Member Blogs > Read'Em Again BooksBuried in Books - 18 Sep 13

  • Wed, 18 Sep 2013 12:39:17    Permalink

    And trying to dig my way out.  At least, thats how I feel right now.  

    It started about two weeks ago, when I my wife, Gail, and I spent some time at our cabin just west of the Shenandoah Valley up in the hills approaching the West Virginia border.  
    The cabin is west of Broadway, Virginia five miles from the West Virginia border, just the other side of North Mountain..
    We were looking for something to do on a Friday morning and decided to visit an old, country-style auction that's just down the road off I-81.  While it always has interesting things--as well as some pretty good homemade food at the church ladies concession stand--it seldom has any books of interest.  Well, that was mostly true this time; however there in a dusty old box lot was a beautiful copy of Mourlots Art in Posters, the Complete Original Posters of Braque, Chagall, Dufy, Leger, Matisse, Miro, Picasso
    I don't have the Art of Poster listed yet, but if you are interested send me an email.  I'm going to be asking $1250.00.  $900 to the trade.
    Now usually when you see this book, its in terrible shape, and mediocre copies sell at at auction now and then for around $350-600.  Its a large and fairly heavy art book with notorious binding issues, so when you find one, it will almost certainly have a number of loose pages and a few detached signatures.  At first, this one looked a little seedy in the box, but that was due to the all the dust and a badly worn mylar protector which had done its job well.  Not only was the binding sound, the dust jacket was bright and fresh.  Anyway, in order to get the book, I ended up buying the entire lot, although not as cheaply as Id hoped because another bidder with a smartphone did a little research right before the lot came up for bid, and he ran me up a little.  Still, I got it in the end, but I also wound up with about fifty other books that will eventually find their way to the antique mall, eBay auctions, or the trash.
    Next, several large auction lots arrived from each side of the country; a nice group of Civil War histories, antique firearms references, and illustrated books from the Northeast, and a similarly-sized collection of old medical books and assorted non-fiction from California.  Add another hundred or so books to my pile.Empty packing materials on the floor and stacks of books on the desk.
    But the big wave that is currently making me feel overwhelmed is about five hundred childrens books, illustrated books, and some classic fiction that I picked up a couple of days ago.  It didnt come cheap, but it has a handful of Rackhams including a couple of signed limited editions,
    I have signed limited editions of Cinderella and Rackham's Fairy Book, and firsts of Grimm's Fairy Tails, Ingoldsby Legends, and King Arthur.  Again, I haven't processed any of these yet, but please let me know if you're interested.
    a stack of Greenaway firsts, The Greenaway firsts include Under the Window, A Day in a Child's Life, Mother Goose, Language of Flowers, and The Queen of Pirate Isle.  As with the others, they aren't on-line yet, but I'll be glad to answer any questions.
    a few nice Potters including a first printing (the unusual wallet panorama) of Miss Moppet,In addition to the first printing of Miss Moppet, I have another first of Roly-Poly Pudding, which was later republished as The Tale of Samuel Whiskers.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
    and a mix of other things including some nice Dickens and Kipling, and an early to mid-1800s autograph book with six hand-painted botanical watercolors and the signatures of Harriet Beecher Stowe and two of her daughters, Eliza and Harriet.
    So, Ive got my work cut out over the next ten days, because Id like to have most of these things ready for the Georgia Antiquarian Booksellers Association Book Fair at the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta. 
    I havent set up there in a couple of years, but, on occasion, Ive done well in the past.  Besides, its always nice to chow down on some ribs at Sams BBQ-1.  Maybe next year, Ill remember far enough ahead to sign-up for his Lost Mountain Barbecue College of Pig Knowledge, and Gail can run the booth alone on Saturday.

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