Rare and Unusual Books

The VNSA Book Sale includes a special section for rare and unusual books.  The following is a sample of the books that were available at the 2019 sale.


1949 Official Program, Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field

Chicago Cubs vs Boston.  Contains blank forms for stats, the uniform numbers for the players, a lunch menu, ticket information, upcoming games and several advertisements.


African Adventures
By Frederick B. Patterson
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, NY, 1928
Inscribed and signed by the author. Patterson’s six-month big game hunting safari in British East Africa in 1927 with legendary Denys Finch Hatton and Major Dickerson.  (Denys Finch Hatton was portrayed by Robert Redford in the film Out of Africa.)  Profusely illustrated with photo plates.  


Albert Einstein Collection 4 Volumes

The Evolution of Physics by Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld

The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein

Ideas and Opinions based on Mein Weltbild by Albert Einstein

Einstein: The Life and Times by Ronald W. Clark
Published by The Easton Press, Norwalk, Connecticut, 1988-2004

This is a collector’s edition in full leather with gilt leathering.  The end sheets are moire fabric.


Archives of Aboriginal Knowledge: Information, Respecting the History, Conditions and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States.  Collected and Prepared under the Direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Six Volumes

Volume I: 1860; Volume II: 1868; Volume III: 1868; Volume IV: 1860; Volume V: 1868; Volume VI: 1868.  All plates are present with three exceptions.

By Henry R. Schoolcraft
Published by Lippincott, Philadelphia

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was an American geographer, geologist and ethnologist, noted for early studies of Native American cultures, as well as for his 1832 expedition to the source of the Mississippi River.  10.5”x13.5”


Blinds and Shutters
By Michael Cooper
Published by Genesis/Hedley, Guildford, 1990
Limited edition of 5000 copies of which this is number 9 of 250 copies prepared for contributors.  Signed by Peter Blake. In a matching hand made printed yellow and black box. This is a large photographic record of Michael Cooper’s work. He was a 60’s “beautiful person” and a friend of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.  He photographed the Sergeant Pepper album cover. 11”x15.5”


Brand Book
Published by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Cheyenne, 1887
Antique Western brand book.  This book has 125 pages. It lists individuals and corporations with their addresses, and contains drawings of many brands.


Breakfast at Tiffany’s
By Truman Capote
Published by Hamish Hamilton, London, 1958
First UK edition. Capote’s classic novella that was famously adapted for cinema.  The book also includes three short stories.


Cavalry Tactics In Three Parts, School of the Trooper, of the Platoon, of the Squadron, And the Evolutions of a Regiment
By the United States War Department

Published by the Government Printing Office, Washington, 1864.
It has an inscription “Fort Wood” in the front of the book. This fort was located on Bedloe Island, which became Liberty Island (home of the Statue of Liberty).  450 pages plus many plates plus 19 pages of bugle scores


A Commentary on the New Testament (Two Volumes)
By Thomas Coke
Printed for the author and sold by G. Whitfield, 1803
First edition by one of American Methodism’s founders, Thomas Coke.  Volume 1 covers Matthew to Acts and Volume 2 covers Romans to Revelation.  These two volumes contain the author’s entire commentary on the New Testament.


Engraved Illustrations of Ancient Arms and Armour, From the Collection at Goodrich Court , Herefordshire, From the Drawings and with the Descriptions of Dr. Meyrick
By Joseph Skelton
Published by the Author, Oxford, 1830
Two Volumes. Beautifully rebound, with fine steel-engraved plates. Each of the 150 numbered plates is preceded by a leaf of letterpress text. This set catalogues in minute detail the inventory of the famous Meyrick collection.  12”x15.5”


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
By J. K. Rowling
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books – Scholastic Press, NY, 1999
ADVANCE READER’S EDITION. Uncorrected proof. Softcover. This is a sequel to the extraordinary best-seller, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.


History of the Crusades
By Joseph Michaud
Published by George Barrie, Philadelphia, circa 1880
Two volumes.  Filled with 100 beautiful, original Gustav Dore illustrations.  Engraved by Bellenger, Doms, Gusman, Jonnard, Pisan and others. 11.5”x15”


The Hobbit or There and Back Again and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King)

By J.R.R. Tolkien, Illustrated by the Authur

Published by The Easton Press, Norwalk, Connecticut, 1984
A set of four beautiful leather-bound volumes.


Invisible City
Photography by Ken Schles
Published by Twelvetrees Press, Pasadena, 1988
Signed by Ken Schles.  This is the first printing of the photographer’s first book.  Inscribed to “John” and dated November, 1990. This book was noted in Parr & Badger’s The Photobook: Volume III.


Italian Scenery From Drawings Made in 1817
By Elizabeth Frances Batty
Published by Rodwell & Martin, London, 1820
The drawings were made by Captain Batty of the Grenadier Guards. The book contains 59 (of the 60) full-page tissue protected engravings and three vignettes.


