December 2013 Archives

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PHILADELPHIA, PA—FEBRUARY 28 & MARCH 1, 2014: Flamingo Eventz, LLC is pleased to announce the return of the Philadelphia Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair. It will be held on Friday February 28 & Saturday March 1, and presents some of the finest vintage Book & Ephemera Dealers in America & Canada.

Held at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel in the heart of Philadelphia, PA, this is an important show for Pennsylvania and all mid-Atlantic & Northeast area book lovers. This is the only major Vintage Book & Ephemera event held in the greater Philadelphia region and offers an unparalleled opportunity for all Book & Ephemera lovers. Members of ABAA, MARIAB, MABA, ILAB, and other prominent exhibitors will gather here to present an outstanding array of fine, rare & unusual old books, along with postcards, poetry, prose, political, social, historical, children's series, maps, autographs, prints, posters, World’s Fair, ephemera, and much, much more. Collectors, scholars, students, dealers, and decorators will flock to this wonderful event for the best selection, wonderful finds, and rare treasures found only here.


NEW YORK—The results of Swann Galleries’ December 12 auction of Classic Photographs & Photobooks illustrate the strengthening market for vernacular images and the appeal of fine examples of Contemporary Art.

Daile Kaplan, Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks, said, “Swann is the go-to auction house for special thematic objects. And, as new collectors from the fields of Contemporary, Outsider Art and Material Culture enter the photographs marketplace, the gap between classical photography and other fields narrows, and values rise.”

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces a series of new acquisitions of works by artist Andy Warhol that includes two gifts and a recent purchase. The works will be exhibited, together with works already in the Crystal Bridges collection, in the museum’s Twentieth-Century Art Gallery, in time for holiday viewing.

First among the recent acquisitions is Warhol’s Coca-Cola [3], which has previously resided in private collections. Painted in 1962, this bold, graphic, black-and-white image is one of four Coca-Cola paintings produced by Warhol during this critical period in his development, in the early days of Pop Art. “This is one of the great icons of early Pop,” said Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi.  “In it, Warhol celebrates Coca-Cola as an ‘equalizer’—it’s the same product for anyone who drinks it, anywhere in the world, rich or poor. The work presents a bold image at large scale, signaling Warhol’s transition from a commercial illustrator to Pop artist.”

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Fairfield, ME, December 20, 2013—James D. Julia, Inc., one of the nation's top ten antique auction houses, is excited to present this historically important collection in association with the company's upcoming Antiques, Asian, and Fine Arts Auction to be held February 4th-7th, 2014. These materials represent one of the most significant and important Civil War archives relating to the role and importance of black soldiers in the military ever to come to auction. This collection, from Emilio family descendants, is so extensive that it will be sold in two lots—both which are certain to be of profound interest to collectors, military historians, and museums around the world.

The founding of the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and their subsequent activities, occurred at an incredibly important turning point in US history. Early in the Civil War, the majority of fighting commanders from both the North and the South disregarded the potential of the black man as a combat soldier. They considered African Americans to be too difficult to train and believed they lacked the ability to fight well.

(Boston, MA, December 19, 2013)—The Boston Athenæum will present craftsman Peter Korn on his new book, Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. in the Athenæum’s Long Room at 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $10 for members, $25 for non-members. Reservations are required and can be accepted starting at 9:00 a.m. on January 22, 2014, at

After an Ivy-League education, Korn, now director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, ME, found employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket Island. In Why We Make Things and Why It Matters, he describes his decades-long search for meaning through making as he progresses from novice to self-employment as a designer and maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado’s Anderson Ranch Center, and finally founds a school in Maine to carry on what he has learned to new generations.

A book charting the expedition which led to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, sold as part of a set for £14,880 at Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Antiquarian Books, held yesterday, Wednesday 18th December.

Darwin was invited to join the second surveying voyage of HMS Beagle, by Captain Robert Fitzroy, to write the natural history part of the Captain’s account of the five-year expedition to South America. The book established Darwin as a credited geologist, but it was his time spent collecting and examining fossils that was influential in the investigations that led to his Theory of Evolution.

AUSTIN, Texas—In conjunction with the centenary of the start of the First World War, the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, presents the exhibition “The World at War, 1914-1918.” The exhibition runs from Feb. 11 through Aug. 3.

Triggered by the June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Bosnian-Serb student, the First World War began a month later when Austria-Hungary invaded the Kingdom of Serbia in retaliation. Within weeks, nearly all of the nation-states of Europe were drawn into a war that lasted four long years, drew in the United States and killed 10 million servicemen. Tens of millions of civilians died from military action, famine and disease.

