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Yesterday’s Acquisitions

October 11, 2008

Yesterday my father and I went to an auction of books and documents and prints and things. Because of the financial crisis, people weren’t bidding as high as expected, but even so the children’s books I was interested in buying were out of my reach. We did manage to get a folio of Japanese watercolors my mother wanted, though, and we bid on something signed by King James I, mostly because nobody else was, and it would have been kind of awesome if we had won.

But not getting anything at the auction gave me an excuse to buy a book of drawings by Charles Dana Gibson — The Social Ladder — that I’d been looking at last weekend. It’s in terrible condition — it’s literally falling apart — but the drawings themselves are intact, even if the pages they’re on aren’t completely. And I got it for less than half of the lowest price I’ve found online. And then I bought a copy of Louisa May Alcott’s Life, Letters and Journals, which I initially thought was signed by Alcott, but which in fact just has a facsimile signature below her photograph on the frontispiece. Fortunately, I was neither very surprised nor disappointed, and I’m still pretty pleased about the price I got it for.

The woman in the store where I bought both books also threw in a 60s paperback by Viola Rowe called Freckled and Fourteen. I plan on posting about all three books in depth, and if I can manage it, I’d like to photograph and post the whole of the Gibson book.

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