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Sets of literary classics star in Jasper52 auction Sept. 24

A Jasper52 antiquarian book auction on Tuesday, Sept. 24, includes many sets of literary classics in fine bindings. With treasures in every price range, this sale offers collectors the opportunity to add rare volumes to their collections.

Jane Austen, ‘The Novels,’ published by Chatto and Windus, London, 1917, 10 volumes. Estimate: $2,500-$3,000. Jasper52 image

View the auction here.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Broaden Your Horizons in This Book Auction

Art, architecture, design and history come together in this week’s comprehensive book auction. The curated collection of books visually and textually spans various artistic periods, historic endeavors, iconic memoirs and cultural wonders. No matter your interest, you will uncover an invaluable story to broaden your horizons. Take a look at a few highlights from this curated sale.

One of the oldest and most valuable books in the auction is a hardbound volume of papers by 17th-century British philosopher John Locke relating to money, interest and trade. The book is the first collected edition of Locke’s most important economic papers, which was published in 1696. It is estimated at $8,000-$10,000.

‘Several Papers Relating to Money, Interest and Trade … ’ by John Locke. First Collected Edition of Locke’s most important economic papers. London: Printed for A. and J. Churchill, at the Black-Swan in Pater-Noster-Row, 1696. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Jasper52 image

 

Another Renaissance man of the 17th century was Sir Andrew Balfour, whose first edition Letters Written [sic] to a Friend… Containing Excellent Directions and Advices for Travelling thro’ France and Italy is highly prized. Published posthumously in 1700 by the author’s son from his father’s original manuscript letters, the book has firsthand advice on what to see and do in England, France and Italy, with special attention to buying natural history books. The first edition, first state volume offered in this auction is estimated at $1,000-$1,2000.

‘Letters Writen [sic] to a Friend … Containing Excellent Directions and Advices for Travelling thro’ France and Italy … ’ by Sir Andrew Balfour, first edition, first state, Edinburgh, MDCC [1700]. Estimate: $1,000-$1,200. Jasper52 image

Sportsmen can relive the time of the great French Hunts of the early 20th century in Baron Karl Reille’s famous book La Vénerie Française Contemporaine. This profusely illustrated book, with its text drawings and music scores, numerous full-page color plates, is filled with anecdotes and, often amusing, comments. This important work presents all the hunts existing in France at the time, with each hunt illustrated by the author. It has a $4,000-$4,500 estimate.

‘La Vénerie Française Contemporaine’ by Baron Karl Reille, 1914: Adolph de Goupy, Paris. Famous early 20th century book about hunting in France, profusely illustrated. Estimate: $4,000-$4,500. Jasper52 image

 

Also from France is a first edition of The Decisive Moment: Photography by Henri Cartier Bresson, published in English by Simon and Schuster in 1952. The book, which features a cover illustration by Henri Matisse, contains 126 photographs by the pioneer of street photography. With losses to the surface of the book’s spine, it is estimated at $300-$400.

‘The Decisive Moment: Photography by Henri Cartier Bresson,’ first edition, 1952: Simon and Schuster & Verve Publication. Estimate: $300-$400. Jasper52 image

 

The most recent book in the sale is a first edition of Carlos Diniz’s Views of Venice II, which was published in 2000. The volume is illustrated with 10 full-page color reproductions of his paintings of Venice, and one large foldout plate, which is also in color. Carlos Diniz (1928-2001) is recognized as one of the most important practitioners of architectural illustration in the 20th century. He is known for his work with many Pritzker, Gold Medal and pioneering architects of the 20th century.

‘Views of Venice II,’ by Carlos Diniz, first edition, 2000, Santa Barbara, Calif., illustrated with 10 full-page color reproductions of Diniz’s paintings of Venice, and one large foldout plate also in color. Estimate: $200-$300. Jasper52 image

 

Moving to America, a scarce special edition of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie And Rocky-mountain Life by Francis Parkman is prized for its Frederick Remington illustrations. The remarkably clean example in the auction features the beautiful blue, red, black and gilt decorative design on cover cloth and gilt design on spine. It carries a $500-$600 estimate.

