Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2015 Issue

Beauty in Printing from the Veatchs Arts of the Book


Catalogue 82 for Summer 2015.

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has released their Catalogue 82 Summer 2015. Featured, naturally enough, are books as art, books as objects. Beauty is featured, whether through designs and illustrations within or the bindings that envelop the pages. You won't find any reading copies here, as reading was rarely the primary purpose. Many of the works come from limited run, fine presses, whose purpose was to produce quality, not quantity. A few are most unusual items for those who seek the uncommon. Here are a few of the books and ephemeral items to be found in this latest artistic collection.


We begin with a lecture from an expert on private press books and books as art, Leonard Baskin. Baskin was a sculptor as well as graphic artist who founded the Gehenna Press at Yale University in 1942. Fourteen years later, Baskin moved his press to Northampton, Massachusetts, but returned to Yale in 1967 to present his thoughts on graphic arts and the book as object. The occasion was the opening of the Printing and Graphic Arts Collection at the Yale University Library. The title is To Colour Thought, and while it was published by Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, it was printed by Officina Bodoni in Italy. This is number 96 of 300 copies printed. Item 5. Priced at $250.


Next we have the thoughts of a pioneer in the private press movement, Emery Walker. Walker became friends with the legendary leader of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris, in the 1870's. Both shared a love of fine printing as well as socialist beliefs. After Morris' death, Walker went into partnership with T. J. Cobden-Sanderson to form the Doves Press. The relationship did not end all that well as Walker left Doves. Colin Franklin published this book about Walker in 1973, which includes reproduced specimens in the back pocket: Emery Walker. Some Light on his Theories of Printing and on his Relations with William Morris and Cobden-Sanderson. It is one of 500 copies. Item 20. $200.


Joseph W. Reed is an artist who may not be a household name, but few can match his imagination and creativity. Reed is a self-taught artist. His primary career was as a teacher, now Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies at Wesleyan University. In the 1960's, he began painting, and over the years has used numerous mediums for his artwork. He has also employed several recurring themes, which tend to be odd, combining the unexpected and incongruous with historical detail. Combining unrelated people, or placing people in unlikely or impossible locations, is among his noted themes. Such themes as "First Ladies in Space," is an example. In another, he places Mamie Eisenhower with Cardinal Richelieu. What they had in common escapes me. You can see Benjamin Harrison surrounded by fish in his series of "Chief Executives Underwater." A series of paintings of General Custer places him in unlikely settings, such as on Mrs. Whistler's lap, while another has Whistler's mom in jail. Reed did a major series on insects, and you can see William Morris and his wife, Jane, infested by cockroaches. You have never seen Morris this way before. Item 61 comes from his "History of Western Ant" collection. It is Reed's rendition of Paul Revere's A View of Part of the Town of Boston in New England and British Ships of War Landing Their Troops, a 1970 update of Revere's 1768 work. A close look reveals that the British troops being rowed ashore are actually ants. This is original artwork, acrylics on masonite. Item 61. $3,500.


Item 54 consists of some more traditional artwork. It is Barry Moser's illustrations of Twelve American Writers. None are placed in unusual settings or has insects crawling upon them. What it does have is Moser's portraits of Cooper, Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Thoreau, Melville, Crane, Twain, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck. There were only 50 copies produced, while this copy comes with an extra suite of signed engravings on Japanese paper laid in. The copies in the book are also signed. As well, the book is inscribed by Moser. It was produced in 1974. $1,400.


R. Hoe & Company is noted for its printing presses, while its once owner, Robert Hoe III, is known for having by far the most valuable book collection ever sold at auction when it was sold in 1911-12. While its presses were once used to print many of the nation's newspapers, R. Hoe & Co. also made saws. Item 27 is a Hoe advertising broadside from the 1860's for Cast Steel Saws. The Veatchs note that it is an unusually colorful and artistic broadside, at least by Hoe standards. Hoe & Co. eventually went bankrupt with the decline of newspapers, but the saw business continued, and survives today as Pacific/Hoe Saw and Knife. Item 27. $600.


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>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
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    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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