The Rare and Unusualby Beth Carswell
Five original Banksy paintings
Spraypaint on paper - actual original art by world famous graffiti artist,
If you think AbeBooks is all about books, you're right - but that's not all we have. The world of books is multi-faceted, and many of our booksellers scour the globe looking for rare ephemera as well. If you aren't familiar with the term, ephemera refers to (generally) printed items that won't last, or are fleeting, timely and transitory. Fortunately, that sense of not lasting doesn't apply to the value of these items, which can be impressive and ever-rising.
If you search the site closely and cleverly you'll be surprised to find autographs of all sorts, personal effects, love letters, cancelled checks, photographs, playbills, the original scripts to famous films, handwritten notes, scrawled poems, passports and much more. Some items are of historical importance, while others are simply nostalgic. For the ultimate fan, these rare and often even unique treasures are a dream come true and can make any collection closer to complete. So we spent days in our search laboratory to sniff out these once in a lifetime items for sale.
Please note: Quantity on rare listings extremely limited; copies on display may sell quickly.
The Rare and Unusual
Burroughs' Bullet Holes Postcard - sold
A postcard written to underground artist S. Clay Wilson by William S. Burroughs, who also shot two bullet holes through the card.
Narragansett Bock Beer Poster
Dr. Seuss did the artwork for this poster advertising the Narragansett Bock Beer Company of Cranston Rhode Island.
Truman Capote's Birth Certificate
Original birth certificate issued in the parish of New Orleans showing the birth of Truman Streckfus Persons, September 30th.
John Steinbeck's Will - sold
The last will and testament of American legend of literature John Ernest Steinbeck - his own personal, original copy kept by him at his New York apartment.
Sonia Lovecraft's Passport
U.S. passport of Russian immigrant Sonia Haft Greene Lovecraft, who was briefly the wife of horror and fantasy author H.P. Lovecraft.
Diary of a Teenager in British Mandated Palestine
The handwritten diary of a teenage girl and daughter of a General during the beginnings of modern Middle Eastern tensions and terrorism.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono Event Pack - sold
Complete pack of items given out to the audience at a showing of Lennon & Ono's art films at the New Cinema Club, Institute of Contemporary Arts, 10th September.
100 Shares of Standard Oil Stock Certificate
Excellent example of scripophily. Printed Stock Certificate of Standard Oil Trust. 100 Shares issued to Standard Oil pioneer Wallace C. Andrews
Edward Gorey's Dracula Poster Puzzle
A 500-piece jigsaw puzzle in black, white and red depicting the poster for the Edward Gorey stage production of Dracula in New York City.
Glenway Wescott's Handkerchief
Linen or perhaps fine-combed personal cotton pocket handkerchief stitched with the name of American novelist Wescott in monogrammed script.
Charles Dickens Commemorative Bookmark - sold
A linen bookmark, with color print embroidery, apparently issued to commemorate Dickens' interment in Westminster Abbey.
Civil War Soldier's Love Letter - sold
Love letter written by a soldier identified in the text as "Vane" addressed to his love "Vica", dated August 23rd, 1863. Four pages long.
Holy Cats by Andy Warhol's Mother
A quaint, whimsical book privately published by Andy Warhol and written/drawn by his mother Julia. From Warhol's estate.
Nashville, Tennessee Slave Receipt
A handwritten receipt dated January 4th, 1859 to reflect $900 payment for a slave named Henry, approximately 40 years old.
Original Script for The Exorcist film
Revised final draft of the original script for the chilling, much celebrated 1973 horror film starring Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair.
Harper Lee's University Yearbook
Two volumes of "The Corolla", the yearbook for the University of Alabama, where Lee studied in the law faculty in the mid to late 40s.
Receipt Signed by Lucille Ball - sold
A goods receipt from Bullock's of Palm Springs. Signature reads "Lucille Ball Arnaz" with her then Hollywood, California address.
Record of Sale of Muskets from Eli Whitney
Transaction record between Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin, and the U.S. Govt for Whitney to sell the government muskets.
Edgar Rice Burroughs' Check
A check written for 50 cents and made out to an Elsa Staloff. Signed Edgar Rice Burroughs, and drawn on his account in Tarzana, CA.
Signed Photograph of Richard Nixon
A photograph of Richard Nixon inscribed by same to George Murphy and dated Christmas Eve, 1969, when Nixon was in office.
In the Night Kitchen + Letters - sold
A first edition of Maurice Sendak's lovely book, complete with five handwritten letters and one postcard, all from Sendak to a friend.
Seamus Heaney Limerick
An original, handwritten limerick by Irish poet Seamys Heaney, scrawled on a postcard for the Swansea Fringe Grand Auction.
Carnet de Bal (Dance Card Holder)
A 19th century French solid gold enamel item used to record the order of an evening's dances, including names of each partner.
Aleister Crowley's Appointment Book
Original appointment book with Crowley's manuscript notes of addresses, appointments, etc, including an original crude poem.
Signed Roy Orbison Contract - sold
Signature page of a contract document signed by Roy Orbison with the William Morris Agency. Dark, full, clear signature by Orbison