Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2008 Issue

Artistic and Fine Books from Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books

Kelmscott3

An odd beast graces the cover of Kelmscott Bookshop's Catalog 3.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books of Baltimore. This is their Catalog 3: Artists' Books, Private Press, the Pre-Raphaelites, William Morris, Fine Literature, Travel and More. Certainly we should not be surprised to see items relating to Morris in this catalogue, as he lived in Kelmscott Manor in Kelmscott, UK, and founded the Kelmscott Press. However, you will find many other fine and limited editions, artistic works, and more of notable interest to those fascinated by the book arts. Here are a few of the items waiting within the pages of this Kelmscott catalogue.

That terrifying creature on the cover (click the thumbnail image to view) comes from An Odd Bestiary, or, a Compendium of Instructive and Entertaining Descriptions of Animals, Culled from Five Centuries of Travelers' Accounts, Natural Histories, Zoologies, &c. By Authors Famous and Obscure, Arranged as an Abecedary. I must admit, I was not familiar with the term "abecedary," so if you share my ignorance, it's an alphabet or "ABC" book. This is a very special alphabet book, created by artist and printer Alan James Robinson of the Cheloniidae Press (later the Press of the Sea Turtle). The letters of the alphabet are accompanied by wood engravings of various members of the animal kingdom, ranging from aardvarks to zebras. Amusing text, taken from fact and fiction, to go with the images has been provided by Laurie Block. Initial letters have been hand-colored in red. Item 6 is one of 50 deluxe numbered copies of this 1982 book. Additionally, there are loose copies of the 26 engravings included, each signed and numbered by Robinson. Priced at $2,500.

From an alphabet book we go to an "alpha-bat" one. Item 4 is JoAnna Poehlmann's Alpha-Bats, published in 2005. This is an alphabet book which features images of bats, taken from paintings, postage stamps, woodcuts and more. Among the artists featured are Beatrix Potter, Max Ernst, Hans Holbein, and Leonard Baskin. Dates range from a 1522 Albrecht Durer scientific illustration to a 2004 hand-sewn toaster cover. This is number 4 of 25 copies signed and numbered by the artist. $875.

Item 38 is one of those books from Morris' Kelmscott Press. Published for Bernard Quaritch in 1892, the original was much, much older. It was taken from the 1481 Caxton edition of Reynard the Fox, though the story itself goes back well before even that. This work features ornate woodcut ornamental borders and initials throughout the text. $3,200.

Item 79 is the February 1892 issue of The Novel Review with which is incorporated Tinsley's Magazine. The Review/Tinsley's was published in London from 1867-1892, providing reviews of new fiction. This issue contains a review by a young George Bernard Shaw of his first books. He explains he is reviewing his own books because of "the extreme difficulty of finding anyone else who has read them." $225.

Item 22 is Ye Minutes of Ye CLXXVIIth Meeting of Ye Sette of Odd Volumes, Extracted from Ye Diary of Samuel Pepys... Ye! This is a privately printed piece from the Ashendene Press in 1896 for Ye Sette of Odd Volumes, a book lovers dining club founded by Bernard Quaritch two decades earlier. $700.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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