AUSTIN, Texas—The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to establish an endowment that will sustain the institution’s exhibition program.

The grant will support a range of activities including facilitating long-range planning, creating teacher training workshops related to future exhibitions, fostering collaboration with other institutions and supporting print and online publications related to the Center’s exhibitions.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—December 17, 2013—We are delighted to announce that Richard S. Newman has been appointed to succeed John C. Van Horne as the Edwin Wolf 2nd Director of the Library Company of Philadelphia. A distinguished historian with research specialties in Early American, African American, and Environmental History, as well as Print Culture and New Media, he is currently Professor of History at Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Newman has a long association with the Library Company, beginning with the award of a research fellowship in 1995. Says Trustee and Search Committee Chair Charles B. Landreth, "We believe Dr. Newman has the rare combination of scholarly authority, commitment to public engagement, and passion for our mission that will enable him to bring the Library Company to new prominence."


NEW YORK—Swann Galleries’ November 26 auction of Autographs brought in more than $990,000*—making it the highest earning sale in the department’s history.

The sale’s two top lots—which sold for $161,000 each—were an Autograph Musical Manuscript by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, bars 57-70 of the sixth movement of his Serenade in D major, Vienna, July-August 1773, and a group of five Autograph Letters Signed from Albert Einstein to mathematician and theoretical physicist Paul Hertz, in German, in which Einstein shares his own frustration in confronting problems arising during the development of the general theory of relativity, 1910-15.

(Boston, MA, December 2013)—The Winter 2014 Noon Series at the Boston Athenæum features book talks on the Civil War, famous writers who also gardened, the rise of Boston’s suburbs, an alphabet in ancient Greek, Richard Powers’ latest novel, and more. 

All events will take place in the Athenæum’s historic Long Room at 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston, at 12:00 noon and are free and open to the public. Reservations and membership are not required. For more information about Boston Athenæum programs and membership, visit or call 617-720-7604.

Handcuffs, leg irons and other props used by famous escape artist Harry Houdini were among a collection of early Victorian books, and other magical ephemera sold in a sale at Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions Godalming saleroom in Surrey on Thursday 12th December.

A pair of handcuffs belonging to the famous escape artist, Harry “Handcuffs” Houdini, generated a great deal of pre-sale interest from the press, as well as the bidders. The handcuffs were made in Birmingham and had been tampered with by Houdini to release when held in a particular position. Believed to have been used in his underwater escapes to guarantee an impressive but safe escape, the rare survivors were purchased by a private collector, who was bidding online, for £2,806 [Lot 47]. The same buyer paid £3,050 for Houdini’s Lilly Leg irons [Lot 45].


New York—Swann Galleries’ November 21 auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature featured a selection of scarce first editions by Rex Stout in their original dust jackets. The sale’s top lot, in fact, was Stout’s first detective novel, Fer-de-Lance, New York, 1934, which sold for a new auction record of $21,250*. Another record-setting title by Stout was The League of Frightened Men, first edition, New York, 1935, at $9,375.

The auction also offered fine copies of well-loved classics by celebrated authors, such as a wonderful association copy of John Steinbeck’s masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath, first edition, signed and inscribed to a movie producer, with one of the author’s trademark “Pigasus” drawings, New York, 1939, $18,750.


New York—Bidding was strong and record prices were achieved at Swann Galleries’ November 14 auction of Contemporary Art. The sale’s top lot was a Romare Bearden collage of various papers, with ink on board, titled Village of Yo, from 1977, which brought $100,000*.

A unique Warhol print was the playful GA-43 Robot, from his Toy Paintings series, color screenprint on canvas, 1983, $70,000, and other featured Warhols were Flowers—Leo Castelli Gallery Exhibition Poster, offset color lithograph, 1964, $18,750; After the Party, color screenprint, 1979, $15,000; and Mick Jagger, complete set of 10 lithograph postcards after Warhol, 1975, $15,000.


New York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Early Printed, Medical & Scientific Books on November 12 saw a wide range of material that performed well, illustrating the continuing demand for excellent examples of early printed books.

Among the top lots in the sale were works on the planets, such as Julius Firmicus Maternus, De Nativitatibus, a first edition of a compilation of ancient Roman and Greek writings on astrology, astronomy and meteorology and the first substantially illustrated book from the Aldine Press, Venice, 1499, with other texts, which brought $18,750*; Increase Mather, Kometographia; or, A Discourse concerning Comets . . . as also Two Sermons occassioned by the Late Blazing Stars, which blended contemporary scientific knowledge with superstition, first edition, Boston, 1683, $15,000; and John Bainbridge, An Astronomicall Description of the Late Comet from the 18. Of Novemb. 1618, first edition, London, 1619, $6,000.

