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The Edition of this Volume XXX of AMERICAN BOOK
PRICES CURRENT is limited to Six Hundred
and Fifty Copies
CITH the present volume American Book-Prices Current
completes its third decade. By a fortunate combination of events this Volume XXX is of a singular interest, for the season of 1923-24 was preēminently a season of new values. While the standard bibliographic treasures of past years were adequately represented, the predominant influence was modern, expressed by the increase in value of many comparatively recent books, and the first appearance at high prices of the works of many new authors.
What may be described as the key-sales of the year were those of the late Mr. John Quinn at the Anderson Galleries and of the late Mr. Stephen Wakeman by the American Art Association. Each was a strongly individualized collection, the reading-library of a man of pronounced personality, and the courage to keep his possessions within the limits of his own tastes. As a result, the catalogues of these two collections are by way of becoming bibliographic classics.
Mr. Wakeman's collection was composed entirely of the works of the nine classic American writers: Bryant, Emerson, Hawthorne, Holmes, Long fellow, Lowell, Poe, Thoreau and Whittier. Each piece was in good condition and frequently accompanied by notes in the hand of its owner. It was preëminently a library of Association Books, as many, perhaps the majority, of the items were inscribed or presentation copies. Many items were new to the auction room, most were rare, and the prices were excellent. A fine copy of Bryant's "Embargo," uncut as issued, brought $550.00, an inscribed copy of Lowell's "Commemoration Ode" was sold at $800.00, Holmes's scarce "New England's Master-Key,” the Chamberlain copy, at $525.00, and his private copy of “Lecture-1863" at $570.00. The crowning feature of the sale, however, was a magnificent collection of the works of Poe, nearly all inscribed or autographed, of which “Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems” brought $2,900.00; "Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, Vol. I," revised in Poe's autograph for a new edition, $3,400.00; three copies of “The Raven and other Poems," one, inscribed to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, $4,200.00; another, an autograph stanza laid in, $2,600.00; “Eureka, a Prose Poem," $2,000.00, and a copy of the excessively rare “Prospectus of the Stylus” with an autograph note on the verso, $1,000.00. Among other notable inscribed books was Holmes's “Life of R. W. Emerson," a presentation copy to J. G. Whittier, which brought $710.00
The Quinn library, dispersed in five sections, throughout the season was of extraordinary interest, and its catalogue, perhaps the most fas cinating catalogue raisonnée of recent years, will serve as a practica hand-book of modern British and American writers for a long tim