Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2008 Issue

25 Varied Items from John Michael Lang Fine Books

Lang26

List 26 from John Michael Lang Fine Books.


By Michael Stillman

John Michael Lang Fine Books has published their Recent Acquisition List 26. These lists are notable for being both short and varied. Lang does not cram a lot of works into his lists. This one offers but 25 items. However, to say Lang is a generalist would be an understatement. Just about anything can show up on these lists, and it seems that it does. This one includes everything from books about art to aviation, atlases, children's books, exploration, wine, literature, book collecting, humor, biography, Hawaiian volcanoes, and a tuberculosis hospital. All of this and more offered in just 25 items! Here are a few.

Bobbi Trout may not be as well known as Amelia Earhart, but her accomplishments as a pioneering aviatrix were such that she deserved to be. She took her first airplane ride in 1922, and six years later, she had a license and her first solo flight. Hers was only the fifth airplane license granted to a woman. By the following year, she was breaking women's endurance records, starting with a flight of just over 12 hours. She would lose and regain that record, along with setting records for altitude and being the first woman to pilot an all-night flight. She would also break records for longest time in the air with assistance from co-pilots. She hoped to stay in the air for a month, but her planes sputtered out. The trick, or course, was in-the-air refueling. Trout participated in the Women's Transcontinental Air Derby, better known as "Powder Puff Derby" of 1929. She, like most competitors, suffered various forced landings, such as one wonders how they survived, but she managed to finish the race. At the end, several of the flyers, including the aforementioned Earhart, formed a women's flying organization, "The Ninety-Nines." Bobbi Trout was the last survivor of those pioneers, passing away in 2003 at the age of 97. Item 3 is Just Plane Crazy. Biography of Bobbi Trout, by Donna Veca and Skip Mazzeo, published in 1987. This copy is both signed and separately inscribed by Trout, and comes with a laid in handwritten note by Trout. Priced at $125.

Item 24 is an account of one of the most important expeditions into the American West. This is the senate issue of the Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842 and to Oregon and Northern California in the Years 1843-44, by John Charles Fremont. Fremont led four expeditions to the West, and came back with maps, discoveries, plants, and lots of descriptions. The first two trips, which are the ones covered in this official report, were the most successful. His last two, including one where he attempted meddle in the affairs of Mexican California, and a disastrous trip to the Southwest, were less noteworthy. Fremont would find himself in hot water, though by 1856, he had returned to sufficient good graces to become the first Republican presidential nominee. However, these two first expeditions were the great accomplishments of his long, controversial career. This book contains 22 plates and five maps, including the large folding map by Charles Preuss. $1,500.

Item 7 is number 81 for those who collect the Zamorano 80, the Holy Grail for collectors of Californiana. It is a copy of the original publishing of the 80 titles the Zamorano Club recommended for a California collection. The official title is The Zamorano 80: A selection of distinguished California books made by members of the Zamorano Club, published in 1945. $250.

Here is the work about the tuberculosis infirmary. Item 19 is Firland. A Story of Firland Sanitorium. We tend to forget, but these institutions were once found throughout the land, when TB was a common disease. Firland operated in Seattle from 1911-1973, with this book detailing the hospital's history published around 1935. $150.

John Michael Lang Fine Books is reached at 206-624-4100 or jmlbooks@isomedia.com. The website is www.jmlbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.

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