Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2009 Issue

Film, Photography, Literature and More from James Pepper Rare Books

Catalogue 181 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 181. It includes much in the way of material related to stage and screen, literature, and detective fiction, as we have come to expect, along with some works with an artistic or photographic connection. There is even a tuxedo worn in the film Sunset Boulevard if you want to look like a star, but the remainder of what is offered is printed or written material. These are a few of the items being offered this time around.

Item 61 is an obscure work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, obscure to me, anyway. It is a first edition of his 1923 book The Vegetable. Fitzgerald had already made a name for himself by this time, but not to the extent he would two years later with the publication of The Great Gatsby. Perhaps the obscurity follows from the play produced from this work, which Pepper describes as "a miserable failure." Fitzgerald would have his successes in the years ahead, though he always thought of himself as more failure than success. This copy of The Vegetable is inscribed by Fitzgerald to Gene Buck, a neighbor and theatrical producer. Priced at $5,500.

You probably couldn't get Ebenezer Scrooge to shell out for this book, but those who have learned from his mistakes might be willing. Item 39 is a copy of the 1844 first American edition of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol. Laid in is an autograph of Dickens cut from a legal document. $2,500.

Here is an item for Mickey Mouse collectors. No, I don't mean rank amateurs by saying "Mickey Mouse" collectors. I mean it literally. Item 42 is The Adventures of Mickey Mouse. Book 1. Story and Illustrations by the Staff of Walt Disney Studio. Published in 1931, this is a first edition of the first hardbound Mickey Mouse book. Evidently, the rodent was moving up from the cartoon world to that of serious literature at the time. This copy is in near fine condition, or in mouseketeer speak, squeaky clean. $3,500.

Item 164 is a piece of aviation ephemera signed by one of the field's greatest pioneers, and the most noted humorist of his time, who later tragically died in a plane crash. It is the 1926 aviation certificate of one F. Gerald Phillips, and it is signed by Orville Wright and Will Rogers. $3,000.

Early photographer C.S. Fly had an opportunity to photograph some western heroes and villains from his studio in Tombstone, Arizona, site of the famous gunfight at O.K. Corral. One of his subjects was the great Apache warrior and leader Geronimo. Item 70 is a photograph taken by Fly of Geronimo, his son, and two warriors. It was taken sometime before Geronimo surrendered to General Crook, to be held in custody for the remainder of his life. $2,500.

Here is a book from the original taxi driver: Looking...Seeing - poems and song lyrics by Harry Chapin drawings by Rob White. It includes poems Chapin had written along with lyrics to some of the songs that made him famous. This 1975 first edition is inscribed by the poet/musician. Chapin died in 1981 at the age of 38 in an auto accident. Item 24. $85.

James Pepper Rare Books may be reached at 805-963-1025 or pepbooks@aol.com. Their website is found at www.JamesPepperBooks.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
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
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    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
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    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.

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