Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2016 Issue

Fine Books from the Veatchs Arts of the Book

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Arts of the book.

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has issued a new catalogue in the book arts, Catalogue 83. In this latest edition, we find numerous printings from private and fine presses, exquisite bindings, books with beautiful illustrations, along with more technical items, such as type specimen books and trade journals. There is much here for those whose interest in books is more than textual. Here are just a few samples.

 

This book does not represent bad spelling, just very old spelling: The Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle. This is a century-old edition of a five century-old book. This book was originally published in 1496 by the legendary Wynkyn de Worde, who was as fond of "y's" as the author of this book. Perhaps the letter "i" had not yet been invented in 1496. The author is the even more legendary Dame Juliana Berners. She is more legendary than de Worde because no one knows for certain whether she actually existed, let alone wrote this book. Nonetheless, she is credited with its writing, and an illustration shows a woman catching a fish with her line, something we might not have expected to see depicted in this male-dominated era. Likely, she is supposed to be Dame Juliana herself. This edition comes from another notable printer, the Ashendene Press of Charles Henry St. John Hornby. This fine press operated from 1895-1935, churning out roughly one book a year. This was no mass production. This book was published in 1903. Item 3. Priced at $1,800.

 

Next we have another ancient book but in a more recent printing. Item 1 is The Poeticon Astronomicon of Gaius Hyginus. Hyginus was a first century BC Roman writer on many subjects. This particular one dealt with the constellations and the myths behind them. Naturally enough, his work was not printed in his lifetime nor anything close to it. However, a few decades after the invention of the printing press, Erhart Ratdolt published an edition in Latin in Augsburg. That was in 1482, but it took the Allen Press of Greenbrae, California, to finally publish an edition in English, over five centuries later, in 1985. This edition contains 48 woodcuts as appeared in the original edition. They display stars in the sky with the imagined images of the constellations overlaid. Text describes the myths that went with them. The Allen Press of Lewis and Dorothy Allen began printing limited edition private press books in 1939, featuring handmade paper and other fine materials. This book was published near the end of their long run, in 1985. $1,000.

 

Here is yet another book that dates back to the 15th century, except this one actually is that 15th century edition, or at least a piece of it. Item 33 is a leaf from Postilla Super Totam Bibliam, printed in Rome in 1471. The author was Nicholas de Lyra, and like Hyginus, his book was written long before the invention of printing, though not quite so long. De Lyra lived from the 13th to the middle of the 14th century. It is a commentary on the Bible, in fact, the first printed commentary on the Bible. De Lyra used the various resources available to him, including works of other scholars plus church tradition and his own literal interpretation of the Bible to explain its passages. $250.

 

Next up is an alphabet book most fowl. Item 11 is A Fowl Alphabet, published by the Cheloniidae Press of Alan James Robinson. Robinson not only printed the book, but produced the wood engravings used to illustrate it. There are an unsurprising 26 engravings used to illustrated this alphabet book. There were 26 lettered copies published, this one being letter "F." The total edition was 231. Calligraphic lettering by Suzanne Moore in various colors accents the book. It comes with an original signed watercolor from Robinson along with a suite of wood engravings. $3,500.

 

Back in the heyday of printing, before there were social networks illustrated with emoji, there were stock images. These were stock illustrations that could be picked up and used by any newspaper or magazine, some free, others for a charge. Here is a book of them, circa 1900 – Barnharts Stock Cut Catalogue. These were more extensive than typical emoji today, including, the Veatchs tells us, "fraternal orders and religions, trades and professions of all kinds, musical instruments, horses and carriages, firemen, homes, ships, flora and fauna, food and tobacco, holiday and patriotic art, fashions, politically incorrect humor, lots of chickens, livestock and horses, decorative backgrounds, ornaments, and borders." Item 56. $200.

 

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>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>
  • <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.

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