The Oregon Trail, Sketches Of Prairie And Rocky-mountain Life’ by Francis Parkman, first editon of the Frederick Remington-illustrated special edition. Little, Brown and Co. Estimate: $500-$600. Jasper52 image

A Book Collection Spanning 500 Years

Great books from the early era of moveable type up to the 20th century are featured in this week’s Book & Ephemera auction ending on Sunday, February 19th. Topics in this eclectic collection range from the history of Queen Elizabeth’s England to mid-century modern furniture.

Perhaps the most colorful volume in the collection is titled Documenti d’arte d’oggi, an experimental magazine of M.A.C. (Concrete Art Movement). Offered in the auction is the last of four issues, published in Milan, Italy in 1958. The 152-page volume contains multiple serigraphs, lithographs, woodcuts, collages of several artists linked to the Concrete Art Movement, as well as an intact pop-up sculpture by Bruno Munari (1907-1998). The original hardcover is a color lithograph by Gianni Monnet (1912-1958). This scarce publication is estimated to generate international interest and sell for $4,000-$5,000.

‘Documenti d’arte d’oggi,’ magazine, first and only edition, published by MAC 1958, New York, George Wittenborn, 152pp. Estimate: $4,000-$5,000. Jasper52 image

 

Fans of mid-century modern furniture will delight in a near fine copy of Knoll Design by Eric Larrabee & Massimo Vignelli (1981: Harry N. Abrams). The large square quarto volume retains its dust jacket, which is also rated near fine. The book’s 307 pages are profusely illustrated in color and black and white. It carries a $300-$400 estimate.

‘Knoll Design’ by Eric Larrabee and Massimo Vignelli, first printing, Harry N. Abrams, New York 1981, large square qurto, 3078pp, profusely illustrated in color and black & white. Estimate: $300-$500. Jasper52 image

 

Elbert Hubbard, an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement, signed and numbered the book titled The Deserted Village, which was published by his Roycrofters in East Aurora, NY in 1989. The book offered in the auction is number 16 of 470 signed by Hubbard; only the first 40 copies of this limited edition were illuminated with extra original watercolor drawings by artist Minnie Gardner. No one knows how many of the original 40 yet exist, but they are considered scarce. This 56-page book is estimated at $400-$500.

‘The Deserted Village,’ by Oliver Goldsmith and illustrated by Minnie Gardner, No. 16 of 470, signed by Elbert Hubbard and Gardner, Roycroft, East Aurora, New York, 1898, 56pp. Estimate: $400-$500. Jasper52 image

 

From the same era and equally scarce is a first edition of George Bird Grinnell’s The Indians of Today (1900: Herbert S. Stone & Co. Chicago and New York). The 185-page book contains portraits of notable Native americans by photographer F.A. Rinehart. This important work is estimated at $900-$1,000.

‘The Indians of Today’ by George Bird Grinnell, photographs by F.A. Rinehart, first edition, Herbert S. Stone & Co., Chicago & New York, 1900. Estimate: $900-$1,000. Jasper52 image

 

Jurists will be interested in the first edition of Reports of Cases Ruled and Adjudged in the Courts of Pennsylvania, Before and Since the Revolution by A.J. Dallas, published in 1790 by T. Bradford in Philadelphia. The 494-page volume, which shows wear, has a $400-$500 estimate.

‘Reports of Cases Ruled and Adjudged in the Courts of Pennsylvania, Before and since the Revolution.’ By A.J. Dallas, first edition, T. Bradford, Philadelphia, 1790, 494pp. Estimate: $400-$500. Jasper52 image

 

In amazing condition for its age is a book published in London in 1569 on the history of England up to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Like most surviving copies, this extremely scarce book is not perfect; missing the title page through page 12 (estimated at $4,000-$5,000).