SAN MARINO, Calif.—The oldest surviving copy of treatises by the great classical mathematician Archimedes will be on view at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in an exhibition that will document how the text was discovered and how new technology was employed to make it legible. The exhibition, “Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes,” will be on view in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery from March 15 to June 8, 2014.

Known as the Archimedes Palimpsest, the manuscript first went on view in 2011 in an exhibition created by the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, whose staff oversaw conservation and research on the text for 12 years before presenting it to the public. The text was purchased in 1998 at auction by an anonymous collector and subsequently loaned to the Walters for conservation, imaging, and transcription.

NEW YORK—Bonhams Fine Books & Manuscripts auction on December 11 saw notable prices achieved in a diversity of categories. 

A Book of Cats illustrated by Tsuguharu Foujita in 1930 more than doubled its pre-sale estimate to achieve $68,750. The remarkable book contained 20 full-page etched plates, splendidly showcasing Foujita's application of Japanese ink techniques to Western-style painting.

New Haven, Conn.—Scholarly detective work has revealed that an 1858 manuscript, housed at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, is the earliest-known prison memoir written by an African-American. 

Acquired by the Beinecke in 2009, the book-length manuscript, titled “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict” and written under the name Robert Reed, eloquently describes the author’s experiences while incarcerated in New York State from the 1830s through the 1850s. The memoir provides an insider’s account of the prison system and race relations in the mid-nineteenth century.

At the 6 December Christie’s auction in New York, Bromer Booksellers purchased the Albion handpress on which William Morris printed his Kelmscott Press masterpiece, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. The iron press, manufactured by Hopkinson & Cope in 1891, sold for $233,000, and Bromer was acting as agent for the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“To be a part of this celebrated press’s history is a great honor for our firm,” noted Bromer manager Phil Salmon, who was bidding for RIT at the sale. “This purchase is the logical extension of the sort of synergy between Bromer and the Cary Collection in that each has a strong commitment to preserving and expanding the scope of the book arts.”


A book by Charles Darwin charting the expedition that led to his theory of evolution will join printed books, maps, works on paper and original artwork in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions sale of Antiquarian Books. The book, which once belonged to the explorer’s cabin mate John Lort Stokes on H.M.S. Beagle, will be sold on Wednesday 18th December 2013.

The four volume work, Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of his Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, was published in 1839 and established Darwin as an important geologist and natural historian.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—A survey map, hand-drawn by Thomas Jefferson in 1800, has been discovered at Brandon Plantation, a US National Historic Landmark located outside Richmond, Virginia. The map will be auctioned by Quinn & Farmer on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at the company’s gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is believed to be the first original, hand-drawn Thomas Jefferson survey ever to come to auction.

The document was discovered during the removal of personal property from Brandon, a working agricultural plantation south of Richmond, Va., that has been in continuous operation since 1619. Two Quinn & Farmer colleagues, Emilia Lanwehr and Skip Usry, were in charge of the removal, and as they were inspecting the home’s contents, one particular piece stood out: a framed survey of a 1,334-acre farm near Monticello that appeared to be hand-drawn by Thomas Jefferson himself.

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the death of leading children’s author C.S.Lewis, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are offering a first edition of his first published work, Spirits in Bondage. It will be sold as part of printed books, maps, works on paper and original artwork at the auctioneers' Mayfair saleroom on Wednesday 18th December.

Spirits in Bondage (1919), a collection of poetry, was published under Lewis’s pseudonym ‘Clive Hamilton’. This copy was owned by his cousin, Clare Clapperton, who was later to relate how she and Lewis played together as children.

New World, Old Maps is a rotating display of the acclaimed historic map collection formed by Dallas Pratt, co-founder of the American Museum in Britain, Bath, and celebrates the publication Mapping the New World—Renaissance Maps from the American Museum in Britain. Illustrating the changing shape of the Americas as Renaissance cartographers (working from ancient and medieval sources) learned more of the New World, this is the third in a series of extensively illustrated catalogues produced by Scala Arts and Heritage Publishers to showcase the core collections of the American Museum in Britain. 

The ‘New World’ was constantly changing shape on maps made from the 15th to 17th centuries as European cartographers learned more from the navigators, who had ventured forth across the Atlantic in search of treasure—notably pearls, gold, and spices.

