Sign In | Register


RECENT ARRIVALS


STALKY & CO
seller photo

STALKY & CO

By Kipling, Rudyard

1899. [the Publisher to Major Pond] Toronto: George N. Morang & Co., 1899. Original dark green cloth with Viking longboat design in black. First Canadian Edition -- technically, the Canadian issue of the first American edition, which was published in this binding by Doubleday & McClure ten days before Macmillan's UK edition. These nine hilarious tales of school life (of the mischievous Stalky, Beetle and McTurk) are based on Kipling's own days at the United Services College. Included are eight illustrations by L. Raven Hill, which are not in the UK edition. American sheets were bound up with a Morang title leaf, and the binding was altered only to read "MORANG" at the foot of the spine (some Canadian copies were put up in red wrappers). One little oddity of this Canadian edition is that Kipling's prefatory poem here follows the Contents and Illustrations leaves, whereas in the American edition (and in the UK edition), the poem precedes those leaves. This is a bright copy, fine except for very light rubbing at the corners. Richards A144 (note). Provenance: this is an inscribed presentation copy from the publisher to the American literary agent and lecture-tour impresario, ["Major"] James P. Pond. The front free endpaper bears the inked inscription "Mr J. B. Pond With the kind regards of the Publishers Geo N. Morang & Co.", and the opposing paste-down bears Pond's less-than-modest bookplate. Pond was the "major" American literary agent of that era.

$275.00

THE WRONG BOX [1st UK and 1st US editions]
seller photo

THE WRONG BOX [1st UK and 1st US editions]

By Stevenson, Robert Louis and Osbourne, Lloyd

1889. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1889. 16 pp ads dated Jan 1889. Original red cloth. AND: New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1889. Original ochre cloth with front cover labels. Together, two volumes. First Editions (English and American) of this dark comedy which is also an early detective story; precedence between the two is uncertain. This was the first of three collaborations between Stevenson and his stepson (Osbourne actually wrote the initial draft in late 1887, and then RLS revised it while at sea in the Pacific in mid-1888). The draft was titled THE FINSBURY TONTINE, as it involves a "tontine." (A tontine, named for 17th-century banker Lorenzo Tonti, is a curious financial arrangement whereby a large number of subscribers all contribute a stake to a central trust fund, and collect an annuity from it. Gradually, as members of the tontine die, those who remain find their annuity increasing; when all but one are dead, the survivor collects the entire pot... [In THE WRONG BOX] 37 young boys had each had 1000 pounds placed in the fund; by the time we join the story, there are just two left -- a pair of elderly, squabbling brothers...) THE WRONG BOX was "a swirling farce involving a game of Hearts with the corpse of a misidentified invalid as the Queen of Spades, that hugely tickled Louis... though it proved hard to sell even with Louis's name on it." [Furnas]. However after Rudyard Kipling read it, he wrote to a friend I have got R.L. Stevenson's THE WRONG BOX and laughed over it dementedly when I read it. That man has only one lung but he makes you laugh with your whole inside. A screenplay was co-written in the 1960s by Larry Gelbart, and for the 1966 film the cream of the comedic crop was enlisted -- Peter Sellers, Michael Caine and Dudley Moore. This English copy does have a rule under the word "Contents" on the Preface verso, precedence uncertain, and it has the earliest ads; it is in just-about-fine condition (volume very slightly askew -- less than usual for this book -- but scarcely any wear or soil). This American copy is in ochre cloth (one of several colors used, each with its own color of title label); the newspaper-scrap label is intact (some buyers scraped it off, thinking it was a flaw); condition is again just-about-fine, with very minor darkening of the cloth. Housed together in a cloth slipcase with inner chemise. Beinecke 501 and 500; Princeton 42 and 42A.

$675.00

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK
seller photo

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK

By Carroll, Lewis

1876. An Agony, in Eight Fits. With Nine Illustrations by Henry Holiday. London: Macmillan and Co., 1876. Original buff cloth pictorially decorated in black, all page edges gilt. First Edition of this poetical nonsense tale, both funny and subtle, that "describes with infinite humour the impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature" [WM&G]. The crew consists of a Bellman, a Bonnet-Maker, a Barrister, a Broker, a Billiard-Maker, a Banker, a Butcher, a Baker, a Beaver and (the only one not illustrated) "a Boots." In his dedicatory verse to Gertrude Chataway, Carroll hid the child's name twice. This is a very good copy: the light buff cloth has (as usual) some soil and bubbling, and there is just a little cracking of the original endpapers. Williams Madan & Green 115.

