Royal Books

Seller of rare books and paper in Baltimore, specializing in cinema, music, literature, and the arts.
Dancing Lady | Robert Z. Leonard | 1933
Conceptual advertisement mock-up for the 1933 MGM musical, “Dancing Lady,” directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Clark Gable, and Nelson Eddy. 7.5 x 7.5 inches, executed on thick cardboard using pencil, colored pens, and cut-out designs. In addition to its stellar cast, this film is noteworthy for being the first film to have featured Fred Astaire as a dancer (appearing as himself), and is perhaps the pinnacle of art deco design in the MGM musicals.

Dancing Lady | Robert Z. Leonard | 1933

Conceptual advertisement mock-up for the 1933 MGM musical, “Dancing Lady,” directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Clark Gable, and Nelson Eddy. 7.5 x 7.5 inches, executed on thick cardboard using pencil, colored pens, and cut-out designs. In addition to its stellar cast, this film is noteworthy for being the first film to have featured Fred Astaire as a dancer (appearing as himself), and is perhaps the pinnacle of art deco design in the MGM musicals.

Shed No Tears | Don Martin | 1948
First Edition. Jacket is Variant B, with a simple tear-drop design on the front panel, issued in conjunction with the sale of the film rights.Basis for the 1948 film noir directed by Jean Yarbrough and starring Wallace Ford and June Vincent. Fine in a Very Good plus dust jacket. Jacket is lightly nicked at the spine ends and corners, with a touch of rubbing at the folds and a small bruise near the heel.

Shed No Tears | Don Martin | 1948

First Edition. Jacket is Variant B, with a simple tear-drop design on the front panel, issued in conjunction with the sale of the film rights.

Basis for the 1948 film noir directed by Jean Yarbrough and starring Wallace Ford and June Vincent.

Fine in a Very Good plus dust jacket. Jacket is lightly nicked at the spine ends and corners, with a touch of rubbing at the folds and a small bruise near the heel.

Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens | Russ Meyer | 1979

Press Kit for the 1979 film, in original  two-color folder, Includes 6 single weight photographs, an ad slick, production notes, and promotional material.

Filmed on location throughout California, including Manteca and Randsberg.

Photographs 8 x 10 inches. Fine. Folder: Fine.

Tiger, Tiger! [The Stars My Destination] | Alfred Bester | 1956
First Edition. Bester’s best-known novel, preceding the US edition, which was published as “The Stars My Destination.” Fine in a bright, Near Fine dust jacket. Just a hint of the usual age toning to the page edges. Jacket has a very short closed tear and very small associated crease at the bottom front hinge fold, with two small spots of dust soiling at the rear panel, else a superb copy.

Tiger, Tiger! [The Stars My Destination] | Alfred Bester | 1956

First Edition. Bester’s best-known novel, preceding the US edition, which was published as “The Stars My Destination.”

Fine in a bright, Near Fine dust jacket. Just a hint of the usual age toning to the page edges. Jacket has a very short closed tear and very small associated crease at the bottom front hinge fold, with two small spots of dust soiling at the rear panel, else a superb copy.

Masters of Atlantis | Charles Portis | 1985
First Edition. INSCRIBED by the author on the half-title page: “For Vance Morgan of Chesapeake / With warm regards / Charles Portis / Little Rock.” Portis’ fourth book, a gentle (and typically thorough) spoof of secretive men’s organizations such as the Masons, a fictitious group being a hapless organization dedicated to locating the lost city of Atlantis.From the collection of Oscar-winning director and producer Tony Bill, whose credits include “The Sting” (1973, producer), “Soldier in the Rain” (1963, actor), “Shampoo” (1975, actor), and “Five Corners” (1987, director-producer).Slightest lean, remainder mark to top page edges, small bruise on the jacket front panel, else Near Fine in a Near Fine dust jacket.

Masters of Atlantis | Charles Portis | 1985

First Edition. INSCRIBED by the author on the half-title page: “For Vance Morgan of Chesapeake / With warm regards / Charles Portis / Little Rock.” Portis’ fourth book, a gentle (and typically thorough) spoof of secretive men’s organizations such as the Masons, a fictitious group being a hapless organization dedicated to locating the lost city of Atlantis.

From the collection of Oscar-winning director and producer Tony Bill, whose credits include “The Sting” (1973, producer), “Soldier in the Rain” (1963, actor), “Shampoo” (1975, actor), and “Five Corners” (1987, director-producer).

Slightest lean, remainder mark to top page edges, small bruise on the jacket front panel, else Near Fine in a Near Fine dust jacket.

Bond girls from four films: From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Live and Let Die | Ian Fleming | 1961-1975

Four vintage black-and-white single weight press photographs featuring Bond girls Claudine Auger (“From Russia With Love”), Honor Blackman (“Goldfinger”), Diana Rigg (“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”), and Jane Seymour (“Live and Let Die”).

