Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2014 Issue

Fine Printing from The Veatchs Arts of the Book

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Catalogue 78 from the Veatchs.

The Veatches Arts of the Books just published their Catalogue 78. Seventy-eight examples of Fine Printing. Sometimes a short title can still be very descriptive. These are books you don't have to read to appreciate. They feature beautiful illustrations, distinctive typefaces, textual uses of color, handmade paper, fine bindings, and other attributes that create a uniquely appealing physical presence. This is not to say there is nothing of interest to read inside, only that these are books to be handled with particular care, for they are works of art as well. Here are a few of them.

 

We begin with a beautiful book that celebrates the work of a man who wrote beautiful words. Item 67 is To You, Walt Whitman, a Collection of Poetry, published by the Red Angel Press in 1998. It was a response to Whitman's line, “Stranger, if you passing meet me...why should you not speak to me?” A group of poets responded by speaking to Whitman in a way he would have understood – through poetry. The large group of poets whose words are captured included Ginsberg, Neruda, Borges and Pound. Added are five woodcut portraits of Whitman by Ronald Keller. They depict Whitman at various stages in his life. The text has been printed in black and red on tan paper. Priced at $575.

 

Item 14 is a collection of material for the first publication by the Cheloniidae Press, a printing of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. Cheloniidae was the first press of artist and printer Alan James Robinson, and The Raven was the first work to come off of the press, published in 1980. It featured five full page etchings by Robinson and two wood engravings. Robinson's work has always been focused on animal life (Cheloniidae is a type of sea turtle and Robinson's second press is called the Sea Turtle Press). Starting with a poem about a raven made perfect sense for the artist. This collection includes copy #8 of 100 regular copies (out of a total of 125). It also contains six unused trial drawings by Robinson, five progressive proof etchings of Poe that were not used in the book, seven original pencil drawings and seven original watercolors, and the pasted-up layout with notes, corrections, and some proofs. Most of the artwork is signed. $7,000.

 

Item 40 is The Life Work of Dard Hunter. A Progressive Illustrated Assemblage of His Works as Artist, Craftsman, Author, Papermaker, and Printer. Dard Hunter began his career in 1901 at the Roycroft Studios, but then went out on his own, buying an old mill house in upstate New York and converting it to a paper mill. A few years later, he moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he became a printer along with the other vocations described in the title. Hunter died in 1966, and 15 years later, his son, Dard Hunter II, began publishing this retrospective and tribute to his father. It was published in two volumes in 1981-1983. Hunter Senior's skills were such as to produce one-man books displayed at the Smithsonian, described as, “in the entire history of printing these are the first books to have been made in their entirety by the labor of one man.” Hunter wrote, designed, typeset, made the paper, printed, and bound the books. Offered is one of 50 deluxe sets (of a total of 150) of Hunter II's work, printed on a heavier stock of handmade paper, bound in full leather, with extra specimens and illustrations added to volume 2. There are many photographs and tipped-in samples of Hunter's paper with this work. $11,500.

 

Next we have Ball der Stadt Wien (City of Vienna Ball), published in 1909. It was a souvenir given to ladies attending the State Ball that year. It was produced by Remigius Geyling, a Viennese artist and set designer for the theater. This piece commemorates the 100th anniversary of two events from 1809 – the death of composer Josef Haydn, and the Austrian victory over Napoleon's forces. Item 27. $1,800.

 

One would probably not expect much in the field of art to have emerged from China during the 1950's. The Communists had recently taken over, and such doctrines as “socialist realism” might have precluded anything attractive and nonpolitical. Somehow, Qi Baishi survived. Qi Baishi (or Ch'i Pai Shih or various other spellings) was a peasant, a poor carpenter by trade, and a man who taught himself how to paint. It was not until he reached the age of 40 that he became a more serious painter. His work was notable as it was not heavily influenced by western painters, as was much other Chinese art in the early 20th century. He painted mainly animals and plants, following a principle that art should fall someplace in between likeness and unlikeness. He produced thousands of works of art during his long life, with one recently selling for $65 million. There is now more money in private hands than there was in Maoist China. That painting was created in the 1940's for Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, but by the 1950's, Qi had given paintings to Mao, fitting in to the new order, perhaps because his paintings were not political and leaders wanted to be connected to a popular Chinese artist. Item 64 is Beijing Rong Bao Zhai Shi Jian Pu (Painted Papers by Ch'i Pai-Shih on the Occasion of His 91st Birthday Celebration), published in Beijing in 1955. It includes 80 woodblock prints of Qi's work and seven pages of text in Chinese in two volumes. Item 64. $3,500.

 

The Veatchs Arts of the Book can be reached at 413-584-1867 or veatchs@veatchs.com. Their website is www.veatchs.com.

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 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
  • <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

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