Sotheby’s London will offer for sale on 10th December 2013 the only copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling signed twice by the author—as both J.K. Rowling and her pseudonym Robert Galbraith (est. £2,000-£3,000). This unique first edition of the internationally bestselling crime novel written by J.K. Rowling, as Robert Galbraith, was given to friend Margaret Darling to aid with fundraising for the charity EdUKaid, a UK-based charity that works with children, their families and schools in rural Tanzania, Africa.

Margaret Darling noted that “Jo knows the value of education. She was a teacher. Her very special gift will allow EdUKaid and the community to put desks, water, sanitation, blackboards into schools like Mnaida. It costs approximately £30,000 to transform a school and it also gives work to locals in an area where people scratch a hard living from the earth. The villagers and the children have little except hope. Our aspiration is for Sotheby’s auction, which will be seen around the world, to help to see some of those hopes realised.”

West Palm Beach, FL—December 2013—Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is pleased to announce the addition of a new auction facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. The new saleroom is located at 1608 South Dixie Highway and will hold regularly scheduled auctions. The new West Palm Beach location will work with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ office on Royal Palm Way to accept consignments for upcoming auctions.

“Since opening our office in Palm Beach two years ago, we have been very impressed with the quality of fine jewelry, works of art and marvelous consignments in South Florida,” said Leslie Hindman, president and founder. “Opening our new saleroom will allow us to better serve our clients by offering additional auction options, as well as providing buying opportunities for savvy Palm Beach and nearby collectors.”

Two powerful handwritten diaries compiled during the Falklands war by Captain Kevin McGimpsey, Adjutant to 3 PARA, are on offer at Bonhams Gentleman’s Library Sale in London’s Knightsbridge on January 28th 2014. The two volumes are estimated at £2,000-3,000, and the proceeds will be donated to Parachute Regiment charities.           

Following the outbreak of hostilities, one of Captain McGimpsey’s responsibilities as Adjutant was to maintain the Commander’s Diary. The two volumes that he produced as the conflict unfolded, written in pencil on military stationary and typed up a month after the fighting had ended in July 1982, now form part of the official record of the war.


New York—Swann Galleries conducted back-to-back art auctions this fall, with Old Master Through Modern Prints on October 30, and a curated sale titled The Armory Show at 100—in honor of the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1913 show that introduced modern art to the U.S.—on November 5. 

Swann sells more Old Master prints than any other American auction house, and the October sale offered works by Albercht Dürer and Rembrandt van Rijn, from of the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, sold to benefit the acquisitions fund. Among these were some of the auction’s top lots, including Dürer’s St. Jerome in his Study, engraving, 1514, $173,000* and his Melencolia I, engraving, 1514, $149,000—both examples of the artist’s meisterstiche, or master engravings.

NEW YORK—Festive holiday compositions light up the Illustration Art section of Bonhams Fine Books & Manuscripts auction on December 11. The illustrations were created by many of the genre's finest artists to celebrate the magic of the season. Whether displayed as joyous decor or awaiting discovery in a treasured storybook, these illustrations speak to the annual holiday traditions that delight young and old alike. 

A "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" gouache painting by Richard Scarry, one of the most beloved of all modern children's book illustrators, is sure to charm revelers with its sweet nostalgia (est. $6,000-9,000). The composition was used for the cover of the Little Golden Book Rudolph in 1965, helping to cement this modern-day ugly duckling story as a children's classic.


New York—Bidders were drawn to a choice selection of private press books and dazzlingly illustrated works on Chinese porcelain at Swann Galleries’ October 24 auction of Art, Press & Illustrated Books.

Christine von der Linn, Swann’s Art Books specialist, said, “Fine press books and important works on decorative arts ran the show in this sale. Scarce and desirable works on Chinese ceramics made up a fourth of the top lots. The emergence of China as a global power has had a profound influence on the world’s art market and Chinese ceramic art in particular. As authenticity is a growing issue for such luxury goods, these books provide the information and records for determining provenance and legitimacy.”

New York—On December 6, Christie's New York will present nearly 200 works for sale in Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, including Americana, led by an extremely rare first edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica, bound for King James II in 1687 with his royal cypher “JR” (estimate: $400,000 - $600,000), and a detailed, hand-drawn map of the attack on Pearl Harbor by flight commander Mitsuo Fuchida for a post-battle briefing (estimate: $400,000 - $600,000). The sale offers a rare opportunity to own the Albion printing press (estimate: $100,000 - $150,000) used by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press to produce the 1896 edition of Chaucer’s Works, esteemed as “the finest book since Gutenberg.” The Americana portion of the sale includes George Washington’s personal letter seal in a gold fob setting (estimate: $200,000 - $250,000) and a detailed account of a group of slaves, hand-written by the first President, that has been handed down through generations of the same family (estimate: $250,000 - $300,000). Rare autograph letters from Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Richard Nixon are also on offer.

