Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2008 Issue

A Maurice Sendak Collection from J & J Hanrahan

Hanrahan60

A Maurice Sendak collection from J & J Hanrahan.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from J and J Hanrahan features items from Joyce Hanrahan's Maurice Sendak collection. The official title is Maurice Sendak. The First Twenty-Five Years. Sendak is still going strong today, though his first 25 years ended 37 years ago. However, it was during those first 25 years that he emerged from an artistically gifted but unknown high school student to the internationally recognized illustrator and writer of children's books.

A great many of these books are first editions, others are first editions in different languages, some are signed or include original Sendak drawings. Joyce Hanrahan has put together an extensive collection of Sendak's work, and now others who appreciate his creations have an opportunity to pick up some of his items that can be difficult to find.

The catalogue begins all the way back at high school, when Sendak was called on to provide illustrations for his high school yearbook. That yearbook is The Legend. June 1946. It was issued by Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, and Sendak was a senior that year. Along with providing artwork, Sendak was the Art Editor for the yearbook. Under his photograph, there is a prophetic verse: "You're delightful drawings make us all gay. A famous artist you'll be someday." As a caution, this is an imperfect copy with a couple of pages of the faculty section missing, but most of Sendak's artwork has survived. Item 1. Priced at $800.

It was during high school that Sendak landed his first true book-illustrating job. This was the dawn of the atomic age, and Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff and Sendak's high school physics teacher, Hyman Ruchlis, were preparing a book to explain this wondrous/terrifying new technology to the people. This is not a "children's book" in the typical Sendak sense of the words, though the book and his illustrations were designed to explain these scientific developments to the young. Offered is this first Sendak illustrated book, Atomics for the Millions, published in 1947. Item 2 is a first edition, first issue. Priced at $700. Evidently this book was of interest well beyond America's shores, as Hanrahan also offers editions in Japanese, Danish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and British. Okay, that last one is not a different language, but is a first British edition.

The Wonderful Farm, by Marcel Ayme, was the first true children's book Sendak illustrated. Sendak has noted that it was the book that "officially" made him someone in the children's book field. Item 14 is a first edition from 1951. $550.

You undoubtedly think of Sendak as an illustrator of books, but here is an unusual adaptation of his artistic talents: Cynthia Gooding Sings Turkish and Spanish Folk Songs. No, Sendak didn't join her for harmonies, but he did provide artwork for the album cover. It depicts Spaniards and Turks singing together, which was nice to see after centuries of fighting each other. The album was released in 1953. Gooding made several folk albums and did a radio show in New York in the 1960s where she once interviewed a 20-year-old unknown singer named Bob Dylan. Sendak was just thankful to get a paid illustrating job at the time. Item 28 includes both Sendak's cover and Gooding's vinyl music. $200.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <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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