Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2007 Issue

The Private Press of Rollin Milroy from Wessel and Lieberman Booksellers


A collection of works from the presses of Rollin Milroy.

By Michael Stillman

For those who collect the private press, Wessel and Lieberman Booksellers has issued a pamphlet on Rollin Milroy: Heavenly Monkey & earlier imprints. 1997-2006. Milroy operates a private press, with the emphasis on traditional book crafts in publishing, rather than high volume. These are books meant to be appreciated for their artistry as much as their words. Milroy has published very limited editions for the past decade primarily under the Heavenly Monkey name, and before that, under the Lone Press imprint. You aren't likely to find many of these Vancouver, British Columbia, imprints in your local bookstore, particularly if you are not from the Northwest. However, Wessel and Lieberman have resolved that issue with this catalogue. As Millroy's work is all relatively recent, it's hard to know how collectible it will become. Traditional, high quality material can become very desirable over the years, and these works are both early in his career and printed in very short runs. Certainly if you ever wish to collect this fine work, there will never be a better time, as these rare items are still available at reasonable prices. That may not be the case much longer. Here are a few of the 33 items currently available.

Item 4 is A Short Story of Science Fiction by Anthony Burgess. This book was published in 1999, still under the A Lone Press imprint. It includes an original wood engraving by Shinsuke Minegishi. It is one of but 36 copies issued as a Christmas gift to friends and family. Priced at $100.

Item 9 was printed for Wessel and Lieberman in 2000, the first from the Heavenly Monkey press. It is a previously unpublished poem by Washington State poet Samuel Green, What the Fisherman Knows. Only 75 copies were printed, in celebration of Spring 2000. $35.

Item 8 was Milroy's first printing, as the 704 Press, Concrete Inspection, by Crispin Glover. This was actually printed at Barbarian Press in 1997. It is Milroy's first letterpress work, published in just twelve copies. $125.

Item 14 is an unusual item, An Invitation to British Columbia: A letter from T.E. Lawrence to Martin A Grainger. This 2005 Heavenly Monkey imprint published for the first time a letter from Lawrence written in 1929. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, had been invited by Grainger to settle down in British Columbia. Why is not clear. Perhaps Grainger figured Lawrence was sick of hot, dry places, and British Columbia is certainly the un-desert. He guessed wrong. Lawrence declined the invitation in this letter, which is why we don't remember him as Lawrence of British Columbia. This is one of 50 copies (of a total run of 70) signed by Jeremy Wilson and Don Stewart, who provided the preface and forward. $400.

Item 22 is A Christmas Secret from Heavenly Monkey. This is one of "a few dozen copies" published for family and friends at Christmas 2002. Wessel and Lieberman tell us this is the only place Milroy explains where the name "Heavenly Monkey" came from, but they do not provide the answer. You'll have to buy the book. $100.

Wessel and Liberman Booksellers may be found online at www.wlbooks.com, or reached by telephone at 206-682-3545.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <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>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.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions