Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lovecraft's Autograph - and more

Once again, Ebay is an extraordinary time machine. This offering should really be in a museum or at the John Hay library - but here it is for auction for about $1500.

Below, here are the Ebay reproduced images, since Ebay is obviously a fleeting moment in time. A few days, and poof !!, the images are gone for maybe a generation into a collector's hands.

{There are numerous other HPL autographed images in the archives}

The seller says:

Up for auction is a copy of one of the books from Lovecraft's library. The book, listed in the Joshi & Michaud "Lovecraft's Library: A catalogue" as item #132 which is, Joseph Butler's "The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature..." published in New Haven: A H. Maltby, 1822. Butler's book, first published in 1736, is considered a masterpiece of British theology. What influences it had on Lovecraft is subject to debate. At this point, a little history. Lovecraft's mother, Sarah Susan Phillips (Lovecraft) was the 2nd of five children of Whipple and Robie (Place) Phillips. She was born Oct.17, 1857 at the Stephen Place Jr. homestead in Foster, Rhode Island. Stephen Place was Howard Lovecraft's maternal great grandfather. What makes this book so special is that it belonged to him. Yes, this is Stephen Place's copy and is signed numerous times by him. One photo shows his name, Foster, Rhode Island and the date, 1833. It is well known that Howard had access to the vast library of Whipple and this may have been one of the first books HPL read. The reason for this statement, is that at the rear of the book on the free endpapers, someone was practicing their Greek letters using the 'Stephen Place' name as an example. It is known, Howard was familiar with Greek & Latin before he was ten. Are these his scribblings?? Don't know. Now for the 'good' stuff. The front pastedown has Lovecraft's bookplate and his special code #'s and opposite on the f.f. endpaper is his full signature and the 598 Angel St. address. His family moved to this address in 1904, when he was 13 years old. On the title page, at the top, is written, H.P. Lovecraft R.I. The last signature, also on the f.f. endpaper is that of his aunt, Annie E. Phillips Gamwell, and dated July 7, 1924. Howard was in New York during this time period, so the book now belonged to her. What a GREAT piece, and as one photo shows, there are three signatures on one page covering four generations of Lovecraft's family. The book measures 7 1/4" x 4 1/2" and is very worn. The cover is nearly detached (99%). The photos show the front & back covers as well as the gold stamped spine reading, "Butler's Analogy". A note, Lovecraft often made text corrections in books he owned. None were seen in this volume but if the greek lettering is his, WOW! Please note, that the dark areas at the bottom of the pictures are shadow, not a blackend book. Here is your chance to own a "real" piece of Lovecratian history.


Lew Jaffe said...

You may be interested in today's posting (2/5/07) about Lovecraft's bookplate.
Lew Jaffe

Chris Perridas said...

Thanks for the head's up !

Thank you for stopping by and reading. :)


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