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The Best of Sherlock Holmes
Updates on Copies of Beeton's Christmas Annual
By Randall Stock, April 5, 2015
This supplement to my Beeton's Christmas Annual 1887 Checklist provides some additional information on specific copies.† As I identify new copies or find significant new information on widely-known copies, I will post the details here and then include the key points in my checklist.† Thus this supplement will also provide a partial revision history for the checklist.† It is, however, an irregular history since some details will go directly on the census, and some auction reports will be covered on separate pages.
R9a.† Occidental College (Los Angeles, California)
This copy was previously owned by E. T. ("Ned") Guymon and P. M. Stone.† It is part of the Guymon Mystery and Detective Fiction Collection and was acquired in 1965.† It is complete and in excellent condition.† Although the catalog record only indicates 144 pages, Occidental College Special Collections Librarian Mike Sutherland confirmed in January 2003 that their copy contains all the front-matter and back-matter advertisements and that it includes the "I" in "I fancy" on page 90.† Not in Blau (1987) but noted as Bergem #6 (2002).††† (Last updated 1/23/03) View R9 main entry
R12a.† National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland)
The National Library of Scotland acquired this copy circa 1925 from the Advocates Library of Scotland.† I confirmed its existence and description with James Mitchell, Curator of the Rare Books Division, in September 2003.†† Not in Blau (1987) or Bergem (2002), but noted by Blau in a posting to the Hounds in November 2001.† Added to checklist in December 2003.††† (Last updated 12/23/03) View R12 main entry
R13a.† Stanford University (Stanford, California)
I located this copy in November 2000 and visited the Department of Special Collections at Stanford's Green Library in December 2000.† Their copy was a 1984 gift from Kenyon Law Starling, who had purchased it from Lew David Feldman.† Starling donated a large collection of Conan Doyle books to Stanford.† This copy of Beeton's is bound in red cloth with gilt lettering.† It includes the literary matter (pp. 1-138), the title page and the table of contents.† It does not include the original wrappers or advertising sections.† I did not check for the printing variant on page 90, but will do so at my next visit.† Not in Blau (1987).† Identified by me to the Hounds of the Internet in November 2001 and later noted as Bergem #7 (2002).† Initial notes: 12/12/00††† (Last updated 12/23/03) View R13 main entry
R18a.† Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)
This newly-recorded copy was catalogued at Yale in 2002 but was not entered into Orbis as of November 2002.† I checked Orbis again in April 2003 and found this entry.† Since Orbis apparently has records for copies that are missing or have been transferred to other libraries, I consulted with Yale staff.† In November 2003 I talked with Stephen Jones, Beinecke Assistant Head of Public Services, and he confirmed that this was a distinct copy currently held in Beinecke.† Not in Blau (1987) or Bergem (2002).† Identified by me in April 2003 and added to checklist in December 2003.††† (Last updated 12/23/03) View R18 main entry
This copy was previously owned by William R. Smith and William S. Hall.† The latter described it in his 1963 BSJ article.† It is nearly complete and was bound with original wrappers and most ads.† On 9 January 1914 Arthur Conan Doyle inscribed the bound copy on the second of two inserted leaves prior to the original magazine cover.† Conan Doyle described it as his "very first independent book."† It includes the "I" in "I fancy" on page 90.† I contacted the New England collector in January 2003 and confirmed that he was the current owner.
