. Sold for $65,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Louise Bourgeois, <i>He Disappeared Into Complete Silence,</i> portfolio with complete text & 9 engravings, 1947. Sold for $413,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Erich Maria Remarque, <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first American edition, Boston, 1929. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sir William Russell Flint, gouache & watercolor illustration for Homer's <i>Odyssey,</i> 1924. Sold for $22,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters, signed to his family, 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>Lady Windermere's Fan,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, London, 1893. Sold for $27,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Emil Cardinaux, <i>St. Moritz,</i> 1918. Sold for $17,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> R.J. Waters, 3 panoramas of the San Francisco earthquake & fire, 1906. Sold for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Album with 200 cartes-de-visite, including images by Felice Beato, John Thompson & F.W. Sutton, Japan & China, 1863-69. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. Sold for $40,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> KNIGHT, HILARY. The Original Portrait of Eloise that Hung at the Plaza Hotel. $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> WARHOL, ANDY. "Iced Lemon Delight," an Original Watercolor Presented to Hilary Knight's cat, Phoebe $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SENDAK, MAURICE. <i>Where the Wild Things Are.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED with drawing to Hilary Knight in the month following publication. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> NOLAND, KENNETH. Original circle painting, untitled, acrylic and ink on cloth, for cover of monograph $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> TOULOUSE-LAUTREC. <i>Histoires Naturelles,</i> 1899. With 22 original lithographs. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>A Collection of Poems,</i> [1711]. The first authoritative and complete collected Sonnets.$15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> LONDON, JACK. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> 1903. First edition, first state jacket. $2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> FROST, ROBERT. Autograph Manuscript of "Build Soil," 12 pp, 1932-1936. $15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> GOULD, GLENN. Glenn Gould's extensively annotated copy of Bach's Goldberg Variations $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> PLATH, SYLVIA. EARLY Autograph Letter Signed, about her beginnings as a writer, Northampton, MA, 1951. $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> HOUDINI, HARRY. A collection of 11 cast iron shackle and lock items from Houdini's personal collection. $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> M4 ENGIMA MACHINE, with very rare RARE HYDRA KEY ENVELOPE. $400,000 to 600,000

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