Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2016 Issue

Sophie Schneideman Rare Books Offers Part Three of the Hugh Auchincloss Fine Press Collection


The Auchincloss Collection of Fine Printing.

Sophie Schneideman Rare Books has published a catalogue of The Hugh Auchincloss Collection of Fine Printing & Press Books, Catalogue Three – H-J. It contains over 150 items, and is the third selection in the series. It still only takes us through the letter J, giving an indication of the size of his collection.


Hugh Auchincloss was a scion of a distinguished New York family, a distant relative of Jacqueline Kennedy's step-father. He made his career in journalism. For over two decades, he was managing editor of Newsweek. In his spare time, Auchincloss was a collector. He developed an appreciation for fine press books as a young man, and in his adulthood collected them voraciously. The books and ephemera in this catalogue reflect his wide swath, including both well known private presses, and others dating back to the early twentieth century that today are obscure. Mr. Auchincloss died in 2003, with much of his fine collection now available to a new generation of collectors. Here are a few samples.


Victor Hammer had a long and unusually mobile career as a printer. However, he did not start that way. Born in Austria in 1882, he studied architecture, then art. He was an artist, but at the age of 40, he moved to Florence, where he set up a print shop. He also designed typefaces. In 1930, he officially named his press Stamperia del Santuccio, a press he would take with him through the remainder of his career. Hammer moved back to Austria in the 1930's, but after the Nazis took over, he emigrated to America. He was hired by Wells College in upstate New York, where he operated their press. In 1947, he moved to Lexington, Kentucky, and continued his printing career for the remaining twenty years of his life. Artist Fritz Kredel was a German who studied under Hammer while the latter was in Florence. During the late 1930's, like Hammer, he emigrated to America, taking a position at Cooper Union in New York City. He was noted for his woodcuts, used in numerous books, including Eleanor Roosevelt's children's book. Hammer and Kredel remained friends, and Hammer printed several works featuring his woodcuts. Item 17 is one of those, from Hammer's days operating the Wells College Press. The title is The Three-Cornered Hat, by the 19th century Spanish writer Pedro Antonio de Alarcon. It is focused on Alarcon's home region of Andalusia in southern Spain. This book, published in 1944, contains 21 woodcuts created by Fritz Kredel. Priced at £150 (British pounds, or approximately $198 U.S. dollars).


Next up, we have a work from the Hammer Creek Press, which was not one of those run by Victor Hammer. Instead, it was operated by John Fass. Fass designed limited edition books for major publishers, but then did fine press work on his own. The Hammer Creek Press was named for a creek near his boyhood home in Pennsylvania, but that is not where his printing press was located. Rather, it was in his one-room apartment at the Bronx YMCA. It must have been cozy. It did encourage the printing of more short form material. Item 46 is an example. It is the 1950 Harbor Press edition of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. We all know how short that was. Fass wisely did not print Edward Everett's Gettysburg speech of the same day that went on for almost two hours. This printing features type ornaments printed in gold and blue. £100 ($132).


Here is another work from John Fass' Hammer Creek Press, and a great rarity. This one is an example of nature printing, a form of printing that had a brief run in the middle of the 19th century, but is otherwise uncommon. It is when printing is done directly from an object, usually one from nature, rather than from something like a woodcut or engraving of the object. This example could be described as a leaf book for two reasons. For one, its leaves are loose, rather than bound together. Secondly, the images are of leaves, not the page type of leaf, but those from a tree. The title is Various shaped leaves of the Mulberry Tree. Fass printed directly from leaves of a mulberry tree. There are 16 leaves of leaves, along with a title page and a preface. Printed in 1960. Item 77. £1,000 (US $1,320).


This is a book that was produced on behalf of a book collectors' club. The title is Don't Nobody Care About Zeds. Can you guess which book club it was printed for? Of course, it was printed for the Zamorano Club of California. They care about Zeds. The printer was Richard Hoffman, who operated his own press while also a professor at the University of California. He said he enjoyed the opportunity to highlight this often overlooked letter of the alphabet. Item 107. £80 (US $105).


Auchincloss had a large selection of books from the Incline Press, one of the most notable of currently active fines presses. Item 134 is book about a specific book art: Harvesting Colour. The Year in a Marbler's Workshop, published in 1999. It is the work of marbling artist Ann Muir, and contains 12 samples of her work. Ms. Muir added some sketches of cats, and has signed this copy, number 46 of 250. £450 (US $593).


Sophie Schneideman Rare Books may be reached at +44 7909 963836 or sophie@ssrbooks.com. Their website is www.ssrbooks.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
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <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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