Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2006 Issue

Books About, and Not About, Books, from Oak Knoll

Oakknoll271

Catalogue 271 from Oak Knoll Books.


By Michael Stillman

Oak Knoll Books
has issued catalogue number 271 in its specialty, "books about books." This field covers such topics as bibliography, binding, printing, papermaking, and even some very esoteric niches. For example, item 442 is C.H. Bloy's A History of Printing Ink Balls and Rollers, 1440-1850 (priced at $45). Oak Knoll describes this as the "definitive book on the subject," and we suspect that is true because it is likely the only book on the subject. But, where else but Oak Knoll could you even hope to find a book on this topic? Now, many of you may respond by saying that you really have no interest in ink balls and rollers. I imagine the number of collectors who do not collect books in the field of ink balls and rollers is in the ninety-nine point many more nines percentile. Nevertheless, if Oak Knoll can offer a book on this obscure a topic, what in the book arts would they not offer? Considering that this catalogue alone contains over one thousand listings, I imagine the answer is nothing.

Now this brings us to a totally unrelated topic. While most of what Oak Knoll has to offer is clearly in the "books about books" category, some of these items seem to push the limits. For example, there is a nice group of detective stories here. The connection may be something like the characters having some relationship to the book trade. The result is some things show up in an Oak Knoll catalogue you might not expect. So this month, we will look at some of the less obvious items for an Oak Knoll catalogue. Consider it as notice for non-book arts specialists to also be on the lookout for Oak Knoll's offerings.

Item 16 is a 1938 tribute to George Gershwin, edited by Merle Armitage. It is filled with articles from a who's who of the music business, including his brother, Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, Rudy Valee, and many more. Also include are 16 portraits and caricatures of the famed composer. $100. If you prefer something more jazzy, there is Swing That Music, by a man more noted for authoring music than books, Louis Armstrong. This 1936 book is both an autobiography of Armstrong's early days and career, and a validation of this new music, then referred to as "swing," though more commonly called "jazz" today. Item 17. $350.

The star-crossed Bronte sisters, who achieved great literary success in their short lives, are well known. Less remembered is their brother, Branwell Bronte, who also suffered a short life but without the achievements. It is a sad tale, since he was apparently as naturally talented as his sisters. Branwell briefly held jobs as a portrait painter, tutor to several wealthy families, and a railway clerk (he was fired for incompetence). None lasted very long before he was dismissed. His last tutorial position was with the Robinson family of Thorp Green Hall, near York. He was fired for having an affair with - you guessed it - Mrs. Robinson! This was 1845, and after three more years spent with alcohol and drugs, Branwell died of "consumption" at age 31. Here's to you, Branwell Bronte: Profligate Son, Branwell Bronte and His Sisters, by Joane Rees. Item 665. $20.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>

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