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Exhibiting booksellers at the 48th annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair have announced some unusual and notable items that will be for sale at the fair (being held at the Marriott Oakland City Center, Oakland, CA from February 6 to 8, 2015). Some of these special items include:


Overdue Bar Tab Invoice for Jimi Hendrix, 1969

“Even the world’s greatest rock guitarist can forget to pay his tab once in a while.  Hendrix spent a Halloween evening at “The Scene” nightclub in New York in 1969, and apparently, skipped out on his tab.  The invoice for $44.25 is from owner Steve Paul stating that “The Scene needs the money badly. Your beverage tab is Past Due.” Hopefully he left a tip!”  (Schubertiade Music & Arts LLC, Booth 106,  $1,200)


The First English Sex Manual from 1684

“Entitled Aristotle’s Masterpiece, although not written by Aristotle or a masterpiece, this 17th century primer provides practical advice on copulation, conception, pregnancy and birth. Needless to say, this was an extremely popular book in its time, going through more than 100 editions over two centuries.  While not intended as pornography, the graphic nature of the book caused it to be printed and sold “under the table.”  One wonders how many teenaged English boys kept a copy hidden under their bed!” (Jeremy Norman, Booth 809, $65,000)

CA Book Fair Item of Interest: Aristotle's Masterpiece

Aristotle’s Masterpiece

Courtesy Jeremy Norman, Booth 809, $65,000


The Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible

“One of the pricier items at the Book Fair, this is an astonishing seven-volume set considered by Smithsonian Magazine as “One of the extraordinary undertakings of our times.” This is a meticulously produced St. John’s Bible printed on custom-crafted uncoated cotton paper designed to replicate ancient vellum. The producers used state-of-the-art offset lithographic printing, which is completed with gold and silver foils.  The volumes are hand-bound with Italian calfskin leather and held together with a solid silver clasp.”  (The Heritage Book Shop, Booth 800, $165,000)

CA Book Fair Item of Interest: Heritage Edition of St. John's Bible

The Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible.

 Courtesy The Heritage Book Shop, Booth 800, $165,000)


A Lock of Franz Liszt’s Hair from 1884

“One of the world’s best pianists and a renowned composer, Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was the Elvis of his time.  Women swooned over him and hundreds flocked to his dazzling performances.  Throughout Europe, Countesses and Princesses vied for his attention and to become his muse. It’s no surprise, then, that his student, Carl Lachmund, nicked a lock of his hair.  The lock of hair comes with a signed note of provenance.” (Schubertiade Music & Arts, Booth 106,  $12,000)

CA Book Fair Item of Interest: Franz Liszt's Hair

A Lock of Franz Liszt’s Hair from 1884

Courtesy Schubertiade Music & Arts, Booth 106,  $12,000


Naturgemählde: A 3-D German’s Children’s Book from 1827

“3-D printing is all the rage now, but back in 1827, Leopold Chimani was ahead of his time.  His Naturgemählde is a mesmerizing children’s book that utilizes illustrations to teach children about geography.  With sections about Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australia, the book features dozens of colored cutout illustrations that can be inserted into a scored grid to create a 3-D illustration to demonstrate the region. This is an extremely rare copy – none have been found in recent times.” (Simon Beattie, Ltd., Booth 302, $12,000)

CA Book Fair Item of Interest: Naturgemählde

Naturgemählde: A 3-D German’s Children’s Book from 1827, Leopold Chimani

Courtesy Simon Beattie, Ltd., Booth 302, $12,000


Flower and Fruit Decoration from 1862

“Without Martha Stewart or HGTV to guide them, cultured people in the mid-19th century probably turned to T.C. March to provide direction for how to properly decorate their parlors and terraces. Flower and Fruit Decoration: With Some Remarks on the Treatment of Town Gardens, Terraces… is a gorgeously illustrated guide to flower and fruit decorations. This extremely rare book gives helpful hints on juxtaposing color in vase arrangements as well as patios and gardens.  ‘Tis a good thing!’”  (Janette Ray Rare & Out of Print Books, Booth 707, $950)


Twentysix Gasoline Stations

"In April 1962, the 24-year-old artist Ed Ruscha had 400 copies printed of a little book titled Twentysix Gasoline Stations. It lived up to its name: twenty-six snapshots of gas stations on Route 66 between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City. The design was impeccable. The title marched down the white paper cover in three lines of bright-red bold type. The number of each individual copy was written by hand in red on the colophon.

Ruscha sent a copy to the Library of Congress. Very politely, the Library rejected his mysterious, unclassifiable book. His characteristically witty response? A tiny ad “Rejected by the Library of Congress”—in the March 1964 issue of Artforum. The Library still does not own a copy.

With Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Ruscha created a new art form—the commercially printed book itself as an artwork. Avant-garde artists had produced books, manifestoes, and glorious pieces of ephemera at least since the nineteenth century. This was something different. The Instant Printing and photocopying that were becoming common in the early Sixties allowed even the most impoverished student to become an “artist,” an “author.” Thousands of them did, then tens of thousands. Among this outpouring, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, is Incunabulum Number One. First edition, 1962. No. 204 of 400 copies." (Laurence McGilvery, Booths 510 & 511, $12,500)


The Georg Wieszner and Lily Wieszner-Zulcher Guest Book, 1921-1935

“Guess who’s coming to dinner? In the Wieszner’s Nuremberg home, this could be anyone from Bauhaus artists to officers in the Third Reich. Lily’s artwork adorns the 200-page guest book, which provide a glimpse into Weimar culture. The guestbook can be seen as a reflection of the times, from the “roaring” twenties, to the looming economic crisis, to the crashing affect on intellectual and artistic life of the Nazi surge to power in the early thirties. Famous visitors included Nazi poet Hanns Johst; Sepp (Josef) Drexel, a German soldier captured by the Russians and held in terrible conditions of captivity; the artist Kandinsky and his wife, Nina; spy and traitor Gerald Hamilton; actor Max Martensteig; Dr. Karl Vossler, and dozens of others.” (Johanson Rare Books, Booth 1008,  $26,000)


Charles Bukowski Letter

“Charles Bukowski was a larger-than-life writer, poet and columnist who was a fixture in the Los Angeles literary scene. This rambling letter was penned (and illustrated) to his friends and early publishers Jon and Louise Webb in 1964. In it, he muses about getting published, his newborn girl, beer and life in general. A great peek into the writer’s mind.” (Royal Books, Inc., Booth 112, $9,500)

CA Book Fair Item of Interest: Charles Bukowski Letter

Charles Bukowski Letter

Courtesy Royal Books, Inc., Booth 112, $9,500


Pharmaceutical Guide from 1537

“Long before Bayer, Tylenol, and Advil were household names, Claudii Galeni published De Compositione Pharmacorum in 1537. The very rare, two-volume book includes how to formulate site-specific drugs and commentary on Galen’s theories of botanical pharmacology. The works include detailed remedies for the relief of pain and inflammation. Today, only four copies remain.”  (Johanson Rare Books, Booth 1008, $8,000)



For more information about the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, click here or visit the fair website at


Also at the CA Book Fair:

Jack London, Photographer: a lecture

Jack London, Photographer, a lecture by Sara S. Hodson, curator of the Jack London archive at the Huntigton Library. More details...