Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2017 Issue

Print on Cloth

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Ephemera is a very large category.  By some estimates it’s at least a hundred times larger than old books.  More likely, it’s five hundred to a thousand times larger.  And it is a broad category that includes many sub-categories that are themselves significant.  Books require commitment and planning, ephemera a press and a few words to communicate.  For those who love books some ephemera is relevant.  Announcements of events and publications, letters by or to an author, as well as sundry related images are often appealing.  Such ephemera however, taken together, probably represents .001 of all that exists.  But what of the rest.

 

Within the ephemera category here are some of the sub-categories:

 

Prints

Broadsides

Manuscripts

Photographs

Trade Cards

Cartes-de-visite

Metals and Ribbons

Flags and buttons

Invoices and Receipts

Post Cards

 

And inevitably there are others including printing on cloth.

 

Some used and rare book dealers recognize that a few categories of ephemera are valuable and that Printing on Cloth is one of them.  A search for ‘satin’ finds 7,764 references in the RBHD, 1 for ‘cloth broadside,’ 7 for printed muslin, 1,070 for printed cloth in quotes, while the same without quotes is 273,198.  On the William Reese website, a search for “printed on silk” finds two very collectible pieces, a Jackson proclamation for $2,250 and a copy of Jefferson’s inaugural for $8,750.  Such silk material is a recognized, if quite scarce, category.

 

But there are many other works on cloth, more plebian, but also very interesting.  They seem to fall into three categories; advertising, notices and warnings.  These often-interesting advertising items were sometimes printed on cloth bags and have by-chance survived.  So too have notices and announcements printed on cloth because they were more durable than paper when posted out-of-doors.   

 

The printing, whether on paper, cardstock or cloth, seems to have been done on the same or similar presses that printed paper notices.  What seems most different are the numbers involved.  Works on cloth survive better but we assume much rarer because so few examples appear. 

 

As to why this category is generally unknown there are few reference books as well as few steady sources.  You can decide you are interested but you’ll be frustrated in your search for such material both because appearances are uncommon and descriptive words not yet codified into a category that sellers can use to identify and buyers use to search.  This will change. 

 

In my collecting area, the history of the Hudson Valley, such material exists and is generally neither important nor expensive.   It is simply rare.  This is a category that I happened upon in local Hudson River Valley sales and later found randomly at shows and online.  It’s extremely appealing.

 

Books are the lynchpin of collectible print but it turns out, only one, of many subcategories that are increasingly visible and therefore methodically collectible.

 

Here are some examples that I have acquired.

 

The first is a 15” x 9” silk broadside, prepared by Richard H. Pease of Albany, to commemorate the New-York, Albany and Troy Steam Boat Line.   A printed notation includes “Rebuilt in the Winter of 1836” [the 6 could be an 8].  It’s an early example, a marvelous survival that I purchased from Antipodean Books, Maps and Prints for $1,600.

 

The second is a 17’6” square advertisement on cloth for “The Celebrated Heidielburgh Portable Hurdle F E N C E  For Sale.  The firm is F. T. Rhoades, Milton, Ulster Co., N. Y.  It appears to date to about 1870. Mr. Rhoades’ facilities were probably located near the Hudson River as this advertisement mentions “Cash on Delivery, to any part of the City of Po’keepsie.”   Poughkeepsie is a few miles north on the east side of the Hudson River.  Milton is on the west side.

 

The third is James McKinney, Iron Founder – Store Fronts, Machine Castings, Iron Sash Weights, Window Cap and Sills, Roof Cresting, And all Castings Plain and Ornamental, used for Building Purposes.  Nos. 18 & 20 De Witt St., Albany.  24” wide x 16” high.  No date but probably 19th century.  Items 2 and 3 cost $75 together.  Both appear to be printed on muslin. 

 

The forth example is a 12” square notice on muslin apparently intended to be posted along roads and land lines.  N O T I C E – Take Warning!  Trespassing of Any Kind, or Hunting or Fishing Forbidden and will be Prosecuted.  It reads:

 

On Lands of J. E. Hasbrouck in Town of Plattekill, Bounded by State Highway running from Highland to Gardiner and State Highway running from Newburgh to Kingston, and Bounded by Lands of J. E. Hasbrouck, Jr., H. Alhusen, E. E. Miller, Albino Shultis, A. L. F. Deyo Est., Mary Deyo, Black Bros., Mrs. Anna LeFevre.

 

Dated August 2, 1928, J. E. Hasbrouck

 

The fifth, and final, example is a 15.5” wide by 21.5” high advertisement with a substantial image of the company’s facility for:

 

Judson, Parsons & Haskell, Wholesale Dealers in COFFEES SPICES &c. and Manufacturers of Ground Coffee, Spices, Mustard, Cream Tartar, Chocolate, Cocoa, Saleratus, &c.

 

Southeast Corner of Exchange and Dean Streets, Albany, N.Y.

 

Signed in print:  A. C. Judson, S. H. Parsons, Wm. H. Haskell

 

The material is, to my eye, deeply appealing.  If as you read this you remember having such material and would like to sell it I’m interested.

 

Print on cloth should become a subset of ephemera and I would hope, in five years, to see both dedicated dealer catalogues and auctions focusing on the category.

 

If you have older printed on cloth material to sell please let me know.  Contact me by phone at 415.823.6678 or by email at bmckinney@rarebookhub.com    

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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