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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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