New York, NY, December 3, 2013—Since its publication seventy years ago, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has captivated millions of readers throughout the world. Remarkably, this French tale of an interstellar traveler who comes to Earth in search of friendship and understanding was written and first published in New York City, during the two years the author spent there at the height of the Second World War. The Little Prince: A New York Story, a major exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum, will feature Saint-Exupéry’s original watercolors and heavily-revised working manuscript. Focusing on the story’s American origins, it is the first exhibition to explore in depth the creative decisions Saint-Exupéry made as he crafted what would become one of the best-selling books of all time—now translated into more than two hundred fifty languages. The Little Prince: A New York Story will be on view from January 24 through April 27, 2014.
The heart of the exhibition is the display of the author’s working manuscript and drawings, which were acquired by the Morgan in 1968. Also on view will be rare printed editions from the Morgan’s collection as well as personal letters, photographs, and artifacts on loan from the Saint-Exupéry estate, private collections, and museums and libraries in France and the United States.


New York—On December 18, Swann Galleries will offer works from the restituted Julius Paul Collection of Posters, an outstanding collection of scarce images in remarkable condition—the likes of which are rarely seen at auction.

The collection was formed between 1900 and 1935 by Julius Paul, a Hungarian-born Viennese distributor of cigarette papers, who died two months before the takeover of Austria by the Nazis in March of 1938. Paul was a meticulous man and a passionate collector who amassed more than 6300 posters. He kept careful track of each piece in his collection and stored them in a custom-built, oak storage cabinet.


Please join the board and staff of MCBA in celebrating the publication of "Minidewak: Readings from Braiding Sweetgrass", the 23rd in MCBA's Winter Book series celebrating the handmade book.

Saturday, December 14, 2013
7:00 pm: Reading by author Robin Wall Kimmerer
Reception and signing to follow
The event is free and open to the public.
Free parking at Open Book and Periscope lots.

For further info or to pre-order "Minidewak", visit our Winter Book page:

Fulton, NY—December 2013—CorgiPack, a U.S. provider of packing and shipping supplies announced the debut of its line of fiberboard mailers. Consisting of a corrugated B-flute pad bonded to a Kraft linerboard, the CorgiPack mailer cushions and form-fits its contents, and combines a carton’s best features—rigidity, edge and corner protection—with the lighter weight and low cost associated with less protective plastic bubble envelopes.   

“In our hyper-competitive marketplace customers are expecting lower shipping charges or even “free” shipping. As a result, booksellers and other small package shippers are seeking new efficiencies to stay competitive,” said Noah Goverman, Coripack’s CEO. “We’ve responded by developing a featherweight rigid mailer to minimize postal and carrier costs, and with a unit price less than half of a comparably sized corrugated carton or bookfold.”

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A book that could be the first example of a publication containing images, words, and music sold for £21,080 on Thursday 28th November, at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions sale of Important Books and Manuscripts.

German physician, alchemist and amateur composer Michael Maier published work Atalanta Fugiens, in 1617. Between 1587 and 1596 Maier studied both philosophy and medicine and was famously physician and imperial counsellor to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, member of the House of Hapsburg, who shared Maier’s interest in the occult. Maier died at the age of 54 with a substantial amount of unpublished work remaining.

BOSTON, MA, December 2, 2013—On January 6, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, PBS' most-watched primetime series, returns for its 18th season with its signature cross-country treasure hunt and an added bonus—more episodes than ever before!

For the season premiere, the 11-time Emmy® nominated series and host Mark L. Walberg traveled to Boise, Idaho, for its first ever trip to the state. The Gem State did not disappoint with Boise yielding one of the highest-valued finds of the season: an inherited oil painting of an Italian landscape by important Hudson River artist Sanford Robinson Gifford, which was appraised for $300,000. The painting had previously languished in the owner's basement.

Handcuffs and other props belonging to one of the world’s most famous illusionists and escape artists, Harry Houdini, are among a selection of 260 lots of conjuring books, prints, memorabilia, decorative objects and apparatus in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Bibliophile sale on Thursday 12th December.

Known at the beginning of his career as "Harry Handcuff Houdini," the Hungarian-American escape artist prepared the handcuffs specially to ensure a fool-proof escape. Houdini would normally use unprepared apparatus, so the rare pair was probably for use in his particularly risky Chinese Water Torture, or other underwater acts. They are accompanied by a typed letter from magician Billy McComb, detailing how he acquired them.

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