Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

From Fine Presses to 19th Century History and Literature from The Kelmscott Bookshop

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Catalog 11 from The Kelmscott Bookshop.

The latest from The Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books is titled Catalogue 11: Artists' Books, Private Press, Pre-Raphaelites, William Morris, 19th Century Literature, Letters, Art, History & More. Many items are related to private and fine presses, natural enough for a bookshop named after the Kelmscott Press. Fine workmanship and artistic books are to be found throughout. There is also a wide selection of material from the 19th or turn of the 20th century - literature, history and more that will be of interest to the antiquarian. We will take a look at a few of the items to be found in this latest selection from the Kelmscott Bookshop.

 

First up is what Kelmscott notes is “the Arion Press's principal work.” That's no small compliment as many consider Arion the finest of the fine presses in America currently in operation. Arion Press was created in 1974 by Andrew Hoyem, sort of a successor to the legendary Grabhorn Press. Hoyem had gone into partnership with Robert Grabhorn after the latter's brother died, and formed Arion after Robert died. Item 3 is the Arion edition of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, published in 1979. William Everson described the work as “a feat of craftsmanship unexcelled in modern printing,” and it is one of three Arion works on the Grolier Club's list of the 100 most beautiful books of the twentieth century. Along with hand-set text in Goudy Modern, it features 100 engravings by Barry Moser. Moser is noted as being one of the best to ply the trade of wood engraved illustrations. He has not only signed the title page and written an inscription, Moser has either signed or initialed each of his illustrations, unique to this specific copy. Moser provided these signatures at the request of a personal friend who owned this book. The book was printed in a limited run of 165 copies. Priced at $20,000.

 

William Morris is known in the printing world as the founder of the most notable of all fine presses, the Kelmscott Press. It began work in 1891, and lasted only long enough to complete the projects Morris started before his death in 1896. However, Morris was also an important writer and artist, and was a deeply committed and politically active socialist. This next item was published just as Morris was embarking upon his career as a fine press printer, in 1891. It combines two of his other attributes – writer and socialist. Item 44 is Morris' News From Nowhere, his famous utopian novel. He wrote several fantasies late in life, this one containing a measure of science fiction in its ideal world. Not surprisingly, Morris' utopia is highly influenced by his socialist ideals, and his world is one without private property, where work is a pleasure and people are content. This is one of the 250 large paper copies of his book, published the same time as the trade edition (an unauthorized edition, taken from its serial version in Commonweal magazine, preceded it slightly). This copy is inscribed by Morris to his oldest daughter, Jane - “to Jenny with William Morris' best love April 4th 1891.” Jenny was in poor health and suffered from epilepsy, which brought her and her father particularly close to each other. $6,800.

 

The next book lists its author as “Johnston Smith,” but that was a pseudonym. It was actually the first novel of Stephen Crane. Crane had written numerous short stories and poems, and worked as a journalist, but Maggie. A Girl of the Streets was his first full-length work. Crane was only 22 at the time, but it is good that he started early, as he contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 28. It drastically cut short a career that was amazingly influential for such a limited run. Crane's style was realistic and fatalistic, with Maggie, the immigrant factory worker, unable to rise above her lot in life and dying at an early age. Crane had his first book, published in 1893, printed in 1,100 copies at his own expense. He sold only two. Others he gave away, but most must have been discarded as only around 35 copies are known to survive. Item 88. $12,000.

 

Shakespeare is known for his plays and sonnets, but this next item celebrates his flowers: Shakespeare's Flowers: Quotations from His Plays with Illustrations from Old Herbals. Jan Kellett is the artist and compiler who combined flowery quotes from Shakespeare with hand-colored woodcuts of floral illustrations based on old herbals. Kellett, and De Walden Press which publishers her works, create miniature books, this one being 2” x 2 1/2”. Additionally, this is an accordion style fold-out. The binding is blue leather with gilt floral ornaments. Item 16. $525.

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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