Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2009 Issue

Literature, Filmscripts and More from Waverly Books

Waverly165

No need to steal this catalogue. It's free.


By Michael Stillman

Waverly Books has issued List 165, a new collection of 181 books and ephemeral items. The focus is primarily on literature and film, but with a bow to photography, art, music, sports, travel and other fields. There are also many signed items for those who prefer autographed pieces. Here are a few of the items you will find in this latest collection of 181 books, filmscripts, manuscripts and photographs from Waverly.

Item 136 is a screenplay for a new-old movie, that comes with a "riot of signatures." It is a screenplay for Mel Brooks' 1976 film, Silent Movie. In typical Brooks absurdity, his character sets out to save a small studio from being bought out by "Engulf and Devour" (a thinly disguised parody of the once enormous conglomerate Gulf and Western). His means of saving the studio is to produce the first silent film in 40 years. Like its subject, Brooks' film was itself a silent movie, save for one word spoken by the most famous of all mimes, Marcel Marceau. The film is filled with sight gags, such as the old comedic silents depended upon for laughs. Brooks managed to gather a large cast of famous names for his film, some appearing in roles as themselves. That has led to the collection of tipped-in signed plates of actors and actresses who appeared in this film, including Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Sid Caeser, Anne Bancroft, Burt Reynolds, Henny Youngman, Bernadette Peters, James Caan, and others. Priced at $350.

If this seems absurd, how about all of those people who take Star Trek seriously? Here is the ultimate in taking Trekking seriously: The Star Trek Guide, a third revision from April 17, 1967. This was a guide prepared for writers of Star Trek scripts. It contains all the arcane "facts" of this imaginary world, so that writers' scripts would remain consistent with all the details of previous episodes. Item 157. $250.

Item 12 is a most humorous, albeit sarcastic letter from the illustrator and author Rockwell Kent. It is important to note with this letter that Kent had veered into radical, leftwing politics by the 1930s, when this letter was written, so he wouldn't have had much love for corporate America. It is a 1936 letter to Esquire magazine editor Arnold Gingrich (whom Kent has misspelled "Gringrich"). Evidently, Gingrich had sent out the ultimate of uninteresting gifts to some of the magazine's contributors, a set of cufflinks. Writes the acerbic Kent, "Now that I have, thanks to you, a swell set of cuff links, I'll get myself a swell shirt to wear them in, have my dinner jacket (that's the best I can boast) pressed, and sit around and wait for an invitation to a function... How would you like a fabric picture of me for Esquire with cuff links glued on? Or a miniature drawing of the Herculean artist-writer-explorer, R.K., brandishing the cuff links over his head like dumb bells? Anyhow I am all for Esquire's policy of trying to make its contributors look like the gentlemen that its editors so obviously are." Ouch. $650.

Everyone in the book trade is familiar with the classic Abbie Hoffman title "Steal This Book." Many bookstores found it unprofitable to stock this item when it came out as too many browsers took the title seriously. Few took the title of this later book so seriously. Item 69 is the lesser known work by the 60s radical cum humorist entitled Steal This Urine Test. In this 1987 book, Hoffman attacks the accuracy and constitutionality of drug testing, newly in vogue then, far more widespread now. Hoffman died a few years later when his body failed the ultimate drug test, an overdose. This first edition is signed by Hoffman. $125.

Waverly Books may be reached at 310-393-4593 or waverlybks@aol.com. Their website is www.waverlybooks.com.

You will find many of Waverly's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site. Click here.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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.

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