Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2009 Issue

Literature, Film, History from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper179

Catalogue number 179 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 179, a new collection of works mostly in the fields of literature and film, with many first editions. There are also a few pieces related to history, politics and the military thrown in for variety. As usual, most items are from the 20th century, though a few will take you back or forward from those one hundred years. Here are a few of the items we found in this latest Pepper catalogue.

Item 17 is an unusual copy of Admiral Richard Byrd's book Skyward. Byrd was the naval aviator and explorer credited with pilot Floyd Bennett as being the first to fly over the North Pole. The rapid speed of their round trip along with the plane's oil leak has led some to question his claim, but he is still generally given the credit. Byrd went on to lead several Antarctic expeditions, but this book reports on the northern flight. This is a copy of a deluxe, numbered edition of 500 copies signed by Byrd, and includes two small strips of fabric taken from his plane, the Josephine Ford. Priced at $450.

Item 35 is The Standard Casting Directory, published in Hollywood, from December 1925. This copy was owned by actor/agent/producer Freddie Fralick (also known as Freddie Fraelick, Alan Fralick, Allan Fraulick, and various other iterations, none well remembered). This directory will introduce you to some of the greatest actors of the day, including William Powell, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Astor, William S. Hart, Tyrone Power, and Fay Wray. It also covers a few less remembered four-legged actors, such as "Pal the Wonder Dog," "Cameo the Almost Human Dog," and "Jiggs the Dog that Talks." $300.

Speaking of amazing animals, item 125 is Animal Heroes. Being the Histories of a Cat, a Dog, a Pigeon, a Lynx, Two Wolves & a Reindeer and in Elucidation of the Same Over 200 Drawings. This is a 1905 book by Ernest Thompson Seton, and contains stories and illustrations of animals performing heroic acts. This has to be the perfect book for those who love animals. $500.

Stephen Vincent Benet was one of America's most recognized writers of the 20th century, noted for novels, poems, and short stories. He is best known for John Brown's Body and The Devil and Daniel Webster. However, those came later. In 1915, he published his first book, Five Men and Pompey, and a first edition of that first work is offered as item 8. $475.

Item 56 is a 1921 "Special Deluxe Tenth Anniversary Edition" of Zane Gray's most famous book, Riders of the Purple Sage. Harpers published this tribute edition to Gray as he was their most popular author at the time. This copy includes an inscription from Gray "To Mildred, with recollections of the Purple Sage Uplands, and the wall of Surprise Valley." "Mildred" was Mildred Smith, one of and perhaps Gray's favorite assistant/lover. Affixed to the front pastedown is a photograph of Smith on horseback in Monument Valley. A saddled, riderless horse next to her may indicate that Gray snapped this photograph when the two were on an outing. $4,000.

Here are two items we will present together in the interest of fairness. They are priced at $9,500 each. Item 55 is a carte-de-viste photograph of General Ulysses S. Grant, circa 1865. The General is seen standing, one hand in a pocket, the other grasping the edge of his coat. The photo has been signed by Grant. Item 75 is a letter, dated October 19, 1854, from Robert E. Lee. At the time he was the Superintendent at West Point, a loyal member of the U.S. Army. In this letter, Lee seeks a lithographer, perhaps not a typical military position, but important as someone was needed to create maps, manuals, and such.

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>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.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <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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