‘A Chronicle at Large, and Meere History of the Affayres of Englande … ’ by Richard Grafton, London, 1569, full leather cover. Estimate: $4,000-$5,000. Jasper52 image

 

Also worthy of note is a first edition (second state) of The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson by James Boswell, published in London in 1785. Bound in full calf – quite possibly the original binding – it is in overall good condition and expected to sell for $500-$600.

There’s something for everyone in this collection – view the fully illustrated catalog of book and ephemera here.

5 Unique Finds in This Rare Book Auction

Rare books and documents dating from the 16th to the 20th century are highlighted in this week’s upcoming book auction. With subjects spanning from design to Jungian psychology, this collection will ignite your imagination and broaden your horizons. Below you’ll find 5 hidden gems in this sale.

Signed Mountain Interval by Robert Frost

Poetry lovers will be interested in this 1924 printing of Mountain Interval by Robert Frost, which is signed by the author under his crossed-out name on the title page. The 74-page volume of poetry is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.

‘Mountain Interval,’ signed by poet Robert Frost, published by Henry Holt, 1924 printing (first published in 1916). Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

‘Mountain Interval,’ signed by poet Robert Frost, published by Henry Holt, 1924 printing (first published in 1916). Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

 

Freedom and Responsibility in the American Way of Life by Carl Becker

What makes a first edition of Carl Becker’s Freedom and Responsibility in the American Way of Life special are its unique signatures. The book is signed by both American authors and political activists Helen Keller and Clare Booth Luce. Knopf published the hardcover book in 1945. Lacking the dust jacket, this book is estimated at $400-$600.

First edition of ‘Freedom and Responsibility in the American Way of Life,’ by Carl Becker, from the library of and signed by Clare Booth Luce as well as Helen Keller, Knopf, 1945. Estimate: $450-$600

First edition of ‘Freedom and Responsibility in the American Way of Life,’ by Carl Becker, from the library of and signed by Clare Booth Luce as well as Helen Keller, Knopf, 1945. Estimate: $450-$600

 

Signature of King Louis XIV

The signature of King Louis XIV of France is found on a document dated 1694. The framed document is also signed by chancellor Michel Le Tellier. It carries a $1,000-$1,250 estimate.

Louis XIV of France signed document, 1694. Estimate: $1,000-$1,250

Louis XIV of France signed document, 1694. Estimate: $1,000-$1,250

 

Native Son by Richard Wright

This first edition Native Son by Richard Wright, published by Harper & Brothers in 1940 will appeal to the modern collectors. It is offered with a $100-$200 estimate.

First edition of ‘Native Son,’ by Richard Wright, Harper & Brothers, 1940. Estimate: $100-$200

First edition of ‘Native Son,’ by Richard Wright, Harper & Brothers, 1940. Estimate: $100-$200

 

Ackermann’s Poetical Magazine

A handsome four-volume set of Ackermann’s Poetical Magazine, 1809 is featured this week. This illustrated set contains the first appearance of the famous poem by William Combe featuring the great Dr. Syntax and his horse Grizzle. The four volumes are bound in half calf over marbled boards with oxblood morocco spine labels.

Ackermann's Poetical Magazine, Dedicated to the Lovers of the Muse by the Agent of the Goddess by Rudolph Ackermann, 1809. Estimate: $700-$1,000

‘Ackermann’s Poetical Magazine, Dedicated to the Lovers of the Muse by the Agent of the Goddess’ by Rudolph Ackermann, 1809. Estimate: $700-$1,000

Looking for your book treasure? Discover more unique items in this 16th-20th century book auction.

Getting Hooked on Rare Books: 3 Experts Share Their Stories

From the time you learn to read as a child, you are invited to explore new cultures and discover new worlds through books. This nostalgic root of reading is core to why antiquarian and rare books are eternally popular, even despite the rise of e-readers and the Internet. But how does one make the leap from book lover to rare book obsessor? We reached out to three rare book experts and asked them to answer our burning question: What was the first book that got you hooked on rare books and collecting?