Jack’s Manual on the Vintage and Production, Care and Handling of Wines, Liquors, Etc.  A Handbook of Information for Homes, Clubs, Hotels & Restaurants
By J. A. Grohusko
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1933

First published in 1908, this is the revised.  Introduction and nearly 400 recipes for cocktails and drinks of all sorts, including juleps, punches, highballs, etc.  Some toasts to women and love. Includes a recipe for one of the first “Brooklyn cocktails.”


Julius Caesar’s Commentaries
By Somerset de Clair, Engravings by Clifford Webb
Published by The Golden Cockerel Press, London, 1951
This edition is limited to 320 numbered copies, numbers 1-70 being specially bound.  This volume is number 47 and is signed by both the author and the illustrator. There are 14 wood engravings by Clifford Webb and there are maps on the endpapers.


L’Inde des Rajahs.  Voyage dans L’Inde Central et dans les Residences de Bombay et du Bengale
By Louis Rousselet
Published by Librairie Hachette, Paris, 1875
Folio. In French about a voyage to central India.  802 pages with numerous (326) engravings and six maps.


The Lad and the Lion
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
Illustrated by John Coleman Burroughs
Published by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzana, CA., 1938
First Edition.  An adventure fiction set in contemporary North Africa.  It is illustrated with five plates. The story was written in 1914 and was first published as a three-part serial in All-Story Weekly in 1917.  The story was adapted to film, premiering May, 1917. Despite this success, the story did not appear in book form for over twenty years.


The Masterpieces of Science Fiction
Each signed by the author and offered separately
Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison, 1990

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, 1993

The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov, 1998

Gateway by Frederik Pohl, 1986

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, 1992

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, 1989

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, 1990
Published by The Easton Press, Norwalk, Connecticut


Memoirs for a Natural History of Animals Containing the Anatomical Description of Several Creatures Dissected by the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris
Published by an Order of Council of the Royal Society, London, 1701
Translated by Richard Waller
A very good copy of this important work on comparative anatomy.  The original publication had two separate parts. The second section “The Measure of the Earth” is present in this volume. There are 30 plates in the first section and two in the second.  The work was led by Charles Perrault for the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris.


The New World Order
By H.G. Wells
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, NY, April, 1940
Second Printing. Signed by the author.  The entire title is “The New World Order – Whether it is Attainable, How it can be Attained, and What Sort of World a World at Peace Will Have to be”.


  1. Virgilii Maronis Opera. Mauri Seruii Honorati Grammatici in Eadem Commentarii Ex Antiquis Lexemplaribus Suae Integritati Restituti

By P. Vergil
Published by Parisiis ex officinal Roberti Stephani, 1532
Beautiful old book in Latin. Rebound in the 1700’s.


Phunny Phellows: Contributions by Mark Twain, Josh Billings,       Robt. Burdette, Artemus Ward and Others
Published by Rhodes & McClure, Chicago, 1885
The book is divided into four 65-page sections with humorous stories and anecdotes.  Mark Twain has five contributions: Mark Twain’s

Sketches of Henry Ward Beecher, Mark Twain’s Remarkable Gold Mines, Mark Twain on ANT, Mark Twain on Blue Jays and Mark Twain’s Great Frog Story. This book is a scarce Mark Twain item.


Runyon a la Carte
By Damon Runyon
Published by J.B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1944
Second Impression. Signed by author.  The author was an American newspaperman and short-story writer. He is best known for his stories celebrating the world of Broadway in the era of prohibition. The musical “Guys and Dolls” was based on two of his stories.


Other books by the author offered separately:

The Best of Runyon. Frederick A. Stokes, NY, 1938  

Guys and Dolls, Jarrods, London, 1932

Money From Home. Frederick A Stokes, NY, 1935

Runyon a la Carte. J.P. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1944, First Edition

And many more


Selected Poems

By Witter Bynner

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, London, 1936

From the library of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with a bookplate on the front pastedown.  With the numbered label of the sale of her estate. John Roosevelt, the son of FDR and Eleanor, signed his name in ink.


So Red the Nose, or, Breath in the Afternoon
By Sterling North
Published by Farrar & Rinehart, NY, 1935
Cocktail recipes by 30 leading authors. including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Theodore Dreiser, Ernest Hemingway, Rockwell Kent and E. Phillips Oppenheim.


To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
Published by Harper Collins, 1995
This novel was originally published in 1960.  It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. This book is an unusual limited edition in fine French red calfskin leather.


Wallace and Ladmo
By Kersten Bros.
Edited by Dave Hummel
Published by Bill Thompson and Dave Hummel, 1964
A funny and remarkable little cartoon book, the characters having appeared on the television program called “It’s Wallace?” on KPHO-TV in Phoenix. The show later became “The Wallace and Ladmo Show”.  Like the show, this book is designed to make people of all ages laugh. For little children there are two “flip books” found in the lower corners of the pages. For older readers, there are almost one hundred pages of wry humor.