Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

More from the Book Arts from the Veatchs

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Catalogue 84.

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has issued Catalogue 84 Spring 2016. It features books that are works of art. Fine bindings, handmade paper, artistic drawings, high quality printing, specially designed typefaces, are among the attributes of these books. Representatives of the book arts are always the hardest to describe. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a thousand words can't do justice to an item of beauty. Nevertheless, we will attempt to describe a few samples of what is available as best we can.

 

Leonard Baskin was a sculptor, artist, engraver, printer, writer, and undoubtedly several more talents that could be full time careers by themselves. Probably Baskin's most viewed work is the relief funeral cortege at the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial in Washington. Still, while being a noted sculptor, Baskin operated a private press for many year, the Gehenna Press. From that press comes item 5, Nature's Mould. Etchings & Text by Leonard Baskin, published in 1997. The text describes the process of nature casting in the 16th century. It describes practitioners who used molds to cast various natural items in ceramic, silver, and bronze. It is followed by 26 plates of etchings, mostly in color. Baskin's images include crabs, frogs, sea urchins, spiders, and lizards. Even if those creatures don't immediately strike you as having great potential for works of art, you may be surprised by what Baskin accomplishes. Offered is number 11 of 26 copies of Baskin's work signed by the author/artist (each engraving is numbered and signed). The book is accompanied by the four-page prospectus which contains two etchings. Priced at $12,500.

 

This next item was described by John Bidwell as "….the first American-made deluxe book to be manufactured on a cost-is-no-object basis." Its $20 price tag would not be particularly cheap today, but in 1807, when it was published, it would have been at least several weeks wages for most people. The book is The Columbiad, by Joel Barlow. It is an epic poem, a concept more popular in its time than it is today. It is a philosophical and historical poetic treatment of America, soaring rhetoric with comparisons to archaic events and personages only the most educated could understand. If considered a bit grandiose 200 years ago, the poem receives little respect today, considered more ponderous and pretentious than great writing. Fortunately, this is a catalogue of beautiful books, rather than beautiful text. The poem is dedicated to Robert Fulton, of steamboat fame. Fulton was a close friend of Barlow who helped oversee the book's production as well as funding its printing. Item 4. $600.

 

By the end of the century, the book arts had taken another great leap forward. No catalogue about the field is really complete without something from the most notable of fine, private press printers, William Morris' Kelmscott Press. This was the press' first octavo book, published in 1892: Biblia Innocentium:

being the Story of God's Chosen People before the Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ upon Earth... One of 200 copies printed on handmade paper, it was bound by Zaehnsdorf in 1900. The book is unillustrated, though that was not Morris' original intention. It was to carry 200 drawings by Morris' friend Edward Burne-Jones, but the artist only completed 25. Morris and Burne-Jones would team up again four years later to produce the illustrated Kelmscott Chaucer, the Press' most famous work. Item 48. $9,700.

 

For those who appreciate wood engravings, it doesn't get much better than this. Item 3 is Endgrain. Contemporary Wood Engraving in North America. Published by the Barbarian Press in 1994 (actually 1995), it contains engravings printed from wooden blocks from over 120 wood engravers in the U.S. and Canada. Each engraving is printed in black with the artist's name, the title, and date printed below in blue. This is #16 of 50 copies in full leather. It contains the signed frontis engraving by Rosemary Kilbourn. $2,500.

 

For those with a technical orientation, item 25 is Modern Power Generators. Steam, Electric, and Internal-Combustion. These are no longer quite so modern, the book being dated 1908, but this was a time of huge technological breakthrough. It contains die-cut models of engines with varied layers and movable parts. This came out at the time of the birth of the automobile, and among the movable models is one for an electric car. They didn't quite catch on...then. Now they are quickly becoming the rage. How many back orders are there for Teslas? Maybe this book is still modern after all. $400.

 

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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <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>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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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