All are borderless press photographs with associated stamps on the verso excepting “Goldfinger,” which is a studio still.

All photos 8 x 10 inches except “Live and Let Die,” which is 7.5 x 10 inches. All prints just about Near Fine or better.

Nightmare Alley | William Lindsay Gresham | 1946
First Edition. Publisher’s colophon on the copyright page. Gresham’s first book, a dispassionate descent into the carny world, based largely on the author’s own experiences and investigations. Jacket design by A. F. Arnold.Basis for the notable 1947 film noir, directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Tyrone Power, Coleen Gray, and Joan Blondell.Near Fine in a bright Near dust jacket. Jacket spine shows only a touch of the usual toning, with a small printing imperfection on the front panel, and minor rubbing at a few extremities. A superior example.

Nightmare Alley | William Lindsay Gresham | 1946

First Edition. Publisher’s colophon on the copyright page. Gresham’s first book, a dispassionate descent into the carny world, based largely on the author’s own experiences and investigations. Jacket design by A. F. Arnold.

Basis for the notable 1947 film noir, directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Tyrone Power, Coleen Gray, and Joan Blondell.

Near Fine in a bright Near dust jacket. Jacket spine shows only a touch of the usual toning, with a small printing imperfection on the front panel, and minor rubbing at a few extremities. A superior example.

The Ship That Sailed to Mars | William Timlin | 1923

Large quarto. First Edition. Issued by Harrap in an edition of 2000 copies in 1923, 250 of which were distributed by Stokes in the US. Near Fine in gilt decorated white vellum spine and gray paper covered boards in a superb, Near Fine dust jacket, with 48 richly colored plates interspersed with sheets of calligraphic text. Housed in a custom maroon quarter-leather clamshell case, marbled paper-covered boards, gilt spine lettering and design. Book is lightly bumped at the spine ends and bottom corners with a touch of offsetting to the pastedowns and a small closed tear (less than 1/4 inch) affecting the bottom of the first six pages. The rare jacket has only a small closed tear to the bottom of the rear hinge and only a touch of light soil and rubbing at the extremities.

William Timlin was an artist and author, born in the UK. He studied at the Armstrong College of Art in Newcastle, and moved to South Africa in 1912 with his parents to finish his education. He worked there both as an architect and as an artist, and freely credits the influences of Aubrey Beardsley, Edmund Dulac, and Arthur Rackham in his work. He wrote and illustrated this novel, which also sports his own calligraphy. The story is a combination of science fiction and children’s fantasy, wherein a man who believes in fairies has used their skill to construct a ship where they travel into space and on to Mars where they encounter a magical world. “The storyline is minimal, the book’s strength resting on its exotic descriptions and beautiful illustrations” (Clute and Grant: The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, pp. 949-950).

One of the most lavishly produced volumes related to fantasy fiction and children’s literature. A stunning production of the author’s only work.

Today is Tonight | Jean Harlow | Circa mid-1930’s

Original manuscript for the novel “Today is Tonight,” written by actress Jean Harlow. Copy belonging to Harlow’s close friend and the agent responsible for her discovery in Hollywood, Arthur Landau, with his address label on the dedication page.

A “Roaring Twenties” story that follows the opulent lives of a couple in the Hollywood jet-set as they are forced to deal with a difficult accident and the collapse of the stock market. Though Harlow wrote “Today is Tonight” at age 23 while on a salary strike from MGM, it would not be published until 1965, 28 years after her death. When it finally was published, Arthur Landau wrote its introduction. The book itself is now out of print and copies are uncommon.

Pale green wrappers, with credit for writer Jean Harlow. Title page present, with credits for writer Jean Harlow. 288 leaves, mimeograph on onionskin stock. Pages Near Fine, wrapper Very Good plus bound with three gold brads.

Monterey Pop | D.A. Pennebaker | 1968

Press Kit for the seminal 1968 film documentary, in original red labeled folder. Includes 16 single weight photographs of the principal musical acts in the film, most with snipes (in manual type) specific to the photos and even the cinemas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey where the film was to premiere. Also present are production and biographical notes, as well as material specific to the radio station servicing the Delaware/Pennsylvania/New Jersey area—to which the press kit was originally sent.

All the snipes present are stamped by the Brentwood Cinema of Pennsylvania, the cinema chain to which the film was inexplicably having a premiere. Noted on the snipes are three Pennsylvania locations having a premiere on July 9, 1968: Jenkintown, PA, Springfield, PA, and and Barclay Farms, NJ.

Photographs 8 x 10 inches. Near Fine. Folder: Near Fine.