Angel Webster, Specialist in the New Rare Books

By Source, Fair use

By Source, Fair use

I read Moby Dick in High School and then wrote an essay on it to help me get into a good college. I got an A and I moved on. And on and on. I couldn’t wait to leave my small town. The next thing I knew I was 40 and there it was one day in front of me…a First Edition of Moby Dick. The book that I used to get me into college. It was squat, battered and faded. It looked like a tired, useless, old, used book. Moby Dick — where all Americans are represented as afloat, isolated on the waters, in danger, working, struggling, suffering — but as one tireless unit. And it was complete, that love I had for it, how it, like me, had struggled to exist and be seen and read, against all odds.

The first book in my collection was “The Old Huntsman and Other Poems” by Siegfried Sassoon. Second American Printing, 1920. I discovered it in a corner section of books in a used furniture store. Books from that era are hard to spot but if you squint your eyes and look for bland, buckram spines, you sometimes get lucky.

Erik DuRon, Rare Book Expert

By Glenn Cravath - http://www.fullyarticulated.com/page30/page36/page35/page24/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49572764

By Glenn Cravath – http://www.fullyarticulated.com/page30/page36/page35/page24/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49572764

The first book I bought for myself, when I was 8, was an Ace paperback reprint of the novelization of the original King Kong film from the 1930s. I found it in a spinning rack at an old drugstore in Greenwich Village, the kind of place with a mosaic tile floor and glass jars on wooden shelves behind the counter. The dusty, slightly medicinal smell of the place is forever associated in my mind with books. I still have that paperback.

Jennifer Robertson, Book and Paper Conservator

Via @bookandpaperconservation on Instagram

Via @bookandpaperconservation on Instagram

I don’t know if there was one particular book I could trace to, but when I started a part-time job at a used book store that also dealt in antiquarian books, my world was changed.

At the time, I came from a fine art background, so I started working with prints, maps and ephemera. But they got me cataloguing some of the rare books as well, and the tactility of the materials – leather, cords, parchment, gold tooling, etc. – really captured my attention.

Working at that bookstore led me to a career in conservation, where I now specialize in the conservation and restoration of fine art on paper, archival materials and rare books. I work privately and treat items for a variety of museums, libraries and archives, as well as private collectors. So, I own very few rare books myself, but I feel that every time that passes through my studio is a little bit mine, for a short time.

One of my biggest thrills was when, during an internship position, I worked on a page from the Gutenberg Bible. Not many people in the world can say they’ve handled a piece of history like that!


What got you hooked on book collecting? Do you have a distinct memory of the first book you collected? Share your stories with us on Twitter @ByJasper52 – We can’t wait to hear and retweet our favorites.

Historical & Antiquarian Book Auction on September 25 Highlights Value and Variety

With few reserves and low starting bids across the board, Jasper52’s upcoming sale of Historical & Antiquarian Books offers value and variety to eagle-eyed collectors and dealers alike.

First Editition "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak, Harper & Row Publishers, 1963. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000

First Edition “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, Harper & Row Publishers, 1963. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000

Beloved children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak starts things off with a first edition of his 1963 classic, Where the Wild Things Are. The scarce first issue dust jacket is present, with only moderate wear (featured above). Sendak is also represented later in the sale with a first edition of Randell Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet featuring Sendak’s illustrations (est. $20-40), and again with a signed early printing of The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm (est. $50-150).

Several literary lots are on offer, including: a first edition of Henry James’s early story collection Embarrassments, featuring the first book appearance of “The Figure In the Carpet.” This copy bears the bookplate of Arthur Desjardins, radiology professor for the Mayo Foundation and an authority on Hodgkins disease (lot 16, est. $50-150). A handsome two-volume limited edition of the poems of Keats is also up (est. $20-40), as are signed limited editions by contemporary novelists E.L. Doctorow (est. $30-90) and Alison Lurie (below; lot 19, est. $50-150).

