Monday, June 10, 2013

salvador dali, don quixote and buried treasure

Those of us who frequent consignment, vintage and thrift stores do so for a variety of reasons. We like to decorate and dress to the nines on the cheap. We enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the victory of the find.

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library

As Macklemore says again (and again) on the radio, we are "lookin' for a come-up." Got one!

I am kind of a library a-holic. I wrote about the Newport Beach Public Library remodel and Civic Center project recently and I am pretty much head over heals for it.



We have spent countless hours at this library for all kinds of reasons including reading books in the children's section, researching remodeling ideas, and browsing through every known periodical. This year, we have ended up hanging around the library every Saturday because it is where my son's math tutor works. She is single-handedly responsible for his respectable "B" average in math versus where his Algebra grade was plummeting towards, but that is a whole different story.

On the way out, Alex and I like to take a quick side trip through the Friend's Bookstore. Patrons donate their old books to the "Friends" who sell them, and, in turn, use the money to support projects within the library. All good.




This is our favorite shelf. It contains the classics.



I also always peek into this glass case housing collectible works. To be frank, this library is located in a pretty nice area and their clientele's castoffs are absolutely another man's treasure.



On our last visit, as we were heading out, Alex handed me this book. It caught his eye because he had just studied surrealism and Salvador Dali in his art class at high school. 

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library


It caught my eye because I opened it and found twelve of these illustrations.

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library


I took it to the counter and handed over my $2. As we walked out of the store, I told me son that I was sure the book was something special.

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library


I went online and researched. I was never assigned Don Quixote in school so I checked out Wikipedia:
The novel Don Quixote, was written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615), Don Quixote is one of the most influential works of literature from the Spanish Golden Age in the Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. It has been the inspiration for a wide array of cultural adaptations.
Dali, considered the top surrealist of the twentieth century, painted scenes from Don Quixote over and over again. 

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library

Says an art site, listing a Dali lithograph for sale,
Dali depicts Don Quixote, Cervantes’ idealistic Spanish nobleman who fancied himself a knight fighting the world’s injustices; he saw flocks of sheep as enemy armies, and served the causes of truth and beauty. It has been said that Don Quixote’s quest was an allegory of the eternal search for goodness and truth, with an idealism that appeared to be madness in a world that sometimes viewed heroism and love as a form of insanity. How interesting Master Dali must have found this satirical romantic!
On Amazon, I found the book listed in a range of prices from $70 to $150. 

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library


Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library


The book apparently fetches more if the plastic cover, with the title of the book and the illustrator printed on plastic, is intact. Our book has the plastic cover.

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library


And, one of my favorite value establishing research methods it to use the eBay, Search, Advance, Completed Listings feature. $50 looks like about the right price on eBay.

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library


The illustrations appeared to be just as bright and colorful as the day they were printed. When we opened the book, this little cartoon fell out.

Salvador Dali, Mad Tristan


And the page it was tucked into looked like this.

Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, 1946, the Illustrated Modern Library


It felt like we were the first people to open the book in 65 years. I showed Alex my research results and said since he found it, he got to keep it. But he owed me $2. Fair is fair.

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The Friends Bookstore is located in the Newport Beach Central Library at 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660 and is open daily Mon. - Sat. 10:30-4:30 pm and Sun. - 1:00-4:00 pm.

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13 comments:

  1. I love books, since I taught English for 27 years and was a librarian for 3 years. A great book find like that is really special. Congratulations!

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    1. The pictures are so sharp and spectacular. Very pleased.

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  2. Gotta love those finds! I love that imprint. Sooooo cool.

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  3. Great find Alex, whether it is worth anything or not Don Quito is a great story and the Dali paintings look wonderful, if you can blow up a copy of one of them it would look great hanging on a wall....

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    Replies
    1. Very Spanish, huh? They would make a great picture.

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  4. Great find! Can't wait to see it.

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    Replies
    1. You, of all people would LUV it! (Ex-Librarian). We will show you Sunday!

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  5. Wow - that was a find indeed. Only $2 for a book in such great condition -
    Nice one!

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  6. I got mine for .25 cents on a church rummage sale ..

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    ReplyDelete

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