Judy Barbour, Elon, North Carolina: I thoroughly enjoyed Mary Jane Parkinson’s listing of suggested books for the newcomer in the June issue. The first thing I thought of was how much the 28 listed books might cost. Since the weather has been lousy, I stayed inside and did a little research, and following this note you will see my findings.
Have fun with it … I certainly did … and share it with Ms. Parkinson, if you wish. Having been (and still being) an avid collector of horse books, I was pleased to find that my “library” lacked only four of the books on the list (#4, #5, #13, and #20). I’ll order #4 from you guys ASAP.
A “newcomer” to the Arabian horse breed certainly should have an Arabian Horse Library, and Mary Jane Parkinson’s suggestions are spot on. If you want to start a personal library or just add to your collection, the Internet is the way to go. My favorite search engine for books old and new has always been www.bookfinder.com. “Bookfinder” searches myriad sources, from eBay to little bookstores tucked away in small UK villages. A search I ran today for Upton’s beautiful book returned a total of 67 new copies and 102 used copies conveniently listed with lowest prices first, and ranging from $28.86 to $574.03, including postage. Read the condition details carefully. Decide if you want to save money by buying for content or you if you want to go for condition and value as a collectable book because you’ve just won the lottery.
Here are the current lowest prices for affordable copies of the 28 (plus two that I have added) books on the list. The prices shown are for clean copies in reasonable condition, not ex-library editions with markings or with any unacceptable defects.
- The Arab Horse (Upton) $20 from Arabian Horse World
- The Arab Horse in Europe: History and Present Breeding of the Pure Arab (Schiele) $3
- Arabian Exodus (Greely) $7
- Arabian Horse Breeding in the World Today, Volume 1 (AHW) $19.95 from Arabian Horse World
- The Arabian Horse Families of Poland, 1790-1987 (Fahlgreen) $1,646.56 (Seriously! Only ONE copy listed.)
- The Arabian Horse in America (Conn) $7
- The Arabian Horse: Nature’s Creation and the Art of Breeding (Nagel) $60.
- The Arabian: War Horse to Show Horse (Edwards) 1980 revised edition around $50 withoout jacket
- Arabians from the Camera of Johnny Johnston (Nicol) $19
- The Authentic Arabian Horse and His Descendants (Wentworth) 1963 edition $130
- The Black Stallion (Farley) 1941 edition $5
- Black Tents of Arabia: My Life Among the Bedouins (Raswan) 1935 edition $39; newer copy is $14
- The Celebrated Romance of the Stealing of the Mare (Blunt) This is a tough one. There are three copies of the 1930 Gregynog Press edition ($420, $758, and a staggering $2,038). There are eight copies of the 1892 Reeves and Turner edition at $132 to $272. The seller of one of the 1892 editions said that the book was “not illustrated.” No mention of illumination. Both of these editions are hardbacks with 73 pages. There are several modern “print on demand” paperback facsimile versions from assorted publishers with 146-152 pages, starting around $10.
- The Classic Arabian Horse (Forbis) $7
- The Crabbet Arabian Stud: Its History and Influence (Archer et al.) $68
- Desert Heritage: An Artist’s Collection of Blunt’s Original Arab Horses (Upton) $30
- Homer Davenport and His Wonderful Arabian Horses: An Annotated Quest etc. (Davenport) $71.
- The Horse of the Desert (Brown) Various editions are $24; the Derrydale Press (1929) edition is $333
- The Horses of San Simeon (Hearst) 1985 edition, with slipcase and signed by Hearst and Savitt, $35; revised edition, $75 from Arabian Horse World
- Journals and Correspondence, 1878-1917 (Blunt) $60
- The Romance of the Kellogg Arabian Ranch: 1925-2000 (Parkinson) $90 on eBay
- King of the Wind; The Story of the Godolphin Arabian (Henry) $10
- And Miles to Go: The Biography of a Great Arabian Horse, *Witez II (Smith) $70
- My Friend the Arabian Horse (Donoghue) $33
- *Raffles: His Sons and Daughters (Rolland) $58
- …And Ride Away Singing: The Breeding Philosophy of Bazy Tankersley etc. (Parkinson) $93
- The Tersk Heritage: In Recognition of the History and Future of the Arabian Horse (Tersk Foundation) Limited edition of 1,000, none currently available.
- Van Lent (Van Lent, Sr.) also currently unavailable.
- Anatomy and Conformation of the Horse (Edwards) Paperback, essential introduction to developing an eye for a horse, $10
- Portraitures of Horses (George Ford Morris) THE “horse book of the century” for connoisseurs of equine art, and well worth the price. $150 but sometimes cheaper on eBay.
Theoretically, a newcomer could spend approximately $2,737 on an Arabian horse library as listed above (minus items 27 and 28). Or, if they had a really sweet refund from the IRS in 2018, they could purchase “A library on Arabian Horse Breeding” currently listed on Bookfinder. It is described as a library on Arabian horse breeding, including Stud Books and General Reference. From the Le Vivier and Marcia Parkinson Collections, with additions from the Library of Duke Maximilian in Bavaria. It is the largest collection of its kind in private hands. Two hundred fifty works in more than 1,000 volumes, mostly original or first editions, published in Austin, Cairo, Chicago, Hildesheim, London, Marburg, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, Riga, Tehran, Warsaw and other places in the years 1746 to 2007. Amassed over the last fifty years and covering four centuries of relevant material, the present collection spans all aspects of the history and development of the breeding of Arabian horses. It’s a steal at $447,074.05, which INCLUDES $15.22 shipping!