"The Truth About Lorin Jones" by Allison Lurie, 1988, Signed limited first edition. Estimate: $50-$150

“The Truth About Lorin Jones” by Allison Lurie, 1988, Signed limited first edition. Estimate: $50-$150

A range of vernacular and instructional books keeps things interesting. Lot 32 is a copy of The Singer’s Companion. Published in 1860, it showcases music and lyrics for dozens of popular songs, as well as a charming frontispiece illustration, and is in lovely condition in its original publisher’s cloth binding (est. $80-120). A copy of The Good Shepherd Home Cook Book, published in Allentown, PA, in 1911, to raise funds for “crippled orphans, infant orphans, destitute children, old people, and aged or disabled ministers,” appears in its original staple-bound paper wrappers, and features many photos and line drawings (est. $40-70).

Those seeking something more glamorous will be drawn to a first edition of renowned fashion photographer Irving Penn’s beautiful 1980 monograph on Flowers (est. $100-200); as well as to an inscribed copy of A Table at Le Cirque: Stories and Recipes from New York’s Most Legendary Restaurant (est. $20-40).

"Flowers" by Irving Penn, First Edition. Estimate: $100-$200; "A Table at Le Cirque" by Sirio Maccioni and Pamela Fiori, signed Cookbook. Estimate $20-$20

“Flowers” by Irving Penn, First Edition. Estimate: $100-$200; “A Table at Le Cirque” by Sirio Maccioni and Pamela Fiori, signed Cookbook. Estimate $20-$40

An excellent presentation/association copy of Robert Capa’s dramatic book of photos of the Spanish Civil War is also on the block: it bears a gift inscription from Capa’s brother Cornell, a major force in photography in his own right, and a founder of the International Center of Photography (lot 41, est. $50-150).

"Fotografías de Robert Capa sobre la Guerra Civil española," by Carlos Serrano. Estimate: $50-$100

“Fotografías de Robert Capa sobre la Guerra Civil española,” by Carlos Serrano. Estimate: $50-$100

Finally, a number of compelling historical imprints and documents is offered, including: an unusual American war-related pamphlet, this one entitled “Why Me?” pertaining to the Vietnam War (est. $50-80); a Colonial extract regarding the punishment of “rogues and vagabonds” (est $50-100); and a large, beautifully accomplished English manuscript land indenture on vellum, and affixed with numerous wax seals (est. $100-200).


erik_cutout_blue-copyErik DuRon has nearly 20 years of experience buying and selling rare books in all fields, first at Bauman Rare Books in New York City, and then independently. He has built collections for diverse clients, and collaborates with and consults for collectors, booksellers and auction houses. He lives in Brooklyn and can be reached at erikduron@msn.com.

What Makes a Book Rare?

As a commodity books are abundant. They’ve been written on countless subjects, in every field of endeavor. Even as bookshops disappear, the Internet seems to make virtually any title readily available, and most can be had for a few dollars. In this day and age one might reasonably wonder, what makes a book rare?

The historian and bibliophile Paul Angle, quoted in John Carter’s indispensable reference ABC for Book Collectors, cites three sensible criteria for rarity: “important, desirable and hard to get.” Like Angle, I tend to think of rarity as a compound phenomenon, a series of discrete but related attributes that, when all present in one book, bestows a special quality, greater than the sum of its parts.

RELEVANCE

The first question one might ask about a book pertains to its relevance. Is it recognized? Has it stood out in some way, in its own field if not the wider culture?

There exist many books on arcane or abstruse subjects. Some of them may exist only in small numbers, but because they never rise to a level of general interest they are not sought after. Though scarce, they are not given the opportunity to be considered “rare.” More importantly, one should ask, is this book specifically of interest to me? It seems obvious, but collectors have been known to spend time and money in pursuit of books they think they ought to have rather than those they want to have.

IMPORTANCE & DESIRABILITY

This speaks to Angle’s first two conditions: importance and desirability. Next, one should consider a book’s bibliographic profile. Is it a first edition, i.e., from the earliest batch of copies to come off the printing press? And is it a first printing of the first edition?

