AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2004 Issue

Books About Books and Bibliographies<br>From Oak Knoll Books

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For those interested in how the other half lives, there is Paul Mellon's Reflections in a Silverspoon, a Memoir. Paul Mellon was the son of famed banker Andrew Mellon. Despite all the advantages of wealth, young Mellon apparently had an unhappy childhood, "being," in the words of Oak Knoll, "shuttled from mansion to mansion." It was a tough life. He followed his father into banking, but in 1941 resigned his directorships and settled into a life of philanthropy. Item 383. $55.

If you are a librarian, dealer, or collector of rare books, you will want to know how to care for them. Here is a guide: The Care of Fine Books, by Jane Greenfield. It tells you about how books are constructed and how to store, handle, protect, clean and repair them. Item 242. $19.95.

Item 411 is Moveable Feasts by Arnold Palmer. This 1953 title purports to tell about the origins and fluctuations of mealtimes, especially luncheon and afternoon tea. Of course, the name Arnold Palmer would become synonymous with afternoon "tee" instead of "tea" within a few short years of 1953, as he was the world's most famous golfer. The author of this book would appear to be a totally different Arnold Palmer, but expect to find this book lost among the other Arnold Palmer's golfing titles if you ever search for it online. $25.

Among the bibliographies offered is Bibliotheca Americana Nova, or, a Catalogue of Books in Various languages, Relating to America, Printed Since the Year 1700. This would not include everything up to the present since its three volumes were printed in 1835, 1844 and 1846, but it does provide the best bibliography/catalogue of Americana available at the time. Bibliographer Obadiah Rich was primarily a bookseller, and he is noted as the first specialist in Americana. He is credited as the first bookseller to understand the potential value of Americana and assisted some of the earliest collectors, such as John Carter Brown, in building their collections. Interestingly, Rich's shop was located in London. Item 651. $450.

Item 753 is Bibliotheca Americana Vestustissima, a Description of Works Relating to America Published Between the Years 1492 and 1551, Additions. In 1866, Henri Harrisse published his bibliography of very early Americana. In 1872, he published this collection of 186 additional titles missed the first time around. $95.

Item 781 is a five-volume bibliography of one of the most famous libraries ever in America, that of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's library would become the foundation of the Library of Congress. E. Millicent Sowerby compiled this Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson between the years 1952-1959. $750.

For those interested in antiquarian book catalogues, there is the General Catalogue of Books Offered to the Public at the Affixed Prices by Bernard Quaritch, the Supplement: 1875-1877. Described as one of the largest antiquarian book catalogues ever produced, this 1672-page catalogue includes 21,470 entries. Item 871. $275. Item 870 is an earlier and smaller catalogue from the famed London bookseller, dating from 1868, containing only 1130 pages and 12,000 listings. $250.

Oak Knoll Books may be located on the web at www.oakknoll.com and their phone number is 302-328-7232.

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