That collector offered it at Sotheby's in 2010, but the copy did not make its reserve. It was reported to be sold privately circa October 2010, but this has not been confirmed. If you know who owns it, please contact me – I will keep your name, and the owner's name, private upon request. Listed in Blau (1987) and as Bergem #21 (2002) without the current ownership info.††† (Last updated 4/5/15) View R20 main entry
This copy was previously owned by Russell H. McMains, J. Bliss Austin, Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay), and Vincent Starrett.† Using an agent, Constantine Rossakis purchased this copy from McMains in June 2002.† Rossakis viewed my Beeton's Checklist in January 2003 and contacted me.† He kindly updated the information on his copy and gave permission to identify him.† This copy is in excellent condition and is "the second best copy [we] have seen" according to a bookseller who has handled a number of Beeton's copies.† It is complete, unrestored and in near-fine condition.† It is the variant that lacks the "I" in "I fancy" on page 90.†
The Vincent Starrett and Frederic Dannay signatures make this a unique association item.† It was Starrett's first copy of Beeton's.† He sold it, but was later given another copy by Logan Clendening, which now resides in the University of Minnesota Sherlock Holmes Collections.† Listed in Blau (1987) and as Bergem #20 (2002) without the current ownership info.††† (Last updated 1/23/03) View R21 main entry
Ink stamps show that this copy was previously part of "The Bazaar Library, Acocks Green."† A private collector in England purchased it before World War II, and his son eventually sold it in 1999.† Peter L. Stern, a dealer, acquired it at auction in 2001 and sold it to the current owner, Garth Hazlett, in 2005.† Mr. Hazlett graciously provided details about his copy and helped clear up some conflicting points mentioned in prior sale catalogs.† Not in Blau (1987) but listed as Bergem #26 (2002).† (Last updated 6/10/06) View R24 main entry
Although this copy was mentioned briefly in the December 1990 BSJ, details on its condition and current ownership were not generally known.† One of Alan's friends put me in touch with him and Alan graciously provided details on his copy and permission to identify him.† He purchased this copy from Lew David Feldman in 1972.† It has been rebound in 3/4 Morocco and contains the literary text part of the magazine (pp. 1-138).† It does not include the original wrappers or advertising sections.† Includes the "I" in "I fancy" on page 90.† Not in Blau (1987), but reported by me in November 2002 and then listed as Bergem #28 (2002).† Initial notes: 11/3/02††† (Last updated 12/23/03) View R26 main entry
R29a.† University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyoming)
I located this copy in August 2006 and confirmed its existence and description with Anne Marie Lane, Curator of the Toppan Rare Books Library.† It was owned by Frederick W. Toppan, a rare book collector who died in 1966.† His widow, Clara Raab Toppan (1901-2001), donated his collection to the University of Wyoming in 1979.† Her later monetary donations supported the establishment of the Toppan Rare Books Library, and a legacy bequest brought more than $16 million to university programs including the library.† Not in Blau (1987) or Bergem (2002).††† (Last updated 8/8/07) View R29 main entry
Peter Blau alerted me to this copy in July 2007.† Its last known owner was Pimlico Books, Ltd. of London in 1999.† The firm has apparently gone out of business.† If you know anyone who worked at the firm or has their catalogues from 1999 to 2005, please contact me so I can get more information about this copy.† Not in Blau (1987) or Bergem (2002).†† (Last updated 7/26/07) View R30 main entry
R33a.† Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana)
I located this copy at Tulane while working on the 2012 census update.† It was owned by Comte Alain de Suzannet and later by William B. Wisdom, a native of New Orleans and founder of the William B. Wisdom advertising agency.† He donated a large collection to Tulane that included Louisiana history, American literature first editions from the 1920s-40s, and first editions of early English literature.† In addition to this Beeton's, his Sherlockian material included the first book edition of A Study in Scarlet (1888) and a first edition of The Unique Hamlet by Vincent Starrett.† The Tulane Beeton's is not in Blau (1987), Bergem (2002) or Rossakis (2011).†† (Last updated 3/27/12) View R33 main entry
If you have access to an original copy of Beeton's and would be willing to examine it to provide some additional details about that copy, please contact me.
Bergem, Phillip G.† "The 1887 Beetonís Christmas Annual: A History and Current Census."† The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota Christmas Annual 2002, (December 2002): 8-18.
Blau, Peter E.† "Prolegomenon to a Census of Beeton's Christmas Annual."† Baker Street Miscellanea, No. 52 (Winter 1987): 16-19.†
Rossakis, Constantine.† "A Re-Enquiry into the Nature of a Certain Nineteenth Century Beeton's Christmas Annual: Determination of the True First Issue."† The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 61, No. 4 (Winter 2011): 6-16.
Stock, Randall.† "Beeton's Christmas Annual 1887: An Annotated Checklist and Census."† Privately published, 2012, <http://www.bestofsherlock.com/beetons-christmas-annual.htm> (March 28, 2012).