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‘Maltese Falcon,’ other rare books Glenview doctor collected over a lifetime to be auctioned off

Rare books collected by a renowned north suburban pediatric dermatologist over more than 70 years will be auctioned off on Tuesday.

The auction of Dr. Lawrence M. “Larry” Solomon’s books will include works by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe, among others, according to New York-based Swann Auction Galleries.

This copy of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon” that was part of Dr. Larry Solomon’s rare books collection is expected to sell for as much as $40,000 to $40,000.
This copy of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon” that was part of Dr. Larry Solomon’s rare books collection is expected to sell for as much as $40,000 to $40,000.

A copy of Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon” has an estimated selling price of $30,000 to $40,000, according to the auction house.

Other books are expected to sell for anywhere from hundreds of dollars apiece into the thousands.

Solomon, who lived on the North Shore and practiced in Glenview, began collecting books at 12, amassing a collection of more than 6,000 first editions.

He died at home on Oct. 8, 2014, at 83 after spending his final days listening to music and surrounded by the books he loved.

“He wanted to die with his books around him,” his wife Mieke told the Chicago Sun-Times for a story after his death.

Solomon headed the dermatology department at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine from 1974 to 1995, trained thousands of physicians and wrote or co-authored eight books himself.

His home was lined with bookcases filled with first editions and rarities, especially mysteries and ghost stories.