Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2014 Issue

Artistic Books from the Veatchs Arts of the Book

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Books as art from the Veatchs.

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has released their Catalogue 80. The Veatchs focus on books about books and the book arts. This selection is particularly focused on the artistic aspects. Most items are artistic in one of two ways – the physical books are themselves works or art, or the illustrations, typesetting, coloring, etc. inside are works of art. Either way, these are books that that are far more than respositories of text. These are not candidates for conversion to e-books. If all other types of books eventually become no more than electronic impulses (hopefully not), these will still have to be printed. Here are a few examples.

 

We start with a major work from the Gehenna Press, The Gehenna Florilegium, published in 1998. It combines the poetry of Anthony Hecht with the art of Leonard Baskin. Baskin was a notable artist, illustrator, sculptor, and wood engraver. He was able to reach the public with his art by opening his own private press, the Gehenna Press, while still a young man. He continued to operate it for another 58 years, the remainder of his life, while also creating numerous artworks outside of the press. Baskin had created a series of floral woodcuts, each employing at least three colors, with a total of over 30 colors used to produce them all. He then called on Hecht to write 16 poems to accompany each of his floral scenes. Item 28 is one of 50 numbered copies signed by Baskin and Hecht. A binding appropriate for the work was created by Claudia Cohen. Priced at $7,000.

 

Speaking of the Gehenna Press, item 10 is a bibliography of its work, at least the first 50 years worth: The Gehenna Press. The Work of Fifty Years 1942-1992. It was written by Leonard Baskin and his son, Hosea Baskin, and published in 1992. This is one of 50 deluxe copies, specially bound, and signed by Leonard Baskin. $1,100.

 

Since we started with a floral book, here is one about something similar: Fleurons, Their Place in History & in Print. This is the work of Mark Arman, one of 170 signed copies, published in 1988. Fleurons are those flower-like ornamental designs often seen in books, frequently around borders. Undoubtedly, many people were unaware of their name, or perhaps that there even was one for them. They are just sort of there on decorative books. Arman's book includes several examples in various colors printed on parchment. Item 6. $300.

 

Next we have a combination of a great work of writing, illustrations by a notable artist, and a major first for the book publishing world. Item 41 is a 1928 edition of Voltaire's classic, Candide. The biting satire is as entertaining today as it was over two and one-half centuries ago when Voltaire made fun of Leibnitz' everything-is-for-the-best philosophy. Voltaire was not so optimistic. This edition features the illustrations of Rockwell Kent, the noted artist and one of the greatest illustrators of the 20th century. This is number 23 of 95 copies (from a total run of 1,470) with the illustrations hand-colored and the book signed by Kent. Kent had been commissioned by humorist and publisher Bennett Cerf to illustrate the first book to be printed by his new publishing firm. That firm was Random House, now one of the largest publishers in the world. It also sports the first appearance of the drawing of a house that has become Random House's distinctive symbol, one you undoubtedly recognize. Kent created it for this book, and it was recently revealed by Paul LeClerk, past President of the New York Public Library, that this was meant to represent the house in which Candide lived out his days cultivating his garden. $2,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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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