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Association Copies

Another in a series of award-winning catalogs - click to enlarge >>

After 160 catalogs, we have finally issued our first catalog of association copies: that is, books that through their ownership, their inscription, or other qualities indicate the significance of a book to an author, mark a relationship with other authors or family members, or which otherwise shed light on an author’s work, influences, thoughts, and personal life.

Among these types of books are:
Author’s Copies: an author or illustrator’s own copy of his or her own book.
Dedication Copies: books inscribed to, or otherwise presented by the author to the person to whom the book is dedicated on the printed dedication page.
Family Copies: copies of books that were presented by the author, or otherwise owned by a family member of the author’s.
Telling and Notable Associations: books inscribed to, or owned by other authors that would tend to indicate the influence of one author or public figure on another.
Curious and Pleasant Associations: associations between two diverse figures whose juxtaposition seems unlikely, incongruous, amusing, or otherwise attracted our attention.
Everything else that doesn’t fit into the above: Hey, it’s our catalog and we can put whatever we want in it!

When I first started collecting books, about 40 years ago, I had some contact with a few of the books from the library of Harry B. Smith, an early songwriter, whose "Sentimental Library" stressed the associations between authors. It struck me then, and it still does, that this was, and is still, a pleasing way to collect books.

Although all dealers I know are usually willing to make hay on significant associations (it is, after all, what we do!), I’ve seldom seen much of a concerted effort by dealers to stress these associations as a category (one exception to this is the English dealer Paul Rassam, who issues infrequent, but interesting catalogs that seem to gravitate towards association copies).

If the rationale and motivation of book collecting, either personally or institutionally, is to exhibit or enhance one’s appreciation and affinity for a particular author, it seems a logical and appropriate expression of that appreciation to buy copies of books that had an obvious and tangible influence on, or relationship to that author.

By their definition, association copies are unique, or very nearly so. So, unlike some of our catalogs, we probably don’t have backup copies. We encourage you to let us know if you are looking for these sorts of books: not only might we find some for you, we’re also likely to appreciate your taste and discrimination as a collector, and flatter you shamelessly.

Now that we’ve come this far, we’re likely to issue similar catalogs with this theme in the future. Feel free to encourage us accordingly.

- Tom Congalton

View Catalog 161 as a PDF (7.3MB)


Catalog 161



Showing catalog: 161

Cover Image: Hans Breitmann's Party. With Other Ballads by LELAND, Charles G.


LELAND, Charles G.

Hans Breitmann's Party. With Other Ballads

Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson and Brothers (1868). First edition. Original wrappers bound into contemporary cloth stamped in gilt: "Collection Du General Read. First Edition of Hans... more>>



Of Flight and Life

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1948. Reprint. A little rubbing, else about fine in near fine dustwrapper with a rubbed spot along the top of the spine. Lindbergh's own...

Cover Image: The Art of the Moving Picture by LINDSAY, Vachel



The Art of the Moving Picture

New York: Macmillan Company 1915. First edition. Cloth professionally restored at the spine ends, white painted background on the front board mostly rubbed away,... more>>

Cover Image: The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems by LINDSAY, Vachel



The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems

New York: Macmillan Company 1917. First edition. A trifle rubbed, very near fine, lacking the dustwrapper. Inscribed by the author: "To... more>>


ref. info

LOCKE, Alain

The New Negro: An Interpretation

New York: Albert & Charles Boni 1925. First edition. 446pp. Color portraits by Winold Reiss, and additional illustrations by Aaron Douglas. Quarter cloth and papercovered...


LORDE, Audre

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Trumansburg, New York: The Crossing Press (1984). First edition, wrappered issue. Obituary affixed to inside of the front wrap, very light wear, else near fine.


ref. info

LOWRY, Malcolm

Under the Volcano

New York: Reynal & Hitchcock (1947). First edition, preceding the English edition. Some stains on the front board and the spine, an about very good copy, lacking the...



Traumatic Aphasia. Its Syndromes, Psychology and Treatment

The Hague and Paris: Mouton 1970. First edition. Translated from the Russian, with a foreword by Macdonald Critchley. Quarto. Near fine in a rubbed and used, very good...

Cover Image: An Elementary Course of Civil Engineering, for the Use of the Cadets of the United States' Military Academy by MAHAN, D.H.



An Elementary Course of Civil Engineering, for the Use of the Cadets of the United States' Military Academy

New York: Wiley and Putnam 1838. Second edition, revised and corrected. Original publisher's figured brown cloth titled in gilt. 308pp., 14 folding plates.... more>>

Cover Image: Of a Small and Modest Malignancy, Wicked and Bristling with Dots by MAILER, Norman


MAILER, Norman

Of a Small and Modest Malignancy, Wicked and Bristling with Dots

Northridge, California: Lord John Press 1980. First edition. Quarter cloth and marbled papercovered boards. Fine. One of 400 copies, this copy is press marked as a "Presentation... more>>

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