$425.00

SKETCHES, New and Old
seller photo

SKETCHES, New and Old

By Twain, Mark

1875. Now First Published in Complete Form. Sold only by Subscription. Hartford, Conn., and Chicago, Ill.: The American Publishing Company, 1875. Original blue cloth decorated in black and gilt. First Edition, second issue (without "From Hospital Days" on p. 299, a brief piece that appeared in the first issue, then was discovered not to have been written by Twain -- and also without the duplication of the p. 119 footnote). A curiosity of this book is that on the spine the title is reversed, SKETCHES OLD AND NEW. Twain's next book after this, bound similarly, would be THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER (1876). This is a bright, near-fine copy (with slight wear at the spine ends, as is often the case); the front endpaper bears the bookplate, ink-stamp, and November 1875 signature of a resident of St. Paul Minnesota. McBride p. 35; Blanck 3364.

$475.00

LOTHAW
seller photo

LOTHAW

By Harte, Bret

1871. Or, The Adventures of a Young Gentleman in Search of a Religion. By Mr. Benjamins (Bret Harte...). London: John Camden Hotten, n.d. [1871]. 2 pp preliminary ads plus 8 pp terminal ads dated "for 1872." Original glazed printed wrappers. First Separate Edition of this parody of Benjamin Disraeli's 1870 novel LOTHAIR. It was in 1871 that the new edition of Harte's CONDENSED NOVELS came out in the U.S., which added two new parodies (including this one) to the fifteen that had appeared in the original 1867 edition. Blanck (citing Kozlay) notes three states of this book, and this copy does not quite equate with any of the three: the inside front wrapper lists "The New Books of Humour" (not cited at all by Blanck, though it could be his State 2); the outside rear wrapper promotes Bryant & May's Patent Safety Matches (as in Blanck's State 3). This copy is in good-to-very good condition, which is not bad for such a fragile, ephemeral piece: the spine wrapper is mostly perished, and there is other edge-wear. Blanck 7430. Housed in a cloth slipcase with a wraparound chemise that bears the small leather "Blairhame" bookplate of the noted collector Mrs. J. Insley Blair.

$100.00

THE WRONG BOX
seller photo

THE WRONG BOX

By Stevenson, Robert Louis and Osbourne, Lloyd

1889. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1889. 16 pp ads dated Jan 1889. Original red cloth. First Edition (English) of this dark comedy which is also an early detective story; precedence between this and the American edition is uncertain. This was the first of three collaborations between Stevenson and his stepson (Osbourne actually wrote the initial draft in late 1887, and then RLS revised it while at sea in the Pacific in mid-1888). The draft was titled THE FINSBURY TONTINE, as it involves a "tontine." (A tontine, named for 17th-century banker Lorenzo Tonti, is a curious financial arrangement whereby a large number of subscribers all contribute a stake to a central trust fund, and collect an annuity from it. Gradually, as members of the tontine die, those who remain find their annuity increasing; when all but one are dead, the survivor collects the entire pot... [In THE WRONG BOX] 37 young boys had each had 1000 pounds placed in the fund; by the time we join the story, there are just two left -- a pair of elderly, squabbling brothers...) THE WRONG BOX was "a swirling farce involving a game of Hearts with the corpse of a misidentified invalid as the Queen of Spades, that hugely tickled Louis... though it proved hard to sell even with Louis's name on it. Most critics reject it as even worse than [PRINCE] OTTO or THE DYNAMITER..." [Furnas]. However after Rudyard Kipling read it, he wrote to a friend I have got R.L. Stevenson's THE WRONG BOX and laughed over it dementedly when I read it. That man has only one lung but he makes you laugh with your whole inside. A screenplay was co-written in the 1960s by Larry Gelbart, and for the 1966 film the cream of the comedic crop was enlisted -- Peter Sellers, Michael Caine and Dudley Moore. This copy does have a rule under the word "Contents" on the Preface verso, precedence uncertain, and it has the earliest ads. It is in near-fine condition (volume a little askew, minor cover soil -- in both instances, less than usual for this book). Beinecke 501 (with 8/89 ads); Princeton 42 (copy 1).

$325.00

CHIMES FROM A JESTER'S BELLS [inscribed by Burdette]
seller photo

CHIMES FROM A JESTER'S BELLS [inscribed by Burdette]

By Burdette, Robert J.

1897. [inscribed by the author] Part I. The Story of Rollo. Part II. Stories and Sketches. With Illustrations by Louis Braunhold. Cover Design by Robert J. Burdette, Jr. Indianapolis and Kansas City: The Bowen-Merrill Company, 1897. 6 pp undated ads. Original red cloth decorated in black, white and gilt. First Edition, first printing (with the Bowen-Merrill imprint, rather than the subsequent Bobbs-Merrill one). The series "The Story of Rollo," describing a young man's "education" all the way from birth ("alpha") to death ("omega"), still offers some hilarious reading a hundred years later. This copy is inscribed at length by the author: "To H. J. Miller, Luverne, Minnesota -- With a desire to meet him often, and to know him better, this, with the sincere esteem of the Author Robert J. Burdette, Bryn Mawr, Pa. April twenty third 1898." Furthermore, under the drawing of the author on the leaf preceding the Contents, Burdette has written "Sketched from life, by Robert, Junior" (who according to the title page also designed the binding). Near-fine condition (spine slightly darkened, rear endpaper slightly cracked). Blanck 2008.

