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The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 50, December 3, 2000, Article 6


George Kolbe writes:

"I can add two more colors to Dave Bowers' 1850 Eckfeldt-Du Bois palette, namely, black and white. In my admittedly limited experience, black and blue turn up most often, then red, and, rarely, white. The printing must have been large, though many copies have surely perished, and many appear to have been vandalized (i.e., the gold samples have been removed).

I first met John J. Ford, Jr. over an enjoyable breakfast at the old Statler Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles (probably in June 1977) and recall that this book, and the binding colors, were among the topics discussed.

Several years a ago a stunning copy of the 1850 Eckfeldt- Du Bois came up for sale in Los Angeles, at an auction by Austin, Texas bookseller Dorothy Sloan (herself stunning) of Henry Clifford's "Zamorano 80" and other Western Americana holdings. It was a superb, "blazing" royal blue copy, inscribed to "J. B. Longacre with the respects of the authors, Feby 1850."

I attended the sale, intending to bid on this and several other lots, but I never got a chance to raise my hand when the volume in question came up for sale. Estimated at $2,500-$4,500, it opened at low estimate and bids were rapidly batted back and forth between the "book" (I believe) and a floor bidder, who eventually prevailed at $5,100. I should'a been willing to pay more - the mournful refrain of the unsuccessful bidder."

Wayne Homren, Editor

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