Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2012 Issue

Private Press Works and Much More from The Kelmscott Bookshop

Kelmscott8

Catalog 8 from the Kelmscott Bookshop.

The Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books has published their Catalog 8. Kelmscott focuses on the type of material created by their namesake, the Kelmscott Press. That was one of the earliest and most notable of the privates presses. So, we find much in the way of fine press work. However, there are also other types of material not always found in a Kelmscott catalogue, as the long title tells us: Artists' Books, Private Press, Art & Illustration, William Morris & the Pre-Raphaelites, Literature, Birds, Whales, Medicine, Psychology, American History, & More. All of those topics from “Birds” going forward are an expansion from the typical Kelmscott catalogue, so this one should interest a wider audience. Here are a few of the works to be found in this latest catalogue.

Here is one of those titles that fits somewhere between a collection of fine books and politics. The title is Chants for Socialists: The Day is Coming. No one will confuse this with a fine press creation. It is at best an ordinary printing. However, its author is the most notable of fine press operators, William Morris of the Kelmscott Press. This 1885 tract was published by The Socialist League Office, not Kelmscott, which was not founded until 1891. Morris was many things other than just a printer, including an artist and writer, but he was also an ardent socialist. This book attests to his deeply held political convictions. Unlike his Kelmscott books, which are almost always kept in nearly pristine condition, this pamphlet was meant to be read and its condition reflects its purpose. Item 53. Priced at $200.

Item 8 is an alphabet book. This is a fine press work from the Bay Park Press, which seems a contradiction. The last thing you want is children getting their hands on a fine press production. However, this book was hardly meant for the little ones. The title is O for Opera, and the small kids would love it, though they will never get to touch it. It has various pop-ups, movables, books within books, and other such fascinating devices. It was created by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek, and was years in the making. It is easy to see why with the intricate devices. All of this work, but only 45 copies were produced. Each of the letters describes something pertaining to the opera. The book was published in 2006. $2,500.

Alphabet books are, for whatever reason, fairly popular among private presses. Here is another. Item 12 is An Odd Bestiary, or a Compendium of Instructive and Entertaining Descriptions of Animals, Culled from Five Centuries of Travelers' Accounts, Natural Histories, Zoologies, &tc. This is an alphabet book of animals, beasts from around the world, some real, some mythical. The illustrations are accompanied by descriptions written long ago by those who encountered these strange animals. The book is the work of Alan James Robinson's Cheloniidae Press, with the illustrations also the handwork of Robinson. This copy is one of 50 of 300 that was bound in full leather. However, it is also a unique copy, as it includes 26 (of course) pencil drawings by Robinson. Published in 1982. $7,900.

This next title is appropriate to a collection of science books: One Hundred Books Famous in Science: Based on an Exhibition Held at the Grolier Club. This was from an exhibition held in New York in 1958, though this book was published in 1964. The book was the work of Harrison Horblit, who was a major collector in the sciences at the time. The copy is inscribed by Horblit to Mary and Don Hyde. They were also major collectors, and Don Hyde was President of the Grolier Club. Mary, however, wasn't even a member. No women were allowed back then. Kelmscott notes that “this book is still considered something of a bible in the field.” Item 58. $875.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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 Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

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