$150.00

MR. NIGHTINGALE'S DIARY
seller photo

MR. NIGHTINGALE'S DIARY

By Dickens, Charles

1877. A Farce in One Act. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1877. Original terra-cotta cloth decorated in black. First "Collectible" Edition of this play first performed in 1851. We say first "collectible" because there are only four known copies of the original 1851 pamphlet; supposedly a fifth, from which Osgood printed this edition, was destroyed in the Boston fire of 1879. This is a volume in the publisher's "Vest Pocket Series," so named for its diminutive size (a second Dickens "comic burletta" was published in this series the same year -- IS SHE HIS WIFE?). This copy is terra-cotta in color; others are green, without priority. It is a bright, near-fine copy (minor rubbing at the tips, one small mark on the fore-edge of the leaves) -- quite uncommon in this condition. Eckel pp 64-5.

$675.00

THE "BAB" BALLADS plus MORE "BAB" BALLADS
seller photo

THE "BAB" BALLADS plus MORE "BAB" BALLADS

By Gilbert, W[illiam]. S[chwenck]

1872. Much Sound and Little Sense. With Illustrations by the Author. London: John Camden Hotten, 1869. 4 pp undated (Routledge) ads. With: MORE "BAB" BALLADS... George Routledge and Sons, n.d.[1872]. 4 pp undated ads. Original green cloth decorated in gilt, beveled, all page edges gilt. First Editions of these collections of "clever verses which, in the name of good fun, discoursed amiably on violence and crime" [K&H]. Included are Gilbert's whimsical illustrations; in his Preface to the first volume he says "I have ventured to publish the illustrations with them because, while they are certainly quite as bad as the Ballads, I suppose they are not much worse." It was not until the following decade that Gilbert began collaborating with Arthur Sullivan on the comic operettas for which they are both remembered today. This copy of the first edition of THE "BAB" BALLADS is of the second issue -- which is to say, bound with a cover design similar to that used for MORE "BAB" BALLADS and with Routledge ads at the rear (even though the title page remains Hotten's). Routledge's first edition of MORE "BAB" BALLADS is undated, but bibliographers (Searle, Allen, NCBEL) have generally assigned to it a date of 1873; however, this copy bears an ownership inscription dated Novemver 1872. Condition of both volumes is very good (minor edge-wear, some cracking of the front endpapers). Allen p. 18; Searle 16 & 46.

$275.00

MARK TWAIN'S (BURLESQUE) AUTOBIOGRAPHY and FIRST ROMANCE
seller photo

MARK TWAIN'S (BURLESQUE) AUTOBIOGRAPHY and FIRST ROMANCE

By Twain, Mark

1871. New York: Sheldon & Company, n.d. [1871]. Original printed wrappers. First Edition, second state (with the Ball Black & Co. ad on the inside front cover) of this comically-illustrated burlesque. This title was also issued in cloth. This is a near-fine copy (very little wear other than one small corner chip in the front wrapper, faint damp-mark at the edges). Though this is the most common of Twain's very early productions, we do not often see wrappered copies in any better condition. McBride pp 16-17; Blanck 3326.

$200.00

A TRAMP ABROAD
seller photo

A TRAMP ABROAD

By Twain, Mark

1880. Illustrated by W. Fr. Brown, True Williams, B. Day and other artists -- with also three or four pictures made by the author of this book, without outside help; in all Three Hundred and Twenty-Eight Illustrations. (Sold by Subscription Only.) Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company, 1880. Original full sheep with black leather spine label. First Edition of this volume of humorous sketches, observations and digressions occasioned by the Clemens family's trip to Europe from Spring 1878 until Autumn 1879. Their travels took them primarily through Germany and Switzerland, with final stops in France and Italy. This copy has the engraved frontispiece in the first and much-less-common state, captioned "Moses" rather than "Titian's Moses." The binding of this copy is full sheep (what the publisher termed the "library" binding) -- one of four general types of original binding available to subscribers (the others being cloth, three-quarter morocco and full morocco). Condition is very good (front free endpaper excised, joints chafed). Though A TRAMP ABROAD is not a scarce book, copies with the first state frontispiece in other than the usual cloth binding are uncommon. Blanck 3386; Johnson pp 33-35; McBride pp 60-61.

$650.00