Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2003 Issue

Catalogue Review: Color-Plate<br>Books from Heritage Book Shop

Hbook

Henry Monnier's illustration of government bureaucrats at work.


By Mike Stillman

It’s not very often that a catalogue comes along about which very little can be said. After all, books are themselves filled with words. So, here’s a catalogue that leaves me speechless. It comes from the Heritage Book Shop in Los Angeles, and the title is “A Selection of Fine Color-Plate Books.” And that’s why it is so hard to write about. It is their images, not words, that make them noteworthy.

Color-plate books are, naturally, those distinguished by their color plates. Color images may not be very special today, but back in the days before photography and modern printing methods, color images were special indeed. Often, hand-coloring was needed to reproduce the images in color. This, obviously, was a costly process, and these books are quite valuable today. Heritage is offering a small (18 items in all) collection of fine color-plate books from the first half of the 19th century.

An example of what is available here is item 2, Involuntary Thoughts, illustrated by Henry Alken. Alken was a sportsman and hunter, and his illustrations of these scenes are very well-known. Posters of his drawings of horse racing and hunting are still popular today. Involuntary Thoughts includes eight hand-colored plates containing twenty-nine humorous scenes. Priced at $1,500.

Henry Monnier was a popular French illustrator of the 19th century. Heritage offers two of his works. Item 11, Moeurs Adminstratives, from 1828, remains timely today. In it, Monnier, once an employee of the Ministry of Justice, shows government officials hard at work on an hour-by-hour basis. As Heritage describes these drawings, “His principle themes are the inactivity of the staff, their lack of individual character, and their entire submission to superior authority.” Fortunately, such behavior no longer exists today. $2,250. Item 12 is another Monnier work. Entitled Recreations, from 1826, it depicts scenes from his visits to England. $2,750.

The Theatric Tourist will attract the attention of anyone interested in British theater at the beginning of the 19th century. This is a collection of 24 hand-colored plates of various English theaters of the time. The illustrator is James Winston. Item 18. $8,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>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…

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