Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2009 Issue

Fine Books and Presses from McLean Arts and Books

McLean Arts and Books.


By Michael Stillman

This month we have received our first catalogue from McLean Arts and Books of McLean, Virginia. It comes with the descriptive title, Artists' Books, Illustrated Books, Private Press, First Editions, Fine Literature. It is difficult to expand a description when the title succinctly says it all. So, we will just open the pages of this fine catalogue and give you a glimpse at the material inside.

We start with a book with an interesting connection to its subject matter. The book is Francis Parkman's The Oregon Trail, but this edition was published in 1945, almost a century after the first. It is a copy containing the illustrations of famed American artist Thomas Hart Benton. Benton's illustrated editions were the most popular of this classic, but this is one of a limited edition of 1,000 copies signed by Benton. That Benton would illustrate this book is appropriate, for it was Benton's namesake great uncle, Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, who was more instrumental than anyone in pushing for America's westward expansion, the subject of Parkman's book. Priced at $200.

An American Tragedy was the breakthrough novel for Theodore Dreiser. He had written several books and had a substantial career as a newspaper writer, but he was well into his 40s when major success came. This book revolves around themes regularly visited by Dreiser - conflicts between love and money, pregnancy, and the case of the ambitious social climbing young man weighted down by an unwanted pregnancy with the wrong woman. Offered is a copy of the first edition from 1925, signed by Dreiser. $250.

In 1937, the nations of the world gathered for a world's fair in Paris. It was intended to celebrate modern technology, art, and the end of the Great Depression. In reality, the world was on the edge of its greatest calamity, with nothing but dark days ahead for Paris and most of the world. Two large pavilions, those of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, faced each other, a propaganda battle that in a few short years would become a brutal hot war. Offered is a copy of Paris 1937, by Jean Gabriel Dagagnes, published by the Municipalite Parisienne. It is a celebration of the fair, containing prose and poetry from French writers such as Paul Valery, and original etchings of Paris by Henri Matisse and others. This is copy #158 of a limited edition of 500. $5,000.

The Limited Editions Club undertook a major printing in 1939. Designed by the noted typographer Bruce Rogers, this is a 37-volume set of The Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies of William Shakespeare, plus two volumes of The Poems of William Shakespeare, and a one-volume Shakespeare Commentary. The artwork was contributed by many notable artists, including Arthur Rackham and Eric Gill. The plays were printed in a limited edition of 1,950 numbered copies, the poems in an edition of 1,500. The sets are signed by Rogers. $1,500.

Rockwell Kent was an American artist, writer and illustrator. While Kent was highly sought for his art, his politics rubbed some people the wrong way. Already a social activist, his politics veered sharply left from the 1930s until the end of his life in 1971 (he received the Lenin Peace Prize, a notable award in the old Soviet Union, in 1967). In the 1930s, he was placed on a list of "un-Americans" by the conservative-minded Daughters of the American Revolution. Kent responded with this question/statement: What is American? Offered is a 1936 reprint of this article that first appeared in New Masses, a place which McLean notes, the ladies of the DAR were unlikely to see it. $225.

McLean Arts and Books may be contacted at 703-848-0243 or mcleanab@msn.com. Their website is found at www.mcleanbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LEBEDEV (VLADIMIR). Russian Placards - Placard Russe 1917-1922. Saint-Petersbourg, Sterletz, 1923. €1,000 to €1,200.
    ALDE, May 28: MARDRUS (JOSEPH-CHARLES). Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris, F.-L. Schmied, 1927. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: TABLEAUX DE PARIS. Paris, Émile-Paul Frères, 1927. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MAGNAN (JEAN-MARIE). Taureaux. Paris, Michèle Trinckvel, 1965. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.

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