Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2010 Issue

Recent Acquisitions at The Veatchs Arts of the Book

Veatchs66

Recent acquisitions at the Veatchs.


By Michael Stillman

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has released Catalogue 66: Recent Acquisitions. These are books noted for their artistic qualities, be it external, such as bindings, paper quality, gilt, etc., or internal, in terms of color images and lettering, unusual typefaces, woodcuts and such. Many of these books were designed to be works of art, particularly the more recent editions. Others were not so much meant to be artistic as they just turned out that way. Here are some samples of these artistic new acquisitions.

Item 11 is an early work of color printing: The Pictorial Album; or Cabinet of Paintings for the Year 1837, by George Baxter. Baxter was an English artist and printer who devised one of the first commercially viable means of color printing. His first color printings came around 1830, and in 1835 he obtained a patent for his process. Much of it involved the use of woodblocks inked in various colors, lined up carefully to avoid problems with registration. This book has been described as the first English book printed in colors intended to appeal to a popular audience. Ultimately, Baxter's work was very beautiful, but never very successful financially. Baxter was meticulous in his work, requiring much labor to complete. Priced at $1,750.

Item 12 is a look back at Baxter half a century after he died: H.G. Baxter Colour Prints, Pictorially Presented. This set by H.G. Clarke, published by Maggs in 1920-21, contains 136 plates (all but one in black and white) with descriptions and interleaved with articles about Baxter's plates. It also includes a chronology of his work, and an accounting of the disposal of his plates and blocks in the 1860s, along with the names of the purchasers. The financial shortcomings of his business caught up with him in the 1860s and he was forced to sell what he could, finally declaring bankruptcy two years before he died. $250.

Item 1 is one of the great bibliographies of color plate books: Travel in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860. A Bibliographical Catalogue. The author was Major John R. Abbey, and he would have been an ideal writer for this subject, as he had owned one of the largest collections of color plate books ever assembled. Abbey had inherited a brewery from his father, which was a more financially successful enterprise than publishing these books as Baxter had done. Evidently beer is in greater demand than color plate books, at least in England. Abbey sold his color plate collection in 1954 to one of the great American collectors, Paul Mellon, and then published this bibliography in 1956-57. $800.

Here are a couple of lovely books about less than lovely topics by Miriam Macgregor. These two are the bane of all gardeners. Item 59 is Predators in My Garden. This 1993 miniature book includes hand colored wood engravings and descriptions of various insects. $115. Item 60 is Weeds in My Garden, a 1986 miniature with hand colored engravings. $125. Each book is a signed limited edition.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

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