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>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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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