Book collecting rests pretty solidly on the notion that the earlier the edition, the closer we come to the writer’s own world — to the standards of material production of the time, and the way in which first readers experienced the work. Failing a book’s being a first edition, one might ask if it’s an otherwise significant edition. Changes made within a text can be historically interesting in their own right. Charles Darwin kept making modifications to On the Origin of Species (1859), with each of the six editions published in his lifetime bearing his changes. A completist would want all six.

Book collecting rests pretty solidly on the notion that the earlier the edition, the closer we come to the writer’s own world

CONDITION

Another consideration is condition. Is the book complete, and without significant flaws? If it’s an older book, is it in the original binding? If not, is the replacement binding early and/or skillfully done?

Contemporary taste gives preference to authenticity, to a book being as close to its original state as possible. Interestingly, this wasn’t always so. In the 18th and 19th centuries many earlier books were rebound in sumptuous but period-inappropriate styles. This can make original or very early bindings harder to find. With regards to a modern book, is the original dust jacket present, and what is its condition? Dust jackets are crucial in the collecting of modern first editions, because they are the most fragile and ephemeral part of a book’s production. As such they can account for upwards of ninety percent of a book’s value.

Contemporary taste gives preference to authenticity, to a book being as close to its original state as possible.

SCARCITY

Scarcity is the final factor, what we think of as rarity in the most limited sense. How many copies of a given book were printed in the first place, and how many of those have survived? Further, how many are likely to be available at any given time?

Over the years universities and libraries have acquired many of the most desirable books. The folio and quarto editions of Shakespeare (that is, the earliest examples of the Bard’s works to have been printed), or Edgar Allan Poe’s notoriously rare first collection of poems Tamerlane (1827), or the first book printed in colonial America, the Bay Psalm Book (1640), of which only 11 known copies survive — such books seldom come to market.

Of course, scarcity is also a function of the first three factors: the most important and desirable books, in their earliest editions and in the best possible condition, are naturally sought after by the greatest number of collectors, and so they become ever harder to find. This may be discouraging to some, but I find that it presents beginning or adventurous collectors an opportunity.

The most important and desirable books, in their earliest editions and in the best possible condition, are naturally sought after by the greatest number of collectors, and so they become ever harder to find.

With so much generally available, there’s plenty of room outside of collecting orthodoxy for a fresh take. Collectors ultimately get to decide what’s of interest to them and, adhering to some sensible guidelines, which will be the rare books of the future.


Erik Duron copyErik DuRon has nearly 20 years of experience buying and selling rare books in all fields, first at Bauman Rare Books in New York City, and then independently. He has built collections for diverse clients, and collaborates with and consults for collectors, booksellers and auction houses. He lives in Brooklyn and can be reached at erikduron@msn.com.

Aug. 28 Antiquarian & Historical Books Auction by Jasper52 boasts eclectic selection

Jasper52’s August 28th online-only rare books auction boasts an eclectic selection of fascinating books, autographs, and documents, from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Among the many subject areas to entice collectors at all levels are: American history, nautical history, World War II, literature, popular science, transportation, animal husbandry, art, and early printed books and autographs from England and the Continent.

James Fenimore Cooper’s two-volume History of the Navy of the United States of America (1839) kicks off the sale (featured below). Cooper is best known today for The Deerslayer and The Last of the Mohicans, novels of rugged individualism on the early American frontier, but in his time he was also a noted historian. Inspired by his own experiences as a sailor and midshipman, he wrote the first full-scale history of the U.S. Navy, from the Colonial period through the War of 1812. This first edition in the publisher’s original cloth binding has an estimate of $300-$400. Lots 5 (The War-Ships and Navies of the World) and 6 (Steel’s Elements of Mastmaking, Sailmaking and Rigging) will also be of interest to nautical enthusiasts.

History of the Navy of the United States of America (1839)

History of the Navy of the United States of America (1839), James Fenimore Cooper. Est. $300-$400.

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