Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2004 Issue

Literary Firsts and More from<br>James S. Jaffe Rare Books

Jaffe

A collection of rare books from James S. Jaffe.


By Michael Stillman

James S. Jaffe Rare Books
has issued a catalogue focused on literary first editions, illustrated books, fine printing, and poetry. This is their 74th catalogue, though it is their first we have reviewed. We will admit to having a little more familiarity with the books that fit under the heading of "literary firsts", and it is a superb group that Jaffe offers. Many of these books come with author signatures or even inscriptions.

Here's an example. Item 209 is an inscribed first issue in the first binding of the first edition of Robert Frost's first (almost) book, A Boy's Will. We say "almost" because many years earlier he privately printed a couple of copies of a book of poetry, only one of which survives. Frost published A Boy's Will in 1913 in London, England. Oddly, Frost was born in San Francisco and went to England to write his first book of poetry, but most of the rest of his life was spent in the New England with which he is intimately associated. Many of our more youth-challenged readers may still remember him reciting his poetry at New Englander John F. Kennedy's presidential inauguration. This copy of A Boy's Will is inscribed to Margot Adamson and is signed and dated by Frost on October 4, 1913. Priced at $20,000.

Item 211 is the first American edition of this same title, from 1915, and comes with the first issue of its rare dust jacket. $3,500. Item 210 is the 1914 London printing (first edition) of Frost’s second book, North of Boston. It is one of 350 copies of a total of 1,000 printed that was bound in coarse green linen. $3,500.

Items 212 and 213 are another Robert Frost work, Mountain Interval. This 1916 book includes what is probably Frost's best known poem, "The Road Not Taken". You know that one: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference". I cannot remember all that went in between the beginning and end, but like countless other grade school children of another generation, I once had to memorize this poem. That was long ago, and yet those opening and closing lines still come back. I guess Frost made a difference too. Item 212 is a copy of this first Frost book to be originally printed in the U.S., and is in fine condition. $3,500. Item 213 is the same title "virtually as new" for $5,500.

Item 132 is an inscribed copy of the first book by Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms. This was inscribed to David (Diamond) on March 12, 1948. $3,750. A copy of this book with just Capote's signature from December 1947 is available as item 133. $1,250.

Item 723 is an inscribed copy of Tennessee Williams' first book The Glass Menagerie. This is a presentation copy inscribed to James Laughlin, who would publish many of Williams' later works. William writes "For Jay who I wanted to do it. Hope there'll be others he will. 10." There were. $25,000.

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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